How to be Happy With Yourself | Do You Put YOU First?

by Jayne Kopp on March 13, 2012


putting  you first, happy with yourself

Put YOU at the top!

I’ve done a lot of talking lately on how to be happy with yourself; not necessarily on this blog but while out with friends, during casual conversations, etc., and was amazed to learn how many of us rarely put ourselves at the top of our own lists.

I mean, think about it!  Do you put YOU first in anything?

I have to be right up front with you and admit I never put me first… ever… and whilst I will always do everything in the best interest of my children… (They are my BIG why after all)… I know that sometimes… well “often” really I may not always do the best job of being completely focused on them because I’ve been busy thinking about other things that concern me.

I don’t always come clean, but like everyone I have my own unique set of circumstances that can become heavy after a while.  I’m not playing my own violin (I’ve said this before) but the last few years has been nothing more than “challenging”.

In a funny sort of way… I’m totally OK with it.  The challenges have helped me grow into someone completely different to who I was in my old life.  These last few years since starting my business and diverting into my coaching career the experiences have taken me down the most unbelievable paths and taught me to truly focus on the positives and grow in ways I never thought possible.

Despite the awesomeness of it all… which I know is all for a reason by the way, … I still have shreds of discontentment that I tend to put on the back burner and if truth be told have ignored them for a very long time.  That is until these last few weeks.

You see, since being in this wonderful world of internet marketing and being so absorbed in personal development, my conversations are much different these days than the way they would have been a few years ago.

Never before would I have taken the time to see beyond people’s exterior and have the insight to pick up on bits and pieces of things said…or to have the insight to see into the souls of others the way I can these days.

I may have never opened up and shared my feelings either, at least not the way I do these days, in fact on second thoughts, I may have never even “paid attention” to things that may have needed attention in the first place.

A few months ago, quite unexpectedly I met a lady with whom I have grown a fond connection.  She is completely different than my other ‘friends’ in the way that she is a little off the wall, loud, crazy fun :-) … and at the same time she is VERY wise.

She has certainly had her challenges in more ways than one but has managed to get a grip on life to the point where she does her best to live in and enjoy the moment.

Last week we were talking about being “authentic”.  In other words: Are we (or most people) as happy and contented on the inside as we are on the outside.

If not… what’s the issue?

(Most people are not by the way… but I digress)

I can only surmise that perhaps she sensed something from “me” that many people do not.

If truth be told, although I am happy, I am incredibly grateful, I do look at the positive; I am very intuitive and can see solutions for others…but the funny thing is,  I often can’t or don’t pay attention to what’s best for me.

This is not unusual, as many of us don’t look at our own issues.  Instead we more often than not tend to brush them off, but when it boils right down to it… it’s not right.

What I’m trying to say is I truly believe that we should all put ourselves first in life no matter what… and as selfish as this may seem… It’s not.

Here’s why:

By putting yourself first, means you are looking after not only your own emotional well being, but also your health.

When you feel emotionally balanced you have much greater energy to put into anything you do in life and as a result you always do the best job possible rather than only doing things ‘half-well’.

When you put yourself first and know how to be happy with yourself, this resonates in an authentic way and you exude greater positivity which benefits everyone around you.

What I’m trying to make clear is that if there is something you have “thought about” or always wanted to do… yet you haven’t … or if there’s something you wish you could do, but for some reason don’t think you can… ask yourself “why?” or “why not?”

I believe we can (and should) do ANYTHING we want.  …Really!! (I do!)

The fact is we only have THIS MINUTE.  Life is fragile and can be snatched away in the blink of an eye.  Then what?

I don’t know about you… but if I croaked tomorrow… I’d be as mad as a wasp that I missed opportunities or prevented myself from being kind to myself….  I’d much  rather pop-off  with  no regrets!

Believe me… there have been times when I’ve thought… hmmm… so I guess this is “it” for me then….. and lately I’ve just thought screw to heck with that!

So anyway.. my point is…DON’T wait till tomorrow, tomorrow may never come.  I’m not trying to be morbid… rather I’m being realistic.

  • If you wish you could take more time out to go to the spa… do it!
  • If you wish you could learn to earn more money by starting a business or trying something new… DO IT.
  • If you want to travel more… figure out how to make it happen!

If you are in a relationship that isn’t making you happy and you wish you could do something to make it better… DO IT… or end it.

Furthermore, if you want to do things for YOU and they are harmless and fulfilling… GO FOR IT.

You only have one life so you should put yourself first.

You also need to embrace that what you want needs no apology.  There’s nothing wrong with wanting some YOU time to fulfill your desires in any way you see fit  … and if others can’t or don’t  “get it”… bugger them!  Seriously!!  (This caring about what others think will be discussed in the next post).

If you truly want to live an authentic life, you have to stop preventing yourself from doing so… and as difficult as you might ‘think’ it will be to make time or allow yourself the well deserved space to do it, it rarely is.

I say, if there is a will there is a way… so get busy, take control of life and make it happen to you.

Put yourself in your own drivers’ seat for once… hell… if you’re not willing to nobody else will do it for you!

What’s at stake? 

You go through this gift of life ‘wishing’ shoulda, woulda, coulda but didn’t… for the rest of it??

I don’t think so!

Get on with it! Learn how to be happy with yourself! Search your soul for the things you really would like to do… or things you would have done if you could live your life over!

In other words…Be kind to yourself and put yourself first.  I guarantee, YOU and everyone else around you will benefit because you have.

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Adrienne August 14, 2014 at 10:16 am

Hi Jayne
First of all, I would like to say thanks for sharing this great post and valuable tips. This is really helpful to me and I am thinking that why not to use these tips on my blog also. The best part of this post I like is you have shared your tips in different separate and individual points. Thanks once again for sharing this post.



Jayne Kopp August 14, 2014 at 1:03 pm

Hi Adrienne, how great to see you here. I have just recently thought about breathing some life into my old blog. Have been busy doing other things and working feverishly on my Hypnotherapy practice. I was just saying to a friend the other day how I miss blogging so I think I am going to re launch this old site! I really miss staying in touch with people too… so I think it’s the right time to reconnect.

How have you been?

Do you take time for yourself?

I always see you on FB … still active. Some of the old group seems to have dwindled but there are a few new faces in the blogging world. Many of them you probably know.

Anyway, thanks so much Adrienne for stopping by these old digs. It was a great reminder for me.

Best regards



Jayne Kopp August 14, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Oh by the way Adrienne, for sure use the tips for your blot!! Spread it around. :-)


Sandy April 5, 2012 at 6:15 am

Hi Jayne,

“I do look at the positive” great message you are sharing here.
You know what,I was never putting myself first and I discovered that with my health.
By loving yourself and working more on your personality you become more in life.
I understand what you are saying I have been there.




Ben April 4, 2012 at 9:46 am

Yeah this is definately powerful! It’s a shame that we have been taught growing up to feel ‘guilty’ and ‘selfish’ for putting ourselves first, as if ignoring all our desires/wants/dreams and being way too nice to everyone else is the way!

I give a vote for letting go of that programming! Letting go of the guilt and any feelings of ‘selfishness’.

And this all reminds me of the quote “you can’t save the world.. unless you save yourself first!”

Similar to what Erika is saying, if I really am not following my own dreams, if i’m broke, not reaching my potential, putting everyone else first.. how can I really help people?

The power to help people really comes from solving stuff in your own life.. and then you are able to pass it on much more effectively!



Erika Awakening March 31, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Hi Jayne,

Wow, cool synchronicity, because I wrote an article related to this yesterday, about being “too nice and totally ineffective.”

I find this is especially a problem in the “spiritual healer” community because somehow people have been trained to think they should have to “sacrifice” themselves to help others. The problem, as you point out, is that when they sacrifice themselves, they are not in a position to help anyone because there own basic needs have not been met.

A Course in Miracles, which is the blueprint for my system, teaches us that we can only give the miracles that we are willing to receive for ourselves (because in truth the giver and receiver are ONE, there is no separation). So if we want to help anyone, we must accept help for ourselves first, and that means financial abundance, personal empowerment, lots of love, and all the other good things in life.

Glad I stopped by your blog. Thanks for an important article.

Erika Awakening


Jayne Kopp March 31, 2012 at 11:41 pm

HI Erika, and thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

I’m pleased you ‘get’ the message here. Although I have always encouraged my clients, friends, acquaintances to look after themselves, I have found over the course of the last few years I have not taken my own advice.

The result has been ‘not being the best I can be’ and rather, suffering from feelings of frustration and exhaustion! Seriously…

I have recently decided to clear away the junk and make time. As you say the giver and receiver are one… so in order to give better, we all need to take time to feel good about ourselves first.

Obviously, there are people in my life who are important to me, (my kidlets) so being a more fulfilled mom benefits them too!

Lovely to meet you… thanks so much again for stopping by!



Tracy March 30, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Get involved in something. It can be something you already know you enjoy doing, or something brand new, just as long as it occupies your time and interest for a little while. Something like a hobby, something you return to on a regular basis, is probably best. The infatuation with it will grow and your anticipation will increase your interest, further wetting your appetite and increasing your appreciation of whatever it is you choose to do to occupy your time.


Merry March 26, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Oops! I meant to say “an hour a week” seems too much for most of us. I know that life is chaotic and crazy, but really ladies… there are 168 hours in a week. Taking one little hour is just 1/168th of your life this week.

Puts it in a little different perspective, doesn’t it?

Anyway, thanks Jayne. I’m looking forward to spending more time here and hope we can get to know each other a bit.


Merry March 26, 2012 at 2:53 pm


Ha! Love this post! This is a big HUGE part of the message I’m compelled to share in my coaching business as well. It affects our lives so much – just taking an hour for one’s self makes the rest of the world seem so much brighter, more abundant and just plain happier. Yet people (especially us ladies) seem to have such a hard time doing it.

What we tend to not realize is that in putting ourselves first, we’re able to take care of everyone else in a much more effective way. Just taking an hour a week of “me” time – going to the spa – even just pampering ourselves by getting a pedicure (or giving ourselves one) induces relaxation in us that enables us to give more to those around us. More than an hour a week would be even better, but a week seems so selfish to so many of us. My advice: just do it! Try it for a month and see if Jayne and I aren’t on to something.

I bet you won’t regret it.

Thanks for “jumping on the bandwagon” with me.


JosephJYoung March 26, 2012 at 7:32 am

Hi Jayne,
Love the post. It reminds me of a book I wrote and give away at our blog called First Partaker, a.k.a, pay yourself first. It focuses on the monetary element but is not limited to as you discussed above. Truth is we all really know when we are neglecting ourselves – very unhealthy. Little happiness’s add up but so does neglect. I’d rather have a sum of happiness than regret any day!

Great thoughts, thanks for stirring it up!


Jayne Kopp March 31, 2012 at 11:36 pm

HI Joe, thanks so much for stopping by. I’m pleased you see the logic in this. It’s not meant to be selfish at all, but seriously….If you neglect yourself, you don’t do anybody else a scrap of good.

I’ve really noticed this in myself these last few years. I have put so many things on the back burner that I now find myself trying to catch up on the things that meant something to me… the result it sheer frustration.

I guess seeing that light bulb moment, caused me to ‘spill my guts’ LOL… it sure felt good though to mix it up as you say. (or was that ‘stir’) … same dif!! :-)

Lovely to see you Joseph.

Bye for now!



Maja March 23, 2012 at 4:07 am

This article is purely related to the personality building. To be happy with yourself is confidence on your personality. Confidence on own personality is gateway to success.


Jayne Kopp March 25, 2012 at 9:39 pm

HI Maja, I’m not sure if ‘personality’ building as the right way to put it. I just think that trusting in your own decisions to do what makes you happy is the best way to make others happier in the process.

Thanks for the comment.



Joanne Cipressi March 22, 2012 at 1:06 pm


I loved reading this article. Imagine if everyone put themselves first and were happy with themselves. What a more peaceful world we would have! When we take care of ourselves, we are much more able to care for others.

One thing I have learned is that if we do not put ourselves first, others will not. More often than not, people will walk all over you. But, once you make yourself important others tend to have more respect for yourself. Its very refreshing. :)


Jayne Kopp March 25, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Hi Joanne, thanks so much for stopping by. I’ve met you before…(so to speak) don’t visit you nearly as often as I should. I think there’s much to be learned from you. I remembered your bio when I popped over there a short while ago. WOW… you go girl!

Thanks so much for your kind words. I’ve been undergoing various transitions lately, and come to the realization that although I love my family more than life itself, I have been ignoring some things that have in fact ‘blocked’ me.

Needless to say because of the personal changes and realizing how much better I feel… and how much better I will feel once the dust has settled… I think it’s worth sharing with others that in order to be the best you can be … sometimes you’ve got to put yourself at the top of your own list.

I know you get it… and I appreciate that.

Thanks again so much for stopping by. I’ve been a bit behind the 8-ball recently so I apologize for the late response to your comment.




Sabrina Sabino March 20, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Haha, I love that graphic. Pretty much says it all right? I need to integrate it into my life. I find myself putting everything and everyone’s priorities before mine. It bothers me but I can’t help it. I can’t say no. I really need to learn how to value myself a little more. It doesn’t mean other people aren’t important but I really need to do this for myself in order to do it for other people.


Jayne Kopp March 25, 2012 at 9:49 pm

HI Sabrina, no putting you first does not mean at all that the needs of others are not important. I just find that when I’ve ‘fair’ to me… others benefit.

I love my family more than anything else on earth, but I always, always, always put the things I need on the back burner and it bothers me to the point that I know I’m not doing as good a job for them as I would be if I got some of my own things taken care of.

give it a whirl… your family will be so glad you did! ;-)



Praveen Rajarao March 20, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Jayne – This is my first comment on your blog and I followed you here from your comment on Harleena’s post.

This is a nice way of looking at it, though i would say that it may not apply in every circumstance. For eg, when I plan for a vacation with my family, the first question I ask my wife is, would you prefer a quiet and laid back time or a busy and hectic plan. I leave it upto her to pick and choose.

But I do agree that putting myself first and taking care of my feelings and emotions will bring good to my family, as long as it is not tangible, i think it holds good.

When it comes to physical proximity or longingness, putting myself first would really become selfish. What do you say?


Jayne Kopp March 25, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Hi Preveen, thanks so much for coming over from Harleena’s blog. Lovely to meet you.

I agree with what you are saying and because I do love my family more than anything else on the planet, of course it makes me happy to do the things they want to do if it relates to vacationing etc.

I’m more meaning from the emotional standpoint. Doing things that they want to do… or doing things for my family does make me happy, therefore there are many things I do that I would never consider ‘not’ doing. (does that make sense).

I’ve had some things though that have been very important for me to take the time to do and I haven’t because I’ve allowed them to slip… and also allowed myself to ignore them. It seems that what I’m ‘needing’ are things my family knows I need… yet they don’t put much stock in to them because I”m patching certain things and carrying heavy weights.

I’ve realized lately that there are just some things that we humans deserve to do for ourselves.

for me, it’s made the world of difference putting down the heavy stuff. I feel much clearer now and able to do an even better job for my family because of it.



Hezi March 20, 2012 at 10:37 am

I talk to so many people that do not understand this simple concept. I hope that later in life they won’t regret on things that they shoulda, woulda or coulda have done.
It is very hard to blame them those. Most people live their life on autopilot, and only when something extraordinary happens that shifts their belief system they might have an “a-ha” moment.
For me it happen very late, maybe when I was 25. still, better late than never. I hope your post will make more people do stuff that they want to do now and not wait until it is too late


Tosin March 19, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Hi Jayne,

When I saw the headline, I was like no I put others ahead but reading through the piece I agree totally with you!

I especially love the example of the oxygen mask. You cant help others if you dont truly help yourself. Sometimes selfishness is the pathway to selflessness.

Even the golden rule says “Do to others as you would want them to do to you.” Meaning you are already in the habit of doing something for yourself in the first place.

Also “love your neighbour as you love yourself”, a quote from the Bible, is a great example of treating yourself well.

Thanks for sharing this great piece.


Ma.Dharess March 19, 2012 at 2:55 am

Hi Jayne…You know before I always make sure other people will be happy before me and sometimes, it also makes me happy too…But we have to think as well ourself first before others…


Harleena Singh March 18, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Wonderful post Jayne!

I know I have read this and felt the need to put myself first, or thought that now it’s high time- yet never really got down to doing it! Guess just as you felt in your initial years, the kids or the family or everyone always comes first.

I always feel that how can you place yourself before your own kids when their needs are always priority. But yes, when they are grown up, I feel I can take out that much needed ‘me’ time for myself.

I totally agree with you about living life to the fullest, as this IS the moment- the NOW. And you live only once, so make the most of it. I do need to remind myself to really let go of things and just enjoy life, but yes sometimes there are many lives that are connected to you that you can’t overlook. However, I do try creating a balance, as I believe in this concept a great deal myself.

Thanks for sharing such an inspirational post, and you do have a wonderful blog. :)


Jayne Kopp March 16, 2012 at 4:49 pm

HI Oliver, thanks for your input. I agree the oxygen mask example does say it all.. but even so, how often do we overlook our needs to accommodate others.

I really think this should be kept at the forefront of our minds.

I know that when I take ‘me’ time and do a few things… I feel better rounded and I’m able to focus on my time with others ‘better’ than I do when I’m feeling scattered.

Lovely to see you Oliver.



Catarina Alexon March 16, 2012 at 9:42 am

As always a great post Jayne!

My first thought was no I don’t. But that’s only part of the truth. We ALL put ourselves first because of instinct. We wouldn’t be alive now if we didn’t. Look what happens when there’s an accident on say a plane. Passengers start fighting to save themselves. Not even caring if someone dies as a result of them saving themselves.

Agree with you that we should take time to be happy and make sure we are emotionally balanced. If we are not we are not bringing much happiness to anyone else.


Heather Stephens March 14, 2012 at 10:42 pm


Loved your post! I know we’re sisters along the “crazy busy life” path because we’ve talked about it before. I don’t do as good of a job at taking care of myself as I should, but I am proud of myself that I chose to put my business on the back burner for a while to wrap my arms around my “new life” in the corporate world.

Instead of working myself to the point of being sick, like I would do in the past, I was conscious to the fact that I needed to find balance temporarily and like most things in our lives, my business could wait.

But even with my business on the back burner, my dreams were (are) still being fulfilled. I FINALLY took a romantic getaway with my husband in January (we’ve put this off for years because of the kids, finances, and time). And we’ve purchased tickets to take a train ride across America with the kids in a few weeks, to see the sights and have the experience of traveling by train. (Major bucket list item!!!)

What I need to work on is treating myself well as far as working out more regularly and eating right.

I’m proud of you, for being aware and for being brave in sharing this message with others. It’s an important one that we all need to be reminded of!



Jayne Kopp March 15, 2012 at 9:03 am

HI Heather, so awesome to hear from you. I actually sent you an email a couple of weeks ago… perhaps you don’t check them now you have found balance! :-)

I admire your decisions to be honest. I know that perhaps some of them may not have been easy peasy at the time… but it seems you are in a good place right now.

I totally admire you for taking the romantic getaway… and the train ride sounds amazing. Oh how I would love to do something like that.

I am working on sorting a few things out of my end so I can make time to do the same.

This putting ‘you’ first thingy is a bit difficult to get your head around… but I think once you become aware and just do it, its a great relief.

I miss seeing you very much. Perhaps one day we will actually get to ‘chat’ as we’re said we would.

Lots of love



Steve Nicholas March 14, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Great post, Jayne! I really liked the part where you were talking about the importance of the challenges in your life. The other day, I read an article about leadership lessons from Capt. Picard. I am not a big Trekkie by any stretch of the imagination (I’ve seen two of the movies with the original cast, one of the movies with the Next Generation cast, a few of the episodes, and I follow George Takei on Facebook, but that’s about it.) but one of the things that was the most fascinating was that when he was a young man, Capt. Picard got into a bar fight and had to get an artificial heart. He was given the chance to change one thing in his life, and he asked to take back that fight so he could keep his own heart.

What were the results in this counter-narrative? He never rose above the rank of Lieutenant, and he lived a life where he never took risks or challenges. In the novel “Primary Colors,” one of the characters argue that without polio, Franklin Roosevelt would be little more than a George H. W. Bush type character, because it was the suffering that made him great. These are some very important things to think of when we wonder why things aren’t going right.


Jayne Kopp March 15, 2012 at 9:06 am

Hi Steve, how lovely to see you. You know, you have to walk outsie the dotted line sometimes to grow and experience different things.

If you don’t life becomes too much of the same. Even if changes you make are challenging or there is an element of suffering, more often than not, we do come out greater than if we hadn’t tried something new.

Thanks for leaving such an awesome comment as usual Steve.



Ilka Flood March 14, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Hi Jayne,

Great read and great advice! I we don’t put ourselves first who will? Having said that, I should be taking my own …and your advice. I never put myself first. But that also may have to do with the “mother” thing. We will always put or children ahead of us.

Some wise man once told me to …”put YOUR oxygen mask on first.” That’s what they’ll tell you if there’s emergency situation on a plane anyways. Because, how can you assist your children if you pass out. Which goes right along the lines with what you say…If YOU are happy then everyone around you will be as well.

Time for being a little bit “selfish” I guess :)

Thanks so much for the reminder!



Jayne Kopp March 15, 2012 at 9:40 am

Hello Ilka, so good to see you.

You know, it sounds selfish… but it’s not. I do believe that if you can do enough to make you ‘complete’ you find there is so much let of you to do so much for everyone else.

I understand the oxygen mask thing very well… it’s a great analogy.

Lately, there have been a few things occupying my thoughts that have hindered my ability to really ‘listen’ to my children when they talk. That’s not good. My kids are really chatty and deserve my full attention… but with this ‘thing’ weighing me down, I’m not being an affective listener and kids need their moms attention.

My talk with my friend helped me find the cobwebs. I just feel that by making me happy will help me do an even better job on meeting my goal… which is just to be an awesome mom. That’s all I want… and I know my kids will feel the difference.

Phew… feels like an email ‘shrink’ session.

Thanks so much Ilka.




Lou Barba March 14, 2012 at 9:03 am

Hi Jayne,

A while back I learned the secret of true J-O-Y
J is for Jesus
O is for others
Y is for yourself
Jesus first, others second, and yourself last.

If you don’t include yourself, it’s just jo…no good.
If you don’t include Jesus, it’s just “oy” We know what oyoyoyoyo means…and it’s not about joy.

I agree you need to think about yourself, too many people don’t take care of themselves, and have to be cared for unnecessarily.



Jayne Kopp March 15, 2012 at 9:42 am

Hello Lou, I agree my faith plays a huge part in my life. I sure wish He’d pop by for a cup of tea sometimes. At lease I know we are never alone and that counts for almost everything.

I think by making ourselves complete helps us in being the best for everyone else so whilst it might sound selfish on the outside… it’s not because everyone else benefits.

Lovely to see you Lou.



Rebecca Reddy March 13, 2012 at 11:43 pm

To quote a life coach of mine:”you have to learn to be selfish(little s) before you can be selfless. If I  don’t put my oxygen mask on before I help you with your’s we both will pass out. How can I help you if I’m dead? If we build the skill of caring for ourselves first it will soon be a habit that will energize us then we/I can use the extra energy to assist you. 
It’s not big s Selfish, but tending your own fields before loaning your tractor…
Here’s to selfishness!


Jayne Kopp March 16, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Hi Becca, that was one smartypants life coach! I was just saying to Oliver that your oxygen mask analogy is a great one to use.

As you say, caring for you does energize, rather than suck the energy out of you.

“”clink” (that was a glass clinking yours… to selfishness! ;-) )


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