How focusing on myself made me a better person

I had a routine of criticising everything that I have done throughout the day.

As I stare into the white lights of my room, I carefully analyse and overthink every single word, phrase, and move. What could I have done wrong? What did I do right? The simple truth was that I didn’t want to be an inconvenience to anyone. Countless hours were now dedicated to transforming myself into the “nice girl,” always doing what she thought was the selfless course. Little did I know, I spread myself too thin. That in being focused in the worlds of others I have slowly lost myself.

My eyes blink out of its mesmerised gazed and I realised what I have done. I stepped back and looked at the life I made and wondered where was I in all of this?

I was so focused on exerting all my energy on other people that I forgot what was most important: me. By then it was easy for others to abuse my kindness. My voice was drowned out by their senseless instructions and judgements.

Because of this, I became conscious of the fact that sometimes I must put myself first before others. My happiness, education, passions, wellbeing, they all come first. I learned that it was neither vain nor selfish to think of myself and how things affect me. Instead, I destroyed the idea to have the obligation to please others, especially those whom I didn’t know.

“The word “no” is such an under appreciated word.”

The word “no” is such an under appreciated word. If you know something is going to cause you hurt or you feel uncomfortable doing it, then please remember you still have choices. We don’t always have the responsibility to commit to things. Along with this, please don’t be afraid of raising your standards. It only further symbolises how much you care for yourself and reminds you that you deserve the best… because you are special and important. I know, sometimes it’s scary because people can judge you and then leave you. However, if you really think about it, why would you ever allow these people to stay in your life if they don’t respect you?

On top of that, embrace who you are and own what you have. Let them know what you love. Don’t be ashamed of it. Nothing negative ever comes from something positive. If people perceive you as conceited, then let them. If it makes you happy, then no other opinion matters.

“The painful truth is that sometimes we tire ourselves from investing time in the people or things we love. Take a rest and revive yourself. Maybe treat yourself to a face mask, a few hours of rest, or a new book— anything.”

But what is most important to understand is when you have spread yourself thin. The painful truth is that sometimes we tire ourselves from investing time in the people or things we love. Take a rest and revive yourself. Maybe treat yourself to a face mask, a few hours of rest, or a new book— anything. Don’t forget to learn how to love yourself by yourself— there is nothing wrong in being alone. Find contentment in just being you, because sometimes that is all there is by the end of the day.

However, focusing on yourself does not give you the excuse to hurt others and get away with it. There is still a fine line between selfishness and self love. As long as your choices do not negatively affect anyone, go ahead and treat yourself.

Having decisions and mindsets like these makes me feel more in control of my life. It gives me the reassurance that I choose what happens. In the end, I like who I’ve become because I feel secure in who I am. Instead of being pressured to follow what other people say, I created my own happiness. I get to choose what kind of life I led and who gets to be a part of it.

The blood now rushes through my veins a little bit faster. I now breathe a little bit easier. I know I love myself. I feel more free.

So if you ever feel like you have lost yourself, just remember: It’s not about how much love you give, it is the quality of love you give. It’s true when RuPaul says: “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love someone else?”

by Bianca Ferro
Art by Alessa Fernandez

Bianca Ferro and Alessa Fernandez are Grade 12 senior high school students at Assumption College.. They are currently undergoing work immersion at Scout Magazine.