You matter. You are important.

You are the main factor that determines what you will experience in your lifetime.

To choose yourself isn’t just some sort of self-development practice — it’s your responsibility.

You are responsible for your own happiness, your own energy, your own sense of fulfillment.

Most importantly, only you know what your true self is, what you must do to nurture who you really are. No one can do that for you.

What does it mean to choose yourself?

To choose yourself means to realize that you are in control of your own life. To choose yourself means to grow your own energy so you can be more, do more, and give more.

In a way, choosing yourself is difficult. It’s a lot easier to let things happen to you, to let others determine your worth, who you should be, how you should live.

It’s a bit like being the driver of your own car rather than sitting in the passenger seat. It takes a conscious effort to drive, but it’s your responsibility. It’s the only way to reach your destination.

Choosing yourself is also difficult because of societal expectations, or misconceptions about the idea of choosing oneself over everything else.

I’m pretty sure it sounds selfish to most people. Like, selfish in a bad way. As if choosing yourself meant going against others’ needs, or ignoring others, or taking advantage of them.

None of that! In fact, when you choose yourself, when you make your own energy grow, when you raise your vibration — that’s going to positively affect others as well.

Choosing yourself is not selfish

Enthusiasm is contagious. Success is inspiring. Light illuminates everything around it.

Not only that, but you won’t truly be able to help others unless you are in a state, in a condition where you can do so. Consider the following quote:

If you don’t work out, sleep, meditate, relax, or do whatever special things you need to do for yourself, you won’t be the best version of yourself. When you’re not the best version of yourself, you can’t do things for others.

Heather Monahan

That sums it up nicely. So whenever you catch yourself thinking self-care and self-love are selfish, please think twice.

If you don’t allow yourself to shine, to become the best you can be, you cannot contribute to the world (including the people around you).

Yes, some people are selfish. Yes, there is such a thing as being too concerned with one’s needs, and ignoring others’ needs completely.

Choosing yourself is different. Don’t confuse choosing yourself with being selfish.

Once again: to choose yourself means to be more so you can give more; to love yourself so you can love others; to be great and make the world around you reflect that greatness.

How to choose yourself over everything

Yoga on the beach

1. Know who you are

Who are you? It turns out, some of our beliefs, habits, routines, and decisions have nothing to do with who we really are. We simply absorbed them as we grew up, and let them define us.

You must go back to a natural state — you. It may be tricky; you may have spent years or decades being someone else. Go back to your essence, know your essence. That’s the first step in choosing yourself.

2. Value your time

You want to be fanatical about your time, because it’s very limited. A year goes fast. Literally every hour of your time should be filled with positive things, things that make your life better.

It doesn’t mean having a busy schedule. It doesn’t mean having fun 24/7. You simply have to realize and understand the importance of your time, and use it in a way that’s best for you, rather than let things happen to you.

3. Identify your needs

We all have needs. Some of them, perhaps most of them, aren’t really needs, but wants — think of material possessions. However, some needs are actually vital for our mental and physical wellbeing, and you must address those.

Some examples: mental health, cultivating a passion, financial stability, giving and receiving love, expressing ourselves. Identify your needs, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re reading this, chances are you are comfortable helping others yet you find it difficult to ask for help.

4. Let go of what weighs you down

You cannot choose yourself, your nature, your happiness and the things that prevent them. Get rid of all the toxic habits, all the people that put you down, that don’t allow you to shine.

Change your environment if needed. Let go of the things not meant for you. Meditate, journal, practice introspection and pay attention to your own limiting beliefs (e.g. the thought that choosing yourself is selfish, that others are more important than you).

5. Practice self-care

Here’s another tip to help you choose yourself over everything else: develop a daily routine, or weekly routine, that’s based on your own wellbeing.

Examples: in the morning, meditate before doing any other task; get a relaxing massage weekly; give yourself permission to do absolutely nothing for ten minutes a day; write a manifestation list and read it every night.

6. Be your own best friend

How do you treat your best friends? If your best friend was going through a tough time, what would you say to them? What words would you use, what would be the tone of your voice?

And so on. If you tend to love others and prioritize others before your own needs, this can be a fun exercise. Literally be your own best friend. Fall in love with who you are, forgive yourself for what you may have done in the past, liberate yourself from guilt and shame.

7. Take a break

As I mentioned in the first tip: some of our beliefs, habits, routines, and decisions have nothing to do with who we really are, and it can be hard to identify them.

One way to reconnect with your true self is to take a break. Spend some time in solitude, travel for a while, turn off your phone, sit in silence for an hour. When you stop doing everything on autopilot, you’ll find that all your “fake” traits tend to disappear, while the real you emerges.

Choose yourself over everything: quotes

You were born an original work of art. Stay original always. Originals cost more than imitations.

Suzy Kassem

As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

Marianne Williamson

The only one you should compare yourself to is you. Your mission is to become better today than you were yesterday. You do that by focusing on what you can do today to improve and grow.

John Maxwell

You deserve the love you so freely give to others.


Always choose yourself first. Women are very socialized to choose other people. If you put yourself first, it’s this incredible path you can forge for yourself.

Rebecca Traister

When you care for yourself first, the world will also find you worthy of care.

Haemin Sumin

Whenever you feel compelled to put others first at the expense of yourself, you are denying your own reality, your own identity.

David Stafford

If you don’t work out, sleep, meditate, relax, or do whatever special things you need to do for yourself, you won’t be the best version of yourself. When you’re not the best version of yourself, you can’t do things for others.

Heather Monahan

When you say yes to others, make sure you are not saying no to yourself.

Paulo Coelho

If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now. And when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong.

Masaru Emoto

It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make happiness a priority. It’s necessary.

Mandy Hale

The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.

Michel de Montaigne