Do You Put Your Own Oxygen Mask On First?

“You don’t have anything to give that you don’t have so you have to keep your own self full.”

This quote from Oprah Winfrey has stuck with me ever since I heard her speak it.  Intellectually it made sense.  I got it.  I thought, “Yup, I have a lot to give and do so without even thinking about it.”

That reaction made me to stop in my tracks.

No, I didn’t get it.  What I was doing was giving of myself to everyone else, especially to those who I felt needed me.  In my own way, I created the “idea” of that need. Then I tried to fulfill it.  At the end of the day, there was nothing left for me.  I was depleted, tired, and frustrated.

What was I really giving? 

I had to ask myself, “Am I truly giving to another if I lose myself in the process?”  If I don’t have love, patience, belief, and confidence in myself how could I support others with these things?  Sure it’s possible to do, do, do for others but is that truly giving?  When you become resentful, exhausted, and live without boundaries you are well on your way to losing yourself.

When I stepped back to really think about this, I realized I wasn’t giving from a healthy place.  I was giving to make myself feel better ABOUT myself.  I was confusing my desire to be loved with need.  When I peeled back all the layers I realized I was “giving” to fill my need for love, acceptance and belonging.

Keep your own self full.

Shifting to keep my cup full was difficult at first.  But I learned how to say no, remain connected to who I am at my core, take care of myself, and stay committed to meeting my needs.  As I honored myself it became more fulfilling to give because it was from a place of fullness and genuine giving vs the need to please.

What does it look like when you keep your own self full?  How would it be for you to put your own oxygen mask on first, before helping others?  Could you say no when you really mean it?  Would you make the time to meet your needs first?

Click Here to Listen to Oprah's Message

What’s the opportunity for you today? 

How can you fill up your mind, body, and spirit?  Your whole you!  I invite you to do one thing differently to fill yourself up.

In Courage,



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