If you often treat yourself because you feel that you deserve it, then great! You can skip this step and move onto the next one.
Our society teaches us to believe that it is selfish to buy things for ourselves just because we feel we deserve them. We feel positively GUILTY about sneaking into a shop and buying ourselves a present. Often we cover this guilt by purchasing presents for about six other people at the same time! This is very expensive and unnecessary!
People who never treat themselves often hide behind a mask of
'goodness'; they are always buying little presents or preparing surprises for other people, but never themselves. In fact, it is difficult to give a present to a person like this; they will try very hard not to accept it, positively wallowing in modesty and humility!
Why do they do this? Simple! Their lack of Positive Self Image means that they don't think that they are worth treating; they believe that almost anyone else in the world deserves a treat more than they do. The little gifts and surprises which they give to other people are really the things which they would like to give to themselves. By giving them to other people, they can earn little pats on the back for being a "terribly kind and thoughtful person."
I know someone who spends nearly all of her spare time doing things for other people. She is always popping round to one of her large circle of friends to see if there are any little favours which she can do. She never, ever forgets a birthday and you only have to mention, in passing, that you like a certain thing, and it will turn up a short while later, tastefully gift-wrapped.
The interesting point is that she never does anything for herself because she is too busy doing things for other people!
She hardly ever goes out for an evening's entertainment, rarely takes a holiday or buys new clothes. She prefers to spend her money on other people, in fact she puts everyone else in front of herself. The result is that people like her superficially, but they do not respect her; they class her as "nice, but harmless".
This is a wishy-washy statement to have made about you.
It is a true fact that people genuinely like, admire and respect those people who like, admire and respect themselves.
I am not advocating long-term selfishness. It is always good to do whatever you can for people, and genuine kindness and thoughtfulness are qualities to be admired. I am talking here about an almost obsessive degree of selflessness, based, not on genuine altruism, but on a Negative Self Image.
You can greatly increase your Positive Self Image level by spending more time, effort and money on yourself rather than other people. The one and only excuse you need for doing this is that you deserve it. If you think that this sounds selfish then fine! I want you to BE selfish for as long as it takes to raise your Positive Self Image to a point where you KNOW that you are a really worth-while person.
When you get to this point, then is the time to decide what is selfish and what is not, and to moderate your behaviour accordingly.
Buy that new dress or shirt you have wanted. Take that holiday. Go out, have fun, enjoy yourself. Above all, treat yourself to TIME. Time to be by yourself if you want to, time to go out shopping (for you), time to read that book. Don't be a servant to other people, they are just as capable as you of looking after themselves. If you have children , don't run round after them and pander to their every whim; spend less time being a skivvy and more time being a real human being.
People won't like it at first, but I can guarantee that they will soon get used to it and start respecting you a great deal more, when you start respecting yourself.
You don't need to make any excuses about indulging yourself; all you need to say is that you felt that you deserved it.
From now on, you are going to start loving yourself a lot more; you are going to start looking after yourself and putting yourself FIRST occasionally, not always LAST.
When you start being kind to yourself, the subconscious responds almost immediately. After a very short while, it starts to believe in its own self-worth, your Positive Self Image is enhanced. After all, if you are treating yourself to all these things, you MUST be a worthwhile person; only people who feel worthless go around acting as though everyone else's wishes and desires were always more important than their own.
The only exception to this rule is if you GENUINELY believe that you want to spend your life helping other people and that you want to sacrifice your own life to the common good. If this is really true then you must already love yourself completely, because anyone who attempts altruism without first loving themselves is doomed to failure. If this is you, then why are you reading this book???!!!