Having a Me-First Attitude Isn’t Selfish — It’s Self-Preservation

20 ways to invest in your own self-care and set boundaries for all

Dawn Dickson
6 min readDec 11, 2019


Photo: Hero Images/Getty Images

WWhen I tell people that my motto is “me first,” the first response is typically that I am selfish. I can understand how that can catch someone off guard, especially when they are not accustomed to the concept of boundaries and self-care.

The concept behind “me first” is that if I am not at my best mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally, it is almost impossible for me to perform at a high level and show up as the highest version of a CEO, team member, parent, friend, and every other role I play in the lives of others.

I have heard people say things like “I need to make time for self-care” or “I need to get better at self-care” which leads me to believe that most have no concept of what self-care actually looks like for them, and it looks different for everyone. Today, we see the phrase “self-care” tossed around like “all natural,” “organic,” and “diversity” — buzzwords that sound good but that people don’t really understand in a practical sense.

WWhen I started on my entrepreneurship journey at the age of 21, I immediately jumped into the pattern of getting minimal rest due to working all night and getting up early, developed poor eating habits, did not “have time” to work out, overworked myself due to poor delegation skills, and was spinning my wheels 24/7 and going nowhere fast. I thought I had to work all day, really hard, in order to be successful and respected.

By age 30 I was burned out and ready to quit. Then, I read a book called “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferriss and realized I was hustling backwards. Couple this with the fact that my peers were beginning to have serious health issues directly related to stress and a poor diet. I knew I had to make a change.

Today, 10 years later, I am happier than I have ever been. It took a decade of work and a complete personal paradigm shift to get me here. As a single mother of a 15-year-old homeschooled student, an entrepreneur for 19 years, a CEO of two companies, and someone currently in the process of opening a restaurant, the most profound lesson has been the importance of…



Dawn Dickson

Serial Entrepreneur, Inventor |Founder, Flat Out of Heels |CEO, PopCom|