Truth be told, it’s hard to put yourself first

TO thine own self be true.

As advice goes, this proclaimed by Polonius to his son in Shakespeare's Hamlet is about as good as it gets.

It was delivered unto me by a friend during a lovely conversation by the river one day.

It's poetic enough. It sounds suitably self-affirming.

And scribbled in hasty script on a Post-It, stuck to my office computer monitor, for me it is ever-present.

It was a sage offering. And a truth.

Yet honouring your own set of truths and core beliefs can be challenging in the face of what life has to throw at us.

Inexplicably, we manage to justify to ourselves how the needs - or, moreover, the demands - of others are more important than our own.

At the centre of every decision - irrespective of scale - should be the notion of truth to self.

It sounds like a no-brainer. But think about it.

It might be the decision to take another step in your career, to have a baby - or not, to get married - or divorced.

Maybe it's as simple as the decision to get out of bed and exercise, or stay in bed for a few extra minutes sleep.

To procrastinate or to do today what ought not be left for tomorrow.

At worst, perhaps it is a challenge to your personal set of morals or an affront to your principles.

At best, it's taking the path of least resistance instead of the more challenging, more rewarding road less travelled.

In the end, while many still feel the weight of others' opinions, it's to ourselves we owe the greatest debt of honesty.

We can reason, rationalise and excuse. But in the end we know all that is just a cop-out.

It is very easy to throw one's hands in the air, sigh with the theatrics of exasperation and play the victim card.

Trust me. I've been there.

But it's a waste of time and energy. Those invested in seeing you stumble are only better placed to watch and smirk as you fumble your way through life.

You're more fabulous than that. And you know it.

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