Self-denial is not that we are to exist in a vacuum but is to be put in the context of pleasing my Creator. Thus, it is living to Him instead of to self. And in putting others first, I am doing so in order to be a channel of His love and grace—and, at the same time, committing myself into His care.
"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."