[ˈselfiSH](of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.“I joined them for selfish reasons”
Being selfish has many negative connotations. It’s thought to mean you don’t care about others. You’re only concern is for yourself.
You can’t be a good person and also be selfish. You’re not to be trusted or relied on.
A lack of selflessness is the token symbol of a good person. Like the way into the gates of Heaven is by caring only for other people, and putting yourself on the back burner.
The way to spot a good mother is one that puts the needs of her kids before her own. It’s also how you spot a good friend or a good partner.
Sounds great… for the kids, for the other friend, for the other partner. But not for the person that’s always putting everyone else first.
You can also spot one of these “good mothers” by the exhausted and defeated look in their eyes. They are one snack fit away from losing their shit. The “good friend” might just break down in tears if anything remotely inconvenient happens. The “good partner” will rage out at you because you left 6 crumbs on the counter. But it’s not about the crumbs.
It’s about having needs that aren’t being met. It’s about constantly taking care of everyone else and feeling resentful when it isn’t reciprocated. The straw that broke the camel’s back is right there, like a volcano ready to explode.
But it’s okay because you care about others. It’s okay because that’s what you’re supposed to do. You want to be a good person don’t you?
Maybe you should consider another way…
Selfish… an Insult
“You’re so selfish.” That cuts right to your heart. Immediately you’re defensive. You’re not selfish. Look at all you do for everyone else.
Consider this for a moment though… is the person accused of it the selfish one, or the person saying it?
The person saying it wants you to do something for them. That’s why they’re calling you selfish. Because you’re resisting doing whatever thing suiting their needs. Interesting…
That person is putting their own needs first, and wants you too also. Because humans are designed to do that.
We’re designed to put our own needs first. That’s why the flight attendants tell you to put on your own oxygen mask before your kids. Because you can’t help anyone if you’re dead. You have to help yourself first, in order to help others.
Your Needs Matter
Everyone on this earth has needs. And your needs are just as important as anyone else’s. In fact, your needs should be more important to you than anyone else’s.
You get a vote. You are allowed to have needs or desires. It’s your right as a human.
You get to steer this ship.
How do you get anywhere with a dozen other people trying to change the course to meet their own needs?
You don’t. You go to the left, then to the right, then back and forth and over again.
Meanwhile your dreams go nowhere. Might as well toss the anchor in and get comfortable. Because here is just as good as there. Either way, you’re not where you want to go. You’re at the mercy of everyone else.
Don’t help others to the detriment of your own dreams.
You’ll just end up a slave to the dreams of others. It’ll feel good to help them achieve their goals, but what about your goals?
That’s not a fulfilled life. Watching the dreams of others come to life while yours whither away?
You can love others and do for others. But their needs come second to your needs.
Otherwise you’re the mom that breaks down crying in the cereal aisle and you’ll have no idea why.
Don’t Feel Guilty
Don’t allow yourself to feel guilty for putting your needs first. It’s a mindset you have to get used to.
No one else feels bad about it. And that’s not to say “well everyone else is kicking puppies so you might as well too.”
What I’m saying is we’re designed to take care of ourselves and then help each other.
Stop seeing “selfish” as a dirty word.
You have every right to be selfish.
You have every right to decide who you want to be and where you want to go. And you have every right to take the steps needed to get there.
You’re the only one that can make your dreams come true. Just you. Sure, people will help you along the way. But the big stuff comes from you.
Everyone else is doing the same. We all want to live happy lives. We want to meet our own needs. So we’re all prioritizing our goals above the goals of others.
Be kind, but have boundaries.
Absolutely extend kindness. Help others.
The world is a better place when we lend a helping hand to those in need.
It means a lot to receive help. It feels good to give help. None of us can do this thing alone.
But remember you can’t always help. You have to say “No” sometimes. And that’s okay.
“Selfishly” Build Your Dreams
Your dreams are waiting.
And you only get one chance to make them a reality.
If that means you’re “selfish” then okay.
You can be selfish and still help others. You can be selfish and still make a difference in the world.
You have to put yourself first. On an airplane, in a family, in business.
That doesn’t mean you don’t love others. It means you’re a mom and you eat breakfast before you pack the kid’s lunches. That way your brain works and you remember the ice pack.
It means meditating and finding some peace within yourself. Declining to help someone on your only day off because there are a few things you need to do for you. That way, you’re in a better place to help others at another time.
It means giving yourself some love so you have some love to give your friends. Or so you don’t feel resentful towards your partner.
Who’s in a better position to help you, the woman that’s spread herself so thin she doesn’t even know who she is anymore? Or the woman that’s taken the time to do a few things for herself? The second woman’s heart will be in the right place. She’ll want to help you instead of helping you out of some sense of obligation that she’ll later resent.
Be a selfish good person. Take care of yourself. Chase all your dreams. And then, when you help others, it’ll be from your heart.
Have a magical day.