Most of us would agree that while being selfless is praised, being selfish is villainized. I would argue, however, that being selfish is an integral part of a healthy, happy and successful life.
We all know that one person that doesn’t have a selfish bone in their body. They are always putting others first whether it be family, friends, acquantaines or even sometimes total strangers. Though admirable, this position continuously leaves these individuals in one position – the last place priority on their own list.
Quite often these selfless individuals find themselves burnt out, under active, over stressed and holding a small (or large) amount of bitterness to other people’s ‘selfishness’. They feel as though due to the fact that they choose to put others first, that others should do the same. Unfortunately though, that’s not how the world works and quite often if you’re always exercising selflessness and never even a hint of what’s considered selfishness, you’re going to get left behind.
Let’s take a look at some simple actions and whether they are considered selfless or selfish.
Giving someone your seat on the train? Selfless.
Paying for someone else’s needs? Selfless.
Sacrificing your own time to help another person with their time? Selfless.
Saying no to a request because you feel like you need ‘you’ time? Selfish.
Prioritising your goals and saying no to alcohol at a friends birthday? Selfish.
Sticking to your fitness routine and as a result not being able to make it to a work event? Selfish.
Now I don’t know about you but I don’t think I would feel good about my selfless actions if I wasn’t taking some selfish actions as well.
We need to break the stigma around putting yourself first every once in a while being a negative thing.
I like to consider myself a pretty selfless person, however, I also pride myself on my selfish qualities and firmly believe I am a better mother, wife, friend, trainer, coach and human because of them.
Saying no to alcohol at events has allowed me to support my wife more efficiently throughout pregnancy.
Sticking to my gym routine regardless of what others want from me shows my clients I practise what I preach.
Prioritising my work sometimes on my days off means I’m able to feel in control and moving forward which then in turn allows me to relax properly on my next day off.
Likewise, having days/hours work-free regardless of what’s happening allows me to feel in balance and allows me to better support my family as well as my clients.
If looking after yourself and prioritising things that are important to you are selfish, then consider me selfish.
To me, the right balance between selflessness and selfishness is one that allows you to live at your highest vibration and gives you the best possible chance at a happy, healthy, successful life, whilst raising others up with you at the same time.
This coming week I encourage you to take something from the old saying to ‘Put your own oxygen mask on first’. You wouldn’t consider this a selfish action, it doesn’t mean you don’t care about the person sitting next to you, in fact it means the complete opposite.
By better looking after ourselves we can better look after those around us. So, be a little selfish this week, I dare you