From a young age, most of us are told not to be selfish. We’re taught that the word is negative and that we should be giving instead. But I think it’s time to challenge that. It’s time to start looking at the positives of being selfish. You see, while many people associate the word selfish with being self-absorbed or self-centered, that isn’t necessarily true. I believe it’s an act of self-preservation, self-care, and acknowledging our worthiness. Being selfish can actually have some major benefits while trying not to be can lead to neglecting our own needs.
At its core, being selfish is about self-care.
By prioritizing our own needs, we’re making sure that our mental, emotional, and physical well-being are being taken care of. We’re taught to help others, and that it’s selfish to take care of ourselves first. But here’s the thing- we have to be in a good state if we really want to be able to help the people around. Think about the oxygen mask on a plane- you’re supposed to secure your own before anyone else’s. By being selfish and prioritizing our own needs, we can recharge and find a healthy balance in our lives.
Being selfish also means recognizing our worthiness to receive.
Many of us are conditioned to believe that constantly putting others first is a virtue even if it means neglecting our own needs. However, this belief can lead to feeling unworthy, burnout, and full of resentment. By allowing ourselves to receive, we can challenge those feelings and recognize our inherent value. We can acknowledge that we too deserve care, support, and love. By allowing ourselves to be selfish, we can build our self-esteem and create healthier relationships based on mutual respect and reciprocity.
Neglecting our own needs can actually be really detrimental.
If we don’t take care of ourselves, we end up experiencing physical exhaustion, mental strain, and emotional depletion. Over time, this leads to decreased productivity, strained relationships, and can even make us sick. Plus, because we’re constantly putting everyone else first without balancing our own needs, we risk becoming resentful, overwhelmed, and losing our sense of identity. By neglecting self-care, we keep ourselves small. This limits our ability to show up fully and authentically in every aspect.
Allowing ourselves to be selfish can actually empower others.
By setting boundaries and taking care of ourselves, we model healthy behavior and encourage those around us to do the same. When we are prioritizing our own well-being, we become more emotionally available, compassionate, and understanding individuals. By understanding and fulfilling our own needs, we can empathize with the needs of others and provide genuine support rather than just acting the way we think we’re supposed to. This balance between self-care and compassion for others helps can improve our lives as well as the lives of those around us.
It’s time to reframe what selfish means.
This world glorifies being selfless. We praise the ‘givers’ and celebrate the martyrs. But by understanding that these things are actually a disservice to yourself, we can start to emphasize being selfish instead. Reclaim your own needs and make yourself a priority. Tell the world that you are worthy for being, not for doing. Stop neglecting yourself and start prioritizing your needs and wants and desires. This will not only make you happier, but it will make it easier to support those around you in a more substantial and real way.
Being selfish can be a good thing- don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for taking care of yourself. The saying ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’ exists for a reason.
Need a reminder? I’ve got key chains, buttons and stickers in my shop so that you can always have a visual to remind yourself to take care of you.
And if you’re looking for some guidance on defeating your inner people pleaser, I offer one-on-one coaching where I can hold space for you and help you to rewrite the narrative. Or if you’re looking for support but not ready to make a financial investment yet, check out my free facebook group for women, where we’re building a community of support and empowerment where we can all heal together.