Are you SELFISH? And is this a bad thing?
I am sure most of you would agree that we think of selfish people in a bad way, in fact it is often a complaint I hear from clients about their partners behaviour. We can attribute many qualities into the word selfish, such as inconsiderate, arrogance, self obsessed; generally words that we would not want to be used about ourselves.
So to be thought ‘selfish’ is not something we generally want!
And this is where I often come up against resistance when working with clients, because at the route of much unhappiness, is the feeling of no control & lack of confidence, caused by a deeply ingrained need not to be a selfish person. And in the case of girls and women, this gets amplified by the role of care-giver we are encouraged to play from early in life. We give up our own views and desires to appear generous, kind or a team player so as to avoid the selfish tag.
So why do I consider this to be a problem?
Well in most cases in order to help a client gain control of their lives it is necessary for them to do things differently. To change what they have been doing so far, one of which is often considering everyone else to be more important than themselves. AND this is where it all goes wrong. At some point there is realisation that they are incredibly unhappy, depressed by their circumstances and that somehow life is not living up to their dreams.
I truly belive that we must LOVE ourselves first
This requires us to put ourselves at the top of the list, to be a selfish person. It is only when we are happy and content that we can give fully & really help others, so while this may feel uncomfortable, it is necessary.
This is not something that can be done easily in most cases, because we are often talking about years of behaviour that needs to be changed but it is a vital step in moving forward. If you take a quick look at those around you who seem to have what they want or are successful, you will usually notice there is an element of the selfish about them. These people will do what they want, regardless of anyone else. Now I do not propose we all turn into single-minded, uncaring, aggressive people but I do feel we have to acknowledge ourselves and our wants and dreams.
So how do we go about becoming a Selfish Person? We start with baby steps.
1) First I suggest you find just 30 minutes a day in which you will not be interrupted. What you do with this is entirely up to you but it MUST be something that you enjoy. Make sure that those around you know this is YOUR time and that they must respect that. If you are unsure how you want to use this time, then use it to sit quietly, eyes shut and just relax and if you are struggling to relax, then you might try using my free Audio to help you get started.
2) Once you have established a routing Me Time you can begin to broaden this. Perhaps you had a hobby that your busy life has stopped you from doing…..think about ways in which you can bring this back into your life. Either a new interest or a forgotten hobbie is likely to take up more than your 30 mins so FIND a day and time in which you can do this at least once a week.
3) As you continue to build Me Time into your life, it is very likely that you will also begin to feel better and more in control, your work will not drain you as much, your family not tire you in quite the same way……..life in fact becomes very different as you become more conscientiously selfish.
4) Dont stop here, now you are starting to feel stronger and more confident, try saying NO sometimes. You all know to which NO’s I am referring. The ones where you are being asked to do something that you do NOT want to do. Dont resort to your default excuse in order to avoid it, simply say “no I don’t really fancy doing that.” That is quite sufficient and in no way rude or offensive. You are allowed to SAY NO!
5) Last but not least every night before you go to sleep, say to yourself.
“I am allowed to think of me; I do count; I am important; I am allowed to be happy!”