I grew up thinking that being selfish was a really bad thing.
I remember messages from my step mother like “get your nose out of that book and stop being so selfish” and “It’s not all about you” and “stop feeling sorry for yourself.”
It seemed we were chastised for anything we did for ourselves.
This taught my sisters and I to not take care of ourselves first. It has taken years to learn that it’s ok to be selfish, it’s necessary to take care of yourself first - and you can do it with consideration for others.
In fact, if you don’t take care of yourself first, you are not doing anyone else any favors.
Yes, there is a problem when a person is selfish and never thinks of anyone else. Learning empathy and compassion is so important - but it doesn’t work if you don’t have compassion for yourself. You will self-destruct! If you don’t have self-respect, you cannot truly respect another person.
Respect is essential not only at a personal level, but it’s also critical for your role as a leader.
How can we be selfish and still consider others? Know yourself and be true to yourself. Here are a few ideas:
Know what you need. If you need 8 hours of sleep, and 30 minutes of daily alone time , make sure you get it. Commit to it. Think of how much better you will be with your children, your spouse, your co-workers, and how much healthier you will be.
Make sure you know when you are getting stressed. Pay attention to your emotions. What is your language telling you - both verbal and body language? Use deep breathing techniques to not lash out and say things you’ll regret. Avoid passive-aggressive language - we all know what you’re really saying, and you’re holding on to the stress. Learn to communicate authentically.
What do you do to keep your stress levels down? Regular workouts? Meditation? (Check out these 11 benefits for meditating!) Listen to your favorite music? Laugh with friends? Just as you make a commitment to knowing what you need to be happy and healthy, you should also know what you need to do to de-stress.
Make it a habit to feed your mind with positive and loving thoughts. You get to choose what you think about, and this has a direct impact on your emotions, actions, and stress level. Subscribe to daily motivation blogs. Use a gratitude journal. (Pssst, you can get my Get Your GRIT Together Planner for gratitude journaling and so much more - get 30% off through this link).
Take care to eat properly, breath fresh air, and ground yourself.
Here’s the key takeaway, are you ready?
Being selfish is about taking care of yourself so you can be your best for others.
Being selfish is about recharging your own battery so you’ll have the energy to live life with positive purpose. For leaders, it’s imperative to your effectiveness with people.
Next in my 4-part webinar series on GRIT®, I’m talking about Respect (cue Aretha’s R-E-S-P-E-C-T anthem!) Join us on June 6 at 2pm EST when we’ll talk about The Monumental Truth About Respect in the Workplace including:
How to practice self-respect
How to balance taking care of yourself with helping others
Not allowing assumptions to get in the way
How to let go
We’d love to hear how you’re selfishly taking care of you! It’s so nice of you to share - it gives others motivation and ideas. You can tweet me, comment on my Facebook or LinkedIn post, comment here on my blog or email me.