Your Own Needs
In life, we
are encouraged to think of others first. It is seen as a virtue to selflessly
address the needs of parents, children, friends, and loved ones, before or
sometimes at the cost of our own needs. But this virtue, like any, is best and
most meaningful in moderation. Overly caring for others can easily be an
unconscious cry for love or a crutch. Devoting all of your time to others can
stand in the way of you caring for yourself. Taking care of yourself can feel
selfish while taking care of others can seem easier than dealing with your own
issues. But addressing your own needs first in some cases is beneficial and
vital not only to your own health and well-being, but to your ability to care
for others when needed.
We often find ourselves faced with too many responsibilities and those most
readily given up are often those most important to us. Ask yourself why. Do you
feel the need to prove yourself by being selfless or hope your sacrifice will be
acknowledged? Do you feel selfish for wanting things for yourself? Or is it
simply more stressful to contemplate your own needs, because they are the ones
requiring the most personal effort on your part? Selfless dedication can be
frustrating when we don't find the appreciation or love we desire, which
ironically leads to putting more effort into others. But when you care for
yourself, you affirm your own worth and boundaries. Don't be afraid to put
yourself first now and then. Listen to your inner voice and be fair to yourself
as well as to others. Have the courage to face your needs and issues head on
without putting them off by helping someone else with theirs.
Avoiding caring for oneself is often indicative of great internal struggle. It
can be helpful to recognize that you are as deserving of care as any other human
and that you, too, function best when your needs are met. Try, when possible, to
do something special, take a break, ask for help, and to give your own needs the
attention they deserve.
here for your own free Daily OM
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of the reasons real life is difficult is that we don't ask for assistance --
from family, friends, co-workers, strangers. We feel uncomfortable, as if
asking for help is confirmation that we're completely inept or spongers.
-Sarah Ban Breathnach
Incredibly Selfish is the first principle of the 28 Principles of Attraction
developed in 1997 by the late Thomas Leonard, founder of Coach U, Coachville,
and Attraction University, along with 200 of his coaching colleagues.
Attraction Principles were designed to be learned and applied in order to
eliminate struggle, while naturally attracting with grace and ease, the
circumstances and things you want to have most in your life.
selfish in this case, means knowing exactly what you need for yourself to get
your needs met efficiently, so you are not ‘needy’. To be needy means you
are always seeking ways to get your unmet needs met. On the contrary, when your
own needs are met, you can afford to be generous.
understand this concept of selfishness, think of being on an airplane that has
depressurized and the oxygen masks drop. You instantly remember the preflight
instruction that you must put your oxygen mask on first, before assisting your
seatmate or even your child. If you do not first quickly get the oxygen you
need, you certainly will not be able to help anyone else, and your own life is
we all do a little, it means a lot. But if you are always doing a lot for others
and leaving yourself very little, chances are you are not even getting your
basic needs met. Doing constantly for others at the expense of yourself in the
hope of getting what you need usually backfires, and you then end up resenting
everything you have done.
you are so busy looking after everyone else’s needs you may not have a
complete sense of who you really are. You must become selfish to establish who
you really are, and what it is you need to be who you really are.
incredibly selfish does not mean abandoning your responsibilities and becoming
overly childish in behavior.
does it mean always exclusively focusing only on yourself, but that you can do
so when you desire to, or need to.
is about a healthy selfishness that brings out the best in you.
become incredibly selfish practice saying ‘no’ to any request that takes you
away from meeting your own needs and/or doesn’t suit your best interest.
what you want and ask for it. People that are secure in themselves are
attractive. Let others know where they stand with you, what you expect and what
you want. You will empower yourself and others by doing so.
selfish for the sake of it, to allow yourself, your gifts and your talents to
of selfishness as a good thing to lead you on your path home to you. Then you
can open your door to share the best of who you are, and that’s attractive.
Katherine G. MacRae, Life Coach
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When most of us think of the word selfish, it
tends to conjure up negative connotations. We often associate "being
selfish" with negative and self-indulgent behavior. In fact Webster's
dictionary defines selfish as: "caring unduly or supremely for oneself;
regarding one's own comfort, advantage, etc., in disregard, or at the expense
of, that of others."
But my definition is something else entirely.
I believe that by looking at selfishness from a different perspective you will
open new doors to a life of success and balance. The more successful you are in
your personal life the more successful you will be in other areas of your life.
In other words, to achieve big results you need a strong personal life... and
that starts with a high quality you. By becoming positively selfish, you will
ensure you are at your best. Being positively selfish means giving yourself
permission to put you first. It means putting your self-care above anything
else... saying no, choosing to spend your time and energy on things that bring
you joy, and making decisions based on what you want instead of what others
Practicing positive selfishness is all about
letting go of your guilt for taking some time for you. It means truly believing
that by serving your self-interests you will, ultimately, better serve the
interests of your family, your colleagues and your community. A healthy, happy
you means you can be physically and spiritually present at all times, without
This is a challenging concept for most. But
you can be positively selfish without being egocentric or insensitive. In fact,
when you become positively selfish the opposite occurs. By taking the time to
make you a priority in your life, there will be more of you to share with
Make Your Move
This month I'd like to request that you take a
good look at your definition of selfishness and come up with your plan to become
positively selfish. Ask yourself these questions. What does becoming positively
selfish look like for you? How do you give yourself permission to put yourself
first? How can you carve out some time specifically for you? What is it that you
love to do? What brings you joy? What do you want to say "no" to that
you are currently saying "yes" to out of habit or obligation? Are you
making decisions based on what you want or what others want of/for you? What
does taking better care of you mean? What areas of your life do you feel you
need support in? When was the last time you did something just for you and just
Suggested "To-Do" List
How to Know You
are Making Progress
30 minutes just to think.
are able to put yourself first.
a list of the things that you love to do.
You may find that you need less from others
and do at least one of them.
feel less "torn" by your roles.
yourself something you have been longing for... you deserve it.
You find you are a lot more generous (you have more to
yourself on a date. Go out for lunch. See a movie.
You feel happier and more content.
a walk with a friend or by yourself.
You have more energy.
to bed early one night
You are more focused.
relax and rejuvenate
You know what you want and why you want it.
Now, just get started. Take some time for you this month. Time
to remember what it is you love to do. Time to think. Time to engage in an old
hobby or experience something new. Begin with small steps, if that is easier...
but please do take some action. It might feel strange at first to redirect some
of your energy inward, but stay with it. This short-term discomfort is well
worth the long-term benefits of becoming positively selfish.
Lisa Martin, Life Coach
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The Inner Virtue of Selfishness
Modern culture prizes selflessness
and abhors selfishness, in effect setting the two against each other.
"The alternatives are either
to love others, which is a virtue, or to love oneself, which is a sin,"
wrote social scientist and philosopher Erich Fromm, in his essay titled
"Selfishness and Self-Love."
While no one would argue with
considering others, it could be worthwhile to re-examine our beliefs around
being selfish. Do we really aspire to be without concern for ourselves? Or is it
important to value and love ourselves, to think for ourselves, to have a life of
our own and to be able to love others without losing ourselves? How do we
differentiate between valuing ourselves and egotistically indulging ourselves?
The answers lie in self-knowledge.
When we undertake an inner journey and come to truly understand ourselves--the
sacred and profane dimensions of our lives--we develop the capacity to deal
honestly, thoughtfully and lovingly with ourselves, as well as other people.
"The process of attaining
self-knowledge both softens and strengthens us and serves to help us love and
appreciate life and other people," says Bud Harris, author of the book Sacred Selfishness: A Guide to Living a Life of Substance.
Understanding ourselves better
means discovering the negative effects of our histories, working to change them,
building on our strengths and potentials, and relating to people in a more
straightforward, authentic manner. It also means learning to love ourselves, to
take in the fullest meaning of the biblical maxim "Love your neighbor as
"Self-love is the firm
foundation that determines how strongly we can give love and receive love,"
Inner work, or the quest for
self-knowledge, is greatly aided by self-discovery. Inner work is not a quick
fix but a lifelong deepening of the connection to your truest self that can
enrich life beyond words.
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