I used to think ‘selfish’ was a dirty word. I used to think being selfish sat at the wrong end of the interpersonal etiquette scale. I used to think being selfish would make me a bad person.
But, there are healthy, positive ways to be ‘selfish’. Ways that in fact, can make you a better, happier and fuller person.
If you find that you are an innate people-pleaser, a voluntary scape-goat, a complete pushover, and that it is often at your own expense; then perhaps it is time to exercise a little selfishness.
I know that it feels good to be ‘the nice one’. People like that. And who doesn’t enjoy being liked? But, there comes a time when you have to take care of you.
My New Year resolution this year was “to be more selfish.” Admittedly, I did not come up with the idea myself. A close friend had witnessed my constant bending-over-backwards to help others. He reminded me that being ‘more selfish’ can mean something as simple as not being afraid to say “no”. Or putting your foot down if a request from another seems unreasonable. Even making a choice for yourself against expectation. Doing, or not doing something simply because that is your preference, is completely allowed. However, sometimes we forget that.
I am here to remind you: You are allowed to do things not through expectation or for others, or for any other cause. You are allowed to do things solely for you.
For many, this is an important step. To stop carrying the weight of others quite so much and start carrying your own weight. You may have to remind yourself if ‘selfless’ habits have been formed over the years. But, with practice you will see a marked improvement. And there will continue to be.
It is up to you to chase what you want from life. And you are allowed to, for no other reason that that’s what you want. This is what I have done, and I am infinitely happier with myself for doing so. I feel I am now moving along the correct path. I still don’t know exactly where that path leads, but it is at least a path I’m carving for myself. This is what we should all be doing. Following our own path for our own reasons makes us happy.
image courtesy of goodvibesgirl.co.uk
How do you know if it’s the right path, you ask?
Perhaps you will know from past experiences what the wrong path looks and feels like. You will have the clarity to know which path is not a wrong one. If it isn't a wrong one, if it feels right for whatever reason, it is worth exploring.
Be selfish. Do what feels right for you. Do what makes you happy, and carve a path that you want to follow through life. Choose a path that not necessarily aligns with others, but that aligns with you. Because your journey is not for anyone else. This journey is for you.