We live in a society that praises selflessness and giving. So much so, that when we picture someone who is selfish, we tend to reduce them to an image of greed, lack of gratitude and all out grinch.
Instead of being presented as two halves of the same coin, selfishness and selflessness have become polar opposites. Selflessness is admirable while being selfish is… well detestable. While you do need to spend time thinking of the needs of others, you shouldn’t feel riddled with guilt when you take a moment to think about your own needs. Prioritising yourself is a way to ensure that you are happy, healthy and able to bring the best version of yourself to the table.
After all, how are you supposed to take care of others if you can’t take care of yourself? So yes, it is OK to be selfish… and here’s why:
To set boundaries
It seems that universally, no matter what corner of the world that you dwell in, people really do have a problem with saying ‘no’.
No is one of the most powerful words in your vocabulary. Start using it, wisely. Don’t have time to stay late after work on this one occasion? Feeling too tired to pick your friend up at the station? Can’t go on a night out because you’re studying? You can’t be at the beck and call of others 27/7. You are perfectly within your rights to say no. Don’t let guilt direct your decisions, trust your gut instinct and roll with it.
To stay healthy
Sleep and vacations. Two things that everyone needs and yet no one seems to make time for. Sleep is your daily reset button, it allows you perform at your best, produce work to a high standard and last an entire day at work without nodding off in front of your computer screen.
You deserve a vacation. There’s no such thing as needing to earn a break – your mental and physical well-being should never be taken for granted. The time that you spend away from work will just make you more productive in the long run.
And then there’s sickness. Far too many people try to force themselves into work when they should be wrapped up in the comfort of their bed. Want to know what the bad side of selfishness really is? Spreading your cold around the office and letting other people suffer! So if you are feeling under the weather, sit it out at home and recover.
To get your sh*t done
Ambition is a wonderful thing. But, it’s absolutely useless if you don’t make time to turn your dreams into a reality. You need to be focused and productive be channeling your energy into doing what ever it takes to set your career up. No-one can do this for you. So, make sure that you’re investing time into your future so that you can fulfill your potential.
As they say, ‘a goal without a plan is just a wish’.
To have head space
Technology constantly keeps us connected with the outside world. Social media, emails, phone calls and instant messages have changed not just the way that we communicate with others, but the frequency. Once upon a time, people had to call a home phone to get in touch with you. Now there are 101 ways to get in touch with you directly. And when your phone rings… you feel a certain obligation to reply.
Learn how to disconnect. Switch your phone off for a couple of hours, don’t log onto Facebook for a week, maybe even temporarily delete WhatsApp! Just do what’s necessary to create a time that is just for you. Unfortunately, being constantly exposed to other people’s needs can also be pretty draining. Allow yourself to recharge by choosing when you reply and know when to take a break.
Just remember, you don’t need to wait for someone to give you permission to put yourself first. It’s your duty to do so. Yes, it is OK to be selfish… so do it more often.
Check out Jade Philip’s site at thelifeofaworkinggirl.com for more amazing content