When we’re young, we’re taught that we should never be selfish. We must always share things with others, think of others first, and focus on making other people happy. Being selfish is immoral and something we should do our very best to avoid. However, as I’m getting older, I’ve come to realise that being more selfish can be a really good thing.
To me, thinking of others is very important, mainly because I want other people to be happy. But I think sometimes we are in danger of focusing too much on others, and completely forgetting to think of ourselves. When we constantly put the needs and wishes of others before our own, we start to neglect ourselves. Self-care and looking after own well-being needs to become more of a priority.
Women in particular have to juggle so much. Sometimes we feel like we need to be superwoman. We are expected to work hard, take care of our homes, cook meals and be responsible for looking after children, pets and goodness knows whoever else. It can all get a bit much.
Feeling the need to say ‘yes’ to everything we are asked to do can be damaging. A few months ago, I clearly fell into this trap. Not wanting to let anyone down and miss opportunities, I kept agreeing to take on more and more work. I was so tired and stressed, worrying how I was going to fit everything in. The realisation dawned that it had to stop. I had to stop feeling that I had no option but to say yes to everything.
Learning to say no can be so hard, but sometimes it’s one of the best things we can possibly do to take care of ourselves. We need to stop worrying about letting others down and instead focus on our health, both mental and physical. It does us no good to be stressed and exhausted. In fact, it clearly does the opposite.
We can think we are being selfless by constantly trying to do more, so that we help others out. Ironically, the opposite is often the case. By taking more and more on, we completely run out of time to relax, de-stress and do whatever makes us feed good.
We all need to ensure that we find the time to wind down and recuperate and to relax both our minds and bodies. Also setting aside time to do things that nourish us and light us up is so important for our happiness.
The truth of the matter is that by being more selfish, we are actually going to result in being more selfless. By starting to focus more on our own happiness, health and well-being, we are most certainly going to end up being much happier. Being more selfish can be a good thing, not just for us, but for others around us. When we are happier with much more energy, we are going to be so much more fun to be around. We will be more productive and get things done to a higher standard.
When we are truly loving life, it shines through into all aspects of our lives.
In a world where mental health issues are becoming increasingly common and everyone appears to feel exhausted and pressured, I feel that being more selfish is so important. Focus on yourself and your own happiness, and everyone else around you is sure to benefit greatly.