It’s good to be helpful and giving, but is it possible to take the “selfless” acts too far? In this article, we address 5 reasons why it’s OKAY to be selfish:
1. Everyone else benefits
You like helping people, right? Well in order to do that best, you have to be selfish. When you put your needs first, chasing your passions and focusing on self-development, then you become a better person.
If you put everyone else’s’ needs before your own, you have no time or energy left to better yourself, so you either remain unchanged or get worse. Think of your closest loved ones and dependents. Which would they benefit more from: you improving; you staying the same; or you getting worse?
2. You will love your life so much more
If you want, you can keep on kidding yourself that you put other people’s needs ahead of your own for the ‘greater good’, but we both know that a part of you dies inside every time you do it.
Don’t even pretend it doesn’t – you’re talking to an ex-nice-addict here! Stress, dissatisfaction, self-hatred and many other soul-destroying consequences come from not putting yourself first. Human beings are psychologically programmed to get their needs met. Being selfish is not bad, it is in fact necessary for survival.
And here’s the kicker: the better your life becomes, the more your friends and family benefit. So rather than helping them out in a tired, secretly-grudging way, you can generously contribute to their lives with minimal effort as your happiness and confidence increases.
3. In solving other peoples’ problems, you usually disempower them
Teach a man to fish and he can eat forever. By constantly going out of your way to help other people meet their needs, you are removing a very necessary part of self-development for them: learning through making mistakes and failing.
Think of spoiled children, they are the perfect example of what happens when a person does not have to resolve their own problems. They become helpless and entitled, and actually fearful of taking on the world. By helping people you are actually often making their lives worse!
If they desperately need outside intervention, then guide them on what they can do themselves (i.e. don’t do it for them), or ever better: show them by role-modeling someone who can meet their own needs.
4. Your self-confidence will improve drastically
Instead of giving yourself away piece by piece, how about a new focus: figuring out your mission in life and accomplishing it. Not only could you possibly have a huge positive impact on the world, something will be triggered in your brain that will boost your self-confidence beyond your wildest dreams.
Taking care of your own needs is what you are programmed to do, and your biology will reward for doing so, with confirmation via increased confidence. I promise you, if you put your own needs first for at least a month, you will notice a marked increase in self-esteem.
You will also learn to accept that some people will absolutely hate you for doing this. Accepting this consequence goes a long way to an even greater achievement: no longer caring what people think of you. This is the biggest burden I have ever relieved myself of.
5. You will be more successful (no brainer!)
Regardless of how you define success; putting other people before yourself will ensure you NEVER achieve it. Success is always selfish.
Some of you will not agree with this, and that’s OK. Whether you do or not, I have a challenge for you:
Put yourself first for an entire month.
For no less than four weeks, absolutely refuse to put anyone else’s needs before your own. Write out your goals for the month and prioritize these over everything else. Of course, this does not mean neglecting to care for your children, or causing anyone harm. This is simply about putting yourself first. Everyone and everything else must come second. Try it for a month and then tell me you disagree.
I hope you enjoyed reading, but of course these days I don’t actually care if you didn’t! Have a great week!
Dan Munro is a lifestyle and success coach, with his own company The Inspirational Lifestyle Ltd. He is the author of “Driven: Practical Guidance for a Successful Lifestyle“. Make sure you checkout more of Dan’s articles and grab a copy of his book at: http://TheInspirationalLifestyle.com
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