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There’s a certain stigma attached to selfish behaviour, but a new study suggests that putting your own needs before others needn’t be as bad as you first think…

In the traditional sense of the word, there is a difference between being centred on yourself and being “selfish”. While many of us constantly reflect about ourselves and our position in the world, we aren’t typically ruthlessly going around and taking things for ourselves so that others can’t enjoy them. The word “selfish” almost always has a negative connotation but I believe IT IS TIME to rebrand the word in order to highlight how healthy and productive positive selfishness can be.

So how can we be positivity selfish? How can we have better regard for ourselves?

There are many AMAZING things that can come from putting yourself first.

Here are some that I believe could help us in the long run by sometimes being positively selfish:

The first thing we could improve is our mental health. So often poor mental health stems from neglecting our own needs and placing others’ needs ahead of our own. This can cause hurt, discomfort and possible disadvantage to ourselves. Self-care or prioritising yourself, which may come across as selfish to others, allows us to regain a much-needed balance to our lives. 

I always liken this to charging your phone. There is not ONE single night that I will go to bed and not plug my phone into charge. And if the charger doesn’t work, wow the anxiety kicks in. So why don’t we behave the same for our body and mind. We need to recharge and reboot the same as we recharge or reboot our phone. The concept of recharging lets us focus wholly on ourselves, which we need to do to feel relaxed, happy and confident. 

The second thing I believe it will help is your relationships. 

We’re so conditioned to think that in good relationships, there’s no room for selfish behaviour – but the old saying, ‘In order to love others we must first love ourselves’ rings true. We must make sure our own needs are being met while attending to the needs of others. If we don’t do this, we can become bitter and resentful towards our partners in life. If all your time is spent attending to your partner’s emotional and physical needs, you run the risk of yours being neglected.

Finally, I want us to think about being healthily selfish at work. Don’t be afraid to act in the best interests for your career. Being assertive, standing up for what you believe in and asking for what you want are all selfish acts, but are essential for nurturing working relationships and career advancement. You never know, having those assertive conversations may help you get that promotion or pay rise you’ve been desiring!

So, this week I want you to try and be a little selfish. Positively selfish, with a pinch of self-regard. It’s going to take a lot of effort for me and it may for you too, but I really think it’s about time we make healthy selfishness more apparent. 

Putting yourself first is not a negative quality; it’s your job to take care of yourself and get what you need!

 

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