Are you selfish?

Yesterday I had an interesting conversation with a group about the excuses we give ourselves to not doing the things we say we are going to do and an interesting point came up for more than one person… the point is “I feel like taking care of myself is selfish on my part”

What do YOU think? Do you feel that if you take the time to take care of you, you are taking that time way from your kids? from your husband? Do you think it’s fair to take 1 hour of a busy schedule to go to the gym (or to come to the challenge)? Do you feel guilty if you do?

Those are all very valuable questions, reflect on it for a moment!

First of, let’s define what it is to be selfish…of course I went to the dictionary for that:

Self·ish [sel-fish] – adjective

  1. devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.
  2. characterized by or manifesting concern or care only for oneself: selfish motives.

I found this TOP ACOTS OF SELFISHNESS in an article that was saying that 7 out of 1 Brits admit to being selfish (I wonder how many canadians would say the same)

Interesting enough, no where in there you can find TAKING CARE OF MYSELF listed! (I must acknowledge that this is not a “official” list, it’s just people’s opinion)

The point is, if you feel guilty about taking care of yourself it’s a sign of an “underlying belief” that makes you feel this way. Here’s a little list for you to have a look at:

Beliefs that can get in the way of self care:

  • I am not important enough.
  • I must take care of everyone else.
  • I don’t have time to take care of myself.
  • To be a good person I always have to put other’s needs above myself.
  • We always have to please others.
  • All conflict is bad.
  • I am responsible for the feelings of others.
  • I have to prove myself worthy of love by giving, giving, giving.
  • Taking time for myself is unproductive and lazy.
  • If I have to ask for time or help I am inadequate.

Key point is to identify what belief is getting on your way to self care and get rid of it. Sounds very simple and in reality, it really is. I like to ask myself the question: “WHY?” and I keep questioning until I run out of answers. I end up coming to the conclusion that whatever I was believing in, makes no sense at all.

After that’s done you can replace it with a new (and more empowering) belief. Here’s another little list:

Beliefs that allow self care:

  • It is not all right to neglect my needs.
  • It is not up to me to satisfy the needs of everyone I come in contact with.
  • Scheduling time for myself is imperative.
  • Caring for myself allows me to better care for others.
  • Sleep is necessary for a good life.
  • My body is a temple and needs to be taken care of.
  • I want to give my body and soul the best.
  • Movement is fun and healthy.
  • I am self aware and self caring.
  • Caring for myself is being a good role models for family and friends.
  • Everyone is responsible for their own feelings.
  • What good am I to the people I care for if I am grumpy, tired, ill or stressed?

My next question to you is: What happens if you are not around? (I mean, for good, you know?)

We are all “not going to be around” eventually but what if you shorten your life by 10 years because you lived an unhealthy lifestyle?

If you think that not taking care of yourself won’t have an impact on how many years and on the QUALITY of the years you are going to live…I am sorry to tell you: it’s a big mistake! Do not neglect on your health…

I understand the feeling of guilty that comes from putting yourself 1st, but, it’s not for nothing that the safety instruction on an airplane is “put the oxygen mask in yourself 1st then on your child or a person in need of assistance”. You can’t help someone if you are not ok. If you are not feeling good, no one around you will be good and if you are not here…oh well you get the point.

Now, still if you really want to know if you are selfish or not…then take this test

The test is just for fun! I don’t think we need a test to tell, right?

I may not know you all that well but, somehow, I am pretty confident you are not a selfish person and taking care of your health won’t “turn” you into one.

Read this quote and reflect on it…

“The greatest gift you can give to somebody is your own personal development. I used to say, “If you will take care of me, I will take care of you.” Now I say, “I will take care of me for you if you will take care of you for me”. (Jim Rohn)

Give yourself the belief that taking care of YOU is the best gift you can give to your family and loved ones! It’s not a selfish act, it’s an act of love.

By the way, here’s my result:

“You Are 22% Selfish. In general, you are a very giving person who treats others very well. But at times, you insist on getting your way – when it matters most to you.”

If you want share your results in the comments box. 😉

Wishing you the best, Deb

Good article to read “Self Care Enhances Your Marriage”


The list of beliefs came from “My Simpler Life – Simple Living Blog”

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