By: Krista Resnick
First and foremost, I am a self love advocate. And self love has absolutely nothing to do with narcissism. Self love and getting “selfish” is not about a self-promotion, me-first, get-outta-my-way type mentality.
There is plenty of that to go around in the world today. The heart of what I teach and coach around is quite the contrary. So lean in and listen close.
What we do need are more people to value and honor themselves. When we come from a well that is filled with self love and inclusion of yourself, we are no longer are victims of guilt, shame, burnout, anxiety, overwhelm, exhaustion, people pleasing, and perfectionism. All of which are quickly becoming epidemics in today’s world.
On the contrary, narcissism is a personality disorder and is the tendency to think very highly of yourself and to have little or no regard for others. In psychological terms, narcissism doesn’t mean self-love — at least not of a genuine sort.
It’s more accurate to say that people with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) are in love with an idealized, grandiose image of themselves. And they’re in love with this inflated self-image precisely because it allows them to avoid deep feelings of insecurity. But propping up their delusions of grandeur takes a lot of work — and that’s where the dysfunctional attitudes and behaviors come in.
Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) involves a pattern of self-centered, arrogant thinking and behavior, a lack of empathy and consideration for other people, and an excessive need for admiration.
So as you can see, narcissism clearly has nothing to do with actual self love and self care. What I am talking about when I’m speaking of “selfish” is placing an importance on self — making you important. Honoring yourself because you know you matter.
Today’s world screams at us to produce, be efficient, and create kick-ass outcomes. Just look at social media. We feel the pressure to keep up with everyone else’s perfectly curated feeds. We struggle to understand how Susan can “do it all.”
Trust me, Susan isn’t doing it all. And while my tagline for my brand and practice is “I help women who know they can have it ALL get it ALL,” what I really mean is putting enough value on yourself to know that you can’t really do it all. It might mean asking for help (something women hate doing), removing things from your calendar, and saying “no” to things that really never were that important to you in the first place.
When we honor ourselves and stay true to who we really are, we become dynamite, magnetic human beings. We become happy and energized. Productive and fulfilled.
If we aren’t careful, the demands of the world we live in today are asking for burnout. What is burnout? Burnout is an energetic depletion. It is sheer exhaustion that manifests itself physically, mentally, and emotionally. It is the state in which you find yourself completely overwhelmed and unsure how you are going to carry on.
We render ourselves vulnerable to burnout when we don’t practice self care. And the price we pay for not practicing self care is high. The National Institute of Health reports that 70% of all disease is stress-related. Practicing self care and nourishing yourself and your soul helps you begin to really use the power of your inner wisdom. You awaken your inner superstar when you implement and honor yourself.
So do I believe in “getting selfish?” Absolutely I do!
Being “selfish” prevents you from getting to the point of burnout. Being “selfish” helps you to come alive. It reminds you that you’re worthy. It reminds you to take care of and nourish your body. It sets you up to succeed. It helps you make more money. It improves your relationships and love life like never before. It helps you to be authentic, to share and show the real you. And it feeds and nourishes your spirit.
Perhaps now you are beginning to realize that it is selfish not to practice self care. Here are six reasons why self care is the new black.
1) Self care actually helps you care better for others.
You cannot be strong and available to others 24/7. It’s simply not possible. Over-caring, rescuing, and over-working only creates a situation where you are exhausted. You cannot run yourself ragged and still expect to show up in the powerful, intentional way that I know you want to. At some point, you won’t have anything left to give.
Pouring back into yourself helps you show up for others. You can get to the office with a true smile on your face, ready to smash the day. You can spend time on the couch with your nine-year-old, just hearing about their day. You can actually be present on date night because you took the time to re-fuel.
Self care involves setting boundaries so you don’t expend all of your personal energy taking care of everyone but yourself. As a result, you have more to give yourself and people, projects, and work you care about.
2) Self care brings out the best in you.
Think about the last time you went along to get along. I don’t know about you, but I show up crabby, resentful, and not pleasant to be around.
Putting our own needs and priorities first helps us to really come alive. It helps us enter into that positive, joy-filled state. It allows us to put forth our best efforts in life.
We leak negative energy all over the place when we commit to things we don’t want to do. And nobody wants that.
3) Self care brings out the real you.
It’s being authentic. Are you caring and helping others out of obligation and guilt, or do you really mean to help them? When you need time for yourself and don’t take it, you are not being honest with yourself.
True self care is stemmed and wrapped in love for yourself. It is placing importance on yourself because you honor yourself. Giving out of guilt is inauthentic and there’s no joy in it.
When you implement self care on the regular, you show up with the best, healthiest version of yourself. It’s not only a respect for yourself; it’s also a respect for the other person who gave up their time for you.
4) Self care makes you a happy, inspirational person to be around.
Nobody really likes being around a Debbie Downer. Think about the last time you went to the grocery store and saw Negative Nellie coming your way. What did you do? I bet it wasn’t say to yourself, “Gee, I can’t WAIT to spend the next ten minutes talking to her.”
My guess would be that you may have picked up your beloved iPhone and suddenly made a “phone call” really fast. (I may have known someone who did that once…)
Many people live in a negative rut or simply exist. Roughly 80% of the population to be exact. They may not be negative, per se, but they are living in autopilot mode.
Many people are okay just existing. They wake up, go to work, go home, eat dinner, and sleep. Tomorrow they’ll do it all over again and again and again. No joy, no meaning, no peace, no happiness.
Are you going to wait to really live your life once you hit retirement? Are you going to simply allow 65 years to slip through your fingers?
Yes, we have responsibilities — paying bills, cooking, cleaning, helping kids with homework, creating that killer presentation at work. But we are also responsible for taking care of ourselves. We owe it to ourselves to live happy and feel excited about the day before us.
When you make choices and act from that happy place, people are drawn to you. You inspire others. You give them a permission slip to start making choices to empower themselves, too.
[Related: Happy or Unhappy…Are Those Our Only Choices?]
5) Motivation stems from self care.
In today’s world, I hear a lot of people talking about losing their motivation or their mojo, or needing motivation to complete a task or goal. No one can stay motivated forever — we all lose our footing at times.
However, some people know how to bounce back, while others seem to stay stuck. The difference is self care. Having a deep understanding that you are not perfect and picking yourself up and moving on is key.
You become motivated by understanding that everything is an opportunity to grow and expand into who you want to be. Perfection is unattainable, and all experiences lead to growth if you allow it.
When you practice this aspect of self care, you can easily pick yourself up, because you have ditched the pressure. Pressure equals stress, and we know that extended amounts of stress leads to burnout.
6) Self care is essential.
It is as imperative as drinking water or eating healthy.
Many people aren’t surprised to learn that I lean pretty heavy on the introvert side of things. I need and require large doses of alone time. That is how I recharge. And while I have a large personality, it oftentimes confuses people — they immediately assume I am an extrovert who loves being around people 24/7 (trust me, it even confuses me at times).
But the truth is that I love to be alone. Not everyone understands it, and I’ve learned to be okay with that. People have become upset with me because I often say “no” to their requests. It’s okay. I have to do what’s best for me to keep me sane. And so do you.
No one gets to make you feel guilty about how you recharge and practice self care. It is essential to your well-being, and you get to put it into practice however it feels right to you.
Here’s the bottom line: If someone tries to make you feel guilty about how you spend your time, or is demanding your time, note that their egos are looking out for their own needs. You are not actually the selfish one here. I cannot emphasize it enough — self care is essential to your happiness and well-being. And no one gets a say in that but you.
So if you needed permission to let go of the idea that self care is selfish, let me be the one to grant that to you. Taking care of you is mandatory for yourself and everyone around you.
Krista Resnick is a certified professional coach and creator of The Selfish Badass Movement. She helps women who want it all get it all by practicing radical self care.
Originally published at https://www.ellevatenetwork.com.