Being Selfish And Loving Yourself Are 2 Totally Different Things.
The myth that loving yourself is selfish has long and complicated roots, both historically and in terms of our own life stories. It’s not selfish to love yourself, even though many of us grew up hearing over and over again that we have to love our neighbors, put others first and be always caring and willing to help others, no matter what.
Due to love being quite conditional when we were kids, most of us also developed patterns of getting approval, validation and love through trying hard to please others, fulfill their needs (or their every whim) and doing our best to fit in.
In both of the above cases, there was very little space left for learning how to love and take good care of ourselves and what it really means. As a result, you might have spent years putting everything and everyone else before yourself, with the best intentions at heart. As if forgetting about yourself was necessary to be a good and caring person for others.
But how is this working out for you? And how is it working out for your loved ones? For your friends? Your colleagues at work?
It’s Not Selfish To Love Yourself – Here’s Why I Know That To Be True
Let’s try a very simple experiment.
Take a moment to remember a day when you felt extremely tired – maybe you had a very busy week at work, maybe you had a million errands to run, maybe you‘ve bitten off more than you could chew. A time when you had no time to rest properly, to do your normal self-care routine or to relax and chill out. In this exhausted /overwhelmed/stressed-out state, how did you treat others around? Weren’t you a bit (or a lot!) short-tempered, impatient, on edge, snappy, easily irritated?
Now, remember a time when you felt in your best form. Rested, full of energy, happy in your own skin, confident and content with life.
How did you treat others then?
Is there a difference between these two scenarios?
The point is you can easily find proof that loving yourself is not selfish just by reflecting on your own experience.
When you put yourself last, when you neglect your own needs, dismiss your own feelings, and let others violate your boundaries – you grow resentful, disheartened and bitter, even if you are a warm-hearted, loving and caring person by nature.
If you’re deep into self-criticism, self-sabotage or even self-bullying – you will be quite judgmental and critical towards others as well (even if this is happening beyond the level of your conscious awareness).
But if you treat yourself with the same respect and care as you treat others, when you are loving and compassionate towards yourself, being kind and supportive towards others becomes the easiest and the most natural thing on earth.
Even if you look at the dictionary definition of the word selfish, you can easily see how being selfish is far, far away from what authentic self-love is all about.
‘Caring supremely or unduly for one’s self; regarding one’s own comfort, advantage, etc., in disregard, or at the expense, of those of others.’
Has this anything to do with self-love? It doesn’t seem so.
It is time to understand that it is not an either/or situation. It is not either you or them! You don’t have to choose between loving yourself and loving others.
It is just the opposite. It is clearly a ‘both’ situation. The more you love yourself the more you will love others around you. The more kind, compassionate and respectful you are towards yourself, the more loving, supportive and respectful you will be towards others. In a much more authentic, generous and unselfish way.
5 Ways Life Changes Once You Accept That It’s Not Selfish To Love Yourself
1. Improved Health, Vitality, Energy Levels.
Medical research indicates that 90% of illness and disease is stress-related. You may spend a fortune on doctors, therapies, and supplements – but if you do not address the main cause all this will only take you so far.
Stress is a part of life, but once you fall back in love with You and start to take proper care of yourself- you will learn how to manage stress in a completely different way so that it doesn’t wreak havoc on your physical health and mental wellbeing.
And then (and only then) your digestion, your hormones, and your immune system will be able to start functioning properly!
Here are just a few results that will come easily and naturally once the stress is not ruling your life anymore.
You will be able to:
- Sleep peacefully at night & wake up refreshed and excited for the day ahead.
- Stay in balance even in the middle of a crisis and feel confident that you can face the challenges of life.
- Have a deep inner sense that ‘all is ok’ no matter what.
- Have a ready to use ‘toolbox’ – with strategies and practices you can use at any time life becomes challenging.
- Feel more energy, vitality and zest for life!
2. Body Love & Confidence
True confidence, acceptance and love for our physical body always come from within!
It sometimes feels that if only you lost a few pounds, got rid of a few wrinkles and tamed your frizzy hair, you would feel better about yourself, but… it never works long term! You can buy the most expensive face creams, start the most elaborate diets or enroll in the latest best selling workout course – but if you do not learn how to accept, embrace and be grateful to your amazing body the way it is right now – you will never be impressed with the results.( Read my blog post: Fall back in love with your body. 3 powerful exercises to build a loving relationship with your physical body to learn more)
Once you fall back in love with your body, you will:
- Silence the critical (or even bullying) voice in your head, which is never ever happy with how your body looks or feels.
- Intuitively know what your body needs and how to take good and loving care of it.
- Start to feel beautiful, attractive and confident in your own skin.
- Shine from within – radiating health, energy, and confidence!
3. Thriving Relationships
Yes! Thriving relationships start with self-love, too!
And healthy relationships not only make people happy but are also associated with better health and even longer life.
Once you learn how to treat yourself in a better way, you will not only start to treat others differently but others will also change how they relate to you.
Here are a few examples of what self-love did for many of my clients, who were able to:
- savor marriages that were on the verge of divorce.
- rebuild relationships with estranged family members.
- build long-lasting, meaningful friendships.
- completely transform their work relationships.
- Stop playing small, create healthy boundaries and reclaim their voice!
4. Meaningful Life
The fast pace of life, duties overload, never enough time in a day – all this makes us live on autopilot. We go through the motions rather than live fully – and we pay a huge price for it in terms of our physical and mental health, our relationships, and our satisfaction and contentment with life.
Loving yourself means treating your life as the most precious gift. It means staying connected to your body, mind, heart and souls -listening to and following through on your values, passions and dreams.
It doesn’t take a lot of time and effort to reconnect to what truly matters to you, and it will totally change the quality of your life.
Many of my clients have:
- Discovered (or re-discovered) their true passions and found time&courage to pursue them.
- Changed their career life-changing positions or jobs, starting their own businesses.
- Believed that they deserve what’s best in life and completely changed their financial situation as a result.
- Started to live deeply connected to their hearts – making better choices, taking independent decisions, prioritizing what really matters to them, and creating a life that they feel happy and proud of.
5. Freedom To Be Fully, Unapologetically YOU
We play so many different roles and put on so many different masks in our attempts to fit in and be accepted and approved by others. Aren’t you feeling totally exhausted with trying so hard to fulfill standards, meet expectations and chase goals that are not even your own? Loving yourself means giving yourself permission to be the real you! Once you do this you will:
- No longer feel guilty/embarrassed/disappointed about who you are! Instead, you will feel imperfectly perfect, with no need to try hard and push yourself to do or be more.
- Understand and learn how to manage your emotions so that they guide your way through life (instead of messing up your life and relationships).
- Build up your self-confidence by discovering your amazing strengths and resources.
- Rediscover your inner safety and independence so that you can show REAL you to the world.
It’s Time To Learn To Love Yourself & Your Life – I Can Help!
I want to help you let go of the myth that loving yourself is selfish and to remember that all you ever wanted from life starts with self-love!
Ready to create your own, unique roadmap to falling back in love with yourself and your life? Let’s talk. Book your free discovery session, I’d be delighted to help!