We all have internal battles. Mine lately has been with words.
I have been trying to figure out the ins and outs of less selfless and more selfish.
And I really don’t like that they seem to be the same thing.
Because of time and energy, I have had to really take a hard look at everything I want to do, at everything I enjoy, at everything I want to be. And I’ve had to realize that I can’t be everything to everyone. I’ve learned to let things go, but that doesn’t prevent expectations from popping up. I totally recognize that the fault here is mine (not that I even think that blame needs to be placed, necessarily). I set people up to have expectations of me because of all I used to do. And when I stop? It is noticed.
When I started giving up things that I used to do for free in order to do other things and get paid? I kinda felt like a tool sometimes, but I was able to justify. I need more time to build my business. I needed time away because I am growing and nurturing something. I am building my future.
Things have quietened down a little. I am in a place where things feel comfortable and manageable. And it shows. I am reading books for FUN (gasp!). I am taking naps here and there. I didn’t do a single thing Saturday that was “productive.” I have some room to add some of my old responsibilities back into my life. It took me a few weeks to see this, and during that time? I have started to enjoy having less stress and more time for ME. Now I just feel selfish.
So, yeah. Being less selfless feels more selfish. And I have issues with that word. Selfish. It is ugly. There is something with selfish that implies putting myself first is at the detriment of other people. And that’s not what is going on at all. I am still a supportive member in the lives of a lot of people. I’m just investing more into fewer people instead of a little in many people. And I have added myself to that list.
I came across a post by Seth Godin the other day on a completely unrelated topic. And this jumped out at me:
Helpfulness, not selfishness.
I think that is where I am. I want to be truly helpful. Truly invested. In my clients, in my friends, in myself. I don’t want to put everyone’s needs before mine. I want to be genuinely helpful and connected. And I do that best when I am taking care of myself too.
I don’t think I could be truly helpful if I were selfish or selfless. I just have to live out a healthy balance of the two.
And that’s what I’m going to do. As I go downstairs and pick out my next book to read for fun…