The word selfish gets a bad rap. I don’t think it should. I want all of my clients and followers to focus on becoming selfish this year. Stay with me here….I promise this matters. It will make you a better parent, more successful professional, and a fierce litigant in your divorce battle. Let me sell you on the importance of being selfish.
What it means to be selfish
You may think that selfish is a derogatory term, but let’s look at the definition: Putting your needs and desires before another person’s. It does not mean you are narcissistic. Nor does it imply that you don’t prioritize and love your children with every fibre of your being.
It is quite possible that taking care of your needs and desires first will put you in a far better state to show up for your kids. Keeping your cup full will enable you to pour into others. Looking after yourself wholly will enable you to contribute more to the world.
We are taught to be selfless
Many of us have been indoctrinated from a young age to be selfless, and to give at our own expense. Self-sacrificing is the opposite of selfish, and is regarded as a positive attribute by many. To give and give without any regard for one’s own needs or desires may seem saintly, but actually doesn’t make a lot of sense. It is not sustainable, leads to exhaustion on all levels, resentment, and a very poor quality of life. Living selflessly may have contributed to the demise of your marriage.
Selfishness is a spectrum
Selfishness can be thought of as existing on a spectrum. On one polar end you have selflessness. On the other end is extreme selfishness. This would look like thinking about yourself only, and taking from others at their expense in order to satisfy your whims.
I want to suggest to you that there is a sweet spot between these two extremes where you can take care of yourself first. This means taking the time to explore your thoughts, understand your desires, and do the work to foster self-love, self-validation and self-worth before attempting to do that for someone else. When your pitcher is full, you can pour into so many more cups. This is the importance of being selfish. From this place you can be the parent that your children need – especially during a divorce.
If you think that being selfish is doing it wrong, please think again. If you are not for you, who will be? Your children need you to be their barometer during the divorce. Your wellbeing is paramount. Embrace the sweet spot on the selfish spectrum to set an example of self care to your children and maintain some civility in your life.