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Is being selfish, selfish?

Coach Claire Mackenzie by Claire Mackenzie
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I have a guilty TV secret – Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. Every year, along with much of the UK, I enjoy the witty repartee of Ant & Dec and getting to know the campmates, seeing their relationships develop over the weeks as they endure endless trials and living on the jungle diet of rice and beans. I particularly enjoyed watching Kate Garraway, of Good Morning Britain fame, who at 52 was the second oldest campmate and with odds on to leave the competition early.

From the outset, she faced a terrifying challenge of walking a plank suspended high above the Australian Gold Coast and admitted she was terrified of facing her fears. Well, she surprised us all with coming out in a respectable 4th place, not least herself that she defied her own expectations.

In an interview, she revealed she’d been offered this gig in previous years but declined as she needed to prioritise the needs of her family, and even though she felt they were old enough to cope now, she still felt guilty being away from them.

I wonder how many of women can relate to this. Putting other people’s needs ahead of our own desires and ambitions is something that resonates with me. We are often giving of ourselves, feeling like we need to be productive, prioritising others (kids, husbands, partners, work), sometimes at the sacrifice of what we need.

How often have you felt guilty about saying no to working late, spending an evening with friends, going to the gym, or wanting to a night on the sofa alone? Do you have a dream or a goal that you want to achieve but haven’t gotten around to it, or there’s no time for you to give it more attention? Doing something for yourself can feel selfish.

We are taught to not be selfish, to share and to be selfless. It is human nature to nurture and be caring, but we might be sacrificing our own happiness by not taking care of ourselves and doing things we want to do.

Are we doing things because it truly makes people happy or is there a perceived expectation of what we should be doing? We can feel pulled in so many directions by the expectations of family and work, and sometimes our inner critic/inner voice reinforces the idea that doing things for ourselves is selfish?

If we are focussing solely the needs of others, we are at risk of losing the quirky and unique aspects that define us. Losing that connection to who we are and what we want can limit us and be damaging to our self-worth, confidence, and sense of unfulfillment

The art of practicing self-care and finding healthy ways to meet our needs as individuals is not being selfish.

Making time for our needs and desires, being social, connecting with friends, taking an exercise class, engaging in a creative activity, means that we will be more present in our world and able to give more of ourselves.

What if you could have a life where you weren’t comprising your own happiness and desires and have more fulfilling relationships with the people in your life. Coaching allows you to explore and identify any limiting beliefs, to gain clarity on what needs to change and provides tools and strategies to help you achieve your goals for a fulfilled life.

What do you want in life?

What nourishes you?

When are you most alive?

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