Why I Choose To Be Selfish

Have you heard the saying, “You’ve got to fall in love with yourself first”? Well if you want a truly amazing and abundant life, I’m telling you, you need to make it your mantra! Now, I’m sure those voices in your head might be thinking this sounds mighty selfish, but I’m here to tell you it’s the exact opposite.  And I am going to tell you today why I choose to be selfish.

Why I Choose To Be Selfish

This past year has been difficult, to say the least. My MS took a nasty turn and I lost some physical abilities because of it. But because of this difficult year, I learned how to put myself first in order to help others.

At the end of November I had my first major MS relapse.  I couldn’t hold my body up, my hand didn’t work right, and I couldn’t feel my legs. My body had failed me. December 2016 is the month my life changed, for better or for worse I could never go back to being the girl I was.

I was forced to lay in bed for a month after that relapse and take a hard look at my life. I started to narrow down what is important in life. Who I should be there for. What I wanted to do in life. How I saw myself living.

But December is not the month that I learned in order to be there for others I had to take care of myself first. That realization came a couple of months later and in the meantime, I went on with life…

Putting others first

Pushing myself until my body would weaken and stop working right

Too tired to go out and do anything

Multiple Sclerosis was winning and that was not ok.

Something you should know about me is…I’m competitive. Losing isn’t an option. And losing to MS is never going to happen. I had to figure out a way to live the life I wanted and live with MS.

So I started to put myself first. Slowly I took time off of work and eventually I listened to my doctors and left the job that I loved.  I didn’t feel obligated to go to every little thing and I stopped letting negative people be a part of my life.

I started listening to my body and realized that putting my health and well-being first may appear selfish to others. But really I was saving myself to be present at the important things. Prioritizing what needs my energy and what doesn’t became a priority. I finally started to put myself first and life got better.

Yes, I still have my MS issues… I have a walker I use  named walkie. But I learned how to pick and choose what is worth wearing my body out.  The good days with MS are numbered so I use them wisely now.

Reasons why I choose to be “Selfish”

I am my own ADVOCATE. 

I used to be someone who was willing to just sit in the background and allow others to disregard my potential. The girl who was content in being quiet and not speaking up. I would allow others to define who I was and would not correct them otherwise. I would let the opinions and beliefs of others dictate who I would become. But, over this past year, I have learned the importance of being your own advocate.

After my relapse, I sat in the doctor’s office and listened to him tell me that he expects me to be in a wheelchair by the time I am 30 if I continue the MS path that I was on. The news awoke a sleeping dragon. I looked am him and said that isnt going to happen. That day started something.  I stoped caring what others thought about me and only cared about what I thought of myself.

My life and best interests are now my priorities and I will always stand up for myself.

I invest in myself so that I can invest in others. 

There’s only one guaranteed investment in life, and that’s you.

You are the most important place you can put your time and money, and yet you are probably the one thing that tends to get neglected in life. When other people’s priorities come up or it’s time to sacrifice something, you might be the first to bend. But investing in yourself is not a selfish act. In fact, by helping make your life better, you will by default make the lives better of everyone else around you. And investing in yourself is the best way to ensure that you are well-taken care in the future, too.

I no longer blame anyone or anything else for my problems.

Blaming others for anything that goes wrong in our lives comes in hand. Instead of taking responsibility for a situation we prefer to blame others. There are situations where the blame is rightly placed on someone else but this whole concept of blame-game will never free us. Blaming never helps us, never and it will never ever do any good to us. Even if somebody did hurt us, we need to make a decision of letting things go. We need to learn and move on instead of being stuck in the same situation forever by holding on to blame.

Let’s face it, it’s easy to go around blaming others when things go wrong and in many cases, it really is someone else’s fault. But the problem is that blaming others will never help us move forward.

I am healthier… Physically and mentally.

Seriously! This is a pretty obvious one. Have you ever noticed that after a crazy, stressful week at work or just life stuff in general, you get to the weekend and wake up sick and don’t want to leave the bed? If you don’t put yourself first, your body will certainly kick in and force you too! Stress and lack of sleep weakens your body’s immune system and leaves you more vulnerable to all sorts of nasty illnesses. Don’t risk it!

I learned this the hard way. Actually, MS forced me to learn this. I don’t want you to have to learn this the hard way too.

I smile more.

When you are at your happiest, you are at your most helpful to the world. We should all strive to be our happiest and do those things that make us happy, every day. Don’t feel guilty about it, you are able to show up more for others when you start showing up for yourself first. So don’t be afraid to clear your schedule for a restorative yoga class, take a walk in the park on your lunch break or get yourself a massage, don’t be afraid to love you! After all, you are pretty fabulous.

I am self-confident and value myself.

Selfishness, it seems, may have gotten an unfairly negative reputation in the past, and I think it’s time we reexamine our understanding of what it means to put oneself first. It takes a lot of bravery and self-possession to stand up and say “I’m worth it!” to others, and even just to yourself.

Remember that caring for yourself is all about committing to taking care of your own needs the way you would for your very best friend. It’s about setting yourself up for balance and success, and it’s about valuing your health, opinions, and time. You deserve it! And when you are “selfish” enough to set yourself up to feel your best, you will be able to give your best to the world around you.

happier life

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Have you heard the saying, “You’ve got to fall in love with yourself first”? Well if you want a truly amazing and abundant life, I’m telling you, you need to make it your mantra! Now, I’m sure those voices in your head might be thinking this sounds mighty selfish, but I’m here to tell you it’s the exact opposite.  And I am going to tell you today why I choose to be selfish.

 

49 Comments

  1. I needed to read this today. Thank you for the reminder that I’m not being selfish! I’m simply filling my cup up before I fill others. <3

  2. Such a powerful post, thank you for sharing. It is crazy how long it takes so many of us to learn that we need to look after ourself first for the good of everyone around us. I’m working on getting better at saying ‘no’… It’s so easy to take on more than you should, and as you said, everything suffers. Lots of love from London! Rx

  3. MJ

    Thanks for sharing your story.

    You may or may not have been told this, but “God never gives us anything we can’t handle”. When we are weak, He is strong. And it seems through all your trials, you became stronger as a person and you’re not giving up.

    I’ll pray that God continues to give you strength and heal your body so you can accomplish more!

    Jenn, you are my hero ♥

  4. I love this post! My dad has MS. He was diagnosed over 20 years ago. I love how you are taking care of yourself and beating the disease! I especially like “I invest in myself SO THAT I can invest in others.” Too often being selfish is seen as negative when in fact it is the only way to be the best you to live out your calling and purpose.

  5. Caring for yourself first is one of the most important things you can do for your own well being. It’s nearly impossible to take care of other people when you don’t take care of yourself. It’s stressful and can lead to depression, weight gain, unhealthy habits etc. Great post! Very inspirational.

  6. Sometimes you need to be selfish, there is only so much you can do for other people before it gets too much. Self care is very important especially when like us, you suffer from chronic illnesses. Great post x

  7. This is a great post. I’ve often been told I’m selfish and pit myself first. It took me some time to realize that means I’m doing something right! If I’m run down, I’m of no help to anyone.

  8. Neely Moldovan

    We all have to be selfish because if we aren’t our best selves we can’t do for others!

  9. Great Story, thanks for sharing it. We often view selfish as a negative but it is very important to put ourselves first sometimes.

  10. Wonderful post, your strength and resilience shines through the writing! I love your points of being proactive and finding ways to get shit done regardless of obstacles and choose advocacy over complaining. It is so true sometimes you have to love yourself and focus on yourself and that is 100% okay. XO.

  11. Great post! Your message is so timely, but actually biblical as well. The Bible says to love your neighbor as yourself. It’s sometimes easier to put others first, but I love your reminder that in order to be your best you need to rest and take care of yourself! Thank you for your words of encouragement today!

  12. Kori

    Thank you for sharing! I am the same way!! I keep trying to tell my best friend that she NEEDS to tak time for herself. Ugh. she never will.

  13. This is such an inspirational post. I’m sure it will help someone else to realize they are worth it.
    I’m impressed that you’re still pushing through despite having MS. I don’t know much about the disease, but I do know that it is life altering.

  14. I needed to read this today. I always put everyone else before everyone else for such a long time and sometimes I feel like I’m drowning. I can’t be a good friend unless I invest in myself first.

  15. Ah this is so good Jenn! I’m so glad you were able to have a positive change in perspective from your experience! MS is no joke. So sorry to hear you have it, but it certainly doesn’t sound like you let it stop you!

  16. Such a relevant and well needed read for me! You’ve inspired me to take my own spin at this on my own blog! I can sense the weight of your strength through your words and I am so happy you are at this point of your life today!

    http://www.nmdiaries.com

  17. I love how you say, “investing in yourself is not a selfish act” because it’s so true! My sister is a nurse practitioner so she takes cares of patients all day, every day. When she gets caught up in caring for others, she tends to forget about her own needs (working through lunch, staying late, coming in early, etc). When she does this, she gets sick extremely easy, which in return causes her to miss work and not be able to take care of anyone! So, yea, it’s not selfish to take care of yourself. Doing so helps you to take care of others in return. Thank you for your inspiring post!

  18. You are absolutely beautiful! And let me say this is not being selfish, this is being smart. No one can pour from an empty cup. We have to take care of our vessels to be able to even begin to help others. Good for you!

  19. Love Love Love this! 🙂 This was very inspirational. I’m glad that you did not give up. I see so many people give up because something is hard, and I feel bad for them. Your story is great and should be shared with everyone. I’m going to bookmark this. Something my parents always told me…Even if you are having a bad day, there is someone who is having is a whole lot worse than you. Great post.

  20. Thank you! This is so true. It’s not selfish to take care of yourself. I love your last sentence and I agree with it wholeheartedly.

  21. I am totally in the same boat as you and a little bit of selfishness is good for you. Learning to say ‘No’ and accepting my own limitations (as a chronically ill lady) was one of the best things I ever did. Great post xo.

  22. It took me a long time to realize this. I always put my kids and my family first, and at the end of the day there’s nothing left. However, when I choose to be a little selfish and take care of me, I’m in a much better place to take care of everyone else, too.

  23. Kim

    Selfish doesn’t have to have a negative connotation. It can mean self-care and taking good care of yourself. Good for you for being a positive role model.

  24. It’s times like now, after reading something as inspiring as this, when I am convinced we need to redefine what it means to be selfish.

    Not taking care of ourselves means we can’t adequately take care of others. Perhaps we should start to view that as more selfish than just taking care of ourselves in the first place?

    Thanks for this post, I needed to hear it. <3

  25. I love this Jenn. Women tend to put themselves last on the priority list if they’re on it at all. We are better able to care and do for others when we care and do for ourselves.

  26. Wow! Thank you, first off, for sharing your story. I, too, have heard to learn to be selfish and to put myself first. You can make yourself sicker when you over- extend yourself. I’m glad you made the decision to be selfish, ?

  27. Nina

    I think a lot of people could benefit from being a little more “selfish”. Self-care is so important and unfortunately not something our society is super keen on when it comes to insurance companies and employers!

  28. It’s so inspiring to hear your reasons for being a fighter and not a victim! I think being “selfish” has such a negative connotation but is actually such a good thing for most of us.

  29. Lynda

    Reading your blog e-mails often brings tears to my eyes. To have developed such wisdom at such a young age, especially while dealing with a hardship, is truly remarkable.

    My life is infinitely better having you (and your blog!) in it.

  30. I love this. Sometimes its okay to be selfish. And sometimes by being selfish you are being selfless in a way but allowing your self time to be the best you for your loved ones.

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