Let's Be Selfish
I’m a “yes” girl, through and through. If I’m asked and I’m able, I’ll say “yes” 99.9% of the time. This is especially true if it will help another person, because I’m also a helper, a caretaker, a mother of sorts. I place everyone else’s happiness over my own, always. I tell myself that it doesn’t matter what I want, that others are more worthy of my time, my energy, my very being. I know that’s not true. I know I need to value myself more or I’ll never get where I want to be. I know that my time belongs to me; my energy is mine to keep if I want. I know that saying “yes” all the time does not serve my being, my purpose, my soul, but saying “yes” has become a nasty habit.
I’m about to start working part-time for a bakery as a means of having some steady income after my leap into entrepreneurship. I worked here previously, so it felt like an easier transition since I’m sure I’ll have some muscle memory and there will be many networking opportunities. My first day back is in a little less than a week. The scheduling system is online and easy to access at all times. It sends email updates when something changes, when a new schedule is added, or when vacation requests get approved.
As I’m going through my email yesterday morning I see I received a request to cover a shift in May. My thoughts play out like so…
- I haven’t even officially started yet! (Literally I don’t even know my pay.)
- This person doesn’t even know me! Who do you think they are?
- Well, they need time off for something, so I should just check my schedule.
- It’s only 6 hours and it would be a little extra money.
- I’ll feel bad if I decline the request because I CAN do it, I just don't want to. I mean I'm technically available…
- It would be selfish not to accept.
- I don’t want to be seen as selfish.
- I want this person to like me.
It always comes back to this for me; it always comes back to being selfish and someone somewhere not liking me for it. It’s been ingrained in me from past experiences that saying “no” or, in other words, making a decision based on what I want is selfish, bad selfish. People don’t like selfish. This in turn has led me to avoid boundaries because boundaries have to do with my wants/needs and therefore, they must be selfish and bad, right? I don't want to cover the shift, but I feel like I have to in order for people to like me.
Now, here I sit, stepping into a new space, a new (soul) career, a new me – the true me, and saying “yes” feels all wrong. It feels totally out of alignment. Yet, I still feel pulled towards guilt and serving everyone else always above myself. Guilt and serving are my safe zone. Even though they don't feel good, I know what to expect; I can predict the outcomes. The new space of boundaries, of saying "no" when something doesn't serve me, that's awfully scary. I have no idea what will happen or how people's perceptions of me will change. It's a leap into the unknown. The difference is the awareness that I'm bringing to both sides. I can literally feel myself being pulled towards the safety, but simultaneously wanting, like really wanting, and pushing myself towards the truth, the unknown. I now have a decision to make. Do I live my old story (Being selfish is bad and no one will like me if I’m selfish) OR do I own who I am, create a new story, and trust the outcome?
I declined the request. Instead, I choose to leap into the unknown. I choose alignment. I choose trust. I choose boundaries and learning the comfort that comes with “no.” I choose to be selfish. I choose to place myself first. I will never become who I want to be or achieve my goals if I don’t fully, unapologetically step into who I am and own everything that I want. In this case, I don't want to work 6 extra hours when I'm already scheduled for more hours than I'd like.
New story: I show up for myself when I honor my boundaries; being “selfish” means I'm aligning with my truth. I know, honor, and love who I am.
The same goes for you as well. Yes, you reading this. What boundaries are you letting slide because you’re afraid of what others will think? Are you saying “yes” to everyone but yourself? What small action can you take right now to connect to your truest self? Let us know in the comments or come join us in the facebook group (link at the bottom of the page). Let us support and celebrate your "selfishness". <3