Self-Care is not Selfish
Sometimes you will hear people talk about everything that they are doing. They get into the hustle and bustle, the grinding and putting in the hard work parts of business. They will tell you about how they stay up late, skip meals, and sometimes keep going until they have no more to give, in order to make things happen in their business. Looking and judging from the outside, these people seem to have it all. You see how they are prospering and begin to think that you aren’t doing something right. You begin to wonder if you are being selfish by trying to get a full night’s rest or by making sure that you eat healthy on a regular basis. You begin to question yourself, unconsciously, wondering if everything you are focusing on is keeping you stuck where you are. While I am tempted to say “yes” because most people focus on the wrong things on a regular basis, if you are judging yourself based upon the actions of these, seemingly, successful people, I must tell you something. Self-care is not selfish.
When you are viewing the lives of seemingly successful people from the outside, everything can seem perfect. It can appear that they have everything that you want, that they are happy and fulfilled, and have need of nothing. In one of my previous posts about how no one has made it, I talked about the false perception that we can have of other people. I want to remind you here that the appearance of success and fulfillment does not actually equal success and fulfillment.
If you were to go and talk to many people who appear to be successful, they will tell you their there is something missing in their lives that they desperately desire to have, but they are so committed to the professional part of their lives that they aren’t able to figure out how to get the other parts of their lives in order.
What about your personal life?
Success can look different for everyone. You can be aiming for something that you have been dreaming of attaining. Perhaps, like the individuals I mentioned above, your schedule is a bit hectic because of what you want professionally. You keep going and working, but at the end of the day you are tired, drained, and don’t have some of the things that you deeply desire. What about your personal life?
Part of caring for yourself is not just about caring for your hair and nails. Taking care of your bodily care is very important, but it is important to realize that you are more than a body. You are a person with actual needs. You have desires that extend into various aspects and dimensions of life, that if you were to actually sit down and think about your true desires, you would be blown away. Yet, if you are like many people, you have taken the things that you want for yourself and hidden them so far within yourself that you no longer know that they are there.
You have to make sure that you are attentive to three major components of yourself. You must also make sure that you allow yourself to have a personal life. From my perspective, your personal life actually starts with you.
Evaluate how you care for yourself
I know that when I spoke about making sure that you are taking care of the other aspects of your life that are important, your mind probably went directly to another role that you have in your life. Maybe you started thinking about the fact that you are a wife, a mother, or you have other responsibilities that you must make sure you are attentive to. While I deeply and sincerely encourage you to focus on these areas, the first thing that want you to encourage you to do is to care for yourself. However, before I do, I must be completely honest with you. In order to get the results you want, you are going to have to first evaluate how you care for yourself.
Your ultimate goal of success should be to reach peak performance, by achieving balance and fulfillment in every area of your life. The achievement of this goal requires you learning how to not only achieve it, but how to maintain it. If you only hit that level of success one time, but cannot maintain it, you ultimately set yourself up for high levels of dissatisfaction, which could lead to depression.
I’m not saying that you have to be the greatest, but you can be great. Learn to be your own competition, competing against the standard that you have set for yourself. Then find balance and learn how to live there.
With this in mind, you should begin looking at your life, with an eye of examination. Begin asking yourself key questions to determine where you are in your process. Make sure to write out your answers. Some of these key questions could include questions like
- What areas of my personal life am I the most satisfied with? (List them out)
- What areas of my personal life am I the most dissatisfied with? (List them out)
- What portions of my personal life do I tend to avoid? ( List them out)
- On a daily basis, how much time do I spend taking care of my personal needs? (List out the time spend and the area it is spent in)
- Am I equally balanced in the area of my life for self care? If not, which portions do I pay attention to the most and which portions to I tent to steer away from?
Spend the necessary time mentally preparing for your journey
Once you have done this, you can begin the next process, which focuses on applying yourself first mentally to the task, so that you can determine the amount of time, energy, and money that you are willing to invest in yourself. This will allow you to fully dedicate to your goal of being successful, balanced, and fulfilled.
Some of the major areas of your life that you might want to look at are your mental, emotional, spiritual, relational, physical, recreational, and professional life. All of these matter to the level of personal satisfaction that you experience. This is why I want to encourage you to spend a good amount of time thinking, reading, and dreaming. I want you to take the time to really give yourself the opportunity to explore who you are. You never know what you really think and feel about things, until you ask yourself. “Hey self, what do you think?” And while many people will tell you that they don’t think you should talk to yourself, I encourage it. You have to spend quality time with yourself, thinking and feeling how you want to feel, so that you can really tap into your ability to dream about traveling the dimensions of who you are and what you desire in life.
It’s not complicated. Your future depends on your ability to know what you need and desire in life. It requires your willingness to really understand the importance of making time for self-care.