Being selfish doesn’t mean you are selfish. This might sound like a contradiction…but bear with me. They are two completely different things. Being selfish about taking care of yourself, giving yourself the things you need to feel "full," is actually what allows you to be in service of the rest of the world, to make a positive impact with your life. Filling yourself first allows you to give back freely to others. Contrast that with needing to take everything for yourself because you don’t feel fulfilled in the first place. You will play whatever nasty games are necessary to win and steal over others, which usually involve pushing people down or stepping on them in order to get to the top.
So many of us are afraid to put ourselves first because we don’t want to appear stingy, arrogant, or conceited (a.k.a. "selfish"). We are taught from a young age to put our heads down, be deferential, insert ourselves into the line and follow along like good little sheep. We are taught to aspire to selflessness; where we bow and let everyone else go before us. The virtuous man or woman goes last. What does this type of mindset brew through the years? The overriding concept that you are not good enough; that you are not worthy; that you don’t deserve the same luxuries and happiness as other people.
What we are not told is that you need to put yourself first. Because if you don’t do this…who will? You are the only one that has this power; the only one who has control over your life. Therefore, you are actually the only one who has the ability to nurture your self. If you don’t see yourself as important enough to give yourself what you need and fill your cup first, no one else is going to do that for you. You will be stuck in an endless cycle of neediness, trying to get validation and fulfillment from others while you push your own needs aside. Far from being virtuous and selfless like you intended, you end up being needy and constantly trying to “take” from the world.
It’s the difference in being able to step on stage, dance your heart out, and not need anything in return. You don't crave the compliments. You don't care about the approval. You aren't swayed by the opinions. The audience can frown at you for all you care; but you still feel amazing because you are giving to them freely something genuine that is inside you without needing anything back. That’s something you can’t do if you’re not full in yourself first. If you haven’t taken care of your own needs and fulfillment, if you don’t see yourself as important, you’re going to need other people to give back to you. You’re going to need them to validate you. You’re going to need them to show you that you are important and special.
That’s not the answer you are really looking for. That’s never going to make you happy. If you are constantly aching to be shown you are good enough – needing the company contract, needing the lead role, needing the compliments, needing likes on social media, needing the boyfriend or girlfriend, needing the recognition…you are never going to be satisfied. It’s never going to be enough validation to make you feel full in yourself. It has to come from you first. You have to walk around like you are a badass already. You already have everything you need to be full and “good enough.” You just have to recognize that. It’s a simple mind shift. But, when we’ve been brainwashed in the other direction most of our lives, it can be so hard to make that shift. A funny thing happens when you stop needing things from others, though. Once you start walking around with this Bad Girl Ballerina energy, amazing things will come into your life. Ironically, once you stop “needing” them…that’s when you start getting them.
Being selfish with your self-care doesn’t make you selfish…it makes you full. It’s what allows you to give without needing anything in return. When you have all your power already, you don’t need other people to validate you or give you any payback. You have so much fulfillment and love brimming over that you don’t even think twice about sharing your gifts with others. Being selfish and giving yourself what you need to fill yourself up is not selfishness…it’s a way for you to be the most that you can be in the world so you can leave an impact with your life. It’s time to be a Bad Girl Ballerina. Stop playing by the “rules,” and put your self first.