A few weeks ago, I was working with one of my private clients, and she was struggling to make a decision. She was struggling to be bold. (She gave me permission to share this, by the way.)
Over the summer she left a job of 20 years that was no longer fulfilling, and she left without another job lined up. She decided, I have had enough, and left.
Quite a leap, don’t you think?
But a few weeks ago, she was stuck. She took one bold step, but was unable to take another.
The bold move she wanted to make was to put the job search on hold, and do something she would really enjoy--a Road Trip.
The reason why she was so stuck was because she thought it was selfish.
At this point, I asked, “What does it mean to be selfish?”
She talked for awhile, but never answered the question, so I asked again, “What does it mean to be selfish?”
After a long pause she finally said, “I use the word all the time, but I can’t define it now.”
Finally we consulted Mr. Dictionary.
Here is what it says, “devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one's own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.”
So I asked her, “Do you only care about yourself, and not care for others?”
“No. Okay, so maybe it’s not selfish, but maybe it is frivolous?”
I am not going to keep recounting our entire coaching session, but here is why I bring it up.
YOU ARE NOT SELFISH! (And probably not frivolous either.)
Yes, I am yelling at you. You, the one reading this blog post.
Somewhere along the way, we have misinterpreted the word “selfish” to mean anything that we do for ourselves.
THAT IS A LIE. (Again, yelling…)
Selfishness is when we take actions without regard for others.
Selfishness is when we are devoted only to ourselves.
I am sure that you think about others 9 out of 10 times when you make a decision.
Am I right?
Here is a handy visual to illustrate my point:
And this is what I essentially told my client:
It is not selfish to take a vacation after quitting your job, especially when your financial house is in order, and you aren’t responsible for anyone else’s well-being (except your dog, who can go with you.)
Are we clear on what is selfish and what it is not?
Great, glad you are with me.
So, next time someone (even that crazy voice inside your head) says, “Stop being so damn selfish,” or “You only think about yourself,” please remind them what it really means to be selfish.
It's Your Life. Live It Boldly.
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