The power of sacred selfishness
According to Dictionary.com, to be selfish is to be “devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others; characterized by or manifesting concern or care only for oneself.”
Sheesh. No wonder most of us feel insulted when we’re called selfish.
But here’s the problem: If you don’t care for yourself, don’t tend to your own interests or welfare, don’t show concern for yourself, you’re actually setting yourself up for stress and failure.
Some of these negative consequences primarily affect your personal life:
- Always putting yourself last can lead to resentment of those whose needs you put before yours.
- Lack of self-care can ruin your emotional, physical, and financial health.
- Failing to honor yourself is kind of like a slap in the face to everyone who made the effort to help you get where you are.
This failure to care for yourself is a real double whammy, because it can also gravely hurt your business:
- If you don’t value yourself highly, you’re going to have a tough time setting – and getting – fees that enable you to fund the life you want to live.
- Consistent discounting of your prices implies you consider the prospect’s need/desire to save money to be more important than your desire to earn money in exchange for your hard-earned expertise. This attitude causes your bottom line to suffer because you so often leave money on the table.
- If you feel obliged to help everyone, regardless of what they’re willing (or not willing) to pay, you stand to disappoint clients by over-committing and then under-delivering.
- By continually “should”ing on yourself about putting others’ needs ahead of your own, you’ll soon lose your energy, creativity, and desire to help others – which means you won’t be available to help those people for whom you are the best solution to their humongous problem.
Not exactly a recipe for success, is it? So instead, why not consider exploring the concept of sacred selfishness?
If you don’t value yourself, your prospects won’t, either.
Dr. Bud Harris is the author of Sacred Selfishness: A Guide for Living a Life of Substance. Dr. Harris makes an intriguing distinction when he says, “Sickly selfishness is self-serving, power-driven, and imposes its will on others, draining their energy. Sacred selfishness is valuing ourselves enough to develop into ‘authentic’ human beings, who give back vitality and hope to all around us.”
Interesting, isn’t it? Viewed from this perspective, you’re actually doing a disservice to your clients, family, friends, and self if you fail to place an appropriately high value on yourself.
What are some of the personal and professional benefits of acting from a position of sacred selfishness?
- You enjoy life more, which typically makes you more enjoyable to be around.
- You dramatically decrease the risk of developing and hoarding energy-sucking resentments; with fewer resentments to deal with, your energy, optimism, and productivity soar.
- You model effective, self-honoring behavior for your clients – which is a huge value-add.
- You’ll probably be more willing to step into your Zone of Genius, where you experience maximum satisfaction and provide maximum value.
So does this concept make your head hurt? Does any phrase with the word “selfishness” in it appall you as all your old programming kicks in?
Or are you intrigued by the idea that you can serve yourself and others most effectively by practicing sacred selfishness? And, if so, do you have to add yet another item to your already bulging Too Much To Do list in order to start? If that’s what you’re wondering, maybe I can help.
My specialty is showing overwhelmed entrepreneurs how to dump the stuff that weighs them down instead of propelling them forward, then create and implement manageable action plans to get that important stuff done.
Might you be one of those entrepreneurs who experience enormous relief and a huge surge of energy by working with me? Maybe. Maybe not. But we’d be able to figure that out by spending just 30 or 40 minutes getting acquainted by phone. Whether our mutual decision is yes, no, or not now, we’re both sure to feel good about it.
If this sounds worth exploring, it’s easy to arrange our no-risk, no-charge, no-trauma, get-acquainted session. Just call me at 319-270-1214 or email me with “Yes, it IS about me!” in the subject line. Give me some times you have available; I’ll see what works in my schedule, and we’ll get started on that exploration.
(By the way, thanks to wonderferret for posting the “selfish” image in the Creative Commons section of Flickr.)This entry was posted in mindset and tagged authenticity, effectiveness. Bookmark the permalink.