Are You Really Too Selfish?

Written by Posted On Thursday, 17 August 2023 00:00

Can you spell OVERLOAD? Not only are we in a time of limited personal services, in many cases as women in business we are now wearing a zillion hats requiring different skills every day!

Therein lies a challenge for women in general.

Women are designed with high adaptability. Think about it. If you have a child who is demanding to be fed, you don’t stay on your “break time” until you are ready to go back to work. Women in general are wired for more flexibility through millions of years of conditioning to manage families when our counter parts were out hunting for food. Biological studies and evolutionary research confirm the fact that the tendency towards high adaptability while good, can and is detrimental when negotiating, especially with ourselves. 

The airlines provide a great analogy when the flight attendants announce that in case of an emergency, put your oxygen mask on FIRST and then help others. However, most women will choose to help  everyone else before taking care of themselves. Many of us were brought up to believe this was a good thing. Serving others is a priority, but more importantly, serving yourself first is not being selfish! By practicing self-love, you can share your giving with others. If you deplete yourself, your resources, health, energy, and care, you really can’t help others for very long. 

Need a few ways to put yourself first? It will take practice, but in the end, you will be happier, live life more gloriously, and help others as well.

1. Change your mindset.

Being selfish does not mean that you are looking to take from others to their detriment. Self-care suggests you are replenishing and maintaining your own resources without taking from anyone else. When we are healthy about taking care of self, we can live a happier life in health, joy, and giving to others-- not from our own depleted well, but from a river of endless abundance.

2. Shift even one little priority to you first.

Can’t make the shift fast enough? Do baby steps and get the feel of how nice it is when you are nice to you.  Do simple things like pushing the button on your coffee maker for you first before “doing” for anyone else.  It’s all about prioritizing and with a little practice, you can get better at loving yourself first.  Doing for you is the first step to self-love which will make others love you as well. 

3. Watch how you talk to yourself.

If you are mired in helping others to the point of being exhausted and frustrated, it is time to change your self-talk. When you catch yourself saying “I don’t want to look selfish BUT”…you are into “stinkin-thinkin”! It is perfectly okay to make yourself feel better. There is a huge difference between taking care of self and taking from others.  When you take care of yourself first, you extend your ability to help others. That should give you permission to take care of number one first!

4. Get enabled!

When you practice self-care, you enable yourself to give of yourself to others. It’s not about being so “me first” focused that you are not considering the needs of others. It does, however, set up boundaries so you don’t give yourself away which costs you and is a freebie to others.  

It’s hard to change how you’ve been thinking, and the value system that goes with it, but remind yourself that you are HUMAN with limited resources.  No matter how much of a power woman you claim to be, giving out of your pantry of love and care with no regard for yourself until there is nothing left to give makes you a victim, not a victor. Be smart about this and be authentic. If you REALLY LOVE others, fall madly in love with yourself first!  Treat you like you want to be treated; cared for, cherished, loved and respected. Then watch the magic of abundance of all good things fill your world. Congratulations, you now can experience a higher level of giving once you “receive” from the most important person in your life…you!

For more information about how women and men are thinking, visit our contributing Author, Valerie Alexander of 

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Terri Murphy

Terri Murphy, Communication engagement specialist, author, speaker, consultant, and Master Coach with Workman Success. She is the author of 5 books, TedTalk speaker and co-radio host on Contact: or Email: [email protected]

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