You heard me correctly. It is OKAY to be selfish. It is absolutely okay to say no. It is okay to say yes to only things you want to do. It is okay to tell the truth, to be honest with yourself and others. It's okay to take time to decide what you need for your life and its okay to live. It's okay to not work overtime, to travel more, to "ditch" friends on a night out.
(Quick side note: However, it is not okay, to waste other people's time, be vindictive, malicious or use people. It's not okay to lie and it certainly is not okay to to be dishonest. Below is the top five ways I started to become more selfish.)
1. I stopped overbooking myself.
My work requires me to book out months in advance. I take jobs as they come. I used to double book myself or book myself every which way possible. Even if that meant not having a weekend off for months or a day off for a week. Being selfish meant, I stopped booking myself for Cosmetic Brand work six months in advance because they have events. (Even though the industry fluctuates so much and work is never consistent). It means I did not book myself weddings and then go into store afterwords. It means not working at three locations in one day. It means letting myself live first.
2. I stopped explaining myself.
I was the queen of this. I was notorious for coming up with an extravagant reason on why I had to say "no". I felt as if I could never simply say, "I don't want to." I always thought it was "rude" or "unfair" of me unless I had, what I thought was, an extremely good reason. I realized the best reason is if I want to or not. It becomes more unfair to the individual by being half included, half involved or putting forth only the half required effort.
3. I stopped apologizing.
With all above being said, this one came into play pretty heavily. I felt that everything I did not want to do needed to include a long apology. I would try to work everything out to make others happy. If I couldn't, I felt as if everyone deserved a long apology. I would apologize for having weddings when I couldn't do a work event. I would apologize for feeling tired. I would apologize for not answering my phone, for taking time to text back, for focusing on, simply, being present in my life.
4. I started caring differently.
I stopped caring about going out and being the life of the party. I started caring about my career choices and my mental health. I stopped being every one's go-to for work, for advice, for a good time. I started spending a lot more time alone. I started focusing on my self love. I stopped picking apart my body. I stopped justifying my feelings. I started connecting with my emotions. I started to put my faith in the universe. I put effort into those I felt put effort into me. I stopped making excuses for others' actions.
5. I stopped allowing myself to be so available.
I am one of those "extroverted introverts". I am the life of the party, the person who can talk to everyone but at the same time social events drain me,. I stopped overexerting myself. I stopped answering every text message immediately. I stopped lurking through social media. I stopped forcing myself to be apart of every moment that is on the internet. I put my phone on "do not disturb." lately. I do not answer phone calls just because I am awake. I, strongly, push myself to work during office hours. I gave myself office hours. I try to be as present to those in front of me, which often means, those not do not get quick responses. I post on the internet content for work, for personal, for whatever and log off. I avoid social media unless I want to. It's reminding myself, that it's all about, what I want.
What have you done to be a little more selfish today?