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Self Care vs Selfishness: How To Get Clarity

Over the past couple of years, there’s been a real recognition that you can’t do anything well if you don’t take care of yourself first.

So, why do people still talk about self care and selfish as if they go hand in hand? Is self care selfish?

The idea might be tied to the guilt people tend to attach to caring for themselves first. Those who look to care for themselves first to help those close to them later are often labeled as selfish, with almost everyone forgetting that to do the latter, you always have to excel at the first.

Let’s dive deeper into the concept of self care and selfishness, to figure out the truth once and for all.

Do you ever feel like you’re being selfish when you are doing something for yourself?

It might sound too good to be true, but there are so many tools available that can help us discover a deeper appreciation for our lives and the unique things that make us, us. 

In our busy age of “Do more and be more,” it’s easy to feel like we just aren’t enough, or that time for ourselves is selfish, but actually self-care is a critical piece of our wellbeing that can throw everything else off when it’s not supported.

"I see no solutions that don’t rest on the development of humans to have the cognitive, emotional, social, and volitional capacities to be able to be in service to that which they care most about and that which are most worthy of caring about." Daniel Schmachtenberger

But what is self-care really? Why is it so difficult and why do we feel guilty about doing it?

Self-care to us is about taking care of your own emotional, physical and mental well being for the good of yourself and others. This is where selfishness comes in - selfishness is a direct lack of consideration for others or the bigger perspective.

And this is the point, prioritising your practices that allow you to show up as your best self for others. The huge bullet proof self optimisation movement is pointless if you’re not prepared to then step in front of inevitable bullets of life for the people that matter to you most.

Cultivating greater self-care practices can improve everything from depression and anxiety to numerous other unbeneficial feelings or states of dis-ease.

So many of these resources are at our disposal, any time of day, any day of the week—but we have to realise their potential and prioritise their practice before the magic can happen.

Self care is stage 1 on our 5 stage process to personal mastery. We’ve created our pathway to help you identify where you are along your path.

This helps you focus where you need to, then you can look ahead to the next stage where you'll be able to see what milestones you need to reach in order to move on to that stage.

Stage 1 - The Spark Stage

This stage is all about learning to be aware and try new things. You have been through an event in life that has been the catalyst for you to finally make change in your life.

Awareness of self care. You are practicing various elements but they aren’t ingrained yet. You feel the benefit and also slip off. It still feels new and you’re potentially overwhelmed with this area.

You’re beginning to learn how to use your breath as a tool to change the way you feel.

You’ve checked out the 4 Simple Steps to begin to understand the key areas you can begin to influence, and how they work together to raise your experience of life.

You know you’re in Stage 1 if…

  • You’ve been through a life event that’s made you question your life.
  • You’re looking for a new way of living life.
  • You’re motivated to take action and improve your mental and physical wellbeing.
  • You’re potentially overwhelmed.
  • You’re beginning to try practices you’ve not done before (breath practice, nourishing movement, different nutrition choices, sleep practices, e.t.c.).
  • You’re beginning to learn about mindset, and what yours tends to be.
  • You’re beginning to apply some of the steps in “The 4 Simple Steps To Self Care.”

Stage 2 - The Glow Stage

This stage is all about opening your perspectives and feeling life change for you. This is potentially a higher performing stage as you are more energised and integrated to tackle life.

You have a daily self care practice, and have put in 1-2 months of consistent practice. You’re aware of how these positively affect you, and notice the effect on your mood when you miss some days. It’s a lifestyle for you now, becoming more and more habitual rather than effortful. You’re really feeling the benefits.

You know you’re in Stage 2 if…

  • You have your daily practices locked in (breath/meditation, exposure to nature, mindful movement, sleep hygiene, e.t.c.).
  • You’re able to plug in with other people doing the same.
  • You’re now beginning to build awareness of what you eat and put into your body and how it affects you (nutrition, exercise, media e.t.c.).
  • Your mindset is shifting and opening towards a higher perspective of life (growth outlook, health span as well as life span, e.t.c. ).
  • You’re feeling good and different to how you’re used to feeling. You and others notice things changing for you. It can feel great as well as disorientating.
  • You know how to use your breath as a tool and have the ability to manage yourself and stabilise in stressful times.
  • You have an awareness of using peak states, such as flow, and how that benefits you.

Stage 3 - The Shadow Stage

This stage is all about ascending to a higher perspective. You’re not just in the day to day and physical aspects. You sense more and are beginning to tune into your intuitive side. You’re sensing a few more ups and downs in your emotional landscape. You see it, but don’t quite yet understand what or why.

You’re looking to understand your behaviours in your personal and professional life. And you’re beginning to look at the roles you have and identify with. This can be an uncomfortable stage, as it’s where you are confronting older parts of you. You’re actively seeking to understand and unlock your limitations.

You’re purposely connecting to deeper more profound states in a skilled way.

You know you’re in Stage 3 if…

  • You have the capacity to see where you’re getting stuck in old limiting beliefs.
  • You’re actively working to release these limiting beliefs.
  • You skilfully use peak states to heal and let go of old ways of doing things. It’s a conscious practice for you now.
  • You’re a little disorientated because letting go of the old means you’re establishing your new way.
  • You’re learning to be kind to yourself and accepting what is.
  • You may be having old friendships challenge or leave you - you’re growing and creating a new world for yourself.
  • You’re attracting new friends into your life.

Stage 4 - The Shine Stage

This stage is all about maintaining elevated awareness. You can see what’s going on when others around you are caught in drama and their identities. You’ve let go of some old ways and are now well on the way to integrating new ways that serve you better. This is where you become a much more effective leader and partner in relationships.

The connection between your mind and body is getting stronger. You’re acutely aware of when your physiology changes and of when you’re being triggered. You have the capacity to intercept and self-author yourself.

Your general presence affects those around you. You’re aware of this and can create calm amongst others.

You know you’re in Stage 4 if…

  • You’re practicing the 80/20 body/mind split. Meaning you’re acutely aware of you’re physiology and when you’re getting triggered.
  • You have the capacity to recenter yourself in real time.
  • You’re aware and understand how to communicate effectively.
  • You are learning how to self author your life effectively.
  • You’re aware of drama dynamics and can effectively steer yourself and others around you out of it with grace.
  • You effectively help lift the people close to you, both professionally and personally.
  • You manage conflict effectively.
  • You set clear boundaries for yourself and say no effectively.

Stage 5 - The Beacon Stage

This stage is all about leading the way for others. You embody all aspects from stage 1-4, you can skilfully navigate through each stage with great awareness.

You have achieved a great level of personal mastery, meaning you balance rest, nutrition, movement and mindset to be calmer, more resilient to stress and ready to show up in life – with the understanding that this is a life’s work and you will continue to cycle through the stages.

Whatever you do, you’re doing it from a very authentic place. You’re confident to speak your truth without fear of what others think. You are a visionary, and can offer others guidance on the path to personal mastery.

You’re in some form of service of others (teaching, guiding, e.t.c.).

You know you’re in Stage 5 if…

  • You've planned your entire year around skilful access to peak experiences. Your daily and weekly practices are still on lock but now you’ve added periodised peaks as part of your self-designed annual “calendar.”
  • You are fully aware of which stage you operate in and understand that this is a life’s work.
  • You are aware of when you cycle through the different stages.
  • You see that life happens for you, not to you.
  • You self author your life skilfully by habit.
  • You make informed decisions from researching effectively. Rather than making decisions based solely on what others tell you.
  • You speak your truth authentically.
  • You guide others in some form.
  • You are highly intuitive and resonant.
  • People are drawn to you.

 

Summary

Selfishness is a direct lack of consideration for others or the bigger perspective.

Self-care is about taking care of your own emotional, physical and mental well being for the good of yourself and others. And it’s stage one of our 5 stage process to personal mastery.

References

Episode #8 - How To Stop Holding Yourself Back

Learn How To Balance Your Self Care Leaving You Calmer, Happier And More Resilient To Stress.

FREE GUIDE: The 4 simple steps towards personal mastery. You'll learn how to effectively balance your rest, nutrition, movement and mindset.

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