It’s Okay to be “Selfish” Your Authenticity is a Gift to the World

October 15th, 2012 by Laura Longley

I have been feeling selfish and self-centered lately. It’s all about me, me, me. Our culture pays lip service to those who are selfless, and beats up those who are selfish – even as they reward them with high salaries, endorsement payments, and more. As the daughter of a narcissist, I am probably even more sensitive to being accused of narcissism.

And yet, I have also recently been reminded that my type of selfishness benefits those around me. As you know if you’ve been reading my blog, last year I had an epiphany about being authentic, and the fact that I am already whole and perfect in my authenticity.

Since then I have been striving to be authentic in all I do. Obviously this requires me knowing who I am, in order to act in authenticity, so I have been focused on myself a lot, which leads to calling myself self-centered. That’s another term that is considered a criticism or insult in our culture. We should be focusing on others and their needs. For women in particular, this is the message we are raised with.

I’d like to present a different perspective on selfishness and self-centeredness: when you act from authenticity and do what is in your own best interest, driven from your soul or essence, you can’t help but benefit those around you.

In my own case I have been feeling selfish because I am so in love with the paths I am choosing to pursue in my business. Starting my radio show, choosing to no longer see clients in person, focusing on becoming a well-known speaker, are all choices that stem from what makes me feel good, and nothing more. That’s pretty much the definition of selfish.

And yet, because of the radio show, I am reaching more people with messages about authenticity and happiness. Because I am no longer geographically constrained with clients, I am helping more people with my coaching. Because I am becoming well-known as a speaker, I am – again – reaching more people with my message.

I feel guilty and selfish because my reason for doing these things was not to reach and help more people. And yet, that’s the end result. My conclusion is that by following my own path, making choices based on what feels good to me, it can’t help be benefit others as well.

The same is true with my feelings about being self-centered. Navel-gazing as it is called in a derogatory manner. I have been, and still am, spending a lot of time meditating, walking, learning and growing. This requires me to be self-centered.

And yet again, others are benefitting from my self-centeredness. I have gotten very positive feedback about how my blog posts that relate my struggles and the learning that comes from them have benefitted readers. So again, I have to conclude that being self-centered is not necessarily a bad thing.

Granted, we have to put our selfishness and self-centeredness in context. If the selfish thing we are pursuing is what makes our heart sing, I believe it can’t be wrong. If our self-centeredness is a result of discovering more and more about who we really are so that we can show up that way in the world, there’s no harm.

Here’s my challenge for you today: Choose one way can you be selfish or self-centered in an authentic way – then do it!

I would love to hear what you did, and how it turned out for you. Please comment!

4 Responses

  1. Morning Laura,

    Delightful to meet you this weekend. Love to connect to see how I might be able to help your clients with motivation by producing a CD for you.



  2. Hi Laura,
    I love the new website, it’s incredible. This post really resonated with me. I really enjoyed reading what you thought. I really don’t see what you are doing as being self-centered. You are open to growth and change. You honor yourself and others by wanting to be the best person you can be. I admire you for working towards being your best self. 🙂

    • Glad you like the website, Wendy, there were definitely some labor pains getting it “birthed” but now that it is here I cam quite happy with it, too! I know you understand about having to be focused on self in order to grow and change – you’re doing it, too! Aren’t we fabulous!!!?

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