Hello My Lovelies,
It has been an age! I am finally on my holliers so I can dedicate more time to the update and maintenance of my blog but also my shiny new Youtube Channel .
My Channel is a little different from the blog so far, in that I have started the process of documenting my Body Positive fitness journey and the challenges which I am accepting and encountering along the way. So, if you ever fancy a nose at somehthing a little bit different, or would rather listen than read, please feel free to pay it a visit. As always all feedback is welcome and appreciated xoxo
In very recent months (about 2 and a half to be exact) I have made some pretty big changes to my life and lifestyle. I can assure you that there are days when it has been fantastic and amazing but equally there have been others where I have wanted to fling it all, myself included, into a wheelie bin and set it on fire. That’s the nature of change I guess, you can’t acheive new things or make new milestones without changing shit up a bit and lord knows that is not easy. One option is to stay doing what you’re doing in your comfort zone and hope that all of the other challenging stuff goes away. Or you can look your gremlin in the eye and challenge it to a duel (or a thumb war depending on your current level of bravery). Which is kinda what I did, though me being me I decided a fist fight followed by a game of russian roulette was the way to go. Cause I had reached a point where I was growing increasingly unhappy, restless and miserable and one of us needed to go. So I grabbed my fears by the short and curlys and jumped head first into a pool of unexplored terror.
Of all the positive changes that I had anticipated from making these changes and challenging myself, the one I least expected was that I would become more selfish. Yes, you read correctly, my selfishness has been a very good thing. Allow me to explain…
If you go on the hunt for a critique of the millennial generation (often by non-millennials- just saying) and the words narcissistic, entitled and selfish will be found, repeatedly. After all, this is the generation who brought in the mainstream acceptance of the selfie, right?
Despite all the negatives commonly associated with the word, I want to urge you to be selfish…well, at least a little.
Some of you will be reading this and thinking this is an incredibly odd piece of advice to hear from me. I prattle on about feminism, empowerment, body positivity and self love – all kick ass shiny happy things fighting worthy fights. Now here I am pedalling the notion of selfishness, which doesn’t seem to fall neatly in that glitter pot. The problem is, my lovelies, selfishness has just had a bit of a shit PR team. It’s not it’s fault that the notions about it have been skewed. The term selfish is almost universally used in the negative form. Think about it for a second—when was the last time you thought of someone acting selfishly and associated it with a positive choice? This is why we need to fire the old PR team and bring in some social media gurus with a snazzy campaign to remind us that it’s more than ok to be selfish from time to time.
In order to be conscious of others, aware of their situations, and provide service to their needs, we must be healthy ourselves. I don’t mean eat kale all day every day and avoid carbs like they’re infected (unless that works for you). Instead I mean the type of health that comes from balance. When our lives have a bit more balanced we are most able to help others in their endeavors. Often we can drown in the act of helping; serving the needs of our friends, families and projects, and completely forget that we too are a priotity.
Being selfish also allows you to stop and think about the goals you have set for yourself. In thinking of these goals you must then find a way of prioritising them and fitting them into you life or they will simply not happen.
Imagine you’ve set yourself the goal of running a marathon but because you are helping out this friend or that,you don’t have time to put in the training miles, because you are helping others with their problems you don’t quite have the time to eat properly and get enough sleep because you are too busy. How likely would it be that you will achieve your goal? This applies to any goal you may have, from tidying the house to starting your own business. Unless you prioritise your time for you, these things will just not happen.
So, what does being selfish look like? For me it has meant saying “no” to a lot more events, meetings and dinners. It has involved taking a day to rest, it has meant making some events and activities a priority over others. . Of course all of these choices come with consequences or a price to pay, including the very real chance that you are going to upset or disappoint others. Some may not be quite so understanding of your goals or your choices and react negatively. Still, I would argue that it is worth it to prioritize your self from time-to-time above others. Make sure that you tell them WHY you are choosing to be selfish. Be warned though, dear reader, sometimes this will not be enough.
There are many reasons why friends/ family will not support you in your goals or decisions. They may not have the faith in them or you that you have in yourself. They may be used to you playing a certain role in their lives and when that changes, they are unsure of how to handle these changes, perhaps your willingness to take on new challenges and be selfish with your time awakens an envy in themselves that they have never taken such opportunities. Or they might just think you’re a bit of a dick because you’re not there for them like you used to be. This is when the hard questions need to be asked. If my friends /family are making little of me or treating me badly because I am choosing a positive path for myself or working on bettering myself, then are they really people I can count on for support. Let’s be frank no matter what new venture or change you make for yourself, you’re going to need your people around you. You know the ones, the one’s who will bring you back to earth if you get a bit panicky or head in the clouds, the ones who will motivate and encourage your success – because they know a rising tide raises all boats, the ones who will be upset for you when things don’t go quite how you wanted and will help you pick up the pieces and glue them back together so that you may try again. These are the people we all need in our lives. It’s by no means fun but sometimes you have to look at your circle and see who brings as much to the table as you do and who is there because seeing you fail makes them feel better about themselves. It’s important to help and champion others but you can only do that when you can do it for yourself first.
Here is the important catch—one of the unintended consequences of following this advice is it may become a temptation to be a bit TOO selfish. Taking care of ourselves is important, but it shouldn’t mean that we do so exclusively. There is a delicate balance between being completely selfish and completely selfless and it must be maintained. Don’t allow yourself to go too far to either extreme.
While there are fantastic feelings to be had with dreaming, doing and achieving- what good is it all when the dust settles and you find that the good people who would have cheered the loudest are no longer there.
It’s like walking a tightrope over a shark tank but my god the joy of edging across that rope and staying balanced, is the most beautiful feeling in the world.