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What Being Selfish Taught Me About Myself and Why It’s Okay

What Being Selfish Taught Me About Myself and Why It’s Okay

No one likes to admit selfishness. It means you are concerned only with your personal profit and pleasure. Your actions and decisions are guided by how they will best serve you. The ability to put yourself in the shoes of another person is difficult. It is easy to lose sight of compassion.

This was my truth for a number of years. My relationships and my actions were all about me—how I could get what I wanted and needed from another person, how I could manipulate a situation to make me feel better about myself, and how I could make sure that I was able to control the outcome.

The reality is that the selfishness is still there. My mind still goes to that place of fear and self-centeredness. Now, I have the tools and awareness to act opposite and embrace compassion and being loving to others and in turn, to myself.

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As an active addict for a number of years, I never looked at myself as selfish. In fact, I always assumed I was the victim. I thought, if others could experience the pain and discomfort I felt within, they would need to disconnect, numb out, and not show up for the people and places they cared about the most.

At the root of this were low feelings of self, deep insecurity, and fear.

This manifested itself in removing me from reality. I cared only about myself and what I was going to gain from other people, places, and things.

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When the awareness of this selfishness was brought to life, I began to see the selfishness for what it really is—fear, fear of not getting what I want or fear of losing something I already have.

Understanding my selfishness taught me that it’s time to embrace my fear. It awakened me in my life and brought about a newfound sense of presence.

Here are some tools for embracing fear and selfishness.

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1. Look at your relationships.

Are these relationships ones that are only self-serving to you? Or do you feel an equal sense of love and gratitude? Ultimately, the most fulfilling relationships are those where you equally receive and give.

2. Understand the motive behind your actions.

Are the actions that you take focused around how you will feel better and benefit most? Are you searching for instant gratification? Take a step back and connect with love and purpose. That is the true and most fulfilling motive.

3. Be compassionate to the selfish part of yourself.

Although I wasn’t aware of this selfishness for a long period of time, I still see its presence. It gives an illusion of control and serves many of us to ease sadness or fear. So be compassionate and loving to this part of yourself. Nurture it like you would nurture a small child.

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4. There is beauty in imperfections.

We are all human. We all have flaws. It’s just a matter of your perception of these flaws. If it means you always have a desire to gain something, start giving more. And give more with no expectation. It is truly by self-forgetting that your find yourself.

5. Fear is an illusion.

Fear lives in the baggage we carry from the past or the anxiety about the future. It takes us out of the present moment and leads to a lot of pain and discomfort. Fear is nothing more than false evidence appearing real. As long as we stay in the moment and connect with what is, we can tap into the infinite sources of wisdom we harness within. It is there; it is just a matter of bringing the beauty to life.

Featured photo credit: picjumbo via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on July 16, 2019

7 Ways to Get Rid of Negative Energy and Become Positive

7 Ways to Get Rid of Negative Energy and Become Positive

Negativity affects ourselves and everyone around us. It limits our potential to become something great and live a fulfilling, purposeful life. Negativity has a tangible effect on our health, too. Research has shown that people who cultivate negative energy experience more stress, more sickness, and less opportunity over the course of their lives than those who choose to live positively.

When we make a decision to become positive, and follow that decision up with action, we will begin to encounter situations and people that are also positive. The negative energy gets edged out by all positive experiences. It’s a snowball effect.

Although negative and positive thoughts will always exist, the key to becoming positive is to limit the amount of negativity that we experience by filling ourselves up with more positivity.

Here are some ways to get rid of negativity and become more positive.

1. Become Grateful for Everything

When life is all about us, it’s easy to believe that we deserve what we have. An attitude of entitlement puts us at the center of the universe and sets up the unrealistic expectation that others should cater to us, our needs, and our wants. This vain state of existence is a surefire way to set yourself up for an unfulfilled life of negativity.

People living in this sort of entitlement are “energy suckers”–they are always searching for what they can get out of a situation. People that don’t appreciate the nuances of their lives live in a constant state of lacking. And it’s really difficult to live a positive life this way.

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When we begin to be grateful and appreciate everything in our lives–from the small struggles that make us better, to the car that gets us from A to B every day–we shift our attitude from one of selfishness, to one of appreciation. This appreciation gets noticed by others, and a positive harmony begins to form in our relationships.

We begin to receive more of that which we are grateful for, because we’ve opened ourselves up to the idea of receiving, instead of taking. This will make your life more fulfilling, and more positive.

2. Laugh More, Especially at Yourself

Life gets busy, our schedules fill up, we get into relationships, and work can feel task oriented and routine-driven at times. Being human can feel more like being a robot. But having this work-driven, serious attitude often results in negative and performance oriented thinking.

Becoming positive means taking life less seriously and letting yourself off the hook. This is the only life that you get to live, why not lighten up your mood?

Laughter helps us become positive by lightening our mood and reminding us not to take life so seriously. Are you sensitive to light sarcasm? Do you have trouble laughing at jokes? Usually, people who are stressed out and overly serious get most offended by sarcasm because their life is all work and no play.

If we can learn to laugh at ourselves and our mistakes, life will become more of an experiment in finding out what makes us happy. And finding happiness means finding positivity.

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3. Help Others

Negativity goes hand in hand with selfishness. People that live only for themselves have no higher purpose in their lives. If the whole point of this world is only to take care of yourself and no one else, the road to a long-term fulfillment and purpose is going to be a long one.

Positivity accompanies purpose. The most basic way to create purpose and positivity in your life is to begin doing things for others. Start small; open the door for the person in front of you at Starbucks or ask someone how their day was before telling them about yours.

Helping others will give you an intangible sense of value that will translate into positivity. And people might just appreciate you in the process.

4. Change Your Thinking

We can either be our best coach or our best enemy. Change starts from within. If you want to become more positive, change the wording of your thoughts. We are the hardest on ourselves, and a stream of negative self talk is corrosive to a positive life.

The next time you have a negative thought, write it down and rephrase it with a positive spin. For example, change a thought like, “I can’t believe I did so horribly on the test–I suck.” to “I didn’t do as well as I hoped to on this test. But I know I’m capable and I’ll do better next time.”

Changing our self-talk is powerful.

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5. Surround Yourself with Positive People

We become most like the people that we surround ourselves with. If our friend group is full of negative energy-suckers and drama queens, we will emulate that behavior and become like them. It is very difficult to become more positive when the people around us don’t support or demonstrate positive behavior.

As you become more positive, you’ll find that your existing friends will either appreciate the new you or they will become resistant to your positive changes. This is a natural response.

Change is scary; but cutting out the negative people in your life is a huge step to becoming more positive. Positive people reflect and bounce their perspectives onto one another. Positivity is a step-by-step process when you do it solo, but a positive group of friends can be an escalator.

6. Get into Action

Negative thoughts can be overwhelming and challenging to navigate. Negativity is usually accompanied by a “freak-out” response, especially when tied to relationships, people and to worrying about the future. This is debilitating to becoming positive and usually snowballs into more worry, more stress and more freak-outs.

Turn the negative stress into positive action. The next time you’re in one of these situations, walk away and take a break. With your eyes closed, take a few deep breaths. Once you’re calm, approach the situation or problem with a pen and pad of paper. Write out four or five actions or solutions to begin solving the problem.

Taking yourself out of the emotionally charged negative by moving into the action-oriented positive will help you solve more problems rationally and live in positivity

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7. Take Full Responsibility, Stop Being the Victim

You are responsible for your thoughts.

People that consistently believe that things happen to them handicap themselves to a victim mentality. This is a subtle and deceptive negative thought pattern. Phrases like “I have to work” or “I can’t believe he did that to me” are indicators of a victim mentality. Blaming circumstances and blaming others only handicaps our decision to change something negative into something positive.

Taking full responsibility for your life, your thoughts and your actions is one of the biggest steps in creating a more positive life. We have unlimited potential within to create our own reality, change our life, and change our thoughts. When we begin to really internalize this, we discover that no one can make us feel or do anything. We choose our emotional and behavioral response to people and circumstances.

Make positive choices in favor of yourself.

“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny” ― Lao Tzu

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Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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