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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 March 5, 2021

Science Says People Who Talk To Themselves Are Geniuses

Science Says People Who Talk To Themselves Are Geniuses

I talk a lot to myself. It helps me to keep my concentration on the activity on hand, makes me focus more on my studies, and gives me some pretty brilliant ideas while chattering to myself; more importantly, I produce better works. For example, right now, as I am typing, I am constantly mumbling to myself. Do you talk to yourself? Don’t get embarrassed admitting it because science has discovered that those who talk to themselves are actually geniuses… and not crazy!

Research Background

Psychologist-researcher Gary Lupyan conducted an experiment where 20 volunteers were shown objects, in a supermarket, and were asked to remember them. Half of them were told to repeat the objects, for example, banana, and the other half remained silent. In the end, the result shown that self-directed speech aided people to find the objects faster, by 50 to 100 milliseconds, compared to the silent ones.

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“I’ll often mutter to myself when searching for something in the refrigerator or the supermarket shelves,” said Gary Lupyan.

This personal experience actually made him conduct this experiment. Lupyan, together with another psychologist, Daniel Swigley, came up with the outcomes that those to talk to oneself are geniuses. Here are the reasons:

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It stimulates your memory

When you are talking to yourself, your sensory mechanism gets activated. It gets easier on your memory since you can visualize the word, and you can act accordingly.[1]

It helps stay focused

When you are saying it loud, you stay focused on your task,[2] and it helps you recognise that stuff immediately. Of course, this only helps if you know what the object you are searching looks like. For example, a banana is yellow in colour, and you know how a banana looks like. So when you are saying it loud, your brain immediately pictures the image on your mind. But if you don’t know what banana looks like, then there is no effect of saying it loud.

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It helps you clarify your thoughts

Every one of us tends to have various types of thoughts. Most make sense, while the others don’t. Suppose you are furious at someone and you feel like killing that person. Now for this issue you won’t run to a therapist, will you? No, what you do is lock yourself in a room and mutter to yourself. You are letting go off the anger by talking to yourself, the pros and cons of killing that person, and eventually you calm down. This is a silly thought that you have and are unable to share it with any other person. Psychologist Linda Sapadin said,[3]

“It helps you clarify your thoughts, tend to what’s important and firm up any decisions you are contemplating.”

Featured photo credit: Girl Using Laptop In Hotel Room/Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

Reference

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