Learning to be Selfish

So you have a dream? That’s great…more importantly …What are YOU doing about it?

Uniquely You

Too many people in this world are labelled as what and who others think he/she is aka The world according to others, when it should be the world according to you. Now I don’t mean this in a narcissistic or conceited way, but more so that whatever happens to you in life, you have the final say to determine and perceive it the way you want to. When hardships come, you can either take it as a lesson and improve or let it defeat you.

How often do people put others before them? You know what I’m talking about. They enjoy watching others succeed and are generous with their time. Always giving all they have to those they love and doing what they can to help others…Whether it is showing affection and emotional support to their significant other….Listening to their friend’s problems and helping them by giving them advice…or just  lending a helping hand to strangers. To others it may seem like they don’t get anywhere in life…that they are not passionate about anything and that they spend time with tasks that don’t produce results or make them more money. However, they are fulfilled with happiness and joy. They are rewarded with feelings of joy, that make their hearts full. From a young age, I’ve always wanted to help others, I was quite naive and too generous. I learned the hard way that life isn’t a straight path, and that you can’t please everyone.

Always the ‘Nice Girl’

That person is me. I have always been putting others before myself because seeing others happy makes me happy. However, this mentality has been putting me behind in the goals and dreams that I want to achieve. I have to learn to become selfish and do what I need to do for me, instead of worrying about the happiness and success of others. When I was younger at parent teacher conferences, my teacher would always say that I talk to much and mind other people’s business; I was always asking people and strangers if they needed my help, and would help others before finishing my own work. I feel a great sense of satisfaction when I am able to help someone in need. No matter how big or small, I was always willing to put others’ needs before my own.

As I got older, I have realized that this mentality has been quite detrimental to my confidence and life path. Instead of worrying about my own goals and to do lists, I find myself preoccupied with other people’s to do lists helping them achieve success while neglecting my own. I mean from outsiders looking in or to the person who I believe I am helping, it doesn’t seem like I am really doing much, nor is it necessary; I think growing up as a middle child has something to do with it.

Losing Confidence

When I was younger I would get noticed when I did good deeds and when I gave up my time to help others. In my home life, I didn’t have much confidence and was always doing things to get the attention of my parents who were always more concerned about my baby brother or too busy with the schedule of my older sister. School life was another story, I had a lot of friends and always had someone to talk to. I was very good at spelling and speaking and in grade 4, at the tender age of 8, I was introduced to the world of Public Speaking.

I remember it as if it was yesterday. I was so confident going into the gym and heading towards my seat. As I was sitting there, a fellow public speaker was telling everyone how she wasn’t nervous at all and that she spent all week practicing her speech. I had practiced as well and I was pretty confident until doubt kicked in and I started to question whether I had practiced enough and if I was ready. Another fellow speaker asked what my topic was and when I said Pandas with a smile, I could hear how unimpressed he was with my topic; this made me question if I had chosen a silly topic. I started to doubt myself even more and I became extremely nervous and unsure if I even wanted to go up. Sure enough my name was called and I gave my speech to the whole audience, made up of the grade 4 to 8 students and all their teachers. However, as I began to speak, I could see everyone in the crowd staring up at me and my heart began to race, I was a nervous mess.

Living with a Flawed Mentality

They say that the middle child is often the ‘forgotten’ or ‘neglected’ child, so I was not used to having all the attention put on me but doing whatever I could to get it. I nervously sped through the rest of my speech and went back to my seat. My confidence was crushed, I had never felt so uncomfortable and didn’t know how to receive the attention. I was so embarrassed that I vowed to never allow so much attention to be put on myself ever again.

I went on through life, living behind the scenes, doing enough to get by but not doing too much so I wouldn’t have to face the spotlight again. I chose a career that would enable me to work but not be seen.

Changing Again

I can say I have successfully stayed behind the scenes until now. Whether it is just me making excuses, or actually believing that I don’t deserve to be successful and that all I am good for is living quietly behind the shadows, it doesn’t really matter. Point blank – I am not at the level I need to be at to live the life I want to live.

Now I want to be able to take the pressures of being in the spotlight and use them to motivate me, not scare me. So from today onward, ” I vow to use my fears to propel me towards my dreams, to have faith in myself, to take criticism and listen when other’s try to help me, to appreciate everyone’s feedback and not repeat my past mistakes.” I realize that the only person that can help you is yourself and that the only person that can make your dreams come true is you. I regret not trying or working harder for the last decade of my life. If only I did, I would be further than where I am today. It’s as if I would rather just exist then truly live, but dwelling in the past won’t do any good. It’s time to learn from it and move on.

No One Else Can Do It for You

This weekend my fiance and I met my cousin’s newborn son. He was just 3 days old; this was the first time I had held a newborn and he was so tiny, precious and beautiful. I couldn’t stop staring at him and tears began to fill my eyes as I looked at my fiance and became overwhelmed. In that moment I understood what life could be like and vividly saw my future, even if just for a second. Everyday I wake up I envision that moment and work hard towards my dreams and goals, so that we too can start a family and experience the journey of parenthood and all the joys of life together. I know that raising a family isn’t easy and I will do what I need to do now so that I can enjoy it more when the time comes.

Stay strong and beautiful!

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4 thoughts on “Learning to be Selfish

  1. I can totally relate to a lot of what you posted. I use to live my life making people happy and got nothing in return. I have a different mindset about that now, but you can’t neglect yourself in the process either. Make the time to have “me time” and you’ll feel better not only about yourself but you can feel better about continuing to help others too!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for your comment. It’s crazy how different life is, now that I can focus on me and help others along the way. I feel more accomplished and feel happier than I’ve ever felt. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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