“I should reap some benefits from working as a freelancer.” said Mel, a freelance journalist and a DrivenWoman member, sharing the news that she’d just booked a little cottage for the month of August to spend with her children. She wouldn’t normally dare to take such a long break. Working as a freelance journalist she felt she had to put in the effort at all times to ensure her income and to keep her connections. But the children were getting older and she wanted to spend some proper time with them, away from the daily circles.
She’d normally just talk about it, it would be a day dream. “One day…” she would say. But this time she decided to act without a delay. She booked the cottage the very afternoon. And now that the holiday was paid for and in the calendar she felt comfortable she could get year’s work done in just 11 months.
It’s funny how our minds work like that.
As soon as we give ourselves a permission to do something or make it a priority we will find a way to accomplish it.
How often do you have a feeling you’d really like to do something for yourself, but for one reason or another you end up putting it off until it’s too late, or simply end up forgetting about it? The every day life takes over and busy circumstances push our own dreams, no matter how small, aside.
I believe we women are especially prone to put our own wishes last.
Is it so selfish to want to do or have something just because you like it? I don’t think so. We only live once and it’s good to be selfish sometimes to make life worth living. Do you agree?
Women put themselves last because there’s always more work to be done. Or we are so used to helping others that we can’t justify doing something just for ourselves.
Perhaps we feel we are not worthy unless we are always working, not worthy unless we make sacrifices.
I’ve also been very guilty of this. I used to think unless I work really hard and constantly tire myself out I’m a bit weak. I’d feel guilty taking a break during the week to go riding. I’d rush into the yard and get out as quickly as I could barely enjoying the experience. But then I realised that what’s the point of all of this if I can’t enjoy a selfish moment every now and again.
The only person who’s judging me anyway is myself!
So I’ve decided to collect life’s little pleasures, things I can do simply because I like them very much.
So here’s an example, don’t laugh! (Or go ahead then…)
When I’m in Miami Beach I like to paint my toe nails as often as possible. Oh yes, I choose to do this because I like it very much. I can have a different nail polish colour every day! It’s a little bit effort but I’ve noticed I get a lot of joy out of it. Possibly because it sounds so useless and vain. It serves no-one but me. Ha ha! So I’ve now given myself a permission to indulge in different nail polish colour every day, if I want to.
Another little selfish pleasure is making fresh juice every single day. This is a bit more useful and also serves the whole family. But it still requires time (15 mins) and effort. It would be so easy to drop this as mornings can be very busy, but I always make sure I have time for juicing. I simply get up early or drop other things if I have to.
What little or big pleasures you’d like to do more of? What are the ‘vain’ activities you keep dropping because they don’t sound worthy enough?
Remember, the only one who’s judging is you. If you find pleasure changing your toe nail polish once a day, then so be it!
So girls, let’s exercise some self-love and take action. Here’s what I want you to do, right now. Yes, right now or else life’s pleasures will get pushed to one side, yet again, by daily circumstances.
Step 1) List ten things you really like doing for yourself.
The more selfish they feel the better. Don’t self-sensor your list or be overly realistic. Try to think about things that make you genuinely happy you don’t do often enough.
Step 2) Then pick three things that you can realistically fit into your daily/weekly/yearly schedule.
It’s time to giive yourself a good, clean permission to be selfish, and do couple of things that really delight you.
Step 3) Write down the parameters.
Write down when, where and WHY you get to be selfish. For instance, I only indulge in changing my toe nail polish daily when I’m in Miami. In London I don’t make time for it and I would actually consider it a waste of time. In truth, it is a complete waste of time, but that doesn’t stop me from doing it in the Sunshine State!
Step 4) Make it a habit.
From now on, you always rent a cottage once a year, or you ensure you have 15 minutes for juicing every morning. Make it a habit to take out the decision making and increase your wellbeing and happiness!
At the end of the day, your selfishness is going to benefit everyone around you.
What are your three selfish pleasures? Please share in the comments, I’d love to hear them!