Selfish Is Noble.

Selfish Is Noble.

Being its January, a few of us might be considering that this is THE year we put ourselves first, you know, be a little selfish – versus the relentless drive to please all and sundry.

However, a sticking point. Our decision to proceed may be tempered with the underlying belief that putting ones self first will somehow negatively impact those around us whom we care about and that we will in effect be seen to be self centred.

That’s just not right.

Being Selfish with a capital S.

Small minded selfish with a small s is blowing a huff,  taking our ball in when we don’t like how the other kids are playing, being petty, belligerent, self absorbed (think Premier League Footballers…).

Being Selfish with the specific intent of being more true to ones self, able, useful and endearing for those around you is a whole other ball game:

Selfish. Honouring your Needs and Values. This I know to be true. When I compromise my Needs and Values to ‘put others first’ they eventually end up getting a second rate me because I’m unfulfilled, frustrated, resentful.  I found out the hard way that my need for independence cannot be wholly parked up because I am a parent and the kids take priority. Without an outlet for the expression of my Values I just turn into grumpy dad and mardy husband. My kids now encourage me to go to the gym or out with friends – because they can spot the signs of impending Values omission.  (If you want a snapshot of your Emotional Needs take this on line super quick quiz.  To figure out what your hard wired Values are get in touch and I’ll send you a straightforward assessment)

Selfish. Looking after #1’s health and well being. So you don’t prioritise you health and fitness because it intrudes on the companies time –  you are doing them a favour right? Unfortunately research and evidence does not substantiate this.  Employees make less mistakes and produce better work than when they healthy, fit and energised. (Interestingly, Studies have shown the benefits that occur when children walk or cycle to school regarding their concentration and problem solving abilities.)

Selfish. Doing Work that Plays to Your Strengths and Abilities.  Its all to easy to play the martyr, like we are doing our team some sort of big favour by doing work we have little talent for, or, is way down our list of abilities or pay grade.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t we want to be in a team of people consistently playing a top flight game because they are in the right position?

Selfish. Asking for what you want and gracefully  declining what you don’t. There is nothing selfish about asking for what you want. It makes it very clear to others what you care for, are passionate about and what irritates you. In others words you provide the intelligence to give them a real fighting chance of managing you much more effectively. Emotional smokescreens create confusion and anxiety.

No matter how hard we try to consistently play second fiddle, what we really want seeps out of our pores anyway. The irony being that Selfish with noble intent is Self less.



Paul Fox

Paul Fox has been active as a Construction Industry Performance Coach for the last 20 years and remains at the forefront of Collaborative Working and High Performance Team Behaviours. He disrupts the status quo of individuals, project and senior teams who want exponentially more output with much less struggle.

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