Self-improvement is the path I obsessively chased for the past four years. All of my energy, effort, and focus went into upgrading into a better version of myself. New and improved – “Me” 2.0
I succeeded in attaining a higher level, but I was still dissatisfied.
I was still depressed. I was still anxious. I was still wounded and hurting. I became better, but I wasn’t better.
The key ingredient I left out was self-care.
What is Self-care?
Merriam-Webster defines self-care as “care for oneself: self-treatment.”
Okay, so what does that mean?
Self-care requires we take care of the most important person in our lives: ourselves. It requires we learn what hurts us and how to recover. It requires we treat ourselves with love, respect, and patience. It requires we develop a positive, healthy, and fulfilling relationship with the person quietly watching us in the reflection.
What is not Self-care?
Although it also contains the word “self” self-care is not being selfish.
Merriam-Webster defines selfish as “concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself: seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others.”
The key difference between the definitions is how the self-directed behavior impacts others.
From the outside self-care looks selfish. You start redirecting your time, energy, and focus back on the self. Doing this grants you the ability fully contribute your remaining time, energy, and focus back on to others. In contrast, selfish actions happen “without regard for others.” Ironically, most people who are selfish do not practice self-care.
Last thought: Your life is nothing without you. Take care of yourself so you can take care of others – Barry