Is It Selfish or Self-Honoring?


I have been both.  I know the difference and therefore I am comfortable in my decisions and actions.  However, many of my clients feel they are being selfish when in fact they are simply honoring themselves.  But when honoring themselves the reaction they receive blurs the lines and they choose the easiest for everyone else – selfish – which manipulates them into loosing site of themselves.


Let me explain.


When in a job if you find yourself saying repeatedly things like:


It’s not fair

Everyone targets me

They need to change the rules (because I don’t like it/inconvenient for me…)

I didn’t do anything wrong, why is everyone punishing me

I don’t see why I need to change


It is a sign of selfishness.  Selfishness is when you feel everyone around you needs to change to conform to you and that you have no responsibility or accountability in the actions or results.


You want the world to change but do not feel you need to lift one finger or change a thing.


You, my friend, are being selfish; and no, no one needs to do anything for you.  Suck it up cupcake.


Self-honoring is when you say you are not going to accept certain things and you take deliberate actions to change the situation.


You do not want to be treated like a doormat at work so you start saying no (in a polite, firm and professional way).


You want to be seen for your abilities in order to reach that next level so you start asking for more responsibilities and to be included in more projects.


You feel your skill set is worth more or want to be in a company that respects you as an individual so you begin looking for another job.


These are not selfish because you are taking care of the most important person: you; and you are taking action to do so.


If you are at a perceived great job with outstanding pay but are unhappy you may decide to look for another job that fills a stronger need within yourself.  When you tell close friends or family they treat you as being selfish for wanting to give up so much money when other people don’t make near as much as you do.


Tune them out.  Money may be their motivator but it is not yours.  If you do not have the same motivations how can they possibly be in a position to advise you as to what is best for you?


I hear it a lot in relationships, too: it’s not great but it isn’t bad.


I ever want anyone to ever say that about me!  I would never settle for “not bad” – I want, deserve and want to give amazing.  That isn’t selfish – it is honoring who I am and what I want.  I’m not going to use someone in the mean time just so I am not alone.  Now that would be selfish.


Your reasons for looking for a new job or career are personal and individual.  No one has the right to tell you if you are right, wrong, selfish or a saint.  It is between you and your inner-self.  If you have a family to take care of those needs may come before your own, again, not selfish.


If you find yourself backing away from what you really want based on other people thinking you are selfish I just have one piece of advice for you: find new friends.  Ones that will love and support you for the decisions you make based on what is best for you and your family, not what they perceive to be right or wrong.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW


You Are Not Going To Please Everyone

Alone in a CrowdJust get that through your head right now.  No matter if you are job searching, building a business or just  living every day life: you are not going to please everyone.  Ever.

Don’t even try.

Just let it go.

Once you complete embrace that thought then you can focus on the matter at hand.

What is going to make you happy?

What a trite little sentence – huh?  When someone asks me this I have to fight the overwhelming urge to reply with something sarcastic like, “rainbows and butterflies and sunshine”.  It is a hard battle but I normally win.

I used to think that making it all about me made me selfish.  After all, I am a mother, a daughter, an aunt, a friend and so on – it is my job and duty to think about everyone else and make sure they are happy, safe and secure.

On the list of priorities my son and family were at the top and I fell somewhere near the bottom after the dogs.  Somehow it gets ingrained in us that we are low on the list.  This is especially true for mothers.  Once we give birth that “last on the list” instinct kicks in.

But then I realized, if I am miserable than how can I best serve anyone else?  How can I tell my son to do what makes him happy if I am not leading by example?  How can I encourage my friends to go after their dreams if I do not do the same?  Isn’t is just some big repeating example of “pot kettle black”?

Yes, it certainly is.

So I stopped.  I stopped the world and locked myself away and had a long, hard look at where I was, who I was and what I was doing.  Was what I was saying really match up to what I was doing?  No.  Was I living true to myself, in making myself happy?  No.  I vowed that it was time to change.

Then I became afraid.

What if I alienate someone by putting myself as a priority?  What if I hurt someone’s feelings?  What if they think I am selfish or I miss out on helping them because I am being selfish?

Those are called reactions and those are things that are out of your control.  The bottom line is by being happy as a person individually you bring more value to those you love.  You are allowing for all the positives in your life to start with you and this allows you to serve as a megaphone for others.  You increase the good for everyone else to allow them to see and feel that positive in you and be able to bring it into their own world.

If someone alienates you then perhaps they were more concerned with their own welfare and not yours.  If you hurt their feelings because you are trying to be happy then how did they see you in the first place?  Being selfish – damn straight, but in a positive way; and when you are happier you will be able to help them even more.

Your family and friends may not approve of the job that you are going after or the business that you are running; but if it makes you happy than isn’t that what they should really want for you?  Isn’t that what you want for them?  So why shouldn’t you want the same for yourself?

You may loose contacts, associates, friends or family in putting yourself and your happiness first.  You are not going to please everyone.  But remember, it is the quality that counts, not the quantity.

Start today, do one small thing today just for you that makes you happy.  Treat yourself to a foo-foo coffee, or a new book or a new toy.  Say no to a request for your time and give yourself that time uninterrupted.

Just do one small gesture just for you.  You will probably feel lighter, happier, more relaxed and a little bit of peace; which is a much different feeling than when you are trying to please everyone.

What small gesture will you do for yourself today?



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW