Is it Selfish?Apr 06, 2023
Is it selfish to focus on what you want out of your life?
Going after our goals, following our desires, and paying attention to the things we want can feel self-serving and sometimes we are suspicious of our own desires. What if what we want isn’t good? What if it takes time and energy away from the other priorities in your life?
On today’s podcast, I’m talking about how that fear can hold us back from living the fullest expression of our lives and what to do about it. I’m going to help you question how you think about selfishness, how you think about your desires, and how to reconcile pursuing the things you want with the impact that has on other people.
Is it selfish to do what you want?
Thinking about and honoring what you want in your life can feel dangerous when you don’t trust your own desires.
You might be worried that you’ll end up wanting the wrong things, and we’ve been conditioned to believe that doing what we want is selfish.
In fact, we’re so afraid of being selfish, that we don't even ask ourselves what we want at all.
Instead of paying attention to our desires, we just go about living our lives and doing all the things we think we're supposed to be doing.
Then, we end up feeling stuck and even a little bit resentful that our lives are not our own or don't look the way that we want them to. Many of our dreams remain unfulfilled.
Try for a moment to set down your resistance. Consider that maybe you have been wrong about what you want. What might your life be like if you let yourself listen to and create what you really want?
How to trust your desires
Here are a few ideas to help shift your perspective on your desires and the way you think about selfishness.
Impact is not the same as selfishness
I believe that we all came with God-given gifts.
But sometimes when we think about using, magnifying or growing those gifts, we get afraid that doing so is going to make things harder or inconvenient for the people in our lives.
We automatically assume that impact means selfishness. I don't think that's true.
The truth is none of us are going to be able to feel the measure of our creation and do the work that we all came to do without impacting the people around us.
Just because what you’ve chosen to do impacts other people, it does not make you selfish. It doesn’t mean that what you’re doing isn’t valuable and important.
Taking care of your own needs is never selfish
If you don’t fulfill your dreams and pursue your own desires, nobody else is going to do it for you.
Everybody, including you, is responsible for their own happiness and fulfillment, for their own goals and desires, for the outcomes of their own lives. And we need to stop waiting for other people to give us an invitation to do that.
All our desires come from God
Too often we are suspicious of our desires and our happiness.
I believe that deep down in my spirit, the things that I want are the same things that God wants. That there is an eternal part of me that came to grow and expand and that I am in partnership with God in that.
My brain won’t always agree with my spirit, but if I can tap into what my spirit wants and believe that those desires come from God, I can trust myself.
My desires push me toward the gifts and abilities He has given me to be a part of healing the world.
When we tap into our desires we do more good in the world
When we feel a nudge toward something we want to do, often all we have is the million reasons why we shouldn't, how we could fail and all the things that could go wrong.
But I think if you're brave enough to listen to your desires, to just take the first step and follow the breadcrumbs, you'll be amazed at how much good you can create.
If you don't know where to start, just start by listening to what you want.
God is the one who created you. God is the one who gave you your gifts and talents. God is the one who put your spirit into you and made you who you are. And when you exercise His gifts, you can feel his pleasure.
Trust yourself, follow your desires, believe that they are good and that they are from God. Using your life to pursue your desires and your gifts and your dreams is not selfish.
It is the reason you came.
- Four shifts to help you trust your desires
- One of the most healing things you can do for your relationships
- My story of starting my coaching journey with one simple desire
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