A Case For Being Self-Centered
Raise your hand if you worry about or have been taught to avoid being self-centered or selfish or if you expend so much energy being self effacing in trying be humble.
In my practice, I find that many of the women I coach have been trained to put everyone and everything else before themselves. Our children, our spouses, our clients, our families, our friends, and then we’ll serve ourselves from what we have left over. We are taught that it is virtuous to give others our last dime, the clothes off our back, every moment of our time and attention. I’m curious, though. If this is our way of life, where exactly are we giving from? We know the example of putting on your own oxygen mask before helping others in case of an emergency on a plane. It makes sense, right? If you ain’t breathin’, how are you gonna help anyone else breathe? But there are some of us moms out here who even feel a twinge of disease with that idea as well. So I ask again, where are we giving from?
I am here to make a case for being self-centered. Now, I looked up the dictionary’s definition and I didn’t like it so we won’t use that one (LOL!). Let’s just take each word separately: Self being defined as a person's essential being that distinguishes them from others and placing that in the center or as the focal point. What if we were to each take our essential being and place that at the center, as the focal point from where we operate? Remember how I asked you to check in with 5 people and ask them how they see you, beyond your defenses? What did they say? What do you say? Who are you at your essence? Now imagine that you were to center all of your actions, all of your choices in alignment with that essence.
I identify my essential being as a combination of Wisdom, Joy, Radiance, Power, and Grace. You can imagine what can come of centering all of my action in alignment with that combination of being! That woman shows up in the world and people are empowered, lives are changed, mountains are moved! This has been my experience of life in my family and career and overall human interactions when I’m aligned. However, I find more often than I like that I am not aligned with this essential me. I’m entertaining stories of fear, lack, pragmatism and limitation. I’m remembering how it went before or having a hard time figuring out the how. I drift from my center and find myself centering other things and other people in a way that is unsustainable. I’m practicing, however. I am practicing centering my essential being through practicing self-love, self-trust, and self-worth. When I am practiced and full of love for and from self, it becomes and overflowing fountain that is infinitely refilled and can be generously distributed. When I practice filling myself with self-trust, my sense of confidence becomes grounded and I find myself more capable of extending that trust to others and a way that draws it from them. When I practice filling my self-worth, I establish a knowing of my value that becomes so unquestionable that others know it too, without arguing or haggling. It is simply known and, from there, we can determine if you can afford me.
When we center from things outside of ourselves, we are reliant upon things and people to fill us in a way that is often inconsistent, unreliable, and insufficient. I truly believe we were never intended to get our wholeness from without. I believe that we are whole and complete. It is from our wholeness that we join together and abound. So, center your beliefs and actions from your essential being! Celebrate the fabulous creation that is you. Your playing small, suppressing or denying yourself robs the world of all that you are hiding. Lean into the magic that is you and you will find that you have more to give. Roses and peacocks ain’t out here downplaying their beauty and what a blessing they are and, as a remarkable and wonderfully made being, neither should you.
Photo by Marsha N. Wilson Photography
Founder and Head Coach of From The Core Coaching, Jayme Alilaw believes that empowered women can transform the world. As an Army Veteran, entrepreneur, educator, and performing artist, Jayme finds that her varied passions uniquely position her to think big and see possibility everywhere! With her degrees in Vocal Performance and 15 years experience as an opera singer and vocal coach, a unifying theme in her practice is empowerment accessed by honoring the inner voice, emboldening the speaking voice, and freeing the singing voice!