Making Yourself A Priority Is Selfish: Get Into It Already

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One of my all-time favorite movies is ‘Two Can Play That Game” starring Vivica A. Fox and Morris ‘Finest Brotha to Ever Live’ Chestnut. Truthfully, you couldn’t tell my barely pre-teen self that I wasn’t going to grow up to be the real life Shanté Smith.

Who wouldn’t want to be drop-dead gorgeous, have a boss ass career, and dress in the flyest designer clothing that you purchased yourself, because that’s what a self-made bish does? Exactly.

But aside from being ridiculously hilarious and 100% relatable, Vivica A. Fox as Shanté dropped some valuable life lessons that were about more than love and punishing your man after he decides the weather is just warm enough for him to act a damn fool.

Don’t judge me for using a fictional movie as my source of inspiration for this post. Just go with it. For those who haven’t seen ‘Two Can Play That Game,’ this may be a good time for us to break so you can catch up.

Oh, you finished the movie? Great! How’d you like it?

Remember the scene where Karen was hella excited Michael finally proposed to her?  I want you to tell me which one of her friends you resonated most with in that situation. Were you Diedre and Tracy? The friends who were way too eager to bask in Karen’s happiness? Or were you Shanté? Happy for your girl but not that excited to share in her news because you got your own shit going on. If you said Shanté, you’re like most us, whether we’d like to admit it or not.


“It’s not that I’m unhappy for her; it’s just that I’ve got problems of my own. And you can’t truly be happy for somebody until you get your stuff together.” – Shanté Smith

In this situation, I’m also Shanté. What she said in this scene has to be one of the most valuable life lessons I’ve learned from media. My ultimate goal in life is to be a resource to others in whatever capacity I’m needed. However, in order to live a life of service, I must first be of service to myself.

There are going to be times when I must prioritize myself, my interests, and my happiness. Sounds selfish, right? Uhh, hello! This blog is called #SelfishBabe.

I’ve come to realize that acting in my own best interests, when done with pureness of heart, IS A SELFISH act – it’s a way to ensure that I’m making the very best of my life, so that I can continuously help those around me make the very best of theirs.

Oftentimes we focus so much on aiding others that we tend to ignore our own needs. Now maybe this means our self-contentedness is so great we can afford to put our own needs on the back-burner to care deeply for others, but my guess is it isn’t. It’s simply another excuse we use to avoid self care.

Prioritizing yourself shouldn’t be restricted to times when you’ve hit a rough patch in life, gone through a breakup, or had a fight with someone you care about. Taking care of yourself should be a continuous practice.

So go ahead, be selfish AF.

Fuck everyone else’s opinions and resolve to making self-care a top priority. Whether you feel personally off-track or are looking to maintain the balance you’ve worked hard to find, here are some ways to make sure that you are prioritizing your wellbeing so that you can get back to being a beautiful ray of sunshine to others.

1. Give Yourself Permission: It’s ok to tell your friends and family that you need time for yourself. It’s ok to take a vacation from work. It’s ok to put yourself first. There is absolutely no need to feel guilty about taking better care of your needs and happiness. Giving yourself permission to put yourself first is only going to benefit you and those you love in the long run.

2. Avoid Stress by Saying Enough is Enough: We all lead busy lives and it can be very hard to stop and focus solely on ourselves when we are expected to kill it at a full time job, be a compassionate and caring partner, run a household, and be an active and positive member of the community all while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It. Is. Ok. To. Say. Enough. Acknowledging that you cannot and are not expected to be superwoman 24/7 is the perfect way to avoid stress and overcommitting yourself until you are ready to handle that responsibility.     

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3. Set Boundaries: Boundaries help define who we are by establishing clear lines for what we will and will not tolerate. It also helps to outline the things that are helpful and/or detrimental to our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. Defining personal boundaries is so important because it serves as an indicator for when things go of course. They are guidelines set by you to help direct rather than limit your personal growth.

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Sis, you are not wrong for putting yourself at the top of your to-do list. By making the commitment to prioritize and please yourself, you are automatically given the tools to bring joy not only to your life put into the life of others as well. Anyone who tries to make you feel bad about your “selfishness,” still has a way to go on their journey to self-betterment. Comment below with the #SelfishAF if you’re ready to start being selfish.

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Comment below with the #SelfishAF if you’re ready to start being selfish. Let me know your favorite part of the article below too.

This piece was written by SelfishBabe Ify.

Ify is a born and raised NYC native with big dreams and an even bigger taste for creative writing, self-development, and pure happiness. Clinical oncology researcher and (future) MD by day and an avid traveler, wine connoisseur, and blogger by night. She just one girl hoping to inspire conversations on all things controversial, raw, honest, and meaningful.

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