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The Art of Being Selfish

“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.”

Maya Angelou was right when she said this: you are enough. It’s a fairly simple concept, but when you find yourself (or more accurately lose yourself) trying to find validation, confidence, or happiness in others, it becomes harder to wrap your head around the idea. This is one of the many reasons it’s critical to be a little more selfish. I don’t mean always putting your self-interests before others. Really, it’s about emphasizing the importance of self-care because placing the focus on yourself, just a little more, gives you the rare opportunity to find happiness from within.

Selfishness allows you to create opportunities. By focusing on who you are as an individual you’ll be able to discover things such as what you love to do, what you’re good at, interests you’ve never pursued, and other overlooked aspects of who you are. These things are fundamental to who we are and man, does it feel good when you discover it. Taking the time to determine my interests instead of focusing on what others wanted from me allowed me to realize my love for writing, traveling and new experiences. Interestingly enough, this led me to join Her Campus Montclair my sophomore year. I wanted an excuse to pursue all of these and it’s been one of the best choices I’ve ever made.

Selfishness also allows you to build yourself up. If you constantly look to others for validation you’ll always end up disappointed. Trust me, you deserve much better. If instead you take a minute to look for it within, you’ll be able to find a satisfaction far greater than anything someone else can provide. Building yourself up through doing this will allow you to reach a higher level of self-confidence. In reality, it’s only your opinion that matters anyway. You are not responsible for anyone else’s emotions or beliefs, except your own, so don’t waste your time fighting for it.

Likewise, being selfish with your own emotions and time will grant you a greater satisfaction in the long run. I don’t mean falling into the dynamic of constantly being the “taker” in a relationship, but realize that you need to remember your own emotions too. Many times people will fall victim to always wanting to make others happy as well as doing and saying what you know they want to hear. In doing this for so long I forgot who I was. The very question “tell me about yourself” absolutely terrified me because I didn’t know. I knew what my family and friends thought of me, but I didn’t know what I thought. I couldn’t comprehend who I was because I was so lost in seeking approval from others that in the midst of it, I’d forgotten. I guess this is why I chose to write this piece anyway. To finally have it written down somewhere why I’ve felt so lost and distant and to hopefully come to the conclusion that all I needed to do was focus on myself a little more to find the answer.

My name is Sabrina Araullo and I love writing, traveling, photography, good food, and that feeling you get when you’re finally done with an article.

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Public relations major, writer for Her Campus, and social stylist for the Gap. Also an avid lover of corny humor and a good cup of coffee. 
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