Is self-care selfish?

Many women have it all wrong.  We’ve been taught to believe that self-care is selfish.  We prioritize everyone else’s needs above our own (clients, direct-reports, family, and friends) and then wonder why our results are less than we’d hoped for.

Sound familiar?

The truth is that we can’t help others if we aren’t taken care of first.

Self-Care is not selfish


Remember how the flight attendant advises you to put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others?  It’s the same idea.

It also reminds me of a childhood story, Aesop’s Fable, The Golden Goose with the Golden Eggs.

Here’s the synopsis: A poor farmer acquires a magical goose that lays a golden egg everyday.  Over time, the farmer becomes rich thanks to this amazing creature, but he also grows greedy.  Eventually, in an attempt to get all of her golden eggs at once, he slays the goose – thereby extinguishing his only source of wealth.

Farmer and the goose

As adults, we can identify with both the farmer and goose. In fact, we are both characters at the same time!  We are the farmer (seeking wealth) and the goose (a talented creature & source of abundance).  A modern interpretation is when we neglect our own care – we injure our ability to serve others.  

But when we nurture ourselves, it sustains our efforts and elevates our ability to serve others.

So if you’re disappointed with your results – be those in your career, your relationships or your bank account – could it be that you’ve been neglecting your Golden Goose by…

  • Working long hours and becoming less effective?
  • Caring for others while depleting your health?
  • Growing your career (or biz) without adequate support?
  • Ignoring your truth and eroding your confidence?
  • Wasting your talents and growing resentful?

If so, be kind to yourself this (and every) week.  Prioritize your own care and watch your creativity, productivity and confidence grow.

Heather Petherick is a master success coach for high potential business leaders, having established her private coaching practice in 2007. Since then, she’s coached hundreds of emerging leaders and entrepreneurs from around the globe to overcome the mindset traps that keep them playing small so that they can realize their potential and create the impact they’re meant for. Her areas of speciality are: • Mindset • Confidence • Communication • Speed of Implementation Her clients include corporate rising stars at WestJet, Agrium, Suncor Energy, Manulife Bank, TD, Royal Bank of Canada, KMPG and PepsiCo International as well as big-thinking entrepreneurs from around the world. She has been featured as a career and success expert with Women Engineering The Future, The Royal Bank of Canada, Canadian Living Magazine and Chatelaine magazine. Heather’s journey from growing up on a humble sheep farm on the prairies of western Canada to building a global coaching business have lent to her signature coaching style that combines both wit and humility, style and business savvy. She holds a Master’s degree in Management and lives in Lethbridge, Alberta with her husband and two children.

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