Ep. 6: Being Selfish to Avoid Burnout

Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | RSS

Many people are facing a hard realization right now: “If I don’t learn how to take care of myself, I will burn out.

It’s true. You cannot dedicate yourself to creating the life you want, contributing to and changing the world… and then ignore your own bodily, mental and spiritual needs. Because that’s what causes self-combustion. And then you’re not helping yourself, let alone anyone else.

In reality, it’s a balancing act – in order to show up for others in your fullest capacity, you must first learn to nourish yourself so that you CAN show up, and show up well. 

When people ask me how I do so much – my multiple graduate degrees, traveling for months out of the year, the business, the mommy daughter days…yoga, meditation, and all my other multipassions, I always tell them that a huge part of it is I know how to take care of myself and I prioritize it.

I know how to work hard and how to play hard and how to make sure my body and mind and spirit can deal with all the things I take on.

When I talk about my self care to people outside of the coaching industry (because most coaches already know how important this is), I often get, “Well isn’t all this self-care kind of …selfish? Isn’t it just all about you you you?”

Here’s the thing – being “selfish” is almost always considered something negative in this society. By definition, it means “to put one’s needs and desires before other people’s.” 

But, wait…could being ‘selfish’ in this way also produce positive results at times?

I invite you to search for the grain of truth in this. Because you have to know what you need to be able to operate in the world most effectively. You have to know yourself, how your mind works. Your strengths. How to keep the engine running.

From that place, you will have so much more to offer the world – and you’ll be able to take action from a much more skillful place.

Learning to give from a full cup 

When we learn to take care of ourselves, we can do something forever, because we aren’t sacrificing our energy for short-sighted thinking.

One of the things almost all my clients say is they want to give back to the world, to contribute THEIR gift. 

But that’s impossible to do if your well is empty. 

The fountain of giving is impossible to sustain when you’re constantly depleting yourself for other people at your own expense.

Of course, there is an actual version of being selfish – ONLY thinking about yourself and taking from other people at their expense and creating more freedom in your life at the expense of the freedom of others.

That’s selfishness.

Many of us have been taught that if we don’t put others first all the time, then we’re being selfish.

But as with most things, there’s a middle way.

And from that middle way, we can give way more than we can than trying to pour from an empty cup. 

When you have more to give, you show up for others more authentically – not out of obligation or resentment or self-sacrifice, but out of joy and love and energy.

Then giving is something that energizes you instead of something that depletes you.

Why are we so worried about people thinking we’re selfish? 

Because, on some level, we think there’s something wrong with us, there’s something bad about us and that we need to go prove something to the world, that we are worthy.

So many people right now are posting and commenting and writing about how much they care about anti-racism and Black Lives Matter with the intent to look good for other people – to get positive feedback from others. For the optics, their self-image. 

This comes from a place of insecurity and shows up in not taking care of ourselves as well – people-pleasing, trying to make them like us, lying and doing stuff we don’t want to do and being full of resentment…

But in truth, people can sniff that BS from a mile away.

It is so much more effective and genuine when you know you are worthy and loveable no matter what other people think.

I invite you to learn how to come from THAT place. 

How to take action out in the world based on your own self-respect and alignment with your values – not in an attempt to get it from someone else because you’re feeling so empty.

You have to learn the skill of giving and filling yourself up, so then you can go out in the world and give.

Can you see how this is the first step in being selfless

Even the Buddha discovered this – after a long time of physical deprivation, he realized he had to eat from a bowl of nourishment before he could attain enlightenment. This is when he discovered the Middle Way.

Now I’m not saying to wait to take action until you’ve got all your shit figured out. Because that’s a lifelong process. 

I’m saying to not wait to take care of yourself – because so many of us say, “I’ll do it when this problem is finally gone.”

But that’s not how it works.

So, here’s to being selfish first so you can become more selfLESS. 

Because we really, really need you to be in this for the long haul, and I know you want to contribute. To do the right thing. To make this world better than when you came.

Start with self care. Continue with self care. Do the work. Take action towards your dreams, your ideal life, towards social justice, towards anti-racism, towards the world and the life you want to create.

Never stop. Instead – rest.

And the next time someone says you’re being selfish, you can say, “Thanks! I’ve been working on it.”

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How to embrace + prioritize self-care to build stamina and avoid burnout
  • Why being “selfish” is seen as a derogatory term, and how to shift your thinking on this
  • How I came to understand that doing everything for everyone and nothing for yourself does not translate as love to everyone
  • Why we need to change the structure AND change from the inside-out to make a true societal shift
  • How to nourish yourself – practice saying ‘no’ when ‘yes’ is a lie
  • Tips on taking parts of your life back – how to withdraw your giving in a way that’s not at someone else’s expense
  • How to show up for yourself first, so that you can show up for others FULLY


// Grab my free training on how to create better boundaries and learn how to stop relying on other people to change in order to feel better, and how to turn around the surprising thing you’re doing in relationships that’s making them worse. Click the link to sign up and get access now: https://www.anaverzone.com/boundaries-training-ej/

// Check out The Nap Ministry’s Instagram page and learn how rest can be seen as a form of resistance: https://www.instagram.com/thenapministry/?hl=en

// Want to know how to build unshakeable confidence and resilience? Have a tribe that supports you? Learn about the Rebel Buddhist Manifesto? Grab the Rebel Buddhist Training Kit for a free resilience training, an active online community, and more at https://www.AnaVerzone.com/rebelbuddhist

// Ready to dive even deeper into all this? Check out Freedom School and see what everyone’s obsessed about. It’s not just group coaching. It’s a mindset revolution that you won’t want to miss.