The last couple weeks have been a tilt a whirl of emotion for me as my ex boyfriend and I tried to iron out what was going to happen with us. As you know from my previous post, When You Love Someone, Now I Get It, you know that it is just not going to work out at this moment. I have spent a lot of time thinking lately about my emotions and why this didn’t work. What I realized is that I haven’t been doing things for me and what make me happy and I discovered that its ok to be selfish. Being selfish means that you are taking care of your own needs when you aren’t getting them somewhere else. In business we sometimes use The Bucket Analogy to explain how important positive feedback is but I am going to use it here to explain the importance of being selfish and how it relates to our individual happiness. I have provided a visual for reference but here is how it goes:
We all have our own buckets and some are larger than others while some of course are smaller. This helps us recognize that each of us has a different volume needed to fill up our buckets and in this case to achieve our optimal happiness. So as we do things that make us happy we provide volume to the bucket and it begins to fill. However when major emotional challenges occur a ladle comes and takes a big ole scoop out of our bucket reducing the volume. Of course this scoop takes more out than any one happy event provides as negative event out way our positive ones (there is science behind this). However the other challenge is that the bucket has a design flaw and so there is a slow leak that happens that gradually decrease our total volume. This represents our everyday stress that occurs. Thus if we have a slow leak of everyday stress plus a ladle coming in from time to time to take scoops of our volume we begin to recognize how important it is to increase our volume with things that make us happy.
Thinking about the bucket analogy this way helped me to discover that there are times that you need to be selfish and do something for you just because it makes you happy and increases that volume. There are obviously times in your life where you can practice this more than others and one of those times I’ve realized is when you are single. To be honest it is even more important when you’re single to practice this approach because you don’t have someone else there to also contribute to your volume.
I would encourage you to take sometime to self reflect on how full is your bucket, whats contributing to the reduction in volume and are you providing yourself with some selfish behavior to increase it’s volume so you can be happier and healthier for yourself and those around you.