In this post I will talk about the importance of being a little selfish at times and how important it can be.
A number of my clients would be more than happy to tell you that I am sometimes a little odd in the way I tell stories to help illustrate an idea and this is a good example of that. Being told by your counsellor to “be more duck” ranks as just a little odd so let me share with you the story I tell my clients occasionally.
This story is used when I am working with someone who continually puts others first or who cannot take even a short bit of time to relax and recharge for themselves. Maybe someone who cannot vocalise things they want, such as a hobby or a change of career, or maybe someone who finds all their self-worth comes from helping others.
My personal story:
I am about 14 or 15 years old, I have recently cycled about 200 miles so that I can spend the summer holidays with my Nan in Ireland. I am sat one day on the River Shannon, in a town called Athlone, that I have long fell in love with. It’s a sunny day and it is rather quiet, even though it is only a few steps from the new shopping centre recently built in the town. I am watching a mother duck with her group of little ducklings when I became aware that someone with a young child has come along and they are now standing to the side of me getting ready to feed the ducks some bread. It’s not long at all before clever mummy duck has rushed over to make the most of the situation. I sat watching, smiling at the lovely scene, when I noted that the mother duck appeared to be tracking who had eaten bread and who had not, some of her little ducks were getting a lot of food and some none, she was watching the bread land and trying to control who got the bread by getting in the way of some ducklings and other times she was pushing others ahead to ensure that all of her brood were well fed (what a clever little mum duck).
For every 5/6 pieces of bread thrown, mummy duck would rush for it at any cost even if this meant pushing some of the younger ducklings out the way. To my side, I heard the kid say that mummy duck was mean for pushing the ducklings. In that moment it occurred to me “If mummy duck does not feed herself, who will do it for her and who will protect the ducklings after she starves?”. There is great importance in looking after your own needs as well as others, If a single parent sacrifices everything for their kids by not taking personal time or time to rest and recover, then how good a job can they do when they have not filled their fuel tank lately. “You can not drive on empty for very long”.
How about that one employee who tries to do all the jobs and then gets burnt out?
How about the teacher taking on too many of her student’s responsibilities?
How about that one friend who feels they need to buy everything?
Learning to take time to re-change and look after some of your own needs means that you can come back stronger and help even more, so be a little selfish and be more duck…
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