It could save your life.
In my informal polls with friends, colleagues, and clients, the overall consensus is that "selfish" has a negative connotation. Essentially something that "shouldn't" be done. Otherwise, there are bad or guilty feelings, internal tension, or at minimum, additional stress. None of which are good for you.
One day I was inspired to look up the suffix, "-ish." Good news; "-ish" essentially means, "relating to."
So, let me get this straight. Somewhere along the way, relating to your self became a bad thing!?!
It doesn't make any sense. However, as you know, words have energetic power and if you are contracting against something that could actually save your life, it is time for a redefinition.
Is "save your life" a bit dramatic? Yes and no. It depends on your current perspective and corresponding actions. Do you cater to others, external obligations, or should's most of the time even though you are exhausted and depleted? Perhaps there is a simmering volcano of resentment mixed in there too? In this scenario, relating to your Self can save your life - quality for sure, potentially quantity as well.
The human being reality is that if you do not turn towards YOUR needs (and act on them), something is going to break down (body-mind-emotions-spirit-soul) and it will not be pretty.
A slightly less dramatic example: you - or someone you know - are so tired (a physiological reality being expressed from your body wisdom), want a break/day off/vacation (a very human need to rest), but don't want to let so-and-so down, so you keep going because you want to avoid the bad feelings that come from the warped definition of selfish and end up become more tired, cranky, etcetcetc. Not pretty.
(I am a recovering martyr. I know.)
It is time to up-level "selfish" into this current era, let your Self off the hook from the disempowering brainwashing, and redefine what this life-saving action really means.
"RELATING TO SELF" IDEAS:
What is a word, image, metaphor, or other mental placecard that you can insert when you feel the ugh of "selfish?" What will inspire, uplift, and support your birthright to take exquisite care of ALL of you?
If you have any hesitation whatsoever, listen to your body. It tells you the truth of your experience. No one else's, just yours. You get to listen, and respond.
The result? More of the best you to light up the world!
After all, this is what we are here for.