There is a fundamental difference between wireless and wired networks, since the latter employ point-to-point communication while the former use broadcast transmission as the communication primitive. In this paper, we describe an algorithm, called self-selection, which takes advantage of broadcast communication to efficiently implement the basic operation of selecting a node possessing some desired properties among all the neighbors of the requestor. Self-selection employs a prioritized transmission back-off delay scheme in which each node's delay of transmitting a signal is dependent on the probability of the node's ability to best perform a pertinent task, and in turn, enables the node to autonomously select itself for the task. We demonstrate the benefits of self-selection in two basic wireless ad hoc network communication algorithms: flooding and routing. By relating back-off delay to the signal strength of a received packet, we design an efficient variant of conventional flooding called Signal Strength Aware Flooding. By using distance-to-destination to derive back-off delay, we design a novel and fault-tolerant wireless ad hoc network routing protocol named Self-Selective Routing.