It’s one thing to say you love yourself, but following through by putting it into action is a much harder task. If you identify with any of these 10 things, you should reevaluate your perception of your own self-care. You might not love yourself as much as you think you do.
You’re always exhausted. Exhaustion is a sign that you’re not fully tuned in to your own needs. And while being busy might be a sign of a full and exciting life, it shouldn’t take precedence over rest. Sometimes you need to just take it slow and give yourself time to recharge. Chronic exhaustion shows you’re not listening to your body as carefully as you think you are. Give yourself some time to slow down and you’ll really learn what it means to love yourself.
Your first reaction when seeing yourself in the mirror is negative. No one’s self-image can be perfect all the time, but you shouldn’t feel like you’re bracing yourself for war every time you approach a mirror. It’s so easy to notice the perceived flaws in yourself before anything else, but having a truly loving relationship with yourself starts with accepting the flaws for what they are and loving them nonetheless.
You settle for mediocre partners. Nothing says “I don’t actually love myself as much as I think I do” like dating someone who isn’t good enough for you. This is obvious when you’re with someone who treats you poorly, but it’s also true when you’re with someone who is perfectly nice and loving, but who doesn’t set your heart on fire or inspire you. Choosing someone who excites and challenges you shows that you love yourself enough to be with someone who helps you grow and become the best version of yourself, rather than someone who helps you stick to the status quo out of fear of change.
You have a hard time saying no to things. Saying no is a sign of strength and self-respect. It means you don’t put everyone else’s happiness before your own, and that you understand the necessity of feeling content within yourself rather than finding your self-worth in the perception other people have of you. It shows that you’re not afraid to make other people upset sometimes if it means staying true to yourself. Staying strong within yourself regardless of what other people want from you is one of the clearest indications of self-love.
You suffer from impostor syndrome. No matter how many face masks you do or green smoothies you drink, you will never truly master the art of self-care if you’re moving through your life feeling like a fraud. The truth is that very few people, even the ones with the most power who seem the most confident, actually feel qualified for whatever it is they’re doing. If you don’t feel like you belong where you are, you just have to fake it until you finally start to believe it. Wherever you are, you’ve earned your right to be there.
You can’t stand criticism. It never feels good to be criticized, but being able to receive difficult but constructive feedback is essential to accepting yourself in all your imperfections. If you get really defensive and emotional whenever someone says anything even slightly negative about you, especially when they’re just trying to be helpful, it’s a sign that you can’t handle the idea of not being perfect. No one is perfect, and you will never truly love yourself until you can love your flaws along with your strengths.
You talk about self-care but never actually get around to practicing it. Self-care has become such a hot topic that everyone has something to say about it, but unless you can identify tangible things you do to consistently take care of your mental and physical well-being, no amount of talking will make your claims true.
You avoid confrontation. Arguing is uncomfortable and the consequences can be painful, but avoiding conflict at all cost is not a sign that you have your best interests at heart. In fact, the more you avoid arguments, the more damage you’re doing to yourself in the long run. Confrontation is difficult and unpleasant, but it is often the only way to stick up for yourself and make sure your opinions aren’t disregarded.
You try to make everyone else happy. Let me tell you a secret: you cannot make everyone else happy one hundred percent of the time, and if you think you can, you’re just going to make yourself miserable. Put your own happiness first, do your best to help others find their own, and understand that in the end, only they are responsible for their own happiness.
You avoid being single. Being free of relationship commitments is one of the best ways to get really comfortable with yourself. People who jump from relationship to relationship are less likely to know themselves on a deep level and run the risk of placing all their self-worth in someone else’s hands. No matter how much you think you love yourself, if you need someone else to love you in order for you to feel it too, you aren’t as proficient in self-love as you’ve been telling yourself.