Most people, if asked, would probably say that they love themselves. But when you start to look at how they treat themselves, a different answer begins to emerge. It’s easy to get caught up in the pressure to look, be and act a certain way; so easy in fact that we may act more lovingly towards others than we do to ourselves. I’m talking about societal, religious, family or peer group beliefs or pressure to behave a certain way, do a certain job or make yourself believe you should “be” in the world that might not align with who you really are.
The more time you spend trying to conform to everyone else’s expectations, the more lost and less loving towards yourself you may become.
Here are 7 things you won’t do if you really love yourself – how do you stack up?
1. You won’t over commit.
People who love themselves know how to say no to a lot of things so they can say yes to the things that are really important to them. While people may try to guilt or pressure you into a yes from time to time, setting boundaries with time and energy is a great sign of self-love.
2. You won’t be afraid to ask for help.
You know how to put down your cape. You know you don’t have to be all things to all people and you don’t have to do everything yourself. You love yourself enough to know when you need help or when you will be honoring and helping another by letting them get involved.
3. You won’t rely on others to make you happy.
Happiness is an inside job. If you wait for the perfect job, the perfect friend, a romantic outing planned by someone else – you may find yourself waiting to be happy. If you really love yourself, you will know what makes you happy and have things to turn to when other things are going as planned. I have a “Happy List” – a written list of things I like to do, from reading to going for a walk to my dream vacation. When I’m feeling less than happy, I grab my list and do something from the list. It’s up to ME to bring as much happiness into my life as possible, I can’t put that on someone else.
4. You won’t compare yourself to others.
They say “comparison is the thief of joy” and I couldn’t agree more. Comparing your life, your job, your success to someone else is a recipe for disaster. Because you really love yourself, you know that what you see on social media is the edited, often glamorous version of someone’s life. You don’t have all the information and know that it’s best to focus on yourself and stop the comparison game.
5. You won’t second guess your decisions.
While some people can make decisions quickly and others deliberate a long time, people who love themselves don’t second guess the decisions they make that can’t be undone. If you chose to go skiing and wish you were on a sandy beach, you know that second guessing the choice will just make you feel bad about yourself. You learn from decisions and might make different ones the next time, but you don’t spend time and energy second guessing yourself.
6. You won’t feel guilty for taking “me time”.
When you fly, they always remind you that “in the case of an emergency, put the oxygen mask on yourself before helping others.” People who love themselves realize that that applies to everyday life as well. Taking some “me time” to do things you enjoy and that renew you isn’t selfish, it’s vital. You know that you are at your best when self-care is a priority.
7. You won’t beat yourself up for making a mistake.
You forgive yourself, just as you forgive others, for making mistakes. Many people put so much pressure on themselves to be perfect and then beat themselves up when they aren’t – not you! Because you love yourself, you know that you are human and that you can learn from your mistakes. You find the silver lining or the lesson and move on, forgiving yourself and focusing on the future instead of beating yourself up for something that happened in the past.
Because you love yourself, you also know that you will actually do some of these things from time to time – and you will remember #7 and not beat yourself up. The best form of self love is self-awareness, seeing when you are being unloving towards yourself and changing course. Loving yourself doesn’t mean you are perfect, it means you take care of yourself, are kind to yourself and show up in the world as best way you can every day.