Love, Self

If You Have These 2 Common Habits, You May Not Love Yourself As Much As You Thought

Photo: getty
How To Love Yourself, Have Self Acceptance, & Practice Self-Care To Find Happiness

Learning how to love yourself, practice self-acceptance, and self-care can be difficult if you keep putting it off.

"If only" are two very dangerous words.

They're dangerous because they actually distract you from the real cause of your unhappiness.

RELATED: 20 Easy Ways To Be Good To Yourself Today

"If only" has you looking for answers outside yourself, forever trying to change how others behave in order to feel better about your own life.

You believe your relationships, work, and health could be better, if only this person acted a certain way, or if only there weren't so many obstacles in the way.

It turns you away from the one thing that can change how you feel about your life: Looking within to how you really feel about yourself.

In order to feel at peace and fully content with your life, you must first and foremost learn to love yourself.

But here's the tricky part:  Most people don't even realize they don't love themselves.

You think "if only" you could make a little more money, or could afford the things that would make you really happy ... like remodeling your kitchen, buying a better car, or booking a vacation to Hawaii.

If only you could get some cooperation around the house from your partner or kids, you could finally relax and do something nice for yourself instead of wearing yourself out keeping things tidy and functioning.

If only you didn't work such long hours or have such a long commute, you would have the energy to go to the gym and eat better and take better care of your health.

But the truth is none of those "if only's" will make you feel happy at all.

Even if you got everything you wanted, there would be something else that would eat away at your contentment because the "if only's" are only symptoms of the real problem.

So you need to get clear about the real problem and focus on a solution that will really work.

For most people, it's hard to know whether or not you truly love and accept yourself, or if you just think you do.

So what are the signs that you actually don't love yourself? There are many signs that point to a person not loving themselves. 

There are two in particular that are insidious because they lie beneath a chronic sense of discontent that can last decades — a lifetime, even.

Here are 2 major signs that you don't know how to love yourself and that it's keeping you unhappy:

RELATED: The Subtle-Yet-Obvious Reason You Don't Love Yourself — Yet

1. You run yourself ragged trying to be "everything" to everyone

Your boss sends you last minute requests and you always do them right away — even when it means missing dinner dates, time with your kids, or workouts with friends at the gym.

You offer to watch your neighbor's dog while he's on vacation, even though you barely have time to walk and play with your own dog. 

You say "yes" even when you don't have the time, energy or desire, because you don't want to disappoint the people that count on you.

You think your problem is that you're not organized enough, that you don't set good enough boundaries, or there's just not enough time in the day to do everything you want to do.

Actually the problem isn't that at all.

The problem is that you don't love yourself, so you're always trying to prove something to someone. 

That you're a good partner, a good parent, or a good employee.

Unless you learn to love yourself, you'll forever run yourself ragged and never feel accomplished.

2. You never feel like you're "enough"

No matter what you do for others, you don't feel like you're enough. You don't ever feel that people truly love or respect you.

Nothing you do is ever enough to make others (or yourself) satisfied for long.

If you're single, this shows up in that sinking feeling you get whenever your partner is acting distant, or your worry over whether or not they'll call you again.

They may have told you they had a nice time on the date, but you don't believe them.

You're convinced that other people have great relationships, but that you never will.  

If you're in a relationship, it could mean that you seethe with jealousy whenever your partner talks about another person or pays attention to anyone else.

You fear being abandoned and you worry about them breaking up with you.

You can't handle criticism and feel like your partner is constantly on your back about something.

At work, it means not feeling appreciated or respected for your contribution.

At home, it can be second-guessing how you treated your kids. Did you say the right thing? Is someone going to think you're a bad parent?

It could show up as never being happy with how you look or feel and therefore giving up on the habits that can really make a difference in your health.

You may think all these problems are the result of choosing the wrong partner or having an inconsiderate boss or out-of-control kids, but these are all symptoms of a greater problem — that you don't love yourself.

It can lead to strained or broken relationships, career setbacks, and a whole host of health issues.

Learning to love yourself is a simple process with a lifetime of rewards. 

You can solve a lot of the problems you're experiencing in life if you just learn to love yourself.

 You don't have to run yourself ragged anymore. You don't have to feel inadequate in any area of life or wonder if you'll ever be loved the way you deserve.

You just need to learn how to tap into who you really are, and then accept yourself fully.

RELATED: 6 Signs You Love Yourself Enough To Love Someone Else

When you subscribe to Katie and Gay's free relationship e-newsletter, Hearts In Harmony, you’ll learn all about how to truly, deeply love yourself so that all your relationships can be transformed. You'll no longer run yourself ragged trying to please everyone and never feeling like you're enough at the end of the day. 

This article was originally published at Hearts in True Harmony. Reprinted with permission from the author.