I talk a lot about the obvious ways you can be unkind to yourself – how you talk to yourself (try speaking kindly), saying yes to everyone but yourself (learn to set boundaries), denying yourself rest (stop romanticizing busy), etc.
Those are big and important and so common in all of us, but what about the less common ways unkindness shows up? Those sneaky ways can be pretty hard to notice, but super powerful when you do.
The top 5 sneakiest ways we’re unkind to ourselves are:
1) Staying up too late.
GUILTY! Especially when I’ve found a great new show and I want to watch ‘just one more’ episode. Every once in a while, this is a great way to be indulgent and shake things up. I’m talking about a pattern of staying up later than you know is good for you and feeling slow, sluggish and generally miserable as a result. Notice when fun indulgences like a good binge watch session become unkind to you.
2) Pretending everything is OK when it’s not/you’re not.
I want to clarify this one. I’m talking about pretending everything is OK even with your inner circle people. Nobody is recommending getting super vulnerable with random coworkers, but if something’s up and your closest people ask you and you say everything is fine, it has an impact. Letting yourself be supported is one of the most vulnerable things you can do. It’s super scary and totally worth it.
3) Always letting others decide things when you have a clear opinion.
This can be as small as dinner plans, where to eat, what movie to see – anything. Sometimes it’s great to have others make the decision for you; but if you notice yourself consistently deferring to them when you really do want to see a certain movie or have dinner at a certain place or time, notice that and practice sharing your desires the next time you’re making plans.
4) Choosing convenience over what’s best for you.
We aaaaaalllllll do this one. It’s been a big one for me lately so perhaps it’s sneaking up on you, too. I don’t love going to the grocery store and my schedule has me often going from place to place throughout the day. That combo results in a lot of less-than-stellar meals, letting myself get a too hungry headache and spending too much money on bottled water. My practice going forward? Thinking about what my future self would thank me for when I don’t want to go to the grocery store. Setting myself up for the week is always the kindest choice even though it feels less than convenient in the moment.
5) Turning away from your truth/intuition/inner guide.
Do you dismiss gut instincts or logic your way out of them? It’s tough to tune into your intuition; but once that connection is made it’s still tempting to disregard that inner truth. Consider listening to it the next time it shows up and build the muscle of trusting yourself.
No one is perfect or does all of these things 100% of the time. That’s never the goal. The goal is awareness; because once you cultivate your own awareness you reclaim your power and get to make kinder decisions for yourself – decisions that are informed instead of ones that are made on auto-pilot.