“No one can make you feel inferior, without your consent.”
The personal view that you have of yourself is referred to as your self-image. So, what do you see when you look in the mirror every morning?
A vibrant person who looks great and is ready to step confidently into the outside world?
Or do you see insecurity reflected back at you with wrinkles and eye bags?
Whatever it is that you see, it is your self-image. It is a personal view that you have of yourself. More than just a reflection in the mirror, your self-image is your perception of who you are.
You can also call it a self-concept because it is your concept of who you are. This concept you hold of yourself is critical to your emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being.
And it has a significant impact on your life because it affects your self-esteem, confidence, and everyday outlook.
With a positive self-image, you’ll have a positive attitude toward yourself in terms of your thoughts, behaviors, feelings, and talents.
A person with a poor self-image will experience low self-esteem, lack of confidence, be unsure of themselves, and self-doubt.
At an early age, your self-image takes shape through events in your life and your personal relationships. Those with whom you have a close or frequent relationship are the early influencers in your life. These are your family members, instructors, friends, and peers.
At this stage, relationships are quite critical in determining how you perceive yourself.
The quality of your relationships with these groups of people influences the quality of your self-image. There’s a good chance you’ll come across as someone with a positive image if you have positive and inspiring relationships.
On the other hand, toxic and destructive relationships might result in a negative self-image.
So, before you can build a strong positive self-image, let’s explore further how this self-image of yours took shape.
Whether you have a positive or negative self-image, it’s comforting to know that it’s all a result of your learning.
Thus, your self-image is formed based on your interpretation of self through your experiences and interactions over time. Which means, if you have been carrying a negative self-image around, you can unlearn it and transform your life.
To sum it up, your self-image is a combination of 3 factors:
Your self-image dictates what you will or will not achieve in your life. It plays a pivotal role in your level of confidence, self-worth, and emotional well-being.
Having a positive self-image means you recognize your strengths and weaknesses. And you know how to use them to strive towards personal growth and success.
Your self-image functions similarly to an airplane’s cybernetic mechanism. It navigates your life according to the parameters it has set. A pilot programs a flight plan into a computer system in the same way.
If your self-image limits your earning potential to $5000 per month, that is all you can earn in a month. Until you tweak your self-image, you will probably be stuck at that level of income.
If you have an overweight self-image, you must first address it before embarking on a weight-loss program. You can go on a weight loss regimen by dieting, hitting the gym, and popping supplements.
But your weight loss will be temporary, and the whole thing will be for nothing. Because your self-image determines what is possible and not possible in your life.
I believe this question is redundant after what has been said above, but I still want to address it. When you develop a strong and stable positive self-image, you will reap the following life-changing benefits:
Your route to success will become clear when you can see yourself in a positive light. Because you know who you are and what you want out of life. There are no challenges too big for you.
Hence, it gives you the focus and determination to steer yourself to the promised land.
A positive self-image means you are confident in your abilities and hopeful about the life choices you have chosen. Taking personal responsibility for your life and living with the consequences of your decisions takes a lot of courage.
When you have a favorable self-image, it seems natural to act in this manner.
We can be our own worst enemies and will sometimes engage in self-sabotaging behavior.
A strong self-image will be like a gatekeeper to keep toxic and self-sabotaging thoughts out of your life.
Your self-image will also keep you guarded against toxic people and those who will try to bully and put you down at the first sign of weakness.
In fact, you won’t be needing them at all. You don’t need to be with anyone else to feel whole when you believe in your own intrinsic worth. You can stand on your own.
Seeking validation is the root of insecurity. With a strong self-image, you are able to practice self-validation, where you are able to empower yourself.
Winston Churchill once said:
“Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.”
When you can do this, it’s a sign that you’ve developed a strong positive self-image. You understand that failure is merely a learning opportunity. Just believe that you have the ability to overcome it.
You now have a better understanding of your self-image and how it affects your life. It’s time to look at changing your self-image from negative to positive.
Have you thought about how you can make the change? And how to unlearn the perceptions that have been doing you more harm than good? Here are 7 practical ways to build (or rebuild) your self-image:
How often have you taken the time to be introspective? As Carl Jung puts it, “your vision will become clear ONLY when you can look into your own heart.”
Self-examination can get a little uncomfortable because it is not easy being brutally honest with yourself.
How can you tell if you’ve taken the first step toward a better self-image? The indicator is when you are able to look yourself in the eyes and admit your flaws, faults, and limitations.
You can be your own worst enemy. Especially when you are being too hard on yourself.
Do you frequently beat yourself up and the voice inside starts to sound like an overbearing parent? If you do, that is just your inner critic talking. Just ask it to shut up.
How can you know if they’re toxic inner voices that make you feel bad about yourself? These are thoughts that you are unworthy and that there is something fundamentally wrong with you.
Examine your thoughts because what you think has a huge impact on the way you live your life. If your thoughts are predominantly negative, it’s a sign that you need to change your life’s narrative.
Because the story you tell yourself affects everything you do. When you change that story, your self-image, your approach to life, and the end result that you desire change. And ultimately, you will experience a positive change in your life.
Holding on to emotional baggage like guilt, stress, anxiety, regret, and unpleasant memories will lead to a negative self-image. These are the negative emotions from your past experiences, and they are still residing in your unconscious mind.
One way to release these emotions is by practicing acceptance. “Confront” these emotions and make peace with them. Acknowledge that they were there for a reason in the past and that they have served that purpose. Tell yourself that you are now ready to release them.
Once released, you are allowing positive change and transformation to happen.
Just like releasing emotional baggage, forgiving yourself allows you to put your past behind you. It is also about accepting yourself for the mistakes that you have made in the past.
This will be a big boost to your self-image. Forgiveness helps you to move into the future without dwelling on past events that you can no longer change.
Albert Einstein once said:
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
As per the quote, you’ve got to recognize your unique gifts instead of nitpicking at your flaws.
Identify and recognize what you are good at and what makes you unique. Focusing on your strength will boost your self-image. If you find that this is tough to achieve, get a trusted and reliable friend or confidant to help you out.
You can develop a positive self-image in a safe, natural, and holistic way using hypnosis. In a calm and deeply relaxed state, you can re-program your unconscious mind to create positive feelings, attitudes, and beliefs.
Through hypnosis, your negative thought processes, limiting beliefs and self-doubt can be replaced by positive suggestions. This is because when you are in a state of deep relaxation, these suggestions go directly into your subconscious.
Here is a hypnotic script you can try on your own. Choose a quiet, peaceful and secure place where you can enjoy this relaxation exercise undisturbed for the next 5 minutes.
Once you are comfortably seated on a couch with your eyes closed, you are ready to begin.
With your eyes closed…take a deep breath…and with each breath you feel more and more relaxed…and you feel a calm…soothing feeling surrounding you…and you realize just how powerful you are right now…even though as a child…you have felt unattractive, unintelligent and not likeable…
But that was just a result of your perception you have picked up from your environment as a child…and now you are ready to free yourself…from all the negative conditioning you have received…you can now begin to let go…of all these negative suggestions…that have formed your self-image in the past…it was just merely your reactions to the events and people around you at that time….now…as you let go of these beliefs…
You become more and more confident of yourself…and you will now…allow yourself to be the person you have always wanted to be…now imagine yourself in front of a mirror…and notice in the reflection how amazing that person is…notice how attractive and powerful you are…with each breath…
As you notice yourself in the mirror…you will notice your attractiveness, how smart you are and how intelligent you are…you are confident in yourself and the things you do…you are confident in the way you look, the way you dress…and the way you act…
As you continue to look at the reflection in the mirror…you see that you are full of positive energy…and everyone around you can feel that positive energy too…now with this new…strong…positive self-image…
You know that you can accomplish whatever you put your mind to…negative words can no longer hold you back…in fact…negative words will not exist in your mind at all…all you see are positive words because you are filled with radiant energy…and now you are ready to move forward with confidence…as you embrace the future…
Every day your confidence grow…with each breath…you realize that you are a very powerful…amazing…beautiful person…and as you get ready to open your eyes in a few moments time…you will wake up confident and ready to embrace the present moment with a brand new positive self-image.