The Power of a Self-Created Image
The Power of a Self-Created Image
Each of us has an image of ourselves that we’ve personally created. The image may consist of how we imagine our physical characteristics and traits or base it on what we’ve been told by others.
Some people love the image they view of themselves while others spend a lifetime trying to change it. According to how you feel about your image – it can lift you up or bring you down and prevent you from reaching goals and realizing dreams.
It takes work to change a self-image that isn’t helping you succeed, but it can be done. Changing bad habits and getting rid of negative self-talk is a good place to begin.
Everyone Pictures Themselves a Certain Way
There’s that image you see when you pass a mirror – and that one you hold deep in your psyche. It’s difficult to argue with the image you see in the mirror, but the one you hold of yourself in your mind can either sabotage your life or make things happen.
A poor self-image makes it difficult for you to be motivated to get ahead in life. You have a low self-worth and little or no self-respect. When presented to the world, a poor self-image has the power to sabotage all your efforts of success.
You may have known someone who was obsessed with a self-image that was unhealthy. S/he may have had an image of herself of being grossly overweight when they were at an ideal body weight.
That type of intimidating self-image could lead to health problems such as binge-eating, anorexia and other problems related to poor body image. Another person may have an image that they aren’t intelligent enough to express an opinion about something.
This may have taken root during a childhood or adolescent period of being labeled as stupid or worthless by others – either adults or classmates. However you see yourself can be manifested into behaviors that could be detrimental to your health and the way you live your life.
Those who live with positive self-images don’t depend on other people or things to provide them with a positive self-image. Studies on self-image show that it is the most important influence to a person being happy with life.
It’s surprising that the studies determined things such as money, power and social status were the lowest factors in the makeup of a person with high self-image. Although it can be difficult to overcome difficulties such as financial and health disasters, it can be accomplished.
You can build up your own self-image by determining to be positive in your attitude, how you behave, your values and your behavior. Self-confidence comes with positivity, so plan your life with optimism and a desire to be happy.
Kindness and empathy are all part of a happy and self-confident life, but you also have to take a stand when you feel you’re being taken advantage of. Choose your words and actions carefully and focus your attention on being the person you want to be.
Changing Your Self-Created Image Is Hard Work
A negative self-image has been built with one negative block at a time. Some of the things you continue to tell yourself are cemented from constant repetition and it will be difficult to change.
If you’re ready to change that old, worn out self-image and get yourself out of the rut you may have been in for years, begin now. Don’t put it off or it may never happen. After you take some action, make goals and begin to check them off, you’ll be on your way.
The importance of a positive self-image can’t be overstated. You’ll take a greater enjoyment in what you do in life, have less self-doubt about what you’re capable of and have a great deal more energy – plus motivation.
It is said that to have an abundance of self-confidence, you must practice building your confidence. You must get past the fear and negative feelings that are holding you back, leave your comfort zone and practice courage even in every day activities.
We feel protected when remaining in the comfort zone. We’re safer from criticism, mistakes and the failures that sometimes happen when we step outside of the comfort zone and push ourselves.
However, when we do take the steps to try something new – something that would advance our goals in life – it’s part of the unknown that scares us and keeps us paralyzed without chance for success and personal growth.
That fear can be embraced when you understand where it’s coming from. Have you ever cleaned out your backpack or desk drawer and found a cache of money (even a few dollars) that you forgot about?
It’s a small prize, but maybe it can buy you a latte that will perk you up. Peeling back the layers of doubt and fear that were lost in your negative self-image can reveal a person who is capable of success.
You’ll feel the energy and renewed desire for success that was buried by all the past disappointments and failures and you’ll finally realize the self-confidence to move forward – out of the shadows and into the light of a positive self-image.
Of course, you can’t just think your way to a positive self-image. You’ve got to put forth the work and practice that it takes to make anything worthwhile. You won’t automatically become a heart surgeon by simply thinking about it.
You’ll need to put in long hours of study, observation and practice to reach that high pinnacle of success. A famous and successful author didn’t get there by simply sitting down at the computer and typing.
Research and outlines are part of any type of writing endeavor. Sometimes it feels like pulling teeth with no numbing agent, but if that person truly wants to become a successful writer, the work will get done.
The more negativity you get rid of in your life, the better you’ll become at carrying on with a new and positive energy that can get you wherever you want to be in life.
A Self-Created Image Can Destroy You or Lift You Up
We all live with a self-created image that has guided us through at least part of our lives. Perhaps your self-image has caused you to do things – or not do things -- that have held you back from success.
You may be constantly haunted by what-could-have-been. Know that you can use that desire to change your life and make your own decisions about where you’re going. That desire can be a catalyst to changing your life for the better.
Your self-image isn’t created overnight. It happens during your life and is cemented by the decisions you make about changes – good or bad. Those good decisions will prove themselves in time and make you feel good about yourself.
Those decisions that turn out bad can add to your self-image and prevent you from making other decisions that could change your life for the better. The world is very complex and to make good decisions, you must have knowledge.
The constant learning process gives you the self-confidence to move ahead and create a healthy self-image. Sometimes you’ll feel good about yourself and other times you’ll wonder if you’re making the right decisions.
A positive mindset can help you recreate your life and help you get what you want and deserve. Maintaining healthy habits such as exercise and diet can also play an important part in changing your life for the better.
Think hard about your current situation and what you would like to – and need to – change to create the life you want. For example, what makes you happy or sad? Do you feel fit and healthy and are the relationships in your life toxic or healthy?
This inventory of your current lifestyle will shed much light on what you need to do to advance your life and/or career. After you’ve taken a careful inventory and know what needs to change, visualize your ideal life.
When creating the vision, what circumstances and people would you leave behind? Which ones would be new entries into your life – such as exercising and exploring a new career path?
These thinking exercises will help you create a new self-image based on what is good in your life and what should be discarded. You’ll begin to create visual goals for yourself. It’s helpful to create a vision board based on those images you want to keep in your life or to explore for your future life.
It’s important that you create short and long-term goals for yourself. It’s impossible to foster change in your life if you don’t have clear-set goals. Check off the goals as you reach them and periodically reassess what you need next in order to keep changing your life for the better.
Keep a positive mindset and create new habits that can promote your new self-created image and realize your vision for the future.
Low Self Worth Accumulates to Paint an Unflattering Picture of Yourself
Low self-worth becomes your truth if you let it. You may not even realize that it’s being built upon throughout the years to destroy your opinion of yourself and keep you from success.
It’s difficult to disbelieve that low self-image because it’s accumulated slowly – over years of negative self-talk and perhaps from others who don’t have your best welfare at heart.
You’ve got to find ways to weed out the lies and the truth if you ever want to get on track to leading the life you deserve. When you have an unflattering vision of yourself, your self-worth plummets and can be debilitating to your future endeavors.
The worst part is that everyone else begins to believe that unflattering picture you’ve created. It can permeate every area of your life, from looking for a job to creating a loving environment with your family.
Unfortunately, your self-image isn’t born with you. It comes with time and must be nurtured along. With all the challenges and negatives in the world, you must build it strong to keep it from being torn down.
Rejection throughout the years is one reason you may have low self-worth. People can be well-meaning and still drag you down by unkind words or unfeeling actions. Then, there’s your inner critic that may be constantly telling you that you can’t do it or are undeserving of it.
Increasing your self-worth and changing that negative picture of yourself sometimes requires intense work on your part. That negative visualization must be replaced with the visualization of what you want to be. That takes lots of practice.
Along with visualization come affirmations. Affirmations are powerful tools that can help change your negative self-image. Say them aloud – and say them often. You’ll tend to believe it more when you say it aloud.
Another trick to increasing your self-worth is to face your fears head on. That will involve getting out of your comfort zone and trying new things – delving into unknown areas you’ve always had interest in.
No one can make you feel bad about yourself unless you let them. When someone else or your inner critic puts you down, immediately replace those negatives with positive thoughts.
For example, if others – including the inner critic – express to you that you’re a failure, find reasons why you’re not and compliment yourself. Think about your successes and concentrate on those rather than so-called failures you might have experienced.
Those failures were learning experiences that you can use to set yourself up as a winner. Stop believing that you have low self-worth. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.
If You See Yourself as Weak, Grow Strong
Weakness has never been considered a good trait. If you see yourself as weak, so will others that you may be trying to impress. And, weakness doesn’t always mean a physical trait – it could also indicate a weak mind.
In a job interview, one of the questions usually has to do with your weaknesses. They want you to name your greatest weakness – and, if you answer wrong, it could mean that you don’t get the job.
When you see yourself as weak, you may not be as apt to try new things or endeavors. There are ways to turn weaknesses into strengths that will bring rewards and satisfaction into your life.
For example, if you want to run a marathon, but have trouble getting up a set of stairs, you should begin to train for endurance and body strength so your muscles won’t get as tired.
It may take time – and it will surely take effort, but it can be done and you’ll be proud of yourself when you complete the marathon. Mental weaknesses are sometimes more difficult to change.
To begin the journey to get rid of weaknesses (real or perceived) and become a strong person, first identify what you consider to be your weaknesses. Be sure you don’t confuse weaknesses with skills.
A lack of skill isn’t the same as a weakness because you can always learn skills. You can study what you need to learn and it becomes a skill when you master it. What you consider to be weaknesses might be considered a negative in your mental or physical makeup.
Also, you may have a natural strength because of something you instinctively know and are good at. The types of strengths that can booster your self-worth are those that you work at with the desired result being to convert those weaknesses into strengths.
Identifying your strengths may not be as easy as it sounds. You know yourself better than anyone, so begin by some self-awareness. For example, you might be an introvert if you prefer to spend time by yourself.
An extrovert gets strength from being around others. Neither is good or bad, but both can help you figure out the predominant ways of what you prefer and how you think and feel.
After you’ve identified what those strengths and weaknesses are, you can begin to build on them – or take steps to remove them from your life. For example, if you have people in your life who drag you down, it may be time to set boundaries.
Those things that shore you up build on your strengths and should be rewarded and sought after. Don’t dismiss something you can’t do right now as a weakness. If you really desire to make it a strength, put in the time and effort to make it a skill.
Skills take learning and practice. You may have a skill that you don’t enjoy – such as computer skills. If you don’t enjoy being around computers, you shouldn’t consider that aptitude as a strength. Develop other skills that you can enjoy.
Motivation is key to developing and strength into a skill you would like to have. When you truly desire a skill or strength, you’ll want to do everything in your power to make it happen. Get a mentor, take lessons or whatever you need to do to gain the skill.
When you were a kid you may have dreaded your weekly piano lessons because you weren’t motivated to learn. As an adult, you might see things differently and want to re-visit the lessons. Now you’re motivated and now you can turn that passion into a skill.
Think of your weaknesses as potential strengths that you can turn into wonderful achievements. For example, if you tend to be pessimistic and turn everyone (including yourself) off because of your negativity, think of ways you can turn that into a plus.
Take baby steps to come out of a negative, self-created image and give yourself rewards for the achievements and progress you make. In time, you may even enjoy the recognition of a weakness because you’ll learn and become stronger when you turn it into a positive trait.
If You See Yourself as Incapable, Become Capable
When you think of yourself as incapable of doing something you’ve always wanted to do – it could be because you’re choosing not to. There’s a big difference. That negative way of thinking about yourself comes from the image you’ve created about yourself.
The importance of a positive self-image can’t be over-emphasized when it comes to your potential for success. If you have a lot of negative self-talk and you see yourself as incapable of achieving what you want it life, it’s time to change that image.
Seeing yourself as capable provides a sense of independence and competency that fosters high self-esteem. It’s much more important to your happiness than other things such as power, money and popularity.
It’s not as simple as it sounds to consider yourself as capable. Life usually gets in the way by presenting problems such as poor health, disabilities and financial difficulties. These problems can serve to destroy some paths you want to take in life.
Academic pursuits, relationships, health and well-being can get seriously off track by some of these very real problems that can invade your life. But, when you strive to work from the inside-out to improve your self-image, you’ll become more capable of getting what you want out of life.
You must be honest of your assessment of what you’re capable of, but the positive thinking you can begin on the inside can help to remove at least some of the barriers that are holding you back.
By being honest, you can accept your imperfections and some flaws you may have from simply being human. Everyone makes mistakes, but you can forgive yourself and move on and try to improve.
You can focus on what you can use in the future from a negative experience you may have had. You don’t need to reach for perfection, but you can allow yourself to forgive yourself from mistakes rather than constantly criticizing yourself.
When you need to change something about yourself to become a more capable human being, it’s best not to begin with a list of things you need to change. Begin with one criticism and take a positive approach to change it and boost your self-worth.
As you begin to see yourself as capable of one thing, go to the next. Never apologize for your flaws or blame it on others. Simply use a positive approach and develop strategies that work to foster changes.
Criticizing thoughts should be replaced immediately with encouragement. This should also be true in your criticism of others. Rather than tearing down yourself or another person, focus on what you’ve already achieved and how you can move forward.
Hanging on to past mistakes and viewing yourself as incapable of success can sabotage your efforts to create a capable and positive self-image. Exaggeration can become a part of the negative self-image.
For example, if you say to yourself that you always make the same mistake or that you just can’t do something, you’re exaggerating the truth. You can turn things around and you can become capable to do most anything you can think of.
Focus on accentuating the positive rather than the negative. If you fail a test or a trial, assess what mistakes you made and vow to do better by learning, practicing and determining to be the best you can be.
Make yourself known as unstoppable because you never quit.
If You See Yourself as Unlovable, Become Lovable
Do you think of yourself as unlovable perhaps because you’ve failed in previous relationships? By thinking of yourself as unlovable, you create a self-image that projects itself to others and teach them how to think of you.
You may be turning other, potential good relationships, away because of the self-image you project. The solution to this problem of thinking of yourself as unlovable is to take steps to become lovable.
You may have developed habits or certain behaviors that turn people away from you. It’s important that you learn to love yourself before others can love you. You may have low self-worth and end up convincing others that you’re not deserving of love.
Learning to love yourself isn’t always an easy task. You’ve got to reassess events in your life in a more positive frame and dismiss outside opinions of you. If your actions and the way you behave have earned you a reputation of being unlovable, you must learn to make better decisions.
If you don’t have the skills needed to develop positive relationships, you must learn those skills. This can be done by seeking opinions from others whom you admire and value.
Letting go of the negative opinions that you have formed about yourself of being lovable – or not – is just one step in the progression of becoming a lovable person. You may be listening to others who criticize and put you down.
Or, you may be listening to your own self-talk. Unless you make a calculated decision to overcome these negative thoughts and feelings, you will continue to see yourself as unlovable.
It’s possible to rewrite your internal script. For example, when it dawns on you that you’re thinking negative thoughts, make a conscious effort to replace them with positive ones. Think of what you’ve accomplished and about your good traits.
Avoid bad-mouthing yourself to others. Each time you put yourself down, you plant seeds that others will see as negative. Try to love yourself and present yourself as a lovable person.
Setbacks are sure to happen in the journey of finding love. Rather than viewing the setbacks as negative, try and recreate that feeling of love that you once had and realize that you can’t control others’ thoughts and feelings – only your own.
It may take a simple decision to better yourself – or it may take a visit to a therapist or other person who can help you identify and erase the triggers that hold you back from being the person you want to be.
Be good to yourself and do things you enjoy and find inspiring. It helps you to cope both emotionally and physically with all the negatives that may come your way in your journey to find love.
The gift of time is helpful in reflecting on your past and what has kept you from the love you deserve. Give yourself that gift and focus on others rather than yourself. You’ll be creating an image of yourself that others will find inspiring.
Don’t Avoid Reality When Developing Your Self Created Image
When searching for your true self-worth, don’t develop an inflated self-image. Improving your self-image should bring honesty and not dishonest self-talk that keeps you clueless of the fact that others see you as an egotistical bore.
Staying grounded about your positive traits will help you see the negative areas of your personality where you need to make changes. Honesty can blow the fog away and let you see clearly what you need to change.
Bloated self-worth will only cause you become frustrated when you don’t win or accomplish what you want. When you blindly assign kudos to yourself when you really didn’t achieve that much, you come away with an inflated sense of worth.
That can be worse than a low self-worth because you’ll be very disappointed when you don’t live up to all the kudos you give yourself. Praise for yourself can be divided into two terms – specific praise and global praise.
Specific types of praise focuses on the efforts you made to complete the win. For example, when you practice and strengthen yourself for hours at a time to run a marathon – you’ll be detailed in what you’ve done.
Those positive affirmations about your efforts can pump your self-worth and make you ready to try other things that will improve your life. Even if you don’t win or complete the marathon, you tried and did as much as you could to make it work.
Specific praise is a wonderful and exacting way to boost your self-confidence and spur you on to bigger and better things. Global praise, however, can be detrimental to your progress.
Global praise concentrates on the win at the end of your efforts rather than praising the efforts themselves. If you give yourself global praise, you may wind down in the middle of your efforts because you become doubtful about the end results.
You’ll come to believe that you’re only worthy of praise when you win rather the heartfelt efforts you made. Any effort toward something worthwhile builds your self-esteem and makes you feel worthy of praise.
The reality of a situation is that you may not come out the winner all the time. Not everyone can be a Mark Phelps or win the Boston Marathon. But, when you feel secure in your efforts, your self-image will be on the same level as if you were the top winner.
Begin to pay close attention to your self-talk. If you find yourself inflating your value or putting yourself down to the point that you don’t try to succeed anymore, begin to assess why that’s happening and begin immediately to put a stop to it.
You’ll soon be able to gain traction in your efforts to become successful, become more lovable and to become healthier – both mentally and physically. The power of a positive self-created image is awesome.
Remain grounded in your efforts and keep developing your positive traits rather than putting yourself down for what you haven’t accomplished. Nothing can make you feel worse about yourself than giving up.