There is so much talk about self-image these days, but what is it anyway?
Self-image is simply the way you see yourself, the way you interpret and think about yourself. It’s how you see yourself AND the opinion that you have of yourself.
What others think
You and I spend a lot of time trying to manage how other people see us. The way we dress, the way we drive our cars, the way we manage our households, the way we do anything can be really about other people without even realizing that that’s what we’re doing. We somehow try to control how other people would think about us.
What do you want them to think?
Here’s a little exercise for you: how would you like people to see you? If you could really dictate what everyone’s opinion of you would be, what would it be? By “everyone,” I mean that group of people that sees you in public. Best case scenario, what do you want your boss to think about you? Your friends? Your mom? Your kids?
Your answers might surprise you.
Some of you will say, “I want people to think I am thin,” because you think that being thin is the answer to the universe, so if they thought that, you would have the secret to the universe.
The interesting thing is, if “they” really thought that, you wouldn’t believe them because you think of yourself as fat…
What do YOU want to think about yourself?
Here is part two of your little exercise: imagine yourself fully accomplished in the things that you most want to do to prove your worthiness. For some of you, it’s a number of dollars in your 401K. For others, it may be a degree, a husband, a book Just let yourself dream. What is it you think is an important accomplishment that would prove to yourself or to others that you have lived a worthy life?
So Part One is what you want other people to think about you.
Part Two is what is the thing that you think you need to achieve to prove your worthiness and how you would think about yourself if you had achieved it.
Now, once you do these two exercises, you probably have a long list of thoughts that you would love to think about yourself. It’s the ideal self-image that you can have of you.
Are you being Narcissist?
I guess now is a good time to clarify the difference between having a really healthy positive self-image of yourself and being narcissistic. or bragging.
When you are a narcissist, you think high of yourself and low of other people. When you’re bragging, you’re saying “I’m better than you.”
Narcissism is loving yourself at the expense of others versus loving yourself to contribute to others.
Narcissism is about needing other people to love you, serve you and pay attention to you at their expense. That is not a high self-image. That’s a poor self-image that comes from a deep pit of not
Narcissism is about self-importance. It’s about feeling entitled to excessive admiration. It’s about being and wanting to be recognized as superior.
Having a positive self-image is very different. It is realizing that you are 100 % lovable. Your worthiness doesn’t come from being better than others. It comes from you being fully you. Your worthiness doesn’t come from earning someone’s positive opinion of you. It comes from you being you.
The more you love yourself well, the more you can contribute. The more you honor yourself and take care of yourself, the more you have to give. The more you love yourself well, the better you can love others.
Your genuine love for yourself doesn’t take away from other people. It adds love to the world.
We each are amazing without having to be superior to anyone else. We are all humans, and truly, we are all amazing.
Having a positive, healthy self-image is about stopping putting yourself down. Knowing that you are not perfect and knowing that you don’t need to be.
Overcoming Toxic Thoughts
In order for you to have right thoughts about yourself, you will need to overcome the part of your brain that seeks negativity and seeks danger and seeks worry and doubt and frustration. You will have to stop listening to that and start talking to yourself with the truth.
As human beings, we get to choose what to think. What we say to ourselves. Your thoughts are your responsibility.
What do you believe?
Now, the key is you want to choose thoughts that you believe.
Go into your thought dressing room and try on the thoughts and see which ones work.
Here are a few choices:
I am a human and humans are capable of amazing things.
I have an invitation to greatness because I’m a human on the planet right now.
I have big goals I’m capable of achieving.
I’m 100% lovable by design, not by decision.
The One who created me knew what it was doing.
What you will find is that when you believe positive things about yourself, then you will prove those things true, and when you choose to think negative things about yourself, you will prove those things true too.
And if you’re someone that worries about getting too full of themselves or too proud of themselves or too into themselves, just remember who your creator is and what He thinks about you.
Let’s hear it! What did you take away from this blog post? If you know someone who could use a bit of truth, go ahead a share it with them!