A Whole New You: Learn How to be More Positive
“The most influential person who will talk to you all day is you, so you should be very careful about what you say to you!” Zig Ziglar
Make changes to create success, good relationships and happiness
Self image is how you see yourself. It influences your esteem and is acquired during childhood. It includes PERSONALITY, INNATE ABILITIES, STRENGTHS, WEAKNESS, and PHYSICAL APPEARANCE. It is developed in your childhood.
Self image is how we see ourselves, and how we think others see us. Self image plays a HUGE role in how we behave and feel. It is:
- How you see yourself
- How you believe other people see you
- An internal feeling that influences how you see yourself
- Beliefs about how you see your physical appearance, personality and abilities
As a child, you were vulnerable to false negative judgments from people of seniority and authority in your lives including your parents, teachers, relatives and siblings, and you may well have internalized them as beliefs.
Your parents, teachers and relatives judged you in some way. For example: ‘You look like your father’. ‘You are short’, ‘You are fat’ or ‘You are not as beautiful as your sister’ etc. As a child, you believed all these judgements. You didn’t even question them. At that time, you couldn’t even contradict these preconceived opinions.
Children are vulnerable in accepting false negative judgements from the senior members of the family or relatives and other authorities even if they are harmful to self-esteem.
You then internalized the judgements and they turned into a part of how you see yourself.“I am short” became something like:“If I am short I am not beautiful”. This created a stream of negative SELF-TALK that influences how you see yourself and affect your self esteem. It is natural; you believe what they said was true, for as a child who were you to argue with them?
All these internalized belief became a reference point you have of your own self image. All these negative judgements or unintentional criticism created an internal confusion in you about how you see yourself, and today it is a poor image that undermines your self esteem and confidence. It is important, therefore, to start to become more aware of these beliefs about you.
How to improve self image?
Make positive changes to create success, good relationship and happiness.
If when you grow up you receive judgements and criticism, your inner talk becomes negative. You end up having a poor image that creates LOW SELF ESTEEM. And it can be the cause of eating disorders, depression, addictions, domestic violence and poor interpersonal relationship with others.
On the other hand, if you were capable of clarifying all the negative critics and judgement you received, you can create a positive image of you and there a good self esteem.
How to do it?
You can do it by:
• Accepting who you are and,
• Letting go of your past through ‘FORGIVENESS’ of yourself and others.
What is self esteem?
What you say to yourself in Self-Talk is important and influences your self-esteem and confidence in a positive or negative way. Ideally you should talk encouragingly to yourself, after all if you do not encourage yourself who will? The world is full of negative people or who try to put you down so to be strong you need a defence.
Esteem is a simple word. It is worth and value that we apply to people, places and situations. It is the amount of RESPECT we assess. We have esteem for world leaders. We have esteem for places like the church, mosque and temple. We have esteem for an exemplary performance whether it is in sports, acting or simply doing the right thing.
In brief, self-esteem is our internal feelings and evaluation of ourselves based on our ‘perceived’ self-image. Self-esteem and self-image are closely inter-related. And, as mentioned, they are largely based on our feed-back while growing up (parents, peers, other important figures in our lives).
Survey says that it takes about 20 positive statements ABOUT OURSELVES (the foundation of our self-image-self-esteem) to counteract even just 1 negative personal statement.
The most important place we need to apply esteem is within ourselves
We must maintain our self-esteem in order to place value on ourselves as a worthy individual in the world. Self-esteem can affect every single part of our lives. If that esteem is low, our lives will be dull and gray.
Elevating esteem for ourselves could very well be the key to happiness in life
Most people’s feelings and thoughts about themselves fluctuate somewhat based on their daily experiences. The grade you get from your exam, how your friends treat you, ups and downs in a romantic relationship – all can have a temporary impact on your wellbeing. For people with good basic self-esteem, normal “ups and downs” may lead to temporary fluctuations in how they feel about themselves, but only to a limited extent. In contrast, for people with poor basic self-esteem, these “ups and downs’ may make all the difference in the world.
People with poor self-esteem rely on how they are doing in the present to determine how they feel about themselves. They need positive external experiences to counteract the negative feelings and thoughts that constantly plague them. Even then, the good feeling (from a good grade or good relationship, etc) can be temporary.
Healthy self-esteem is based on our ability to assess ourselves accurately (know ourselves) and still be able to accept and value ourselves unconditionally. This means being able to realistically acknowledge our strengths and limitations (which is part of human) and at the same time accepting ourselves as worthy and worthwhile without conditions or reservations.
Change your negative self talk to a positive self talk (The inner voice)
For people with healthy self-esteem the messages of the inner voice are positive and reassuring. For people with low self-esteem, the inner voice becomes a harsh inner critic, constantly criticizing, punishing their accomplishments.
Your inner voice will say things like, “You can’t do this”, “There’s no way you can succeed”, and “Why bother trying, you’ll just fail”. Your inner voice is your harshest critic and the one who will lower your self-esteem the quickest. You need to change that inner voice from a negative self talk to a positive one.
Ways to help improve your self- image boosting self-esteem and confidence:
Positive Self Affirmations:
There are three (3) ways for positive self affirmations by making statements based on:
1. I AM – A statement of who you are:
Make a positive affirmation of your innate QUALITIES and STRENGTH.
List down a list of positive list of inventory of YOU based on your attributes, strengths, talents and competencies
- I am competent
- I am intelligent
- I am relaxed
- I am courageous
- I am talented
2. I CAN – A statement of your potential:
Make a positive affirmation of your ABILITY to accomplish GOALS.
- I can look beautiful
- I can be a good lover
- I can be a winner
- I can be positive
3. I will – A statement of positive change in your life:
Make a positive affirmation of a CHANGE you want to achieve.
- I will smile more often
- I will feel good things about me today
- I will challenge myself to change
- I will handle my finances wisely
- I will grow emotionally stronger
You can use word, phrases, or statements written on 3 x 5 index cards and placed on where you can see them and be reminded of positive aspects about you.
Some places to put your inspiring words and statements:
- Mirror in your bathroom
- Mirror on a dressing table
- Refrigerator door
- Desk at office
- In your wallet
- In your briefcase
Make your self esteem like a shining star at night that shines brightest when it is the darkest. Make self esteem your birthright to love and honour yourself. The good news is that you can reclaim which is yours.
Building good self esteem to project good self image will eventually lead to self improvement if we start to become responsible for who we are, what we have and what we do. Let your self-image be a reflection of the true you and dig down deep and look at all the amazing qualities you have inside and let them shine through.
Be positive. Be contented and happy. Be appreciative. Never miss an opportunity to compliment. A positive way of living is to build self esteem, your starter guide to confidence and positive self image. And remember the two most powerful forces in our day-today life are ATTITUDE and SELF-TALK which influences both our self-esteem and how you project your self-image.