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Self-Esteem, Your Response to Self-Image

self image

We all have a certain image of ourselves. This mental image is based on our personal assessment of our abilities, looks, intelligence, popularity and any number of other personal qualities. Our emotional evaluation of that image will determine our level of self-esteem.

Even though we tend to think that our self-image is accurate and based on reality, it’s not. People rarely see themselves objectively because we view everything through a complex set of perception filters. We simply can’t help but see ourselves through the window of our beliefs about who we think we are. Life is entirely about perspective and each of us has our own unique perception of reality.

What kind of self-image do you have?

Is your view of yourself empowered by feelings of self-confidence, or is it clouded with limiting thoughts of self-doubt? Have you unknowingly placed invisible boundaries on what you are able to achieve because of hidden limiting beliefs, or do you see a world of limitless possibilities ripe with opportunity? What you see is directly related to the way you respond to your own self-image.

But if self-image is based on perception, then we should be able to change it, right? Well, we can! How would you like to develop a custom made perception of your own abilities? How about a mindset where you know for certain that anything is possible, and where feelings of doubt, resentment, and failure no longer exert their influence on you?

Self-image and your expectations

It all starts with the mental picture you hold of yourself; your internal self-image. In order for you to free up your vast hidden potential, you need to learn to fully appreciate just how unique and valuable you really are. You also need to understand that no matter where you are in life, you have the ability to unleash enormous potential and create unprecedented change.

You are the one who gets to decide what you get out of life. If you are truly convinced that you deserve a life of abundance and joy, you will find a way to create that reality. On the other hand, if you don’t see how such a life is possible, or if you hold the feeling that you don’t deserve “the good life,” your results will probably meet your expectations.

We can all benefit from an updated image

Your self-image can limit you, or empower you, to a much greater degree than most people think possible. If your self-image is an outdated old picture left over from an unhappy or emotionally taxing time, it probably isn’t serving you very well. Not only that, but it doesn’t even represent the person you really are. All it does is hold you back!

Many people carry around deeply ingrained beliefs anchored to undesirable events from the past. Those beliefs are not only limiting, they are also obsolete. Dismantling them and replacing them with new, updated, empowering beliefs will completely change your self-image. As a result, your self-esteem will skyrocket. Remember, self-esteem is based on our emotional evaluation of our self-image.

Change your filters, change your life

We live in a world that can and does overwhelm many people. Learning to maintain a positive mental and emotional perspective is a very valuable skill. It can quite literally change the way we see ourselves and the world around us. But a positive emotional perspective needs to be based on a positive self-image or it won’t be able to hold up under pressure.

To rebuild our self-image and bolster our self-esteem we need to start on a very core level. We need to get in touch with our TRUE SELF and harmonize our beliefs and actions with the person that we really are. We also need to let go of unrealistic negative baggage that isn’t serving us. I know it sounds like a tall order, but remember; this is your quality of life we are talking about.

3 steps to creating a more empowering self-image

1. Figure out who you really are and what you stand for. You are not your job, your friends, or the results you produce. You are someone with core values and standards. To create an empowering self-image you need to get in touch with those values. Once you do, then do your very best to live by them. This will create a sense of inner harmony and purpose.

2. Let go of pride and embrace self-honesty. When we lie to ourselves about who we are it creates internal conflict. You don’t need pretenses to be worthy of your own approval. We all have shortcomings and it is perfectly alright to admit it. Having room for improvement doesn’t make us less of a person, but lying to ourselves does.

3. Always choose the higher path. Don’t cut corners on the journey of life and don’t violate your personal ethics for any reason. Once you figure out what you stand for, then stand firm – your self-image depends on it. This world is full of people who will do anything to gain an advantage. Never ever stoop to that level. Choose the high road and you will discover the unmatched advantage that comes with an empowering self-image and a healthy self-esteem.

Do you think self-image is really that important?
Have you thought about self-esteem from this angle before?
The lines are open!

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14 Comments

  1. Ken Wert July 26, 2011 Reply

    Thanks Jonathan for your clarity in this post about self-image. I love that you center self-image in character. Integrity to our values is essential for a positive self-image. So much of what the world honors is either outside our immediate control or is based on superficial qualities — family wealth, chiseled features, long legs or squared shoulders, acne-free complexion, fame and popularity.

    But in the end, we can’t avoid the gnawing feeling that we don’t add up to much if we have failed to develop a core set of values that we live by that provide our lives with purpose and meaning.

    In our heart of hearts, we know what we ought to be. And at the core of that sense is a quality person of character.

    Wonderful post, Jonathan. Keep up the great work here!

    • Jonathan July 28, 2011 Reply

      Thanks Ken, I can tell by the lack of interaction on this post that a lot of people don’t share our interest in this aspect of personal growth. That is sad considering how integral self-image is to living a life of exceptional quality. Thanks for your support.

  2. David Stevens July 26, 2011 Reply

    Hi Jonathan,
    How we see ourselves via self image or self worth is really important. Believing that one is “worthy” cannot be underestimated. We are all worthy, One simply has to believe it. As you alluded to, old beliefs hanging around our necks like an albatross are not good. Stand up, play the game on your terms….. not be played like a game. Mate, your insight with these topics is great. Thank you.
    be good to yourself
    David

  3. Jonathan July 28, 2011 Reply

    Greetings David, you really nailed it by connecting self-image with “Believing that one is “worthy” cannot be underestimated.” Our sense of worthiness and our self-image are deeply anchored in our beliefs. Change the beliefs from limiting to empowering and everything else is transformed as well.

  4. marc July 29, 2011 Reply

    I love this post!

    Especially the last point on your list: ‘Always choose the higher path’

    But is not the easiest way to life. Sometimes it takes hard and conscious effort to deal with the negativity of others in an effort to drag you down on your path. Sometimes it takes self-discipline to not follow people who promise fast results above organic growth results.

    But the path is worth walking. It is the only way to grow in life.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Jonathan August 16, 2011 Reply

      You are exactly right Marc on all points. If it was easy everyone would be on it. Anything worth doing takes effort and that why the world is cluttered with worthlessness. Stay the course!

  5. Sonny August 2, 2011 Reply

    I believe that even if you don’t (now) see yourself as the best, and you don’t think that you are all that you can be, as long as you are committed to getting better, you can look at yourself in the mirror and feel good about the person looking back at you…

    • Jonathan August 16, 2011 Reply

      Hi Sonny, it’s the growth process that really matters. We will never run out of room for improvement.

  6. Dave February 2, 2012 Reply

    This is an excellent post, but I would like to suggest that many people will find difficulty in figuring out who they are and what they really stand for.

    Many of my clients who have been through abusive relationships with their partners, or who were brought up by sometimes well-meaning parents who continually prodded their children to try harder and to be better learned at a deep level to diss-associate from their inner selves.

    And now, they have lost their ability to know who or what they really are.

    However, I do agree that we can all change ourselves and our self image providing we have the desire to change and that we find a path that enables that change.

  7. Lyn October 7, 2013 Reply

    Hi Jonathon
    I might suggest that the reason for lack of interaction on this subject is that some have gone off quietly to have a long hard look at themselves. I did, and I’m better for it.
    Thank you :)

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