The self image is the guidance mechanism which we each have in our head. We use it to define the limits of our achievements. We use it to decide what is acceptable behavior or acceptable standards for our lives. It helps us to decide what we are capable of doing and the amount of effort which we are willing to put into our activities.
For each person who wants to achieve anything great, it is important that they examine their self image and determine whether it is set up to help them push forward or whether it is likely to hold them back. So ask yourself: How is your self image? Is it helping you or hindering you?
Here are some steps you can take to decide where you fall.
- Write five statements to describe who you are. Start them with the phrase, ‘I am the kind of person who ….’
- What is the prevailing phrase you use to describe yourself, either in your head or to other people?
- What do you most wish you could do or accomplish and what is holding you back?
These questions should get you to start thinking about the conversation that is consistently running through your head. It should also help you to start questioning the things that you inherently believe you are not capable of doing. With this curiosity you are then able to start seeing the problem. With that information you are then able to begin making some changes to the way that you view yourself. Here are some ways that you can do that.
- You are who you decide to be. You therefore have the power to start telling yourself from now on, who you are and what you are going to be able to do or accomplish. You can begin by re-writing the phrases that you use to describe yourself.
- Look for examples in your past that show you when you were exhibiting the kind of behavior that you want to see more often. Remind yourself of them as often as you can. Daily is most often recommended by the experts.
- Identify the new habits that the new you would practice daily. How would that person think, work or plan their day. You want to begin incorporating the habits that support your new mindset. If you are the kind of person who gets up early every day, starts her morning routine right away and gets things done on time, then start doing that.
- You need to distract yourself when the negative self-talk or doubts begin to creep back into your consciousness. You can mentally or physically say no, or stop. You can also change your setting or deliberately choose to do or think about something else. Some people use a rubber band that they snap against their wrist. The idea is to break the traditional thinking pattern and assert the new way of looking at yourself and the world. Tony Robbins suggests seeing the thought as one that just came your way and you can send it away without grabbing onto it or investing time and energy into it.
Remember that this is not about willpower. Using willpower suggest that you are fighting against something that is inside you and struggling to do something that is the opposite of what you really want to do. This is the opposite. This is about you removing the blocks that stop you from doing what you really want.
Changing your self image is about you altering the way that you see yourself so that you accept that the good things you want for yourself are within your reach and possible for you to achieve. You should also know why what you want is important. What do you hold as your values and why should you be honest with yourself about who you really are. Knowing yourself makes it easier for you to make the choices that support and strengthen you.
When you are able to do this and to easily acknowledge your real gifts, strengths and competencies you are setting your self image on a path of positive reinforcement that helps you to lead a more fulfilled and meaning life.
Marjorie Wharton is a trainer, facilitator and coach who works with individuals and organizations to help them improve their performance. She is based at the Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business in Barbados. Follow her on twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. For more of her writing visit https://marjoriewharton.live