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Self Image: how does yours effect your life?
Self Image-The idea,conception,or mental image one has of oneself.(Source:Random House Dictionary).A person's self image is the mental picture,generally of a kind that is quite resistant to change, that depicts not only details that are potentially available to objective investigation by others(height,weight.hair color,gender,I.Q. score,etc.).but also items that have been learned by that person about himself or herself,either from personal experiences or by internalizing the judgement of others.( Source:Wikipedia).
Your self image is one of the tools you use to define yourself.How you define yourself effects your life. That definition dictates your actions and decisions. Your actions and decisions effect your life. The question is how is your self image effecting your life positively or negatively?
For example,If you hold an image of your self as a lawyer then chances are you you will be a lawyer.However, if you see yourself a successful lawyer, then you will be a successful lawyer.Just look at any sample of lawyers. You will find the good, the bad, and the ugly.Most successful people will tell you they wanted to be the best.A few professional athletes have given credit to using mental imagery right before a big game.
To determined how your self image is effecting your life. just Pay attention to how you see your self. Do you see your self as a winner ,loser, good, or bad person? Only you can answer that.
Women,who are more satisfied with their self image and body image are likely to have more sexual activity ,orgasm,and initiating sex, greater comfort undressing in front of their partner than those dissatisfied with their self image and body image.(Source: Wikipedia)
As a woman who has suffered with a poor self image. I allowed negative mental images and judgments from others to negatively effect my life for years . For example , I dated a jealous guy . He once said to me "you think you are so hot but you have stress marks on your body''.
His negative judgement about my physical appearance haunted me for years.Until I decided to see myself as beautiful.I took back my power.
A positive self image is described as liking what you see in the mirror this includes body image.A positive self image includes success in achieving your goals and healthy relationships with others.
A negative self image is described as not liking what you see in the mirror this includes body image. A negative self image includes failure in achieving your goals and unhealthy relationships with others.
Whether you believe you have a positive self image or negative self image.Achieving your goals or lack of, is one indicator of the effect it has on your life.Also the shape your relationships are in, have something to do with what type of image you hold of yourself.
Tips To Create A Positive Self Image
These tips were taken from an article written on leadership.I have provide these tips to help shift a negative self image to a positive self image.
- Do not dwell on negativity. Every one experiences failure at some point in their lives. Micheal Jordan was famously cut from his high school basketball team. Steve Jobs was fired from Apple in the 80's before returning in the late 90's. Failure is inevitable when it happens learn from it and move on.
- Step out of your comfort zone. A great way to construct a positive self image is to prove to your self you can succeed. Successes,even small ones,create serotonin release in the brain and this makes you feel good,encouraging you to challenge yourself further.Whether it is learning a new language,mastering a new skill,or even something as simple as reading a book that you have been procrastinating,setting and achieving goals is essential to create a strong self image.
- Create a list of accomplishments and refer to it regularly. Once your mind has a developed habit of negativity it takes work to change it .Keep a list of your accomplishments,both big and small and refer to it often. Stars keep their Oscars and athletes their trophies,create your own success wall or shelf.Over time you will begin to see yourself as you really are...an individual with unlimited potential.
Yes, concrete limits do exist. No human can physically fly no matter how strong their belief.But the truth is that ,for most people ,their perceived limitations are far more restrictive than their true limitations.(Source: Ethan Hall)
Did You Know?
According to a paper written on consumer behavior,we have at least 6 different self images.I have listed them below.
Different Self Images
- Actual Self-How you see yourself
- Ideal Self -How you would like to see your self
- Social Self Image-How you think others see you
- Ideal Social Self Image-How you would like others to see you
- Expected Self Image-How you expect to be in the future
- Ought To Be Self Image-The qualities that you think you should posses
(Source:Pearson Canadian Education)
Who Is In Charge Of Your Self Image?
Another component of our self image comes from others and external forces. The list of others are our parents, family members, friends,lovers,and co-workers. The list of external forces are the media, magazines, and music. To determine who is in charge here are a list of scenarios. If you find your self responding to any of these, in that moment ,that person or thing is in charge.
Scenario 1# Your religious mother calls and informs you she may be stopping by. As soon as you hang up the phone you rush to hide all evidence that indicates you have a live- in boyfriend. At that point you have chosen her image of you, as the good daughter over the truth, a grown woman with a life of her own.
Scenario 2#You have been living in the closet for years.Your lover gives you an ultimatum ,him or he walks. You choose to remain single,you could not bear the public ridicule.Again, you chose to play it safe because you care how others see you.You have betrayed your true self.
Scenario 3# Your boyfriend makes a passing comment about a beautiful model while you guys are watching t.v.Over the next three or four months you starve your self to be her size. One evening over dinner he breaks it off ,his reason ,he suspects you have an eating disorder. He just can't deal with that right now. You chose one of his images of beauty over your own, you paid dearly for it.
Scenario 4#You're watching a music video. The girl in the video has on thigh high boots and a skimpy dress and guys seem to fall at her feet.You duplicate this look for a party and you attract attention,just not the kind you were hoping for,crass sexual advances.You go home and all but burn the dress and shoes .You know you are better than that! You chose someone else's image of beauty over your own,you walked away from that party feeling cheap.
In these scenes each person morphed into another self image for some type of currency be it approval,love, or outward acceptance. In doing so they put that person or situation in charge of their self image.The effect of a positive self image is an emotionally healthy individual who can do anything they dream of . The effects of the a negative self image is the opposite. Armed with this information you can choose how your life will be effected.