Improving Self Image
Improve Self Esteem
It All Works Together

Improving self image - you may have thought about tackling this project, but aren’t really sure how to go about it. After all, there are quite a few areas that effect our image. Where do you start?

Self image is the view that you have of yourself,whereas self esteem is the value you have after taking into consideration that view. This is very important because a negative self image can cause low self esteem and lower your self confidence.

The first place to start is with a couple of questions. What is your self portrait? How do you think others see you? This view is made up of many aspects. Comments you heard as a child, “He/she is so shy.”, from your friends, “Girl, you are to crazy.”, and from co-workers, “You really need to impress the boss.”

Each comment is evaluated, processed, and stored. Added together they make up your self image. Rarely is a person’s self image balanced at this point. Think about it. All the comments we hear are processed - the good, the bad, and the ugly. Some are extreme, some contradict each other, some are fact, but most are opinion. And we take these comments and mold our self portrait.

Left alone, this picture would look like something Picasso painted. This usually isn’t anything near how people see us. If we think people view us in a negative way, our actions will tend to be negative, or not at all. If left on autopilot, human nature tends to do what we believe others think. Can you now see why improving self image is important?

Self image is the perception that you have of yourself, so people will respond accordingly. If you think negatively, you will get a negative response from people. If you think people view you negatively, you act that way. A paradox.

Unfortunately, you can see how it can become a downward spiral.

A positive self image is a balance. A balance of the true and useful information and the rest discarded.

Some life coaches will state that self image is the most important factor in achieving success. I believe, again in a balance. Self image, self esteem, and self confidence are all important factors in a person’s success. You have to believe in yourself and your abilities. Each area influences the other.

Unfortunately, this isn’t something that can be accomplished overnight. It will take time and practice. Time and practice to change the way you think, about yourself and your life. The cognitive behavioral therapy technique used here works under the theory that if you change your thoughts, your behavior and actions will follow.

Tips for Improving Self Image

Here are some tips to get you on the right track.

  • Get a small notebook and keep it besides your bed, in the evening, write down any compliments you may have gotten that day!
  • List things you like about yourself in your notebook- include appearance, personality and skills
  • Watch your thoughts. Let go of the negative and focus on the positive!
  • Find some ways to improve self esteem. When you begin placing a higher value in yourself, you reap the benefits in many areas.
  • Make changes that will help you look and feel better; for example, clothes, appearance, hair style and behaviour. Let’s face it, going out in sweat pants and a hoodie doesn’t lend much to your self image. Not asking you to dress like a super model, just make some changes for the better! Think about your nonverbal communication:body language, are you confident and does it show?
  • Dress to emphasize what you like about yourself.
  • Accept things about yourself that are true and learn to think about them in a positive way. My oldest daughter is 5’ even. She’s been called “Shorty”....etc. I have had to coach her on accepting this, (as there isn’t a whole lot she can do about it!) and positively embracing it.
  • Exercise - you will look better, feel better, and have more energy.
  • In dealing with criticism. learn to do so correctly so you can move forward and improve yourself.
  • Take on challenges positively and surprise yourself!
  • Learn to forgive and forget, or at least stop dwelling on the issue.
  • Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t. “It is what it is’”. Where your focus goes, you go.
  • Dont’ feel guilty about things you can’t control. Again, “It is what it is”
  • Stop all negative ‘self talk’.
  • Stop comparing yourself to others. Accept who you are or work on improving self image!
  • Spend time with people who value you. Avoid those who insist on pointing out your flaws.
  • Genuinely accept the compliments you receive with a sincere “Thank You” Give no excuses or reasons....just smile and say “Thanks”
  • Straighten up, smile, and focus straight ahead as you move through your day. With just those three things, you have the ability to look and feel more confident.

Many of these are inward changes. Taking control of your thoughts is probably one of the most vital things you will do in improving self image. And, fortunately, it is the least expensive and the most readily available.

So, no more excuses! Get busy working towards a better self image!

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