Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Self-Image, Self-Esteem

Self-Image, Self-Esteem
by Kathy Atkinson

A strong, positive self-image is the best possible preparation for success. Joyce Brothers

How do you picture yourself?

Do you have a positive or negative image of yourself? Many people don't like what they see on the outside, or they don't like themselves on the inside. Some people don’t even want to look.

Self-image is how you see yourself, and how you think others see you. Right or wrong, you compare yourself to others and make judgments about your physical looks, your intelligence and your personality.

Your self-image plays a HUGE role in how you behave and how you feel.

How do you feel about yourself?

Self-esteem is how you feel about yourself. Self-esteem is your internal feelings and evaluation of yourself based on your "perceived" self-image. If you are constantly comparing yourself to others and feel like you don’t measure up, your self-esteem suffers.

Your self-esteem and self-image are closely inter-related and are established primarily in childhood. The positive and negative feedback you received growing up, from your parents, teachers and other authority figures, helped create your view of yourself. As you move through life, you have the ability to change any negative self-images you acquired. Unfortunately, most people never even question if the negative beliefs they have picked up are even true.

Is it true that you will never amount to anything? Is it true that you aren’t smart enough?

Once you get a negative thought or belief going, your unconscious mind will repeat it over and over again. It takes about 20 positive statements about you to counter-act even just one negative personal statement.

What do you say to yourself on a regular basis? Are you proud of who you are and what you have accomplished? Are you ashamed of yourself and disappoint in yourself? Here are some suggestions to improve your self-image and self-esteem.

The "self-image" is the key to human personality and human behavior. Change the self-image and you change the personality and the behavior. Maxwell Maltz

12 Ways to Improve Your Self-Image and Self-Esteem

• Make a list of the things you like about yourself
• Make a list of the things that people have acknowledge you for
• Stop your negative self-talk - replace it with positive, supportive self-talk
• Stop comparing yourself to others – accept who you are or make changes
• Spend time with people who value you - avoid those who insist on point out your flaws
• Make changes in your appearance, clothes, hair or behaviors that will improve your self-image
• Dress to emphasis what you like about yourself
• Genuinely accept the compliments you receive about how you look
• Start an exercise program – you can change your body
• Walk as much as you can – don’t always go for the up front parking spot
• Get out in nature – do some deep breathing and self-appreciation
• Straighten up, smile and focus straight ahead as you move through your day – you have the ability to look and feel more confident

No one can make you feel inferior without your permission. Eleanor Roosevelt

Action Challenge

Take some time to really explore how you feel about yourself.

If you are not thrilled with whom you are, why not?

Are your beliefs valid or did you pick them up from what others told you?

How long are you willing to put yourself down based on someone else’s opinion?

How long are you willing to compare yourself to others who are having a totally different life experience from you?

What are you ready to accept about yourself?

What are you ready to change about yourself?

Never think that you're not good enough yourself. A man should never think that. People will take you very much at your own reckoning. Anthony Trollope

Copyright 2006, Creative Life Coaching

No comments: