Self image is how you see yourself.
Self image includes:
- how you perceive your appearance - which can be different that how others view your appearance.
- how you perceive your personality
- how you perceive what kind of person you are
- how you perceive others like you
- how you perceive your status
Is self image and self esteem the same thing? No. Self esteem is how you feel about yourself. Self image is how you see yourself and how you believe others see you. They are closely related but not the same thing. If you have a poor self image it can also make your self esteem low.
Self image is all about your perception.
How you perceive yourself is important because it affects
behavior, thinking and relationships.
Your perception of yourself may differ from how others actually
see you. Your perception of you is influenced by inner thoughts
and beliefs. You can have a distorted view of your image based
on your self esteem. You may have a negative view about
yourself and usually if this is the case you are highly critical of yourself.
We all have moments when we feel bad about ourselves.
The key is to make changes, here are some ways to
improve your self image....
- Make a list ~ write down all the things you love about yourself ~ include personality, talents, skills and appearance.
- All the negative thoughts that can cloud your judgment need to be extinguished. Focus on the positive and eliminate all the negatives. Which can mean forgetting all the negative things that have happened to you. These negative memories can pop up as an excuse. Well just like before, ________. Start fresh with positive thoughts and make new positive memories by overcoming the negative memories.
- Let go of childhood labels.
- Receive a compliment? Write it down and keep it handy! If you haven't received one recently, give yourself a compliment! So when you fall victim to the negative thoughts or memories you can see something positive.
- Have you received criticism? Don't beat yourself up...use it to promote a better action.
- Received a hurtful comment? Sometimes mean comments can appear to be criticism. However learn to tell the difference. If someone is just saying something to you to be mean and hateful perhaps it is time to confront them on how they are making you feel and/or eliminate interaction with this person.
- Question yourself. Is your self image true? Why do you perceive yourself like you do?
- Make some changes ~ a better self image isn't going to just happen overnight. There is some work involved. Find what will work for you (ex. new clothes, haircut, new behaviors, new friends, etc.)
- Make some goals ~ it can be anything (just make sure they are realistic and measurable). The sense of accomplishment can boost your self image.
- Stop comparing yourself to others! Haven't you heard that saying...the grass isn't always greener.
- Remember that you are you and that is the greatest thing you can be! We are all unique!
- Laugh and smile! Relax and don't take everything so serious! You'll be surprised about how well others respond to you when you are happier.
- Exercise ~ a little goes a long way and exercising releases endorphins that make you feel happier!!
- Acceptance! Embrace the things about yourself that are true and start thinking about them in a positive way. However, make sure that what you are defining as true is actually true. No one needs to define themselves as ugly. This is not a truth. Everyone is beautiful...find a way to embrace it and believe it about yourself. Saying to yourself "I am fat"...again not a truth...weight loss is always an option...it just takes work.
- Remember how far you have came...the journey is always part of the process.
Remember self image is not permanent.
The greatest thing about life is that it is always changing
so your self image is also constantly changing.
The definition of a healthy self image is learning to accept
and love yourself and it also means being accepted
and loved by others. I have always said...you can't
be loved by someone until you love yourself.
How can you have a positive self image with low self esteem?
You can't. You need to work on it as well. Low self esteem is
basically deadly for your self image. Low self esteem can
affect your relationships, your health, your job, everything. Making
changes an go hand in hand with developing a positive self image.
Here are some steps to feel better about yourself
and therefore boosting your self esteem.
- Identify things that trigger low self esteem - like a presentation at work or school, a crisis at work or home, a challenge with a spouse, loved one, co-worker or friend and life changing situations like losing your job, moving, etc.
- Once you identify the triggers, pay attention to your thoughts. This includes your self-talk - what are you telling yourself in these situations? Are these thoughts rational (based on fact and reason) or irrational (based on false ideas).
- Your initial thoughts on a situation are probably not the thoughts you need to follow. You need to teach yourself to not jump to the negative so when you are put in the same situation you can be a cheerleader for yourself rather than Debbie Downer.
- Get rid of the all or nothing thinking. Nothing is all good or all bad. Stop saying "I never", "I can't", "I've always", etc.
- Stop only seeing the negative and dwelling on it, it causes a distortion of your view of a person or a situation. Ex. I made a mistake on that ________ and now everyone will know that I can't _______.
- Stop turning positives into negatives. Which means stop rejecting your achievements and other positive situations by insisting they don't count or matter. Ex. I only did well because it was easy.
- Stop assuming negative conclusions. Which means you reach a negative conclusion when no evidence supports it. Ex. My friend hasn't replied to my email, I must have done something to make her mad at me.
- Stop mistaking feelings for facts. Which means often we can confuse feelings/beliefs with facts. Ex. I feel like a failure, so I must be a failure.
- Stop putting yourself down. Which means stop insulting yourself, using self-deprecating humor and undervaluing yourself. Do not call yourself ANY names! It is not funny to call yourself names. Ex. I am such a fat cow...I am so stupid...I am pathetic...etc. STOP!
- Treat yourself with kindness ~ think of how you treat your friends. You would never do anything to intentionally hurt them ~ so now do that for yourself. Be your own best friend.
- Learn to forgive yourself. Often we are too hard on ourselves. When you are down...pick yourself up. You would for a friend so start doing it for you.
- Stop saying should and must. Removing these words from your thoughts will lead to more realistic expectations for yourself.
- Think about the good things in your life. Give yourself praise for the good things you've done recently.
- Still having the occasional negative thought? Don't fight negative thoughts with negative thoughts. They are bound to creep in...don't beat yourself up. Look for positive thoughts to counteract the negative. Ex. What can I do to not feel like this again?
- Encourage yourself ~ just like needing to be our own best friend we need to be our own cheerleader! Give yourself credit for making positive changes in your life.
I am someone who has pretty good self esteem. I have accepted certain things about myself and own it. I am smart, creative and independent. However, even someone with "good" self esteem can have moments. When I feel down on myself, I try to find solutions to what is bothering me. I really try to think of what I would say to a friend if she was telling me all the things swirling around in my head. I would definitively try to make her feel better so I do it for myself.
Sometimes you need more than just you cheering you on. I am lucky that my mom is my cheerleader as well. No matter what my mom builds me up. She knows how to make me feel better. If you don't have a cheerleader, reach out to your mom or your friends because chances are they just don't know that you need them to be that cheerleader.
What I love about blogging is being able to help people with posts. I hate to think that people are hurting and think that if I blog something and they find it when they are in their moment of need than I have really helped. We all read and follow each others blogs and it's nice to know that we are connected because of blogging and always there for each other.
Here is my compliment to you...
I hope I have inspired you to love yourself and be you!
Because you are great!
*For more information on Self Image click (HERE)