Although we may not admit it, often times we are concerned with how other people see us, or the image they have of us. However, we tend to forget the most important opinion of our selves: our own.
We know that we are not perfect, given that no human being is. But the way we see ourselves affects every aspect of our lives. Self-image is the perception or opinion we have in relation to ourselves. It is highly relevant when considering self-esteem and human behavior.
Many people are satisfied with their self-image, but we know that there is always some characteristic or trait that we can add, modify or improve. How do we do this?
This short yet effective process consists of six simple steps:
1. Make a list of things you like about your own personality and then make a list of characteristics you would like to obtain or acquire, modify or improve. Take your time to write them down and analyze them. Be as honest as possible.
2. Think of the image you want to have. Create a clear vision of this image in your mind. The image you want to portray, the person you want to be. This could be physical, a change in attitude, personality, etc. For example, if you want to improve your physical aspect, be more proactive, more social, so on and so forth. This image has to go accordingly to your list from step #1.
3. In a piece of paper or agenda, write a short description of your desired characteristics. Read this description as many times as you can during the day. I would advise you to do this at least in the morning when you wake up, and at night before you go to sleep.
4. Take a few minutes during the day to imagine how your life and your self-image would be if you already had those characteristics you want. Imagine you are already living that life that you desire, and you will find the feelings of joy and the necessary motivation.
5. Every day carry out an activity, even if it is small, that brings you closer to your goal. For example, if you want a fit body, start exercising even for a few minutes a day; if you want to be healthier, start eating balanced meals; if you want to be more social, start giving yourself time to enjoy with your friends. If you want to be more productive, start scheduling your day. Step by step you will achieve your goals. One day at a time.
6. Hush those voices in your head that tell you negative things about yourself, like "I'm ugly", "I'm a bad person", "I'm lazy" "I'm antisocial" etc. You can replace those negative thoughts with positive ones. The next time you find yourself criticizing or judging yourself, quiet those voices and lift your spirits with a few positive affirmations. Some examples of these are: "I look good, I am unique and special", "I have good feelings", "I will do what I have to do to fulfill my goals”, “ I have good friends ”. Remember your thoughts are manifested in your behavior. Do not waste time criticizing yourself, because it will not help you at all.
These steps are very useful if you want to gradually change your self-image. Accepting yourself is essential for a satisfying life, but there is always some room for improvement.