8 Tips for Building a Healthy Self-Image
Reaching your full potential is dependent on the creation and maintenance of a healthy self-image. It’s not possible to be highly successful if you don’t believe in yourself. The way you view yourself is either uplifting or a hindrance. Regardless of your childhood experiences, past failings, or current level of self-esteem, you can possess a healthy self-image.
Avoid underestimating the impact of your self-image on other areas of your life. To reach your full potential, you must respect yourself and believe you can do great things.
Add value to yourself, and your self-image will flourish:
- Overcome any limiting beliefs. Think about something you’d like to accomplish, but are unable to do because of a limiting belief. Make a list of how that belief is negatively impacting your life. Now, focus on how much your life would be enhanced if you were able to remove this belief from your life.
- Create five affirmations you can repeat to yourself throughout the day. The affirmations should be stated in the positive and address the new belief you’d like to install.
- Recognize the small victories. It’s not necessary to earn a million dollars or lose 50 pounds before you have the right to feel proud and excited. Any progress is worthy of recognizing. Large successes are the culmination of many smaller successes.
- Take full responsibility for your current situation. Is it your fault that your parents mistreated you or that your boss is a jerk? Of course not, but no one else is going to fix the situation. It’s all on you. When you take responsibility, you have control. Self-esteem is elusive when you believe you don’t have control over your life.
- Do something for others. It’s easy to feel selfish when all of your thoughts and activities are centered on yourself. Spend part of your time enhancing the lives of others. Demonstrate to yourself that you’re a good person.
- Take a step each day toward your ideal self. We all have a vision of the person we’d like to be. That ideal version of ourselves might seem too far away to even consider, but take a small step each day. Each small improvement will raise your self-image. Start today by listing all the qualities you’d like to have.
- Manage your self-talk. We all talk to ourselves. You’re not the only one! The greatest thing about this is that we can control what we say to ourselves. Is your self-talk positive or negative? Negative self-talk chips away at your feelings of self-worth. Be kind to yourself. Be encouraging, positive, and patient.
- Get started on the bigger projects in your life. Your self-image is damaged when you fail to control yourself. Big projects are intimidating. Focus on getting started. Take at least a few minutes each day to tackle the bigger goals in your life. Sustained progress is the key.
- Avoid comparing yourself to others. We all have different skills and talents. It’s unfair to compare yourself to other people. You’re doomed to be either too hard or too easy on yourself.
- Compare yourself to your past. Are you doing better than you were last month? When you can consistently answer “yes,” you’ll be well on your way to maximizing your self-image.
Begin to build a healthy self-image today. Regardless of your past or current impressions of yourself, you can learn to view yourself in a more positive light. A healthy self-image is the springboard to happiness and success. Focus on the small victories in your life and be proud of your progress. You deserve to be successful and happy.
Your self-image is the way you view yourself. You might view yourself as a parent, construction worker, friend, blonde, sports fan, intelligent, impatient, and middle-aged. But you’re more than your career, gender, and age. You’re more than your parents’ opinion.
You’re a unique person with nuances that are unique to you!
When who you are aligns with what you do, you’re living authentically. But most of us view ourselves as one way and live another. Authentic people act honestly and congruently.
The benefits of this congruency are enormous: success, self-esteem, respect from others, and inner peace.
Those that live lives misaligned with their values, beliefs, and attitudes suffer from more anxiety, guilt, and shame. It might seem easier to live up to the expectations of others in the short-term, but the long-term costs are significant.
Follow these steps to determine your true self and live life on your terms:
- Identify your core values. An authentic self-image is one that is aligned with your values. By knowing your values, you’ll gain an understanding of what is important to you. Once you’re aware of your values, you can build a self-image and life that are more meaningful and enjoyable.
- Make a list of your values. Create a long list and include everything that you think applies to you. Then, reduce your list to the ten values that are most important to you. You might struggle to narrow your list to just ten, but ten values are plenty.
- Determine if you have any conflicts. For example, you might say that adventure and freedom are two of your most important values, but what if you also strongly favor responsibility and security? Those values could be in conflict.
- When you’re faced with an inner conflict, you’re likely to shut down and do nothing. If you’ve ever been paralyzed while making a decision, it’s possible your values were in conflict. Think back to when you’ve struggled to make a decision and see if it’s true.
- Do you have any values listed that aren’t really priorities for you? We often carry around perspectives instilled by our parents. Here’s a newsflash: they may have been wrong. Take the time to determine your values for yourself. Disregard what society says you should value. You’re an individual.
- Create an action plan for each value. Imagine one of your values is frugality. You could create a budget and savings plan that incorporates that value. You might plan to start clipping coupons, visit less expensive stores, and search for free entertainment options available on the weekends.
- Make a list of activities you enjoy that are in alignment with your values. For example, if generosity is a priority, you could find an enjoyable way to spend your time helping others. If health is a value you cherish, you could join a soccer team or a yoga class. Find your favorite sport and participate.
- Evaluate yourself at the end of each day. Think about the instances when you failed to live according to your values. Likewise, contemplate the times you were able to live according to your values and self-image, particularly when doing so was challenging.
Create a self-image that is in alignment with your values. First, it is necessary to identify and choose your values. Next, construct a life that allows you to live those values consistently and to thrive. Authenticity eliminates many of the common emotional ailments in life, but it’s not always the easiest choice.
Be bold enough to choose the person you want to become and live accordingly. The benefits are enormous. What are your values?