Much of what we are is defined by our self-image , that is, the conception we have of ourselves. This self-image has a very important impact on the most diverse areas of our lives and can play for or against our quality of life.
As a regulating element of our behavior and our emotionality, it has effects on the self-esteem of each person, induces positive and negative emotional states, modulates our way of behaving and, in fact, can be read by the people we relate to and make them behave in a way that is consistent with our way of perceiving ourselves.
The 4 keys to enjoy a good self-image
However, like many other constitutive elements of our way of interpreting reality, self-image can be managed to suit our needs . Here are four key ideas to make it easier for you to learn how to usefully manage your relationship with your own person
1. Stop making negative judgments about your self-image
We human beings are incapable of perceiving ourselves objectively: we have so much information about the way we behave and feel that the conception of oneself is necessarily a very brief summary and leaves out many elements and characteristics that define us. Being clear about this may help you realize that complexes and insecurities about oneself are never based on something one hundred percent objective and therefore have no value in themselves .
Negative ideas about your own person do not describe an objective and incontrovertible reality. Having them in mind does not guarantee a true and reliable knowledge about you, but often it does assure you of a great source of worry, anxiety and conflicting situations. Therefore, to believe that you cannot question these preconceived ideas related to a negative self-image is, many times, to fall into self-boycott , to put obstacles in your way.
Paying no attention to these negative ideas about your own being will not bring you any closer to achieving a purely true image of yourself (which, as I said, cannot be done), but it can make your existence and evolution as a person easier.
2. Establish a good inner dialogue
This point is derived from the previous one. As self-image is partly a product of selective attention on the things that define you, working on improving it involves making efforts to master this focus. For example, if you are bad at a sport and this affects you a lot when comparing yourself to other people experienced in this activity, it is good to reflect on why such a specific activity with so little presence in your daily habits should define you.
If there are things that you are good at and you notice that you often overlook them, , you should try to find them and think about how much they are a product of luck and not of your own merits. As this can be a bit complicated, help yourself by paying attention to the positive judgements other people make about you: this will help you find those strengths of yours that you didn’t know about until now.
3. Find points you want to improve on
Enjoying a good self-image is not content with a still image of oneself , but is supported by the notion of having paths to follow to improve as a person. Paradoxically, knowing one’s own imperfections can be beneficial and feed self-esteem, as it will provide goals to walk towards. Being aware in real time of this process of personal growth is highly satisfactory, and knowing that the ultimate goal has not yet been reached is indispensable to keep this feeling from fading away and to enable you to take control of your own self-image.
However, it is one thing to locate these imperfections and react to them and another to feel that the self-image is composed only of infinite imperfections. To be in this situation is to fall into self-boycott, since the feeling of helplessness is so overwhelming that it does not allow one to undertake projects of personal growth .
4. Positive approach to relationships with others
Improving self-esteem is not about thinking about yourself all day long . Positive inner dialogue should take place both internally (thoughts and perceptions about oneself) and externally, that is, in relationships with others. Taking this into account will make you capable not only of relating positively to others, but also of inducing others to have a positive attitude towards you.
Just as sometimes starting a dialogue on the wrong foot can turn a relationship with someone into a source of stress and anger, if you set out to transform a conversation into something that benefits both parties you can take advantage of this looping effect. The feedback of this kind of dynamics can be a good tool that plays in your favour.