Self-Image is the key to human personality and behavior. Change the self-image and you change the personality and behavior. – Dr. Maxwell Maltz
Self-Image is a concept that has been ignored for far too long in relation to the understanding of human behavior and performance. What most people don’t understand is that the Self-Image isn’t just the key to human personality and behavior, but it is, the very thing that creates the results that we get in life. Self-Image consists of what we think about ourselves, is vitally more important than what others think of us, and translates into both Self-love and Self-esteem.
Our life, our environment and our relationships, all of which constitute our results, are a direct reflection of our Self-Image.
Self-Image and Results
Have an open mind, assume that the above statement is completely true, and then ask yourself what your current results are saying about your Self-Image.
In my journey of self-development and personal growth, I found that myself and my relationship with myself, was the Golden key to changing my life and so believe it to be true of everyone I work with.
Who is the Real You?
Most of us have two images, one that we project to the world outside and one that we hold within. Now it’s the one that we hold within, that is directly related to our life and results. Quite often this internal image, is quite different from what we project out to the world. We keep this image hidden not just from the world, but also from ourselves. However, if we do have issues with our self-image, there is no hiding from it – as our circumstances and results serve as constant reminders to do something about it. The most obvious proof of poor self-image, is letting other people treat us disrespectfully, or having our boundaries constantly stepped upon.
The unfortunate thing is that we didn’t consciously choose our self-image. It was put in place, deep into our sub-conscious mind, when we were young children. If we grew up with positive empowering voices in our environment, we end up with a positive self-image. However, if we grew up in an environment, where most of the adults in our life, were critical and harsh, then we usually end up with a poor or negative self-image.
Hard work and Self- Image – The Trap
Many of us work very hard, and do everything right by the book, but our results don’t match up to our efforts. This leads to a lot of confusion and frustration, making us even more critical of ourselves. Our inner Self-Image, which behaves like a thermostat of performance – makes it impossible for our results to change. Without an understanding of our Self-Image, hard work will only lead to exhaustion and frustration.
An example – a person is overweight and has been struggling with weight all their lives. Their body, and their relationship with food, is only a reflection of how they truly feel about themselves. They have an image of themselves, that is “fat”, set deep in their sub-conscious minds. Whenever they lose some weight, their sub-conscious mind is programmed to “find” that weight again. So, they go on a diet, and then end up over eating, and then diet and then overeating – never really sustaining a healthy and stable weight for a reasonable period of time. This pattern will repeat itself until such time, that they either give up, or in fact decide to work on their self-image. If we can get the overweight person, to work with their self-image before their efforts into food and lifestyle, the results will be permanent.
Changing our Self-Image
We are born perfect, we have a self-image of perfection (our authentic selves) that is true for us – but it gets buried, under our environmental conditioning which causes us to doubt ourselves, and be insecure.
To change our Self-Image, we need to first be aware of it, and this requires significant self-awareness. For us to decipher and define our self-image, we must get to know ourselves and the workings of our mind and emotions. A coach to guide you through this process, would greatly accelerate the journey.
Once we have the awareness, and understanding, we then use systematic tools to re-create, or change that self-image to one that we like. This effort takes some guidance and a bit of time, but is entirely possible.
5 Steps to a New Self-Image
Step 1. Get to know yourself, your thoughts, your emotions – Build Self-awareness
Step 2. Decipher and define your Self-Image – Use environment as your looking glass.
Step 3. Create an image of the person you want to become. Write a script.
Step 4. Replace old self-image with new self-image in your sub-conscious mind using systematic tools.
Step 5. Stick with it - Change and Transformation take time!
Working on your self-image is a lifelong process. Successful people constantly invest in themselves, they keep learning and re-creating their image to match the new goals and results that they seek in life.
Remember no matter where you are currently, you have the power to change your Self-Image to reflect the results that you seek.
If you would like to find out more about how we can help you with your Self-Image challenges, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for an introductory chat.