When it comes to how someone sees themselves, the term ‘self image’ is often used. And the image that one has of themselves doesn’t have to reflect reality in any way; this is because there are no limits when it comes to how one can see themselves, but this doesn’t mean that one’s self image is empowering.
One could have all kinds of ideas about who they are and while they could enhance their life, they could also end up sabotaging their level of happiness and success. For instance, one person could believe they are a certain way and another person could wonder how this person has come to believe such a thing.
But even though another person doesn’t agree with how one sees themselves, it doesn’t mean that one is therefore deluding themselves. The other person could be someone who is trying to hold one back or it could relate to instance where they are aware of how one is holding themselves back.
So while there is the chance that one’s self image is supportive and life enhancing, there is also the chance that it isn’t. And the image that one has of themselves might be empowering at one point in time but as time passes, it might disempowering.
Fortunately, the image one has is not fixed and can be changed whenever one wants to change it. This is not always understood though; as one could believe that how they see themselves is the truth. It is then not a collection of ideas that one has, it is their true nature.
There is the chance that one has chosen the self image that they have. In this case, one is going to be on their own side and this is going to make their life a lot easier.
However, one could also have a self image that they haven’t chosen and it is then second hand. There is then the chance that one is their own worst enemy and this is going to make their life a lot harder than it needs to be.
The self image that one has can be the result of: what their childhood was like, the kind of people they spend their time with and the culture of the country they live in, amongst other things. And while one is always going to be influenced by what it taking place eternally, it doesn’t mean that they have no control over what they come to accept as the truth.
What this emphasis is how important it is for one to be aware of how they sees themselves. If one is aware it will give them the chance to change their self image, but this option is not going to be there if they not aware.
Accepted Or Rejected
So when one creates their own self image and has an idea of themselves that is supportive and empowering, they will know what to accept and what to reject. One can also engage in activities or spend time with people who will support how they see themselves.
If one has a self image that is harming their life, there is the chance that they will spend time around people and do things that are no good for them. And this could be something that has taken place for quiet some time.
And once one has formed a certain image, it can be hard to change it and that’s not because it is having a positive impact on their life. What it can come down to, is how this is what feels safe at a deeper level.
How one behaves, as a result of the self image that they have, is going to lead to a certain amount of approval. So if one was to change their self image and therefore their behaviour, it could lead to rejection.
It is easy to fear the worst or to believe that other people will no longer accept who one is and these might not reflect reality. And while it is easy to assume the worst, there is the chance that people will react negatively or pull away when one changes who they are.
So as there are going to be times when there is external opposition, it is going to be important for one to support themselves. To be on their own side and to have an inner dialogue where one is kind, loving and supportive.
Not only will there be thoughts that can get in the way of one having a positive self image, there can also be feelings. And this is because ones feelings are not always created by their thoughts.
One could feel a certain way and then their mind could interpret how they feel to mean something. The meaning that the mind creates, as a result of how one feels, can end up sabotaging their chance of forming a healthy self image.
The meaning that the mind creates is also going to depend on the context that one is in. So let’s say that one decides to put their needs first and because of this, they end up feeling guilty or ‘bad’. Here, one could end up believing that they are bad and that it’s wrong to put their needs first. It is then going to be a challenge for one to form a healthy self image when it comes to their needs.
One could try something new and they could end up feeling overwhelmed and anxious. This could then cause one develop a self image that is based around them being incapable and that they lack the ability to try new things.
So how one feels can end up defining how one sees themselves and although they are only feelings, they can be seen as the truth. What this shows is how important it is to observe how one feels and as opposed to letting ones feelings take over.
If one does have feelings that are having a negative impact on their self image, it could mean that one has some emotional work to do. And as the emotional experiences of their past have been processed, one’s body and mind can start to work together. This can be done with the assistance of a therapist or a healer.
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Oliver J R Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.