While no two people on the planet will view themselves in the same way, there are going to be people who have a self image that empowers them and there will also be people who have a self image that doesn’t empower them. And ones self image is something that can change as time goes by and is therefore not static.
How one sees themselves at one point in their life could enhance their life and at another time, it could cause them to feel limited and/or incapable. Whereas, if one’s self image doesn’t empower them to begin with, unless they change it, they are not going to feel any different.
So while one person can believe that how they see themselves is who they are, there are going to be other people who realise that this is not the case. Here, one is going to know that their self image can be changed at any point.
And through having this understanding, one is going to feel more empowered than someone who believes their self image is set in stone. To have this outlook means that nothing can be done about how they see themselves.
It is then not an idea that they have about who they are or what their capable of, it is the truth of who they are. To have this belief is not going to enhance their wellbeing or allow them to achieve what they want to achieve in life.
They could end up feeling as though they have to settle for what life gives them. And when other people have a self image that supports them, they could be seen as having something they don’t.
When it comes to the self image that one has, it is going to be a result of how other people have seen them from the moment they were born or how one has decided to see themselves.
What this means is that one’s self image could be something one has defined themselves, or it could be something that others have defined for them. This is not going to be black and white though, as even if one has defined it themselves, they are still going to be influenced by others.
No one is their own island after all; we are all shaped by others in ways that we are aware and in ways that we are unaware of. But just because one is influenced by others, it doesnt mean that they have to allow others to completely define them.
For some people, their childhood would have been a time where they received the feedback they needed to form an empowering self image. And this caused them to feel worthy, capable and supported for who they are, amongst other things.
And then there are going to be other people who didn’t receive the feedback they needed to create an empowering self image. As a result of this, they would have ended up feeling unworthy, incapable and that they are not supported when it comes to being who they truly are.
As Time Goes By
So if one has had a healthy self image from birth, it may stay with them for the rest of their life. This doesn’t mean they won’t have moments when it is put under extreme pressure or even shattered, but what it does mean is that it is likely to give them the resilience that they need to handle the ups and down of life.
And when it wasnt possible for someone to develop a healthy self image during their childhood years, it doesn’t mean that one is therefore unable to create one as an adult. What it does mean is that one is going to be more vulnerable to certain things.
Defined By Others
It could mean that one finds it difficult to define who they are and allows other people to do it. And this is going to mean that they are unable to live the kind of life they want and to achieve the things they want to achieve.
One may feel accepted through letting others define them, but it is going to be at a cost. Their real needs and wants are going to end up being ignored and therefore unfulfilled.
The good thing is that it is never too late for someone to take control of their self image and to define who they are going to be. This might not be something that is going to be supported or encouraged by the people one usually associates with, but this is to be expected.
Their acceptance is likely to be based on one behaving in a certain way, and when one changes, it could make them feel uncomfortable. But what is more important: matching up to other people’s expectations or living a life that reflects who one really is?
As one changes who they are, the people they are drawn to and attract is going to change. And in their mind, they are not going to know any different and so they are unlikely to have the same need for one to change.
If one feels that they need some kind of support with this, then it is important that they reach out for it. The assistance of a therapist, healer or a coach can make this process a lot easier.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, 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.