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How To Build a Healthy & Positive Self Image

HOW IMPORTANT IS YOUR SELF IMAGE

The self-image of a person can be evaluated as a sum of his strengths and weaknesses in these three areas relationships, performance, and appearance. Based on the positive and negative attributes, a person put certain labels to his/ her identity; for example, we often hear these statements I am a shy person, I am an introvert, I am a loser, I am competitive or I am dedicated, etc. When you analyze these labels you can determine whether that person has a healthy or an unhealthy perception of themselves. These labels or perceptions lead to building a positive or negative belief system around them. Some times these labels aspire us to work hard towards success or sometimes it makes us depressed and discourages us from doing anything.

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HEALTHY VS. UNHEALTHY SELF-IMAGE

TRAITS OF UNHEALTHY SELF-IMAGE:
“I can’t believe I just did this.” |
“How could I even do this?”
“What was I even thinking.”
“This is the worst I could have ever done.”
Above statements describes a person having a negative self-image. These individuals remain focussed on their weaknesses and flaws. This kind of behavior creates a habit of judging themselves most of the time and end up criticizing themselves and made themselves disappointed. When people develop such kind of behavior they become dependent on the opinions of others and they mostly live to fulfill the standards of society around them and in doing so they often set unrealistic goals or expectations from themselves and failure in achieving those standards make them more disappointed.

TRAITS OF HEALTHY SELF IMAGE:
If we talk about people with healthy self-image they are influenced by the opinions and expectations of people around them instead they build their own image on their feelings and perspectives. People with healthy self-image often set their expectations after analyzing their strengths and flaws. Such people stay connected with the reality of their own actions which makes them more optimistic and more control over their actions. When you are optimistic about yourself your actions bring more happiness and a sense of fulfillment. Therefore if you wish to have a more empowered life, you need to develop a healthy sense of self.

KEY STRATEGIES FOR BUILDING A HEALTHY SELF IMAGE

The following strategies can be followed to modify an unhealthy self-image into a healthy one.

Find Answers

“Who am I?” “How am I?” “What defines who I am?” “How do I see myself?” “How accurate is this view?” “Is this who I really am or have others decided this for me?” “What is my true self/ could there be something more below the surface that everyone sees?”
When you ask these questions to yourself you understand who you really are, what do you mean to yourself and how has transformed over the years. Is it real or ideal?

Make a Personal Inventory of Your Attributes

Recreating yourself is not an easy task you need to spend some time on yourself and make a list of all your possible positive attributes you could think about. Make sure these attributes are truly present and not something that you’d like to develop. 
Once you are done with the first exercise, you need to make a list of all those attributes others appreciate in you.
After you finish this exercise you need to analyze and find out what are those attributes which you have written and also appreciated by others and take these attributes as your strengths. After you identify your strengths it’s time to work your weaknesses by setting SMART Goals and working towards those goals by using what you already have. 

Find Your Perspective

We often build our perspectives on our past experiences and some unhealthy relations which we have had but one thing you need to understand is what is the basis of your perspectives are they truly yours or they are labeled by others on you?
Once you identify you need to write them down in your personal inventory and analyze if those perspectives are really helping you in achieving your goals or are they pushing you away from your goals.
And the most critical thing to identify, are those perspectives based on just a single event or multiple events?

Don’t be so harsh On Yourself

Sometimes we become so harsh on ourselves which cause more harm to our self-image. So once you have identified your strengths and weaknesses you need to accept them and think, would I be so harsh on someone if that person had the same weaknesses and had made the same mistakes?

If your answer is no, then learn to be little kinder to yourself. Acknowledge your mistakes and work towards improving them.

In the end, building a healthy self-image is all about you, how you alone — without external influences — see yourself and that’s what counts in the end

References: Amirazodi, F., & Amirazodi, M. (2011). Personality traits and self-esteem. SciVersi ScienceDirect, 29, 713-716. Fazio, R. H. (n.d.). Self-perception theory: A current perspective. Laird, J. D., & Bresler, C. (1992). The process of emotional experience: A self-perception theory. In M. S. Clark (Ed.), Review of personality and social psychology, No. 13. Emotion (pp. 213-234). Thousand Oaks, CA, US: Sage Publications, Inc. The Importance of a Positive Self Image: What’s Your Internal Voice Saying? (n.d.). Retrieved from http://mtstcil.org/skills/image-2.html Steele, C. M., Spencer, S. J., & Lynch, M. (1993). Self-image resilience and dissonance: The role of affirmational resources. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64(6), 885-896. doi:10.1037//0022-3514.64.6.885 What Really Strengthens Self-Esteem. (2016, July 17). Retrieved from https://psychcentral.com/lib/what-really-strengthens-self-esteem/

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