How to achieve a good self-image in order to be happier?
Much of who we are is defined by our self-image, that is, our conception of ourselves. This self-image has a very important impact on the most diverse areas of our life 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 with whom we interact and do that they behave in a way that is consistent with our way of perceiving ourselves.
The 4 keys to enjoying a good self-image
However, like many other constituent 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 yourself.
1. Stop taking negative judgments about your self-image as true
Human beings are incapable of objectively perceiving ourselves: we have so much information about our way of behaving and feeling 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 can help you realize that complexes and insecurities about yourself are never based on something one hundred percent objective and that, therefore, they have no value in and of themselves.
Negative ideas about your own person do not describe an objective and incontestable reality. Keeping them in mind does not guarantee you a reliable and true knowledge about yourself, but they often do ensure a great source of worry, anxiety and conflictive situations. Therefore, believing that you cannot challenge these preconceptions related to a negative self-image is, many times, to fall into the autoboicot, to become hindered.
Failure to pay attention to these negative ideas about your own being will not bring you closer to achieving a purely true image about yourself (something that, as I have said, cannot be done), but it can make your existence easier and evolve as a person.
2. Establish a good internal dialogue
This point is derived from the previous one. Since self-image is, in part, the product of selective attention to the things that define oneself, working on its improvement involves making efforts to master this focus of attention. For example, if you are bad at a sport and that affects you a lot when compared to the rest of the people experienced in this activity, it is good to reflect on why such a specific activity and 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 tend to overlook, dedicate yourself to locating them and thinking to what extent they are the product of luck and not of your own merits. As this can be a bit tricky, help yourself by paying attention to the positive judgments that other people make about you : this will help you find those strengths of yours that you were not aware of until now.
3. Find points where you want to improve
Enjoying a good self-image is not being content with a still image of oneself, but is supported by the notion of having paths to travel to improve as a person. Paradoxically, knowing your own imperfections can be beneficial and nurture self-esteem, as this will provide goals to walk towards. Being aware in real time of this process of personal growth is highly satisfying, and knowing that the definitive goal has not yet been reached is essential to make sure this feeling does not fade and so that you can 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 made up of only infinite imperfections. Being in this situation is falling into the autoboicot, since the feeling of helplessness is so overwhelming that it does not allow to undertake personal growth projects .
4. Positively focuses on relationships with others
Improving self-esteem is not about thinking about yourself all day. Positive internal 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 able not only to relate in a positive way with others, but also to induce other people to have a positive attitude towards you.
Just as sometimes starting a dialogue on the wrong foot can make the relationship with someone become a source of stress and anger, if we propose to transform a conversation into something from which both parties benefit, you can take advantage of this loop effect. The feedback of this kind of dynamics can be a good tool to play to your favor.