Your self-image plays a huge role in creating a successful life. It’s hard to be a confident, creative action-taker, if you don’t see yourself that way first. So much of success is a mental game, and if the pictures you paint of yourself are weak and negative, then that’s what you will project into the world as well.
So how do you go about boosting your self-image so that you see yourself in a more positive light?
Here are six ways you can start to create a more positive self-image.
1. Identify your obstacles
We all have obstacles and blocks that slow us down on the way to creating a successful life. Many times these appear in the form of limiting beliefs – negative beliefs that have been ingrained in use, often since childhood.
Here are some of the more common limiting beliefs that you too might be dealing with:
• I’ll never be good with money.
• I’m not good at making friends.
• People don’t like me.
• I just can’t lose weight.
• I don’t have any self-control.
• I’m horrible at math and science.
• I’m stuck in this career for the rest of my life.
• It’s too late to change my life.
The first step to overcoming these obstacles is to identify them. Write down a list of all your self-limiting beliefs, and then prioritize the list. You’ll want to work with the most damaging ones first.
2. Make a plan to overcome each limiting belief
Use all the tools you have in your arsenal to overcome this. Imagine you have the limiting belief, “People don’t like me.”
• There will always be people in the world who don’t like you. In order to get past your limiting belief, focus on the people who DO like you and are proud of you and happy to call you their friend. Write down a list of all the people you spend time with. Would they want to spend time with you if they didn’t like you?
• Think about the positive experiences you’ve had hanging out with other people. Figure out what it is you have in common with them. Once you know what type of people you resonate with, it becomes less important that everyone like you because the important people – the ones you feel a connection with – will like you just fine.
3. Learn what you need to know to take action
Maybe it’s not so much that people don’t like you, it’s that you aren’t great at reaching out and making friends. You could grab a book that addresses your issue, whether it’s making friends or dealing with social anxiety, for example.
Then put what you read into action by joining a social group such as a walking club, or a wine-tasting group. Sometimes being around people and interacting with them is just a matter of getting out there and practicing. But each time you do it, you’ll add a little more positivity to your self-image.
4. Acknowledge what you’ve already accomplished
Something I’ve noticed with myself is that when you have a negative self-image, you tend to discount all the things you’ve accomplished in your life. You’re so fixated on the negative, that you don’t give yourself any credit at all for the cool things you’ve done.
Write down all the things you’ve already accomplished – getting your degree, buying a house, raising a family, finishing a triathlon, walking a mile – it doesn’t matter how big or small, just list them all. And then review this list every day to boost your positive self-image.
5. Use positive self-talk
Limiting beliefs breed negative self-talk. To create a more positive self-image, pay attention to your self-talk and turn your negative statements into positive ones. For example:
• “I can’t do this” becomes “I’ll find a way to get it done.”
• “It’s too late to change” becomes “I’ll make one small change today.”
Talk to yourself in a positive way and you’ll see yourself in a more positive light as well.
6. Spend time with people that make you feel good about yourself
And avoid those that make you feel bad about yourself. There are people in your life that make you feel like an attractive, fascinating genius, and there are those that manage to do the exact opposite. It’s obvious which group will enhance your self-image.
Create a list of people to spend more time with and a list of people to avoid.
Changing your self-image isn’t easy. It takes work, but it’s oh so worth it in the end. The process requires courage, experimentation, and patience. Develop a realistic opinion of yourself. Be fair with yourself. It’s human nature to emphasize the negative and downplay the positive. Use these steps to boost your self-image and create the successful life you deserve.