If you want to set yourself up for success, a positive self-image is step number one.
What is self-image?
Self-image is the ideas and beliefs you have about your appearance, personality, and abilities. This belief can shape the way we approach tasks and the level of risk we can take. Positive self-image helps us to navigate more uncertain situations and achieve more favorable outcomes.
Those with negative self-image may not even take these risks in the first place. This is why it is so important to spend some time to increase your self-image and believe in yourself just a little bit more.
How to achieve a positive self-image:
1. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness is a powerful practice that allows us to become self-aware. The more we can recognize negative behaviors, the more we can begin to break the cycle. Practicing mindfulness for just 10 minutes a day can relieve stress and help with overall wellbeing.
2. Change the narrative
When we begin chastising ourselves, the narrative is always the same: You’re not good enough or you don’t deserve this. It’s time to start changing the narrative. These thoughts are learned and can be unlearned. Make a list of the things you wish you believed were true.
Repeat these to yourself every day. You’d be surprised how powerful these statements can be in changing the way you view yourself.
3. List what you like about yourself and repeat them
In the same vein, you can create affirmations of the things you do like about yourself. It might be that you like your hair, your smile, or your eyes. Remind yourself of the things that you genuinely like about yourself. We focus too little on these things.
Remembering them can allow us to shift the focus from the negative to the positive.
4. Stop comparing yourself to others
We all tend to look at what others have and become jealous that we don’t have the same quality. These comparisons can lead to low self-esteem and negative mental health, so it’s time to stop. It can be difficult at first, but the more you stay aware of your thoughts, the more you can stop it.
Mindfulness practice can help you become more self-aware in this regard. When you catch yourself comparing yourself to others, remind yourself of the things you like about yourself.
5. Look inward
We all have our own strengths and weaknesses. Chances are, there are one or two things you know you are pretty great at. Focus on this rather than the things you might not be so good at. Not everyone can be a world-class artist, but there are also not many who will have the specific skills you have.
Revel in your own strengths and remind yourself of them.
6. Be grateful
Gratefulness is a powerful emotion that can boost serotonin and lift a low mood. When you feel as though you are thinking negatively, write a list of things you are grateful for. At first, this doesn’t even have to be things about yourself. Be grateful for those around you who care about you, your job, your pets, your home.
Then, start to focus on things you are grateful for in yourself or what you have achieved. Whatever it is, make a note of it and be thankful for it to turn your negative self-image into a positive one.
You have no idea how much a grudge can weigh you down, even if you don’t think about it all the time. The underlying feeling of bitterness when thoughts of a certain person bubble to the surface have a powerful effect. It locks us into a negative cycle of resentment and then shame, leaving us feeling negative and self-critical.
Forgiveness of others has been shown to improve self-esteem. By becoming more accepting and forgiving of others, we become more accepting and forgiving of ourselves. This means that should we think of ourselves as messing up in the future, we don’t tend to hold onto it as long.
8. Be charitable and generous
Helping others can give us a huge boost of self-esteem. It gives us something tangible and constructive that we can be proud of and this increases our self-worth. These are things that make a noticeable difference in the lives of others and we can see the visible impact we have.
Get involved in some community or charitable projects and you’ll be surprised just how fast your happiness increases.
Countless studies have proven a high correlation between exercise and higher self-esteem. Not only does exercise give you a shot of endorphins, but it also creates routine due to planning and consideration.
More than that, exercise has an impact on body composition and noticing a pair of jeans becoming a little looser can have a profound effect on making your self-image more positive. Even if it is only in the short-term.
Sleep is a vital process and the majority of us aren’t getting enough of it. Getting an adequate amount of sleep allows you to wake up feeling rested and ready for the day. End the day with 30 minutes without a phone to distract you. Read to allow your brain to wind down and settle so that you’re ready to drift off.
Starting the day right is the key to ending it the same way.
Positive self-image holds the key to all the doors which have been holding you back. Increase yours by spending a little time to develop a positive mental attitude towards yourself and others.
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