Have you ever wondered why in some situations, no matter how hard you try, it just seems like you can’t change your life? Or why you don’t do the things you know you should, to improve your health, wealth, and relationship?
The answer is simple: your self-image determines your life. The way you see yourself is actually your blueprint, and your mind, subconsciously and rigorously, will follow the blueprint. “But I want to change”, you say, and that’s a conscious decision.
Nevertheless, until the subconscious self-image doesn’t change accordingly, even if you manage to change tracks for a while, you will be forced back on the path of your blueprint.
What is self-image
Self-image can be described simply the way you see yourself. Not the way you see yourself in the mirror, but the way you picture yourself in your mind. We all have mental pictures of ourselves, even if we set it out consciously or not.
We all see ourselves either as loser or winners, fat or fit, unloved or loved, poor or rich, and that becomes our blueprint for our lives. Our mind operates like a computer, and our self-image is the software. We will behave in such a way to match with our inner image.
How is self-image shaping our reality
Think about your life like an airplane flight. When you start you have a destination point set out (let’s say for example New York), where you want to go. This is your self-image, the way you see yourself, your goal. The way you picture yourself in your mind.
While in flight, your mind will do what is called mid-course corrections. Small adjustments to make sure you are on the right track. It doesn’t matter that in the middle of the flight you decided that you want to visit London instead of New York, if you don’t change the settings of the destination point (from your subconscious mind) you will get to New York, regardless of your struggles to change directions.
Your reality is just a result of your own actions. The way you think consciously is important, it’s vital to have a positive mental attitude. But most of your decisions are made instinctively, influenced by your subconscious mind. And your subconscious mind operates on the image you set about yourself.
It’s the blueprint that is followed rigorously. Because we are designed to have a consistency, otherwise our lives will be a bunch of random things with no outcome at all.
Our results are based on our mental picture as well
Think about it this way. There have been situations where a very successful athlete, with an incredible track record, starts to lose his or her career, reputation, and can’t even perform as good after a big defeat. What happens?
First, they have the self-image of a winner. They can’t picture themselves lose, and they act on their image. Their performance is incredible. Then, a defeat comes along and makes them change their self-image into a looser. And they act accordingly. But this doesn’t only apply to sports.
Defeats appear in all areas of life, emotional, mental, financial, health, and the real damage consists in changing your self-image in a way that will affect all your life. And you try to get back on track after a setback, but you don’t know that your newly made self-image is the one that holds you back. So while to try to change your life into better, deep inside you are thinking “ah, it will never work”, therefore you don’t even try that much.
Does it make sense? I hope it does.
Or let’s give another example. Why do kids born in rich families tend to make money easy, while those born in poor ones struggle to keep what they have all their lives? And I’m talking about what they make. For example, the rich kid and poor kid get on the same job. I promise you that the rich one tends to be much more productive and results orientated, while the poor one tends to slack off and be lazy.
That’s simply because they have different self-images. The rich person always saw himself or herself rich, so they act accordingly. And the poor one always had the self-image of a poor person, so they act on it. The ones that make a difference, and start from nothing and get rich, first started to change their self-image. They always saw themselves rich, even when poor, and that pushed them getting there.
As a side note, I want to clarify something for you. A distorted self-image (also called unstable self-image) is something that you can fix. Don’t buy into the idea that your self-image is what it is and that’s it. It’s the result of mental programming, habits, and acceptance of that image. Whatever we accept as being true, becomes and makes us behave as it is true.
How to change your self-image
Most of the people have the self-image influenced by environment. Where they were born, the self-image of their parents, what others told them, the social results they’ve got, the heartbreaks etc.
The problem with having a self-image dependable on the exterior is that when crises strike, it will affect your self-image also. It’s normal to have setbacks from time to time, but if that setback alters your self-image, the way you see yourself, it will alter your life. Failures are part of the success journey.
How you improve your self-image or change it completely? Here are 4 steps that will help you accomplish that:
- The first thing to control your self-image is awareness. Now you know what it is and how important it is, so you will pay attention. Keep track of how you see yourself in different situations and areas of your life. And where you lack the results you want, change your self-image and see yourself already winning in that area. Already having what you want. Therefore, visualization is a powerful technique.
- Reading inspirational and motivational articles or books, from the domain you want to improve on, is another way to consciously influence your self-image. Audio tapes and videos work tremendously well also. All successful people have at least 30 minutes of positive learning daily.
- A third way to powerfully set your self-image is to write down your goals. I recommend it to do it daily. And the way to write them effectively is like this: “I __(verb)__ __(your wish)__ by __(deadline)__”. For example: I lose 1 kilogram by __date__. Or I buy my dream house at the beach by __date__. Be specific on measurements. This way we directly and powerfully set our self-image and give orders on what we want to achieve. Having a deadline makes it important for your mind, otherwise, is just a mere wish that can be postponed. This method of setting goals I got it from the book “Goals!” by Brian Tracy and it changed my life.
- The last and the most powerful way to change your self-image is to take daily actions in the direction of your dreams. Progress means happiness, and making steps towards what you want to accomplish will boost up your self-confidence and also reinforce your self-image. The more you act on your path that you want to achieve, the more you will be attracted to do more things towards your dreams. Remember that all the knowledge in the world it’s useless without taking action. That’s why it’s vital to make it the daily habit of taking steps towards your goals.
What part of your self-image this article motivated you to change? What actions will you take to change your life? Share with us in the comments.