WHAT IS THE SELF-IMAGE
Each one of us has in his psyche an image of himself where everything that we think about ourselves resides. We can describe it as a big container in which our deepest beliefs that form our personality are enclosed.
“It may not be consciously recognizable at all. But it is there, complete down to the last detail. This self-image is our own conception of the “sort of person I am.” It has been built up from our own beliefs about ourselves”
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HOW BELIEFS ARE BORN
Most beliefs were formed unconsciously from our past experiences, our successes and failures, and from our interactions with other people, mainly during our childhood when our personality was still developing.
For instance, how the limiting belief of being shy was born? Maybe your teacher in kindergarten told you that you were shy, and that you should have talked more with your friends. From that point on you started noticing when you were silent and you actually started believing to be shy.
As time went by you found even more “evidences” of you being shy, after having collected plenty of them, the belief became always more rooted in your mind and finally became part of your personality, part of your self-image.
Unconsciously we prefer to preserve the vision we have of ourselves, even though, it is not helpful or is harming ourselves and other people. A shy person doesn’t express easily his opinions because he perceives himself as shy and saying what he thinks would go against his own perception of himself.
“All your actions, feelings, behavior—even your abilities—are always consistent with this self-image. In short, you will “act like” the sort of person you conceive yourself to be. Not only this, but you literally cannot act otherwise, in spite of all your conscious efforts or
will power. The man who conceives himself to be a “failure-type person” will find some way to fail, in spite of all his good intentions, or his will power, even if opportunity
is literally dumped in his lap. The person who conceives himself to be a victim of injustice, one “who was meant to suffer,” will invariably find circumstances to verify his
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Has ever happened to you of taking a compliment and thinking of being mocked? You felt fooled because your self-image was not congruent with the compliment, or else, you didn’t perceive yourself as able to deserve the compliment.
“Unconsciously, making poor grades became a “moral issue” with him. It would be as “wrong,” from his own viewpoint, for him to make good grades, as it would be to steal if he defines himself as an honest person.” Talking about a student who perceives himself as bad in math.
HOW TO CHANGE NEGATIVE BELIEFS
a) Be the master of your mind. The good news is that is possible to change the self-image if we are not satisfied with it. However, we can’t simply take the decision that we are not going to be shy anymore. The first step is to take back the control of our imagination and of our thoughts, because what we believe in and how we act is caused by what we imagine and think to be true.
“A human being always acts and feels and performs in accordance with what he imagines to be true about himself and his environment.”
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For instance, if you are walking down the street and you see two girls coming towards you that are whispering something to each other you can imagine that they are mocking you; this thought is just going to reinforce the idea that you already have of yourself as shy and insecure.
Nonetheless, we have the full control of our imagination and nothing is preventing us from using it in our favor. You can perceive the same situation in a completely different way; you can think that the two girls are talking about you because they find you attractive.
In short, there is no meaning of itself in the outside world, we are the ones that are giving meaning to everyday events through our perception and imagination, do we want to imagine something positive or something negative? This choice is going to affect what we believe in, how we behave and as a result our life.
However, we can’t imagine something too far from our present reality, it would be as lying to ourselves, simply we wouldn’t believe possible such a radical change. If you are depressed, and currently you think that you are worthless, it would be of no use imagining yourself as the best person in the world, probably, you wouldn’t even be able to do it.
What is the best thing you can imagine of yourself for the belief you want to change? You need to make a small improvement. If you believe yourself to be worthless doesn’t matter if all that you can imagine is to be a failure because in doing so you are questioning the fact of being worthless. Now you have to question the belief of being a failure, and so on, until you believe you deserve to be happy, which is one of the base of self-esteem.
“Weight-lifters start with weights they can lift and gradually increase the weights over a period of time. Good fight managers start a new boxer off with easy opponents
and gradually pit him against more experienced fighters. We can apply the same general principles in almost any field of endeavor. The principle is merely to start with an
“opponent” over which you can succeed, and gradually take on more and more difficult tasks. ”
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b) Act and provide to your brain new results. Imagination and thought alone can’t change our belief but are important because they influence our actions. In fact, to change a deep belief is necessary to provide our brain with some proof, or else, new experiences through new actions caused by better thoughts, now what the fuck do I mean by that?
Let me try to explain it better, what you think influences your emotions, your emotions influence your actions, your actions form your habits, your habits cause your results, your results cause what you think of yourself, or else, your self-image, your self-image cause your thoughts. therefore a perfect pattern is formed. If you enter a negative pattern and don’t know how to brake it you are doomed.
Don’t believe what I have just said, you have to notice it for yourself if you want to really change. By taking control of our thoughts we can break this pattern. We will be able to act differently and provide proof, different results, to our brain that contradict the belief we want to change. With enough results, our mind will accept the new self-image as true, we will have completely replaced the belief that was making our life a living hell.
“Self-confidence is built upon memories of past successes.”
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For instance, If you want to solve your shyness you have to question the belief by talking with strangers, expressing what you think, hit on the girl you like, and with enough time and enough proofs for your mind you will be able to change
your personality and become outgoing.
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