Most of us have heard about self-image—its importance and its implications to our daily lives. There's this idea that a positive self-image can boost our confidence to make us motivated and productive. It allows us to enjoy life without worrying about other people's judgments.
Despite these advantages, most of us take self-image for granted. To some, it does not matter. It does not even affect one's life that significantly. Well, you might think that way now, but as you go through life and you face various challenges and frustrations, your self-image will start to change. You will begin to feel negatively towards yourself. If this happens, you will be prone to depression, anxiety, and other psychological disorders.
This is why it's essential to build a positive self-image as soon as possible. It allows you to stand your ground and keep believing in yourself despite your failures. It enables you to stand up because you know who you are, and you are not about to give up.
You may not be able to control the challenges that life can give you. But you can control how you can mitigate its impacts, starting by building a positive self-image.
Scientifically, self-image refers to people's perception or mental image of themselves. It is how they judge and define themselves. Self-image can either be negative or positive. This depends on several factors, such as societal and cultural history, stress, bullying, trauma, and many more.
It can be challenging to come back from these experiences, but you need to develop that positive self-esteem. You can never change what happened to you before. The only thing you can do now is regaining what was lost, heal, and be better in life. One way you can achieve this is by developing a positive self-image. Here are ways how you can help yourself.
1. Start affirming your positive characteristics
Sometimes, the reason why people develop negative self-images is they forget who they are. They ignore their strengths and values. So, to remind you of these positive characteristics, have with you a pen and paper. You can keep a daily journal if you want. So, when you wake or before you sleep, you can list the following.
First, list ten things you love about yourself. Then, list ten things you love about life. After that, list five things you've done to solve the problems you thought you shouldn't. Lastly, write down five instances when you thought you weren't going to survive, but you did.
I know this method is cliche. It can even be time-consuming, especially if you have a busy schedule. But it's useful. This method makes you realize that you're not a loser, that you are strong and helpful. It reminds you that you matter.
Only a few people possess the scars you have today. Only a few can understand the hardships you faced. Instead of hiding your scars from people, show them, teach them, and inspire them. That's the best you can do. Some people could use some advice on how you tackled your challenges. You can be saving their lives by sharing your story. So, instead of focusing on the 90% who ridicule you, focus on the 10% whom you can save.
2. Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Believe it or not, there is an interplay between your psychological and physiological wellbeing. If you take care of one, it will reflect on the other. One way to build a positive self-image is to get more rest, eat healthy foods, and exercise. These activities help your body regain balance, especially when you're under a lot of stress. It normalizes your serotonin levels, also known as your happy hormone, so you can boost your mood and feel better about yourself.
Plus, if you keep yourself healthy, you will look and feel “blooming” every day. This is the positive effect when your body gets the care it needs. So, no matter how stressed you are, don't forget to care for yourself. Put your body first. In time, you will learn how to love it and be more confident in who you are.
3. Do things that interest you
One of the main reasons people have a negative self-image is they don't do what they want. They wait for other people to command them. This makes people feel useless, unappreciated, and frustrated. So, if you're going to build a positive self-image, start listening to what your heart is whispering.
It may be scary to try and come out of your comfort zone. But if you trust the process, you can see that the results will be fulfilling and outstanding. It makes you feel more confident and satisfied with yourself. It gives you purpose because you will be doing what you love. You'll be unleashing the real you. And that's the most beautiful decision you will make in your lifetime.
4. Keep learning
Some might think they already know everything. Others even say that they're too old to learn new tricks. Because of this, they hesitate to skill-up, relearn, and retrain. While these mindsets have its benefits because it gives people peace of mind, in time, boredom will strike, and people will realize that there is nothing else to do but the same things again and again.
If this happens, they start contemplating on the negative instead of the positive. They start to think about what went wrong. They begin to ask, “What if?”. And they will realize that they haven't lived up to their full potential. In time, they will feel frustrated, which could lead to sadness and frustration.
So, if you want to keep building that positive self-image, keep learning, and keep growing. Do not allow yourself to become stagnant in one area. You need to diversify your talents, learn new skills, and build new foundations. This is the key to feeling satisfied and confident. This is the key to living life to the fullest. So, even if you get bored in one area, you know that you can always shift to other activities to keep you happy and satisfied with yourself.
5. Build a support system
The last but not least strategy to build your positive self-image is building a support system. During this process, choose people who can understand your scars, your battles, and your personality. Surround yourself with people who appreciate who you are without trying to change it. They should be able to accept you and uplift you, especially when you're going through a rough patch.
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