Improve Your Self-Image
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
The key to your behavior & personality is your self-image. Your accomplishments (what you believe you can and cannot do) are determined by your self-image. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, self-image means the way you think about yourself, your abilities or appearance.
If you expand your self-image, you’ll expand what’s possible for you. Because when you expand your self-image, it will seem to empower you with new capabilities, new talents, and will actually turn your lack of success into your desired outcome.
You have a brain and a nervous system that is so marvelously made and complex that it works for or against you depending on how YOU the controller, directs it. You direct it consciously or unconsciously by what you focus your attention on. Your brain and your nervous system have been referred to as your “goal-striving mechanism.” It’s like a built-in automatic guidance system that can be your “success mechanism” or your “failure mechanism.”
You can improve your self-image in the same way you improve any skill, by practice over time.
The Secret to Changing Your Self-Image is by Creative Experience
Your self-image is not changed by intellectual knowledge, it is changed by experiencing change for the better or for the worse. We all know a child who grew-up to be a well-adjusted, healthy, and a happy adult; that didn’t happen because he/she was just taught about love, that happen because he/she actually experienced love.
Your self-confidence and the way you respond to situations are the result of the way you interpreted and analyzed your experiences—not based on what you didn’t experience. In the same way, you can create a new experience to improve your self-image. You are going to learn to function successfully by experiencing success through creative experience. After you experience success in this way, your memories of the past successes will give you the self-confidence to carry-out a new task.
There has been an important discovery through numerous studies, which have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that your nervous system cannot tell the difference between what’s actually happening and what’s only being imagined in lifelike detail. The studies also revealed that you can actually create and control a desired experience in the “theatre of your mind.” The theatre of your mind is where you remember and relive moments in your life.
This method has improved people’s skills in public-speaking, sports, and turned unhappy people into happy people, who learned how to enjoy life by experiencing it in the “theatre of their minds.” In this same way, you’re going to flip the use of your imagination in order to improve your self-image.
Daily Mental Exercise to Practice:
Each day set aside 5-10 minutes when you can be alone and not disturbed. Relax and make yourself as comfortable as possible. With your eyes open or close, you’re going to image yourself in the future achieving a goal, but you are going to imagine it in such great deal that it feels like an actual experience (as much as possible).
The way to do this is to pay attention to every detail in your imagined environment (sounds, things and the scenic view around you; see yourself being, feeling and reacting as you want to be). Create a mental movie (like you’re watching it on a large TV screen) that plays out in graphic detail everything you want to happen. See yourself in lifelike detail as winning and that alone will add greatly to your success. The road to success starts with a mental picture, held in your imagination in great detail, of what you would like to do or be.
If your mind wonders off to a different thought, just bring yourself back to the original thought. If your mental movie isn’t clear, it doesn’t mean it will not get clearer and more detailed over time as you practice this exercise. Studies show that it usually takes about 21 days before there’s any noticeable change in a mental image.
From time-to-time, before you image that you are achieving a goal, you are to go back into your past and think about a time when you successfully did something well. It could be as simple as learning how to type. When it happened is not important nor is it important how big the success was. The only thing that matters is that the memory trigger a positive good feeling inside you, right then.
Afterwards, go into the future and picture how you want to be, but maintain the same happy feeling you had in the past successful experience. This exercise stores new memories in your brain and nervous system—it builds a new self-image. After you practice this exercise for a while—without even trying—you will find yourself acting differently. Try It!
“Any idea that is held in the mind, that is emphasized, that is either feared or revered, will begin at once to cloth itself in the most convenient and appropriate form available.”
– by Andrew Carnegie
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