by Linda-Ann Stewart
Is your self-image in alignment with who you want to be? Do you want something greater for yourself, but you feel unworthy to seek or achieve it? Or maybe you’ve attempted to change a habit or situation in your life, and it hasn’t worked out. If so, the problem is likely due to how you view yourself.
Your self-image is a combination of qualities that you identify with: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. They are concepts that you believe define you. For example, you think of yourself as intelligent and friendly or a failure and inept. Your self-image includes abilities, talents, strengths and weaknesses you believe you have. You see yourself through the lens of all these characteristics and they filter out everything that isn’t in alignment with them.
How Your Self-Image Sabotages You
If any of the ideas you hold contradict your goals, then your subconscious mind will sabotage your aspirations in some way. Your subconscious mind keeps you in alignment with how you think of yourself. It will conform your actions and behaviors so they agree with how you view yourself. In this way, your subconscious keeps you congruent with your self-perception.
For instance, if you think of yourself as a disorganized person, then every time you try to keep your space neat, you’ll make some kind of mess. Your beliefs affect your behaviors and your subconscious mind ensures that they align. If they don’t agree, you feel discomfort, unease and even anxiety. By trying to shift beyond your self-image, you’re stepping out of what’s familiar and safe. And your subconscious mind will create distress until you go back to your old ways.
You Can Change Your Self-Image
Your self-image is an accumulation of past childhood ideas and attitudes you’ve established over the years. All of these are simply beliefs, and beliefs can be changed. With some work, you can improve your self-image so it supports you when you take action to achieve new goals and visions.
1. Become aware of the beliefs that construct your self-image. Focus on the areas you have trouble improving. How do you identify yourself in these areas? For instance, to meet deadlines, do you describe yourself as someone who is always late? Before you can change a belief, you have to be aware that it’s a problem and what kind of issue it’s creating.
2. Why do you want to change your belief? To change it, you have to have a strong motivation that will override your natural reluctance to change. Will the shift make you healthier or happier? Write down all the benefits to having a better self-image in this area. Your motivation must be strong enough to convince your subconscious mind that it’s safe for you to pursue the change.
3. What actions do you need to take to change your belief? These could be improving what you tell yourself, making decisions based on your new identity, changing habits or something else. For example, to eat healthier, you’d think about how a healthy person would eat, and make choices from that position. This would allow you to adopt a better lifestyle overall and create new eating habits. Once you decide on these new actions and behaviors, commit yourself to follow through on them.
4. Create a new self-image that represents your aspiration. Imagine yourself a year in the future with all these changes in place. How would you think and feel differently about yourself? Tell yourself that you’re worthy of and deserve the outcome. What other changes would have resulted? What you’re doing is updating your self-image so that it supports you in your goal or vision.
You may feel uncomfortable as you go through this process, but it will be worth it. What you’re doing is changing a fundamental part of yourself to align with what you want and who you want to be. It takes courage and commitment, but it allows you to create the life you want.
The Universe perceives me to be a perfect reflection of Itself, having all the loving and good qualities that It contains. It holds the highest and best view of me. That individualized expression of the Universe is the potential of who I am and could be. I now aspire to be that person, and view myself as the Universe sees me.
Watch the accompanying video, Guided Meditation to Create a New Self-Image.