Self-Image is the package you have assigned yourself.It is built on your life experience-how you have interpreted what others said,how they treat you,what you told yourself. Your self-image may or may not be accurate,yet it forms your personal beliefs. A belief is anything we hold to be true. Most of our beliefs are formed in childhood,when our life experiences and knowledge is limited. During that time we looked up to significant people-parents,teachers,and others in authority and mostly believed what they told us. Over the years,these beliefs formed our attitudes and created our life experiences. Some of our beliefs go deep,to our core,while others lie just below the surface. Some labels-you ‘re a loser! may be surface deep in one person and cut to the core in another. If the second person has low self-esteem,he could clearly interpret this statement as ,” I’m not worthy.” A self-image of negative core beliefs can become increasingly negative as you grow older,unless you challenge and change them.
As an adult,you have the beliefs about everything including your intelligence,competence,image and lovability. Unfortunately much of what you believe is false. To help you better understand, consider this analogy. Have you ever worn someone else’s prescription lenses? When you look through them ,everything is distorted,badly out of focus.The same is true when you adopt false beliefs. It’s like you are wearing someone else’s glasses-they distort the true image of you and your life.
Whose perceptions are you wearing?False beliefs limit you. They become the glasses through which you see your world.You don’t see things as they are,you see things as you are. The glasses acts as a filter screening out anything that does not match your beliefs.
We don’t see people as they are,we see them as we are- Anaïs Nin
Cindy says, “I would like to meet someone nice,” but her belief says, “Men can’t be trusted.” When she goes out to the world,she attracts men who can’t be trusted. Her glasses let her see only what she believes. Oneday,if a great trustworthy guy shows up,she won’t even notice him. The glasses of her beleifs will only filter him out and Cindy will carry on looking for Mr Right in all wrong places. Beliefs create your experiences. They must be constantly examined and challenged.
Sometimes,if you experience a dysfunctional, critical environment, your self-esteem is more likely to be eroded by harsh words and putdowns. Becoming aware of the critical voice gives us a chance to change and stop the old destructive programming that can limit us. When we are aware of this negative voice,we can learn to talk back to it. Practice replacing the critical words with a positive phrase,or use yout own affirming statement. “I am incredible! I am more than enough!”
To fall in love with your self is the first secret to hapiness-Robert Morley