Some of you will ask what self image is. The easiest way to explain it would be to say that it is a way you see yourself. This may be how you see yourself physically and also your opinion of who you are. Self image includes what you think you look like, how you see your personality, what you believe others think of you and the status you feel you have. Lets look at why is the Self Image that important.
What is Self Image?
Based on Wikipedia:
Self-image is the mental picture, generally of a kind that is quite resistant to change, that depicts not only details that are potentially available to objective investigation by others (height, weight, hair color, gender, I.Q. score, etc.), but also items that have been learned by that person about themself, either from personal experiences or by internalizing the judgments of others. A simple definition of a person’s self-image is their answer to the question “What do you believe people think about you?”.
Self-image may consist of three types:
- Self-image resulting from how the individual sees themself.
- Self-image resulting from how others see the individual.
- Self-image resulting from how the individual perceives others see them.
These three types may or may not be an accurate representation of the person. All, some or none of them may be true.
Why is it important?
Your self image dictates how you feel about yourself and dictates the level of confidence in what you can achieve in life. It basically influences your self esteem. If your self image is strong and positive than you have a better chance to succeed in life. If faced with the adverse challenges, you could easier deal with them as you believe you can do it.
In his bestselling classic book “Psycho-Cybernetics”, Maxwell Maltz explains the phenomenon of self-image and explores possible ways to improve it. As a plastic surgeon seeing many patients during his carrier, Maltz noticed strange thing. While most of his patients’ lives changed after the cosmetic operation, some of them didn’t. He observed that it seemed as the changed patients completely modified the view of themselves, as if they become different, better people. The physical transformation lead a to bigger and deeper transformation- self image was positively enhanced. Some people though, couldn’t be changed just by cosmetic surgery (sometimes they didn’t even need it)- they needed to change their limiting self-image to really experience their true potential. Psycho-Cybernetics connects psychology of people behaviors and cybernetics- the science of communication and automatic control systems. In his Philosophers Notes about this book, Brian Johnson explains: “Think of how a guided missile works. First: You need to set a target (or “goal”). Then, you launch the missile (take action!). From there, the missile uses its mechanical “senses” (whether that’s radar or sonar or heat or whatever) to stay on target (they call that “positive feedback”). When it’s not on target, it gets “negative feedback” and simply adjusts its course so it’s BACK on track. REALLY powerful stuff. And a GREAT parallel to how WE operate.” Think about it, it does make sense. Constant feedback and adjustments.
What can we do about it?
One of the main way we introduce changes into our life is by setting goals and consequently following steps to achieve them. The self image can either block or help the way we deal with it. In “Psycho-Cybernetics” Maxwell Maltz believe that the person needs to have an accurate and positive view of themselves before setting goals otherwise one can get stuck in a limiting beliefs pattern which will sabotage the outcome. One of the ways to overcome it is visualizing one’s goal and working on changing self image into positive, strong and supportive one. The self image is a foundation of of all the changes that take place in a person and somebody’s ability to do new things. If you visualize yourself doing new things, be strong and confident, and achieving what you want in life you will automatically slowly change your self image.
Your nervous system cannot tell the difference between an imagined experience and a ‘real’ experience.” Maxwell Maltz
Knowing that, you should train your mind to believe that you can do everything. We are what we think about!
So remember- What matters most is how you see yourself!
Quotes about self image:
“It’s like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.”
― Patrick Rothfuss,
“Our self-image and our habits tend to go together. Change one and you will automatically change the other”
― Maxwell Maltz
“If you spent your life concentrating on what everyone else thought of you, would you forget who you really were? What if the face you showed the world turned out to be a mask… with nothing beneath it?”
― Jodi Picoult,
“What is opportunity, and when does it knock? It never knocks. You can wait a whole lifetime, listening, hoping, and you will hear no knocking. None at all. You are opportunity, and you must knock on the door leading to your destiny. You prepare yourself to recognize opportunity, to pursue and seize opportunity as you develop the strength of your personality, and build a self-image with which you are able to live — with your self-respect alive and growing.”
― Maxwell Maltz
“It’s not what you say out of your mouth that determines your life, it’s what you whisper to yourself that has the most power!”
― Robert T. Kiyosaki
“It is no exaggeration to say that every human being is hypnotized to some extent either by ideas he has uncritically accepted from others or ideas he has repeated to himself or convinced himself are true. These negative ideas have exactly the same effect upon our behavior as the negative ideas implanted into the mind of a hypnotized subject by a professional hypnotist.”
― Maxwell Maltz,
“The image that concerns most people is the reflection they see in other people’s minds.”
― Edward de Bono
“The ”self-image” is the key to human personality and human behavior. Change the self image and you change the personality and the behavior.”
― Maxwell Maltz
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