Do you think negatively of yourself unnecessarily? A poor self-image can get in the way of your happiness in life.
Beating up on yourself internally has many potential negative consequences, including:
- Poorer health
- More severe anxiety or depression
- Social anxiety and shyness
- Lowered performance at work
- Attracting bad people for relationships
- General unhappiness
It is important to get over a poor self-image in order to succeed and be happy in life. But how can you do this?
Reasons Why You Might Have a Poor Self-Image
It’s not critically important for you to understand why you have low self-esteem. However, it can be helpful to have some understanding of it.
Often, self-image problems come from childhood traumas, but not always. With the prevalence of social media these days, we can often feel pressure to look good in front of family members, friends, and even strangers online.
Sometimes, our self-image can be damaged because we had a failure in life. In this case, we need to come to terms with failure, forgive ourselves for not doing things perfectly 100% of the time, and accept that life is also about making mistakes.
5 Ways to Improve Your Self-Image
There are many ways you can improve your self-esteem and sense of self-worth.
1. Take a Break from Social Media
Spending a lot of time on Facebook and Instagram can have a negative impact on your self-esteem, especially if you are comparing yourself to other people. Are you constantly looking at pictures of people with model-perfect bodies, thinking this will somehow “inspire” you to exercise and lose weight?
If the end result is that you just get frustrated with yourself after looking at Facebook or Instagram vanity shots, take a break from it.
2. Use Hypnotherapy
Hypnosis can be a very helpful therapeutic modality. Unfortunately, a lot of people are afraid of hypnotherapy due to misconceptions about what hypnosis actually is. No one is controlling or brainwashing you. When you work with a qualified hypnotherapist, you are getting help from someone trained in using positive suggestions to help you with your particular issue.
Your subconscious mind is in control in hypnosis. You won’t jump off a cliff or do something violent just because you are hypnotized.
Many hypnosis audios are available to help improve your self-esteem and image. Many are 100% free (check YouTube) and you can also get professionally recorded ones for a reasonable price (anywhere from 99 cents to $15).
3. Monitor Your Self-Talk
We are always having conversations with ourselves internally. The question is, is what you are saying to yourself good or bad? Are you being kind to yourself? Or are you constantly berating yourself for things that you would otherwise be kind about to a friend?
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of psychological approach that works on paying attention to how we think. You can work with a therapist who is trained in cognitive behavioral therapy, or read the many books out about it.
The basic approach is to analyze your dominant thought patterns and look at where you tend to overexaggerate or be negative when you don’t need to be.
For example, you might think “I am always a failure” on a regular basis. When viewing this statement from the lens of cognitive behavioral therapy, you would note that it is not true that you are always a failure. You might think of times you have succeeded. You could rewrite this phrase to say, “I have succeeded many times.”
4. Help Other People
Oftentimes, when we are focused on how we aren’t adding up compared to others, it is because we are too self-focused. Spend some time helping others in need. Go volunteer at a homeless shelter or visit sick children in the hospital.
By spending time giving love to others, you won’t be thinking so much about yourself. And after a while, you will feel so good in helping that your self-image will automatically be improved.
5. Change Your Behavior
Nine times out of ten, people with low self-esteem are blaming themselves unnecessarily for things. However, there are cases when your self-image is poor because you are acting in ways that are detrimental to you and the people around you.
Do you have a problem like a drug addiction? Get some help for it. Are you having issues with kleptomania (compulsive stealing)? See a therapist. Do you lie a lot? Resolve to tell the truth more often.
Improving Your Self-Image Is Simple
While it may not be easy, improving your self-image is simple. It involves some discipline, which is perhaps the most challenging part, but it can be improved.