”Never think that you're not good enough yourself. A man should never think that. People will take you very much at your own reckoning.” Anthony Trollope

How do you picture yourself?

Do you have a positive or negative image of yourself? Many people don't like what they see on the outside, or they don't like themselves on the inside. Some people don’t even want to look.

Self-image is how you see yourself, and how you think others see you. You compare yourself to others and make judgments about your physical looks, your intelligence and your personality.

Your self-image plays a HUGE role in how you behave and feel.

How do you feel about yourself?

Self-esteem is how you feel about yourself. Self-esteem is determined by your internal feelings and evaluation of yourself based on your "perceived" self-image. If you are constantly comparing yourself to others and feel like you don’t measure up, your self-esteem suffers.

Your self-esteem and self-image are closely interrelated and are established primarily in childhood. The positive and negative feedback you received while growing up, from your parents, teachers and other authority figures, helped create your view of yourself. As you move through life, you have the ability to change any negative self-images you’ve acquired. Unfortunately, most people never question if the negative beliefs they have picked up are even true.

Is it true that you will never amount to anything? Is it true that you aren’t smart enough?

Once you have a negative thought or belief firmly in place, your unconscious mind will repeat it over and over again. It takes about 20 positive statements to counter-act just one negative statement.

What do you say to yourself on a regular basis? Are you proud of who you are and what you have accomplished? Are you ashamed of yourself and disappointed in yourself? Here are some suggestions to improve your self-image and self-esteem.

“A strong, positive self-image is the best possible preparation for success.” Joyce Brothers

12 Ways to Improve Your Self Image and Self Esteem

• Make a list of the things you like about yourself.
• Make a list of the things others have acknowledged about you.
• Stop your negative ‘self talk’. Replace it with positive, supportive self talk.
• Stop comparing yourself to others. Accept who you are or make changes.
• Spend time with people who value you. Avoid those who insist on pointing out your flaws.
• Make changes in your appearance, clothes, hair or behaviors that will improve your self-image.
• Dress to emphasize what you like about yourself.
• Genuinely accept the compliments you receive about your appearance.
• Start an exercise program – you can change your body.
• Walk as much as you can. Don’t always go for the parking spot up front.
• Get out in nature and do some deep breathing and self-appreciation.
• Straighten up, smile and focus straight ahead as you move through your day. You have the ability to look and feel more confident.

“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

Action Challenge

Take some time to really explore how you feel about yourself.

Answer these questions mentally, or better yet, on paper.

1. If you are not thrilled with who you are, why aren’t you?
2. Are your beliefs valid or did you pick them up from what others told you?
3. How long are you willing to put yourself down based on someone else’s opinion?
4. How long are you willing to compare yourself to others who are having a very different experience of life from you?
5. What are you ready to accept about yourself?
6. What are you ready to change about yourself?
7. What would it take for you to truly love yourself?
8. What action steps are you ready to take in order to strengthen your self-image and raise your self-esteem?

“No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.” Eleanor Roosevelt

It is up to you to honor and appreciate who you are and what you have to offer the world. Begin today.

Author's Bio: 

Kathy Atkinson is the owner of Creative Life Coaching, a personal growth and self development company offering products and services to support your quest for happiness and success in your personal and professional life. Since 2000, Kathy has been coaching clients in the US and abroad via the telephone.

Kathy specializes in using EFT, Emotional Freedom Techniques, to help business owners, professionals and individuals release the fears, doubts and limiting beliefs that cost them financially in their careers and emotionally in their relationships. Experience this amazing process for yourself by downloading the free EFT for Anxiety Relief script and audio recording today. Visit www.EFT-downloads.com for more information about the Emotional Freedom Techniques.

Kathy's life coaching web site - Eight Keys to Success offers a plan and a process for taking charge of your life. Check out the success keys today at www.8keystosuccess.com