The 3 Most Significant Tips to Drop Your Negative Self Image
ShoomKloom Editorial Staff
‘Take care how you speak to yourself because you are listening!’
What is your self image really about?
Empowerment. Self Esteem. Self-Knowing.
We all have it: that imaginary picture in our head of ‘Who we think we are’ which then gives rise to all kind of thoughts like:
- I am good or wrong because…
- I messed it up again.
- This time I did really well.
- I want to be different.
Thoughts of our self image make us feel either happy or bad about ourselves. Often they circle around in our head while we add non stop commentary. In reality, thoughts pass through the mind and don’t need to mean anything about ‘who we are’. A thought just comes and goes. For a fact, we need to give attention to a thought in order to make it stick in our head.
I was caught up for more than 20 years in the belief that ‘I was not good enough’.
This was my predominant thought of my self image. Once I could recognise that the thought itself ‘I am not good enough’ was ‘my own created thought’ and ultimately not true; this ‘not good enough’ lost its grip on me.
It is clear that we all have amazing minds. We have the capacity to imagine whatever we want. Yet we get caught up believing in our poor me stories, self doubts and self punishing thoughts. Even with the ability to think the best of ourselves; we often choose to believe only the worst.
Do you see that while we can choose peace, we choose inner war in the form of self judgments and criticism?
As a newborn baby, you arrived here without a self image – a baby’s mind is a complete blank canvas.
As an infant, you started to believe certain concepts about yourself and then created your self image picture accordingly.
As you grow older you try to adjust your picture to match what others expect you to be.
This is creating distress, which in fact is unnecessary.
‘Wouldn’t it be great to learn to only pay attention to what is true and kind and let all the other thoughts pass by?’
What is really going on with our thoughts?
The issue is that we are used to believing that each thought which passes through our mind is true. We almost imagine that our self image is carved in stone – while it is actually made up of thin air.
The nature of our mind is that we will always have thoughts: happy, sad, positive and negative ones. It is clear that we are happy with our positive thoughts, but also there is no need to get rid of the negative ones. Problems arise once we start identifying with our negative thoughts and feelings and consequently become miserable because of them.
The good news is that you can learn to stop being burdened by what you think and feel and come to know how to be in charge of your thoughts through investigating what you think, feel and believe.
For me the biggest shift during the last years has been to realize that my thoughts and feelings are not related to reality and are not TRUE.
Through self investigating you will dissolve the impact of your self image by learning to:
- see reality
- own your thoughts
- know that you have a choice in what you feel and think
- know that you are not your thoughts
- be kind, caring and gentle with yourself instead of judging, comparing or blaming
Once you realize that you are the actor, the script, the writer, the audience, the stage and the play itself of your life, thoughts, feelings and self image – you will start to enjoy your play and be playful.
Once you realize that you are the actor, the script, the writer, the audience, the stage and the play itself – you can start to be playful and enjoy your thoughts, feelings and self image.
‘Can you see that what you really want is to simply live without needing to prove something?’
We prepared some radical questions for you. Answer them and a weight will start lifting. Let us send them your way.
How not to be shaken by your thoughts and self image
Learn to apply the basics of self investigation:
#1. Question your thoughts, feelings and beliefs.
We all do it: repeating the same thoughts each day. ‘I am good, I feel bad, this is wrong, why is it raining again? I wish I had done this differently… Lots of these thoughts don’t resemble any truth; they are more like a broken record which keeps replaying as we have become accustomed to hearing them.
No individual thought in itself is ever an issue.
Learn to ask yourself the following questions:
- Is this thought kind?
- Is this thought true?
- Is this thought important?
‘Can you see that your self image is made up of thoughts?
If you don’t think it – where is it?’
#2. Let go of thoughts that hurt you.
“I needed to let go of my ‘addiction to sadness and poor me stories’
and prioritise my longing for fulfillment, freedom and truth.”
Your self image plays only in your head and nowhere else. Everyone has their own unique one. Whatever it is that you think will either trouble you or please you.
It is important to realise your self image is totally in your hands. Each hurt, phobia or fear remains as a thought in your head and can continue to haunt you. Whatever happened in the past though, is gone.
For sure we are all influenced by childhood experiences, by trauma, rejections and disappointments. But at some point the most important questions you need to ask and answer is:
- Do I want to keep suffering?
- What do I really want?
- Am I willing to let go of blame, judgements, guilt and shame?
‘Can you see that when you are attached to an image; you do everything in order to keep it?’
#3. Be your own best friend.
“I came across the concept of being my own best friend many years ago. I instantly loved the idea – but I was too lazy, self absorbed and addicted to my misery to take it on board. Now I know to stop giving attention to self destructive thoughts and being my best friend is being kind and caring towards myself and to stop my self judgements.”
Imagine this : someone else talks to you in the same way you talk to yourself. Saying stuff like: ‘you’re a loser, you should know better, cry baby, shape up, get your act together, you did that stupid thing again, what’s wrong with you’. Wouldn’t you just want to punch them in the face?
Instead of this destructive self talk, speak with yourself as if you are speaking to your friend who is in trouble. Offer support with patience, compassion, gentleness and love- you deserve nothing less than this.
‘Can you see that being loving and kind to yourself is a responsibility of a lifetime?’
‘Can you see how you give more importance to a thought than to the love available in the moment?’