Sign that says I believe in me.
Emotional Wellness

How to Create a Positive Self-Image

“I got my own back.”—Maya Angelou

A person’s true beauty, or handsomeness, does not depend upon physical form.

Though it may sound corny, the inner person makes one either attractive or disliked.

Do you accept yourself the way you are?

“Self-image is the personal view, or mental picture, that we have of ourselves. Self-image is an ‘internal dictionary’ that describes the characteristics of the self, including such things as intelligent, beautiful, ugly, talented, selfish, and kind.”—Cleveland

What is your self-image?

Would you like to change or improve your self-image?

Creating a positive self-image is essential for your mental and emotional well-being.

In this article, I will share seven (7) steps you can take today to build a more positive self-image if this is your desire.

Step OneSign that says I believe in  me.

Practice self-acceptance: Accept yourself for who you are, including your flaws and imperfections.

Understand that nobody is perfect, and that is okay.

Embrace your uniqueness.

Tips to self-acceptance:

  1. Own your weird.
  2. Forgive yourself and others.
  3. Accept compliments.
  4. Choose kind friends.
  5. Make and keep commitments to self.
  6. Accept what you cannot change.
  7. Decrease negative self-talk.
  8. Increase positive self-talk.
  9. Get real with comparisons.

(Source: Aspire Counseling Network)

Step Two

Challenge Self-talk: Pay attention to your inner dialogue and challenge negative thoughts and beliefs about yourself.

Replace criticism with self-compassion.

Be kind to yourself as you would be to a friend.

Tips to challenge self-talk:

  1. Pay attention to your ideas and identify patterns.
  2. Ask yourself if you base your thoughts on facts or assumptions.
  3. Examine the evidence.
  4. Replace negative talks with positive affirmations.
  5. Identify all-or-nothing thinking.
  6. Practice mindfulness.
  7. Seek external input from a family member or friend.
  8. Test the validity of your thoughts.

Step Three

Set Realistic Goals: Set achievable goals for yourself, both short-term and long-term.

Break goals down into small, manageable steps.

Achieving your goals can boost your self-esteem and self-image.

Tips for setting goals: Use the SMART method to set goals:

S = Specific

M = Measurable

A = Attainable

R = Relevant

T = Timed

Why use the SMART method?

The SMART objectives will keep your project moving forward, whether you are losing weight or changing careers.

Use for any type of goal: personal, professional, or financial.

The SMART objectives will keep your project moving forward, help with accountability and timing, and let you know that you are accomplishing your goals.

There are many psychological benefits to setting goals.

SMART Goals are a roadmap to success!

Step Four

Focus on your strengths: Acknowledge your strengths and talents.

What are you good at?

What do you enjoy doing?

Concentrate on these areas and develop them further.

Some business consultants believe you will win when you focus on your strengths rather than weaknesses.

Focusing on your strengths can lead to increased productivity, satisfaction, and success in various aspects of your life.

Ways to focus on your strength:

  1. Self-awareness: Reflect on your experiences, achievements, and positive feedback from others. What activities make you feel energized and excited? These are likely indicators of your strengths.
  2. Strengths assessment tools: To live your best life, consider using strengths assessment tools like Gallup StrengthsFinder and VIA Character Strengths. A tool I have used is Strength Finder0 by Tom Rath. I thoroughly enjoy taking personality tests!
  3. Feedback from others: Ask friends, colleagues, and mentors for their perspectives on your strengths. Sometimes, others can see things that we might not recognize in ourselves.
  4. Set goals that align with your strengths: This could involve tailoring your work, projects, or personal development plans to align with what you do well.
  5. Delegate tasks that don’t align with your strengths: If possible, delegate tasks not aligned with your strengths, which allows you to focus on what you do best and can increase overall efficiency and effectiveness.
  6. Continuous learning. While focusing on strengths is important, it is also beneficial to continue learning and developing new skills. However, choose areas that complement your strengths and enhance your overall capabilities.
  7. Regular self-reflection: Take time for regular self-reflection. Assess what is working well for you and why, which can help you fine-tune your approach and stay aligned with your strengths.

Step Five

Take care of your physical health: Eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep can positively impact your self-image.

And when you feel physically well, it’s easier to feel good about yourself.

Tips for taking care of your physical health:

  1. Regular Exercise: Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day.
  2. Balanced Nutrition: Eat nutrient-dense foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats.
  3. Adequate Hydration: Drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
  4. Adequate Sleep: Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. Establish a consistent sleep routine.
  5. Stress Management: Practice stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, yoga, or mindfulness to manage and reduce stress.
  6. Regular Health Check-ups: Schedule regular check-ups with your healthcare provider to monitor your health and catch potential issues early.
  7. Good Posture: Maintain good posture to prevent strain on your muscles and joints, which is especially important if you have a desk job or spend time sitting.
  8. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to signals your body sends, such as pain or fatigue. Rest when needed and seek medical advice if you have concerns.

Step Six

Surround yourself with positive influences: Spend time with people who support and uplift you.

Avoid toxic relationships and situations that bring you down.

Positive social interactions can have a significant impact on your self-image.

Tips on how to surround yourself with positivity:

  1. Choose Positive Influences: Surround yourself with positive people who uplift and support you. Limit contact with individuals who consistently bring negativity into your life.
  2. Gratitude Practice: Cultivate a gratitude mindset by focusing on the positive aspects of your life for which you are grateful. Keep a gratitude journal and write regularly.
  3. Positive Media Consumption: Consume uplifting and positive content, such as books, movies, and music. Limit exposure to negative news and social media content.
  4. Create a Positive Space. Organize and declutter your living and working spaces. Decorate with items that bring you joy and have positive associations.
  5. Practice Mindfulness: Engage in mindfulness activities such as meditation or deep breathing exercises. Stay present and appreciate the current moment without dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.
  6. Set Boundaries: Establish healthy boundaries with people who may bring negativity into your life. Learn to say no to activities or commitments that drain our energy.
  7. Self-Care Routine: Develop a self-care routine that includes activities you enjoy and that contribute to your well-being. Prioritize adequate sleep, nutritious meals, and regular exercise.
  8. Affirmations: Use positive affirmations to reinforce a positive mindset. Repeat affirmations regularly to challenge and overcome negative thoughts.
  9. Acts of Kindness: Engage in acts of kindness toward others. Helping others and contributing to your community can foster a sense of positivity.

Step Seven

Learn from your mistakes: Instead of dwelling on your failures, view them as opportunities for growth and learning.

Everyone makes mistakes; it’s how you respond to them that matters.

Tips for overcoming past mistakes:

  1. Acceptance: Acknowledge and accept that everyone makes mistakes. It’s a natural part of being human. Be kind to yourself and recognize that making mistakes doesn’t define your worth.
  2. Learn from the Mistake: Reflect on the mistake and consider what you can learn. Understanding the factors that led to the error can help you avoid similar situations in the future. Use it as a valuable learning experience.
  3. Forgive Yourself: Understand that holding onto guilt and self-blame is counterproductive. Forgive yourself for the mistake. Remember that growth often comes from making errors and learning to overcome them.
  4. Talk About It: Share your feelings with someone you trust. Discussing your mistakes with a friend, family member, or therapist can provide a different perspective and emotional support. It can also help you gain clarity and move forward.
  5. Focus on the Present and Future: While it’s essential to learn from the past, dwelling on it excessively can hinder your progress. Shift your focus on the present moment and what you can do now to improve and make positive changes.
  6. Set Realistic Expectations: Understand that perfection is unattainable. Setting realistic expectations for yourself can help reduce the pressure and anxiety associated with the fear of making mistakes.
  7. Take Action: Take steps to rectify the mistake, which might involve apologizing to someone affected, making amends, or taking action to prevent similar errors in the future. Proactive steps can empower you and contribute to personal growth.
  8. Practice Self-Compassion: Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding you would offer to a friend facing a similar situation.
  9. Develop a Growth Mindset: Seeing challenges as opportunities for growth rather than insurmountable obstacles. Focus on the process of learning and improving.

Remember that creating a positive self-image is an ongoing journey.

Be kind to yourself, and don’t be too hard on yourself when you have setbacks.

With consistent effort and self-compassion, you can develop a healthier and more positive self-image.

Do not give up!

Key Takeaways

  1. Practice self-acceptance.
  2. Challenge self-talk.
  3. Set realistic goals
  4. Focus on your strengths.
  5. Take care of your physical health.
  6. Surround yourself with positive influences.
  7. Seek professional help if needed.

Be patient with yourself as you work to improve your self-image.

Don’t expect overnight results.

Creating a positive self-image is an ongoing journey.

Be kind to yourself, and don’t be too hard on yourself when you have setbacks.

With consistent effort and self-compassion, you can develop a healthier and more positive self-image.

Begin today! Right now!

“I am the measurer of my worth. And I say I am worthy.”—