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What is an Ideal Self and How to achieve it?

Who is your hero?  ‘I thought about it and answered…”it’s me in ten years time”. Ten years late I was asked the same question by the same person Who is your hero? ‘Again I thought about it and answered…”it’s me in ten years time” – Mathew McConaughey

What Exactly is an Ideal Self?

An ideal self is an ideal future version of “you” that encompasses your personality, beliefs, values, and behaviour under various conditions. It can be summarized in the following way:

My ideal self is who I want to become… the best version of myself in every situation.

The “ideal you” is, therefore “you”. However it is not the person you are today, but rather the person you are striving to become tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, and so on.

This ideal self is not a state of perfection; it is not a fixed destination or a finished product. In fact, it is far from it. This ideal self is constantly evolving and changing, and as such is somewhat elusive in nature.

Your ideal self should always be several steps ahead of who you are today. When you do become that ideal version of yourself at some point in the future, the ideal version of “you” at that point should have changed. Therefore you should still be in pursuit of this ideal self.

This is, an important progression because it leads to healthy growth and development. It is also the process of continuous improvement.

If one day you were to catch up to your ideal self, that is possibly the day when life would lose all meaning. When there is nothing greater to strive for, and with no new challenge on the horizon you would end up in a state of stagnation from that point onwards. There would be no motivation to grow or to improve yourself and as a result, life would become perfect for you. That, of course, does not sound so bad, right? Well…It is not so good either. It is not good because reaching a state of perfection leads to boredom, restlessness, and a less than satisfying life.

All this, sounds quite counter-intuitive. Becoming everything you have ever wanted to be sounds like bliss. And yes you would be right. It would be as if all your dreams had come true. You are however, not that person today. It is the journey towards becoming that future person that will bring you fulfilment. It is, therefore, not the destination but rather the steps you take to get to that destination that makes life incredibly fulfilling, enjoyable and fun. Moreover, it is the process of learning, growth, and development along that journey that makes life truly worth living.

Given all this, it is quite clear to see why our ideal-self must be elusive in nature. It must change over time because you are  recreating yourself daily through your choices, decisions, and actions. Every thought you indulge in leads to a decision, which leads to an action. These actions form the habits and rules you live by and that shape your future life and behaviour. In fact, every experience you have changes you in some way. These changes might be slight, however, these always impact the kind of person you are striving to become (your ideal-self).Many small changes over a period of time will lead to big changes towards  the vision you have for your future self.

Your ideal-self, of course, encompasses the many roles you fulfil. You might be a parent, a sibling, a teacher, a sports coach, a leader, an employee or employer. Within every one of these roles there exists an “ideal you”. You might, be striving to become better at any one of these. As a result, you are working towards this ideal version of who you would like to one day become, and this helps keep you growing and developing yourself in that role. This is true for any role you fulfil.

Our growth and development in each role is the fuel that keeps pushing us forward through every decision we make and action we take. As long as these ideal versions of ourselves are somewhat out of reach, we will keep striving and pushing forward. This ideal version of you is what fuels your motivation.

This is all good-and-well , however, at times we end up walking along the wrong path because we succumb to other people’s expectations. These people shape how they would like us to be within the specific roles we fulfil. This, of course, might not be such a bad thing. Sometimes we just don’t have enough clarity to understand how we can grow and develop ourselves within a specific role. However, at times giving into other people’s expectations can lead us down a less than optimal path.

The key is to take on board what is helpful and allow that to shape your ideal self. Everything we take on board we  must make our own. In this way will we fully accept what we need to do to bridge the gap between where we are and where we desire to be.

Take a moment to decide if…

You know exactly who You are…

You accept who you are right now…

You seek to become a better version of yourself…

You commit yourself to growth and development…

When you know who you are today (your self-image), and when you fully accept this person, that is when you can commit yourself to becoming a better version of yourself, which of course comes through the process of growth and development.

That, in a nutshell, is what  the ideal-self is all about. It is about striving to become the very best version of yourself within every role you fulfil.

So what if you are not sure? What if you don’t quite have the clarity you need to bring that ideal- self to life?

Well, that is what the following four-step process to help you consciously begin shaping your ideal-self is for.

Often we desire to be better at certain roles and/or areas of our lives, however, we never quite take the time to clarify what “being better” actually means to us.

We tend to be vague about the things we would like to improve upon. Therefore, we never truly build enough momentum to carry us forward to this desired destination.

Avoid falling into this trap by going through a four-step process that will help you shape your self-ideal the same it helped me – with purposeful intention. These steps are designed to help you lay down a path from where you are [your current self] to where you desire to be [your ideal self], thereby bridging the gap between the two.

Step 1: Analysis of Your Current and Ideal Self

Your first task is to get to know yourself at a deep level. Yes, this means warts and all. It means acknowledging parts of yourself that you are pleased with and being honest about parts of yourself that tend not to live up to your personal standards and/or expectations. Ask yourself the following questions:

What do I value most about myself?

What would I like to leave unchanged moving forward?

What don’t I like about my current behaviour?

What aspects of myself would I like to alter?

There will naturally be parts of yourself that you are quite happy with and would not want to change, however, there will be other parts where you see room for growth and improvement.

Think about situations where you face adversity, conflict, making mistakes and dealing with difficult emotions. These are challenging situations that may or may not bring out the best in you. Consider these situations and ask yourself:

How do I typically handle adversity?

How do I respond when I make mistakes?

How do I tend to handle conflict?

How do I deal with difficult emotions?

Reflect on “how you are” in these situations and consider how you might be able to improve in these areas. Your answers to these questions will  lay down the foundations for your ideal-self.

Now, let’s take a look at that ideal-self by exploring the kind of person that you would like to become. Consider your answers to the previous questions, then take a moment to step out of who you are and project yourself into the future.

See and Feel the Ideal You then ask yourself:

What kind of person am I?

What standards do I like to uphold?

What do I believe about myself?

Here you are building a picture of “you”. This is not who you are now, but rather someone who you would Ideally like to become in the future.

Now consider breaking this down even further by completing the following statements:

I want to be a person who is…

I want to be a person who keeps…

I want to be a person who lives…

I want to be a person who doesn’t…

I want to be a person who solves…

Going through each of these statements will provide you with a much clearer picture of the kind of person you envision yourself becoming in the future. Now your task is to simply follow through with making these positive changes.

The only thing mission now is WHY?

Why is it important to make these changes?

In order to make change stick, you must have a “good reason” to make this change in the first place. There must be enough motivation for you to change, or otherwise, your efforts will be fleeting. What is Your WHY?

Was this helpful ? Please leave a comment I would love to hear from you.

Self Image

All you need to know about Self Image

Self Image

It is not what you say out of your mouth that determines your life, it is what you whisper to yourself that has the most power! – Robert Kiyosaki

 

What is a Self-Image?

A self-image in its most basic form is an internalized mental picture an idea you have of yourself. It is how you think and feel about yourself based on your appearance, performance, and relationships that consistently impact your outlook on life as well as your level of happiness and fulfilment.

Whenever you ask:

How do I look?

How am I doing?

How important am I?

These are all examples of the internalized mental picture/idea you create of yourself that builds the foundations of your self-image. However, this does not provide us with nearly enough information about what this “self-image” thing is all about. So let us break this down even further.

Your self-image is the impression you have of yourself that forms a collective representation of your assets and liabilities. In other words, your self-image is how you see yourself based on your strengths and weaknesses.

These assets and liabilities often are evident through the labels you give yourself that describe your qualities and characteristics.

For instance, you might say:

I am intelligent… therefore I can…

I am loser… therefore I believe I can’t…

I am outgoing… therefore I am able to…

I am shy… therefore I am unable to…

I am a late bloomer… therefore I take longer…

These are just some examples of the many labels you potentially give yourself and the inevitable conclusions you may reach as a result. It is these conclusions you make about yourself that either form the foundations of a healthy self-image or an unhealthy self-image. Moreover, these labels form the foundations of your belief systems.

Your self-image is not something that is based on reality. In actuality, your self-image is built upon your perception of reality and that is influenced by how you believe you are being viewed by society and other people.

Your self-image is something that gradually develops over a lifetime of experience through learning and societal influence. It is, however, something that is constantly changing over time as you gain more life experience, as you think and reflect, as you learn, and as you interact with other people.

Healthy vs. Unhealthy Self-Image

So what does a healthy self-image look like? What does an unhealthy self-image? What  is the difference? And what impact do both have on your life?

Let us answer these questions by breaking down what it means to live with a healthy and an unhealthy self-image. As you read through these two examples, take inventory of yourself and identify whether your self-image borders more to the healthy or toward the unhealthy side of the scale.

An Unhealthy Self-Image

A person with an unhealthy self-image tends to consistently focus on their flaws and limitations. They persistently criticize themselves and tend to judge most of their decisions and actions:

What was I thinking?

That was such a stupid decision.

I can’t believe I just did that.

I am so useless.

I can’t do anything right.

This constant critical judgment tends to distort their imperfections  making these seem larger than life. In fact, everything on the negative side tends to be exaggerated and blown out of proportion. This often happens because they are heavily influenced by other people’s opinions of them; to their own detriment.

In fact, these peoples’ lives are very much defined by societal views, opinions, standards, norms, and expectations. As a result, they are consistently comparing themselves to others and trying to live up to other people’s expectations. When they notice that they just don’t measure up, this sends their emotions into a tailspin which triggers doubt, pessimism, insecurity and eventually leads to discouragement and potentially depression.

Whenever a person builds their self-image upon external factors, there will always be drawbacks. People’s opinions change and societal expectations constantly shift. When these opinions and expectations are weighed in our favour this leads to a positive outlook and greater fulfilment. However, when they flip and become unfavourable or unhelpful in respect of the outcomes we would like to achieve, this causes upheaval by sending our emotions into a tailspin. Why? because suddenly the perfect mental picture/idea we had of ourselves has been thrown out the door. It is certainly not a healthy way to live. Inevitably these people find themselves on a constant see-saw of feeling good about themselves and feeling terrible about themselves.

A Healthy Self-Image

A healthy self-image is primarily based on an individual’s personal feelings and perspectives. Here individuals are no longer influenced by other people’s opinions of them or by societal expectations. They instead make up their own minds about the internalized mental picture/idea they have of themselves. As a result, these people often have a more optimistic outlook on life and thereby more confidence in themselves and in their own ability. Why? Because they feel a greater sense of control over themselves and over their life.

A person with a healthy self-image doesn’t deny that they have flaws. In fact, they are realistic and clearly understand and accept the fact that they have their personal shortcomings. However, there is no critical judgment here. They acknowledge who they are and how they are in this very moment and they do the best they can with what they have.

A healthy self-image is of course built upon a high level of self-worth. These work together to help shape a healthy personality, which effectively builds the foundation of an empowered life. An empowered life in turn allows us to incrementally improve those areas of our life we believe requires improvement.

How to Build a Healthy Self-Image

Here is a four-step process that will help you build a healthy self-image. This process is closely tied to the process we used for building more self-worth. Because these two are related, there will be some crossover. Having said that, there are some variations here that will help you dig a little deeper in this area.

Step 1: Explore Yourself

Your first step is to explore who you are and what that means to you. This is an important first step because unless you clearly define who you are, you will never really develop a clear and accurate picture/idea of “you”.

Ask yourself:

Who am I?

How am I?

What defines who I am?

How do I see myself?

How accurate is this view?

Is this who I really am? Is it really?

Is this my true self? Or is there something more below the surface?

It is important that you keep digging deeper and deeper using these questions. It is very much like peeling back the layers of an onion. The surface layers will reveal a fuzzy picture of who you are. However, as you dig deeper and deeper by peeling off more layers you begin to get a clearer picture/idea of yourself. This is why it is important to periodically question the accuracy of your view. Your goal is to get to the core of who you really are without the need for all those external layers.

Step 2: Take a Personal Inventory

It is time to take a personal inventory by listing your positive qualities, goals, passions, and purpose.

Ask yourself:

What are my positive qualities? I am… therefore I can…

What do other people say are my positive qualities?

What personal strengths do I have? I am… therefore I am able to…

What goals would I like to achieve?

How could I live with more meaning and purpose?

What does all this mean to me?

Why is all this important?

The purpose of this step is to unlock all the good things you feel about yourself; to unlock all the things you have going for yourself that will now add layers back onto that onion to help form a strong personal impression of who you are today from a bigger picture perspective.

In the previous step, you were removing unnecessary layers to get to the core of yourself. Within this step, you are adding layers to that core to form a definitive and comprehensive picture/idea of yourself at this very moment. And it is, of course, that very picture that forms the foundations of your self-image.

Step 3: Analyze Your Struggles

A little earlier I mentioned how a healthy self-image is primarily based on our own personal feelings and perspectives. In other words, how we think about ourselves as well as the opinions and labels we create are all critical components that go into building a healthy self-image.

A person with a healthy self-image does not rely on outside opinions or circumstances to define who they are. They must instead rely on internal resources for this purpose. It is therefore absolutely critical that we take personal control of our internal world because it is the only thing that really matters when it comes to building a healthy self-image.

To get an understanding of this internal world we need to take a look at four key areas. These areas include your critical voice, your unhelpful thoughtsbeliefs in the form of labels, as well as incorrect assumptions you might be making about yourself.

Here are some questions to help stimulate your thoughts in these areas:

How do I tend to talk to myself throughout the day?

When things go wrong, what is my internal dialogue like?

Am I mostly critical or encouraging?

Given the outcomes I would like to achieve are my thoughts mostly helpful or unhelpful?

How do my thoughts tend to distort my reality?

How do I tend to label myself?

Are my labels helpful or unhelpful?

Are these labels rational? Does it even make sense for me to label myself in this way?

What assumptions do I tend to make about myself?

How are these assumptions potentially hurting me?

Working through these questions will effectively help you get a better understanding of how your critical voice, unhelpful thoughts, beliefs, and assumptions are shaping the picture/idea you have of yourself that builds your self-image.

If you discover that you tend to be overly critical of yourself; that your thoughts tend to be unhelpful; that your labels are negative; and that you tend to make assumptions that lead you astray, then it is important to work through these areas one by one in order to solidify your self-image.

If you are constantly being critical of yourself, then this is an indication that your self-image is not as healthy as it could be. It is therefore important to silence that critical voice and begin using more encouraging words.

Changing your language patterns in this way will help settle your thoughts and help you think more clearly and effectively. This subsequently means that you will be less likely to make negative assumptions or label yourself in unhelpful ways.

Step 4: Create an Accurate View of Yourself

The final step is to create a more accurate view of yourself that you can use as the foundation for building a healthy self-image. This view of yourself must be built upon all the positive qualities and strengths you outlined in Step 2 of this process.

Take those positive qualities and strengths and ask yourself one simple question:

How would I ideally like to be?

Take time to really have a good-long-hard think about this question and answer honestly how you would like to “be” starting today. There is, no one right answer, but rather a variety of answers that go into building your self-image. You will still have flaws and things that you might be struggling with. Accept these things. They are a part of you in the moment. You can work on improving these areas as you go along.

What is important here is that you are honest, genuine, authentic and real. This is who you are and this is how you see yourself with warts and all. In the end, building a healthy self-image is all about you. It is all about HOW you alone without external influences see yourself. It is this picture/idea of “you” that is what matters above all else. You are in the driver’s seat here; you alone define how you see yourself, and that is what counts in the end.

How to Strengthen Your Self-Image

Within this final section let us discuss some ideas to help you strengthen your self-image. Some of these suggestions are quite self-explanatory. In fact, many of them are simply decisions you make or  slight shifts in the way you think about yourself, think about your life, or how you approach circumstances. Other suggestions will require a little conscious effort and self-discipline. So all-in-all there is nothing complex here. Strengthening your self-image is simply about doing  small things consistently over time that will make a big difference in the long-run.

Do not Allow Society to Define You

Many people walk through life as a passive bystander. They accept how things are and allow society to influence/manipulate them into thinking and doing things in a specific way. They may have an opinion, but they rarely stand up for what they believe in, and instead allow society to shape their attitudes and opinions. As a result these people are at the mercy of the society.

They experience a roller-coaster ride of emotions because their internalized mental picture/idea of themselves shifts and changes depending on what is happening around them. They are therefore rarely satisfied and never completely fulfilled because they are always comparing themselves to others and trying to live up to societal expectations, opinions or views.

We often get stuck in this scenario because we regrettably take responsibility for other people’s problems. This is harmful because, for the most part, we are unable to control or influence these problems, and yet we lay the burden on our own shoulders. At times this is not even of our own doing. Other people place the burden of their problems on our shoulders and we suffer as a result.

It really should not be this way. Everyone should take responsibility for their own problems. In fact, you must be the one to take responsibility for your own choices, health, happiness, finances, relationships and life. Do not burden others with these things. You and you alone shape your life with purpose, and only in this way will you gain the personal power you need to develop a healthy and empowered self-image.

It is important to begin primarily living through our own internalized representation of ourselves and not relying on society to define us. This of course, starts with fully understanding and accepting who you are and then taking charge of the mental processes that are running your life.

 

Don’t Indulge in Self-Judgement or Self-Criticism

When you judge and overly criticize yourself, that is a clear indication that your internal voice is taking over your life. What I am talking about is that type of judgment and criticism that leaves you feeling helpless and deflated. That is the self-talk that it hurting your self-image and depleting your reservoirs of self-confidence.

While constructive criticism can be helpful, constructive criticism does not leave you with a foul taste in your mouth. It is rather something that leaves you feeling hopeful, optimistic and motivated that you can do better next time.

Instead of judging and/or criticizing yourself, choose to give yourself feedback. Feedback will provide you with an avenue for improvement and will help you to progressively develop the self-confidence you need to build a healthy self-image that allows you to be the best you can possibly be in every situation. After all you are not perfect, and you will make mistakes and fail miserably at times. That’s just part of life.

Actually, it’s just part of being human. You are not perfect and you will never be. Accept yourself with warts and all because a healthy self-image always comes through self-acceptance, which of course stems from self-understanding.

Don’t Expect Others to Complete You

When you rely on other people to complete you, you are at that very moment giving away your personal power. You are building your self-image on external factors (people). This might initially make you feel great about yourself and will undoubtedly help you boost your levels of confidence, however, the problem with this is your self-image is now at the mercy of other people.

If one day they tell you they do not love you anymore, then suddenly you feel unlovable. Or if suddenly they vanish from your life, then all of a sudden there is this empty hole inside that makes you feel incomplete.

You are not this other person, and they are not you. You are your own individual self and you certainly do not need other people to complete you. All you need is to gain a deep sense of understanding of who you are. Get to know your strengths and weaknesses. Then take full responsibility and control of your internal habitual patterns, and finally, fully accept that you are complete in your own right.

Other people can add value to your life, but in-and-of-itself you are complete in every way. This does not mean you are a finished product. You are not. There is much room to grow, develop and evolve in the coming years. However, this growth comes from within and then expresses itself outward in everything you do. That is the key to developing an empowering mental picture/idea of “you”. It starts from within. It starts with how you see yourself. It starts with building a healthy self-image.

Always Follow-through with Your Word

Your word must become your law. In other words, the promises you make to yourself you must keep. Promises kept help you create consistency, and you need consistency to build a healthy self-image.

Consistency is important when it comes to building a healthy self-image because a healthy self-image is not something that suddenly fluctuates with changing opinions. It is something that is steady and steadfast. I am not suggesting that your self-image does not change over time. Of course, it does. You certainly do not see yourself the same way today as you saw yourself a few years ago.

In fact, you might see yourself very differently in a variety of roles and/or situations. Your self-image is fluid, however, it requires consistency and consistency come from your ability to keep your word to follow through and do things a certain way.

A person who does not keep their word (the promises they make to themselves) is often the person who is heavily influenced/swayed by other people and their opinions. When you keep your word you are sending a strong message that you are running your life based on your own feelings and perspectives. You are not swayed by outside circumstances. This, does not mean you can’t change your mind. But that “change of mind” must come from a decision you make from within that is not primarily based on external factors.

When you reach this point you know that you are the one in the driver’s seat of your life. This is when you know you are the captain of your own ship.

Build Your Self-Image Upon Strong Foundations of Self-Worth

Finally, a healthy self-image is built upon the strong foundations of a high level of self-worth. Self-worth is of course all about how much you value and regard yourself despite what others might say and/or despite unfavourable circumstances. When you have a high level of self-worth nothing shakes or phases you. Likewise, when you have a healthy self-image you don’t look to outside sources to define who you are.

You alone create your own definition of who you are. You create the impression you have of yourself in each and every situation. You alone mould and shape the person you are today, and the person you become tomorrow.

Was this article helpful? Please leave a comment and let me know how you have built on your self image, I would love to hear from you.

Bad Career Story

HOW TO BUILD SELF-WORTH

Bad Career Story
I am useless

What is Self-Esteem?

Any discussion about how to build our self-worth must start with a definition of self-esteem. The two are, of course, related. Your self-esteem is undoubtedly influenced by your self-worth. However, they are not the same.

Self-esteem is primarily built upon sources outside of yourself that you don’t actually control.

Self-esteem encapsulates the thoughts and feelings you experience at each moment. These thoughts and feelings have a direct impact on your results, your behaviour, and your performance.

Self-esteem is primarily built upon the value derived from doing the things that get your desired outcomes. But it’s more than just about “doing” something. It is a direct outcropping of how you feel about yourself at any given moment. This is based purely on your actions.

How you feel about yourself is heavily influenced by how you think you are fairing compared to others. In other words, your self-esteem is derived from what you think others “think” of you, based on your results and actions.

Given all this, it is quite clear that self-esteem is not something that comes from within ourselves, but rather something that comes from outside of ourselves and subsequently influences how we feel at any given moment.

How we feel at any given time has nothing to do with reality, but instead, it is purely based on our perspective and interpretation of that reality. Given all this, it’s quite clear to see that self-esteem is very fickle and can shift with changing opinions and circumstances. However, this isn’t true for people who have a high level of self-worth.

A high degree of self-worth naturally enhances our self-esteem, thereby providing us with the self-confidence needed to follow through with our chosen decisions and actions.

What is Self-Worth?

Self-worth is an internal state of being that comes from self-understanding, self-love, and self-acceptance.

It is a state that is somewhat timeless and unchanging because it is a direct measure of how you value and regard yourself in spite of what others may say or do. It is therefore, something that does not quickly or easily change when external factors or circumstances change. Self-worth is steady and unflinching, and therefore, holds power to radically transform your life for the better.

This is, all well and good, but what does it actually mean to have a high level of self-worth?

A high level of self-worth means having a favourable opinion or estimate of yourself. It means having unshakable faith in yourself and in your ability to follow through and get things done.

Having a high degree of self-worth means feeling worthy of good things. It means feeling deserving of happiness, health, wealthsuccess, and love — irrespective of the difficulties you face, the disappointments you experience, or of people’s opinions. It is unflinching.

To have a high level of self-worth means accepting yourself wholeheartedly at all times despite your flaws, weaknesses, and limitations. It is about recognizing the real value of who you are at this present moment.

To have a high level of self-worth means never allowing yourself to be defined by outside forces, including people’s opinions. It means never allowing outcomes to shake your confidence, faith or resolve.

All this essentially means that no matter what happens you are steadfast. Nothing outside of your “being” influences how you feel about yourself. Your influence alone is the only thing that matters.

You alone are the most significant factor in how you feel about yourself, about your life, and about your circumstances. And that is essentially where your personal power comes from.

How to Build Your Self-Worth

Having a high level of self-worth is no doubt of tremendous value. So, the question still remains, how do we go about building our self-worth? How do we create enough self-worth to empower our daily decisions and actions in a way that will help us achieve our desired outcomes?

What I would like to share with you is a five-step process for doing exactly that step-by-step.

This is not something that you can do just once and then forget about. It is something that you must consistently work on. That is the only way you will build anything of real value. Placing one single stone down on the ground doesn’t build a fortress. However, over time, as you lay down more stones on top of each other an impenetrable fortress begins to take shape. This takes time. Building a high level of self-worth will take time.

This is a long-term process that you need to work on consistently over time. The same as you would work out at a gym to get that ripped and toned body. Slow consistent daily work will get the fortress built and will grow more impenetrable and substantial until it becomes almost unbreakable. No matter what life throws at you, because you put in place a solid foundation that you consistently built over time, you will be able to withstand some of the toughest storms life has. That is the strength of the fortress. And that’s precisely where the power of your self-worth comes from as well.

With that in mind, let us jump into the five-step process to build your self-worth.

 

Step 1: The Self-Understanding Stage

Your first step involves getting to know yourself at a deeper and more profound level.

Imagine for a moment that you woke you one morning to find that absolutely everything you had was suddenly taken away. I mean literally everything including your possessions, careermoneyrelationshipsfriendships, accomplishments, and anything else that is physical and tangible. Ask yourself:

What if absolutely everything I have was suddenly taken away from me?

What if all I had left was just myself?

How would that make me feel?

What would I actually have that would be of value?

 

This is an interesting scenario. It is a scenario that many people probably never really take the time to imagine. It is interesting because how you feel about yourself after everything has been taken away is the measure of your self-worth.

If you have a high level of self-worth, then having everything taken away from you won’t change who you are as a person. Furthermore, it won’t shake your self-confidence because you do not measure your value by external circumstances. Instead, your value comes from within.

This is why it is absolutely critical to take the time to think long and hard about that question and answer it with genuine honesty.

 

What would I actually have left that would be of value?

The deeper you dig into this question, the more you will discover within yourself what you do actually value.

You must seriously take the time to ponder this question. The more time you take to consider the answer to this question, the more you will find,  that this is where self-worth is comes from. It comes from understanding that…

No matter what happens externally and no matter what is taken away from me, I am not affected internally.

And that is what matters most when you begin to build your self-worth.

So let us look deeper into your true value by posing another set of questions that will help unlock how you see yourself with no masks or inhibitions.

 

Ask yourself:

Who am I? I am… I am not…

How am I?

How am I in the world?

How do others see me?

How do others speak about me?

What key life moments define who I am today?

What brings me the most passion, fulfilment, and joy?

 

Who you are and how you see yourself are keys to understanding your true value. How others see you and how they speak about you, is also, important. This is not so much about them but rather about how you feel about yourself as a result of how others see or speak about you. That is another measure of your self-worth.

Then there are those key life moments that bring you the most joy, passion, and fulfilment. These are the things that help you unlock the value you bring to the world.

However, this is not about pretty little rose petals and rainbows. This process involves being genuinely real with yourself.

Given this, let’s be real for a moment and take a look at your weaknesses and struggles.

 

Ask yourself:

Where do I struggle most?

Where do I need to improve?

What fears often hold me back?

What habitual emotions hurt me?

What mistakes do I tend to make?

Where do I tend to consistently let myself down?

 

Let us get real and accept the fact that we are only human. And as a human being, we all have our weaknesses and face our own personal struggles. We must be real and honest with our assessment of ourselves.

Only then will you be able to build a high degree of self-worth over time. And only then will you get the depth of understanding you need about yourself to move forward through this process.

And since we are being honest, let’s take a look at your strengths.

 

Ask yourself:

What abilities do I have?

What am I really good at?

Your strengths are the things that help build your self-confidence. They are the things that allow you to move forward with greater self-assurance. However, true strengths are only strengths by your own measure.

If you are relying on other people to tell you whether or not you are good at something, then that is not a true strength that comes from a sense of personal power.

People could very well change their minds then abruptly your strength turns into an afterthought. However, this does not need to be the case if you truly believe in your own personal value. That is what counts, and that is what truly matters when it comes to building your self-worth.

 

Step 2: The Self-Acceptance Stage

At this stage you presumably understand how you see yourself within the world around you. You probably also have a pretty clear picture of your current level of self-worth.

There will naturally be good things, neutral things, and things that you might not be too proud to admit. However, to build genuine self-worth, we must be real and authentic with ourselves at all times. This requires wholeheartedly acknowledging your true nature including the good, the bad, and the ugly.

We are all human and therefore none of us are perfect. Yes, you have flaws, you’ve made mistakes and failed miserably time and again. However, this is you. This is the true you. It is who you are. Perfectly imperfect.

Forgive yourself for everything you have done or not done in the past and accept yourself unconditionally without judgment or excuses.

This is you. This is who you are. Accept that by acknowledging that…

I accept the good, the bad and the ugly.

I fully accept every part of myself including my flaws, fears, behaviours, and qualities I might not be too proud of.

This is how I am, and I am at peace with that.

Fully accepting yourself in spite of all your flaws, weaknesses, and limitations is absolutely critical for developing a high level of self-worth.

This is you. You are being vulnerable, authentic, and real. Embrace who you are fully and completely. Embrace the fact that you will no longer allow outside forces to define you. Only in this way will you finally let go of everything that has been holding you back all these years.

 

Step 3: The Self-Love Stage

Having fully accepted yourself, it is now time to acknowledge your true value. To do this, it is important to begin practicing a little self-love. Which basically means treating yourself with kindness, tolerance, generosity, and compassion.

Yes, you have flaws. Yes, you have so many limitations and weaknesses, but so does the rest of humanity. That is part of being human. It is time to let all that go and begin to practice being compassionate with yourself.

Compassion, of course, comes through self-love, which comes from self-acceptance, which stems from self-understanding. Ironically these are the steps we went through as we moved through this process.

One simple method to begin practicing self-love is to get into the habit of speaking to yourself and about yourself in a positive and supportive way.

I feel valued and special…

I love myself completely…

I am a worthy and capable person…

 

Talking to yourself in this way brings your focus and attention to the beauty hidden within you.

You are no longer looking at outside circumstances or people for approval or acknowledgment. You are instead searching for that approval within yourself. And that is one of the biggest steps you can take toward building your self-worth.

 

Step 4: The Recognition Stage

When you have an understanding  of yourself. When you have fully accepted yourself and when you reach a stage where you practice self-love and self-compassion, that is when people, events, and circumstances no longer define you. You instead begin to define yourself.

Given this, it is helpful to acknowledge and recognize that you no longer need to please other people. Other people have their own opinions, and they have their own life. You also have your own opinions and your own life. No matter what people do or say and irrespective of what happens outside of you, you alone control your own perspective and attitude.

You, hold the power to respond to events and circumstances of your life based on your internal sources, resources, and on your resourcefulness, which are all a reflection of your true value.

It is important to recognize your true value regardless of your earnings, career, possessions, social rank, relationship status, etc. Your true value is no longer measured by these things. It comes from an internal measure that you have set for yourself. That is where true personal power comes from.

 

Step 5: The Responsibility Stage

The final step in this process involves taking full responsibility for your life, for your circumstances, and for your problems. Now it is worth mentioning that I am not saying that you should be a martyr. What I am saying is to taking full responsibility for everything that happens to you  is about owning your contribution to where you are without giving away your personal power.

To take responsibility means to acknowledge that YOU have the personal power to change and influence the events and circumstances of YOUR life.

 

Concluding Thoughts

When you have a high level of self-worth, you are no longer relying on other people to make decisions for you. You alone hold yourself accountable, and you alone hold the power to make positive changes in your life.

There is no more complaining, blaming, judgment, or excuses.

You now hold the power…

Today is not a good day

  • Because you fully trust yourself and trust your ability to make decisions that put you in the driver’s seat of your life.
  • Furthermore, you are no longer are you swayed by the changing winds.
  • You are steady and self-assured.
  • You understand who you are, you accept yourself fully, love yourself unconditionally, and recognize that you are the captain of your ship.
  • Regardless of the circumstances happening around you and in spite of the rumours of mutiny, you are focused and able to stay the course.
  • You make adjustments on the fly, and you take charge of your ship.
  • You are not rattled or phased by external circumstances.
  • Yes, the outside world is a crazy mess, however, your inner world is as steady as can be; and that is what makes all the difference.

These are the things that keep you safe and it is all because you took the time to build your self-worth.

 

Did you gain value from this article? Is it important that you know and understand this topic? Leave a comment below I would love to hear from you.🙂

HOW TO STOP SELF-SABOTAGE YOUR OWN SUCCESS IN ITS TRACKS!

But I do nothing upon myself, and yet I am my own executioner. – John Donne

Are You Caught Up in a Repeating Cycle of Self-Sabotage?

Have you ever wanted something so badly… for so long… trying so damn hard… but time and again you ended up failing miserably?

Have you ever set goals and objectives that you just didn’t or couldn’t reach?

Have you ever wondered why you keep repeating the same patterns of behavior over and over again and keep getting precisely the same pitiful results?

All of us at one point or another go through these repeated cycles and phases. In fact, many of us go through our standard self-sabotage cycles like clockwork each day. As a result, we rarely live up to our full potential in any area of our lives.

What is more, is that we continuously regret the things we did not do then wonder why we keep getting stuck indulging in these limiting patterns of behaviour.

Given all this, you might be wondering whether there is an answer for getting unstuck? Is there an actual solution for avoiding these repetitive and limiting patterns of behavior?

And the answer to these questions is a resounding YES. There is a solution, but first, we must come to understand what self-sabotage is all about.

What Exactly is Self-Sabotage?

Self-sabotage is any behavior, thought, emotion or action that holds you back from getting what you consciously want. It is the conflict that exists between conscious desires and unconscious wants that manifest in self-limiting patterns of behavior.

Self-sabotage prevents you from reaching your goals and plays the part of a safety mechanism that protects you against disappointment.

What this essentially means is that your brain is protecting you from getting hurt by doing what it thinks is best — which is to keep you within the confines of your comfort zone.

The Real Reason Why You Indulge in Self-Sabotage

Self-sabotage tends to linger in our lives because of a lack of self-esteemself-worthself-confidence, and self-belief.

Moreover, we suffer from self-sabotage patterns because we have great difficulty managing our daily emotional experiencesWe tend to react to events, circumstances, and people in ways that hinder our progress and prevent us from reaching our goals and objectives.

Self-sabotage is also used as an effective method for coping with stressful situations or high expectations.

For example we sabotage ourselves when we are unable to reach the high bars of expectation that have been set for us. We feel incapable of reaching these expectations and thereby indulge in self-sabotaging behaviour as a means of coping with the situation.

No matter what our reasoning for self-sabotage, it is quite clear that if we do not do something about it, we will continue to live a life full of regrets and unfulfilled expectations.

The Manifestation of Self-Sabotage in Our Lives

Self-sabotage can come in many forms and often manifests in our lives in various ways.

Here is a list of typical methods we tend to use to sabotage our own success.

 

When it comes to our limiting thoughts, we must pay close attention to the excuses we tend to make that prevent us from moving forward. Here are some examples:

This won’t work…

I can’t do this…

I’m too busy right now…

I’m just not ready yet…

I’m just not good enough…

Here are 19 more excuses you’re making that might very well be keeping you stuck.

Each of the patterns listed above has its own set of consequences that manifest in a variety of ways in our lives. Some are very obvious, while others might be a little more difficult to identify.

The key for us here is to list down and pinpoint the thoughts, feelings, and actions that lead us down the path of self-sabotage.

Only then, through conscious self-awareness can we begin to put a stop to these patterns of behavior.

4-Steps for Eliminating Your Self-Sabotage Patterns

There is a simple yet very effective method we can use to eliminate self-sabotage patterns from our lives.

The process involves 4 steps. These 4 steps can help you take conscious control of the behaviours that are currently influencing your choices, decisions, and actions.

These steps include:

  1. Identifying Your Self-Sabotaging Behavior
  2. Recreating Your Self-Sabotage Patterns
  3. Identifying a Healthy Replacement Behavior
  4. Practicing the New Behavior Until a Habit is Formed

Let’s have a look at how each of these work

Step 1: Identify the Self-Sabotage Behavior

Your first objective is to Identify the Self-Sabotaging Behavior that is preventing you from moving forward.

To do this, we must become consciously aware of our daily choices, decisions, actions, and the resulting consequences. Use the list in the previous section to identify the various types of self-sabotaging behaviours you tend to indulge in.

Once your behaviours have been identified, it’s necessary to pinpoint specific triggers that may be causing these behaviours to manifest in your life. These triggers could include people, objects, specific times, events, locations, etc. Ask yourself:

What specifically triggers this behavior?

How exactly does this behavior manifest in my life?

Next, we must ask ourselves whether it’s possible to avoid these triggers altogether.

Simply removing these triggers from our lives we will be better prepared to take conscious control of our thoughts, feelings, and actions.

However, there is another factor that we must take into consideration. This factor is the limiting beliefs we have associated with each particular self-sabotaging pattern.

The key is to identify these limiting beliefs, then work on converting them into positive empowering beliefs.

One of the simplest ways to do this is to question the validity of your belief. Take just two minutes and ask yourself:

What is it that I believe in this situation?

What is it that I believe about myself and my own abilities?

How did my belief about this, trigger my self-sabotage pattern?

How is this belief ridiculous and/or  impractical?

What would others say about this belief?

What is another more helpful perspective I could take of this situation?

These questions are a good starting point. Use these to help you weaken the beliefs that govern your self-sabotaging behavior.

Step 2: Recreate Your Self-Sabotage Pattern

Having worked through the previous step, you should now be able to consciously recreate the self-sabotage patterns by outlining all the triggers and the associated behaviours that manifest as a result of these triggers.

It’s important that you are very clear about how this behaviour manifests in your life before moving onto the next step.

Ask yourself:

How exactly does this self-sabotaging behaviour tend to manifest in my life?

What typically triggers this behaviour and how?

What patterns am I seeing that could help me to better understand this behaviour at a deeper level?

Once you have a good understanding of the patterns surrounding this behavior, you can move on to the next step.

Step 3: Identify a Healthy Replacement Behaviour

To eliminate an old pattern of behaviour, we must first replace it with a new pattern that is more practical and helpful.

This is fundamental…why … because at times it is difficult to avoid certain triggers such as people, objects or circumstances that cause us to react in unresourceful ways.

We must take time to develop a more resourceful and appropriate way of responding.

Ask yourself:

How could I respond in a more appropriate, resourceful, and practical way that would help me get what I want in this situation?

How and why is this a better way to respond in this situation?

What are some reasons for making this change?

What are the long-term benefits of changing how I respond in this situation?

What are the key advantages of this new behavior?

Remember that change will not happen if there is a lack of motivation behind that change.

If you cannot find reliable enough reasons to make a change, then you simply won’t have the necessary desire or drive to follow through with the change.

Step 4: Practice the New Behavior Until a Habit is Formed

Once you have identified your new behavior, you must now take the time to practice implementing it as often as possible until a new habit is established.

To do this, begin by going through your response (your healthy replacement behavior) to the situation in your imagination. See every detail in large pictures with lots of colour or music or anything else that is fun for you. Feel the positive energy churning through your body as you continue to enlarge the details of your new habit. Do this a few times daily and each time add more colour, more fun to your picture in your head and very soon you will overcome the old self-sabotaging pattern.

Now that your imagination has been activated, you are ready to put yourself in real-world situations that will naturally trigger your old patterns of behaviour. This time though, you are primed with a new response mechanism that you will continue to practice over the next four weeks until a new empowering habit is formed.

 

10 Practical Ideas for Eliminating Self-Sabotage

To eliminate our self-sabotage patterns, we must make a concerted effort to stay conscious and aware of our behaviours and actions at all times.

At the same time, it’s helpful to put into action a variety of strategies and tactics that can help to eradicate these behaviours once and for all.

Here are 10 suggestions for you to experiment with.

Consistently Learn from Mistakes

Take time at the end of the day to reflect on how you responded to events and circumstances.  Learn from these mistakes and experiences by writing down how you will respond differently tomorrow and in the future.

The more you reflect and learn, the better prepared you will be to face these scenarios in the future.

Think Bigger and Bolder

Sometimes we get so caught up in our own destructive patterns of behavior that we lose sight of what’s most important. When we have a narrow  focus, we fail to see the bigger picture.

Given this, it can, therefore, be helpful to take the time to think bigger and bolder. This can help you to expand your understanding and perspective of the situation.

Ask Better Questions

Questions are the keys to the locks that hold our problems in place.

Asking better and more effective questions, we naturally gain a different perspective on our situation. This can help us to become more consciously aware of the self-sabotage patterns that are ruling our lives.

Ask yourself:

What have I learned from this experience?

What would I do differently given another opportunity?

What could the potential benefits be?

How will changing my response allow me to get what I want faster?

The questions you ask will help expand your choices and options moving forward. Giving yourself more choices and options you will be in a better position to work through your self-sabotaging behaviours in optimal ways.

Treat the Process of Change as an Experiment

Just like we did not master the process of walking in one day, changing old habits will also not happen in one day. However, it does happen over time.

When you took your first steps, you must have stumbled more than once. However, you got back up and continued to struggle until you eventually mastered the mechanics of walking. It was one of your little life experiments that I imagine you succeeded at over time. 🙂

The process of change is precisely the same. Treat it as an experiment that will take some time and effort.

You will probably not be victorious after the first or even second attempt. However, over time you will get better at it  as long as you persist. Eventually you will win the war over your self-sabotage patterns.

 

Seek Advice from Other People

It’s important to always ask for help .Seek advice from people who have had practical experience dealing with what you are currently struggling with. Trust me, you are not the only one who is /or has gone through this. They know from personal experience the struggles you are likely to face along the way. They will, therefore, be more than happy to  give you practical advice and suggestions that have helped them; to try. You never know if one of those pearls of wisdom will allow you to move beyond your self-sabotage patterns.

 

Make Sure to Plan in Advance

We often struggle through life when we do not know what to expect, or have little to-no-idea how circumstances will unfold.

However, when we begin to lay down solid plans for how we will respond to situations, people, and circumstances, we begin taking control of our lives.

While laying out these plans; take a moment to consider possible challenges and obstacles that you might face along the way. Acknowledge that  obstacles may exist, then consider how you will respond if or when these occur. Even if you don’t deal with these effectively at the time, you will at the very least learn from your experience. This will allow you to adjust your approach the next time around.

 

Focus on Exploring Solutions

Sometimes we get so caught up in our own inadequacies and limitations that all we see are problems and setbacks. This particular way of looking at life only leads to further challenges.

Instead, take time to consider possible solutions to the problems you are dealing with. This begins by asking more effective questions that focus your brain on finding answers, insights, and ideas, not problems.

 

Adjust Your Expectations

Our expectations can sometimes lift us up to new heights, or they can demoralize us emotionally. This is why it is so important to always keep our expectations in-check. Managing expectations ensure that we are not aiming too high too quickly and allow us to avoid  disappointment.

 

Set your expectations high, however, give yourself permission to be flexible to make changes should  your circumstances, conditions, and resources change.

Remind yourself that you didn’t master the process of walking in one day. You instead mastered it over time. The same is true when it comes to mastering your own behaviour patterns.

 

Take Intelligent Risks

More often than not, those who take more risks have fewer regrets than those who play it safe and struggle with uncertainty. The same is true when it comes to transforming your behaviour.

You need to take risks, you need to take a chance on yourself, and you need to snap out of old unresourceful limiting patterns of behaviour that no longer serve you.

 

The best time to start making changes was yesterday. The second best time is Right Now.

The only person can make the change is YOU.

 

Take Time for Self-Reflection

The people who get ahead in life are the ones who actually take the time to consistently think through their daily choices, decisions, and actions.

Successful people learn from what worked or failed to work. They adjust their course of action by taking a different approach.

Only through self-reflection will you gain the necessary insight, perspective, and understanding to begin the process of change and transformation.

 

Concluding Thoughts

Self-sabotage is like a grenade that suddenly and unexpectedly explodes; pushing us away from our deepest wants and desires. However, there are no excuses, because we are the ones who consciously control the movement of the pin.

It is therefore, up to us to make the decision that we will no longer fall prey to our self-sabotaging patterns of behavior ever again.

 

The choice is yours. It’s in your hands. You now know what to do and how to do it. The real question is when will you get started? When will you finally commit to putting an end to the self-sabotaging behavior that is preventing you from living the life you truly desire to live? Are your goals  worth making the change? Are you worth making the change? 🙂

 

What have you done to change your limiting beliefs? Leave a comment – I would love to hear from you.