“Whatever is happening in your life is coming from an image you hold about yourself.” -Sanaya Roman
Have you ever thought of the mental image you hold of yourself?
Most likely, you have different mental images of yourself in different areas of your life. For example, you could view yourself in one way in regard to work and a completely different way when it comes to relationships.
As you think about the mental image you have of yourself, consider the mental image you think others have of you. Do these images coincide and parallel – or are they varied?
Oftentimes, the mental image you have of yourself is based so much of how others viewed you in certain areas of your life. If you got good feedback from others, you felt good about yourself. Negative feedback, you felt bad.
We all fell into this habit, and most likely – most of us – continue to do it in our present lives.
But, the beautiful thing to realize now is: YOU – yes you – not others – have the power to change how you view/see yourself in ALL areas of your life.
To help delve into this topic a bit further, check-out the Worthy Work below so we can put these concepts into practice.
To help take these concepts and put them into practice, I recommend taking an area of your life where you’re feeling stuck, or inferior, or just plain lacking – and focus on this area. You can then take these practices and use them in other areas of your life – but for now let’s focus on this one area.
After you choose the one area you’d like to focus on, find 10-minutes of quiet, private time and have a journal and pen handy. Then, close your eyes and give thought to how you view yourself in this area? What mental images come to mind? Do these images feel like they were birthed long ago – or do they feel more recent? Jot down the descriptive words that you give yourself (most likely your inner critic is on overdrive chatting away about its view of you here) and will sum your image of yourself as I AM statements. For example, I am lacking, I am unsuccessful, I am incompetent, etc.
Realize that these statements and words, even though they aren’t true, play in your mind like a tape recorder – over and over and over again. Then, without even realizing you’re doing it, you will find evidence to support these statements and prove to yourself that they’re true. If you can pay attention to this you’ll hear your inner critic say something like “See, I told you – look at what you just did, see you’re this or you’re that.”
The KEY here is to realize that major growth happens in just realizing that this is what’s happening. Often, because these mental images are so ingrained in our minds/consciousness from long ago, we don’t feel like we have power to change them – but you do! Very exciting huh?
The next step is to now take your journal and jot down descriptive words on how you wish to view yourself in this area. How do you want to see yourself and how do you yearn for others to see you? After you inventory some words, if you’re a visual person, perhaps do some Google image searches to find images that support these words so you can see them each day.
Then, the next goal is to speak to yourself differently – and view yourself differently – have the mental images of how you want to view yourself in your mind. Focus on them, feel them, speak them to yourself.
Your outer world will change after your inner world does – it’s not the other way around – although many of us have spent our life trying to change the outer so we can feel different on the inside. This is a backwards, exhausting, habitual approach – but a common one.
Good luck with these exercises this week and, as always, take really great care of you in all ways – especially emotionally.
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