Self Image is an assessment that an individual has about himself. It includes personal worth and an overview of his abilities, identity, qualities, traits, and characteristics like kindness, talent, intelligence, etc. The term refers to a mental image that the individual has of himself by learning about himself through personal experiences or believing in what others say.
What is Self Image?
Self Image is a distinct concept that tells how a person views himself both internally and externally. These are self-impressions built over time and can be either negative or positive, depending upon his experiences.
How a person views himself and his surroundings and how he interacts with others is, to a great extent, dependent upon his mental image. Simple questions like how I am looking and how I am doing etc. are important examples of your Self Image perception.
Positive self impressions or image – When an individual looks inwards and sees positive things, it is known as positive self-impressions. A positive image helps to boost the emotional, mental, and physical well-being of a person.
It allows him to become comfortable in his skin, and he can accept the good with the bad quite easily. He knows about his shortcomings but does not indulge in critical judgment.
A person with a positive image can lay and build a foundation for an empowered life. For example, a person might view himself as intelligent or good-looking, which will embody a positive image. An individual with a healthy image is not influenced by others’ opinions or society’s rules or expectations.
He has a strong mind and a stronger opinion, along with an optimistic outlook that gives him greater control over himself. This helps in boosting the image to a greater degree.
Negative self-impressions – When a person has a negative image of himself, it is known as negative impressions or images. It dampens his spirit and has a direct impact on areas like overall functioning and life satisfaction.
The tendency is to harp on the negative side, and everything is easily exaggerated and blown out of proportion. When a person has a negative image, his focus is on weaknesses, flaws, failures, limitations, and imperfections. For example, a girl might view herself as unattractive or unintelligent, which will make her unhappy because she is falling short of the ideal version.
Other people’s opinions heavily influence a person with a negative self-impression, and he tends to overthink things. He is, to a great extent, defined by societal expectations, norms, and standards. He keeps on comparing himself with others.
If by chance, does not measure up, it triggers an emotional trauma of insecurity, doubt, and pessimism reflected in the image. The low or negative image can lead to several illnesses like anxiety and depression.
The sense of self is also referred to as self-schema by cognitive and social psychologists. The four types of Self Image occur when
- The image results from the way an individual sees himself
- The image results from the way others see the individual
- The image results from the way an individual perceives how an individual perceives oneself
- The image results from the way an individual perceives how other people see him
Self Image vs. self-concept vs. self-identity
Self-concept is described as a broader term that includes how an individual feels, thinks, and ultimately sees himself.
On the other hand, the term Self Image is how a person views himself and does not include how he feels or thinks about himself.
Self-identity is considered a comprehensive term that relates to various aspects of how a person views himself. It is a complete picture or a whole image of how a person views himself and describes himself to people around him.
Dimensions of Self Image
The six dimensions of Self Image are as follows
- Intellectual dimension – This type of dimension deals with the way an individual views and evaluates his intelligence
- Physical dimension – This type of dimension deals with the way an individual views and evaluates his appearance
- Psychological dimension – This type of dimension deals with the way an individual views and evaluates his personality
- Moral dimension – This type of dimension deals with the way an individual views and evaluates his principles and values
- Skills dimension – This type of dimension deals with the way an individual views and evaluates his technical and social skills
- Sexual dimension – This type of dimension deals with the way an individual views and evaluates how he fits into the gender-related norms of the society
How do we develop Self Image?
The image of a person keeps evolving, adapting, and changing over the years because of his interactions and experiences in the world.
Follow these simple steps to develop a strong and Positive Self Image-
1. Explore yourself
Look inwards at the core and explore yourself if you are interested in creating a positive image. Who you are and what it shows about yourself is an important question that needs to be answered at the onset.
This is the time to define yourself and create a clear picture of you by finding answers to related questions like who I am, what defines me, and how I see myself; it is an accurate view, and there are other things below the surface.
Keep on digging with related questions and peeling the external layers as the answers will help get a clear overview of yourself. The surface has a fuzzy and unclear picture, but when you go deep and question your view’s accuracy, you can reveal many facets of your personality and uncover the real you in the process.
2. Taking a personal inventory
Take a personal inventory if you are looking for steps to create a positive image. Ask yourself important questions like my positive traits; what other people consider my positive qualities, what they say about the traits, strengths, and these traits and qualities vital for me.
This is the time when you list all the good things that are associated with you. It is like adding positive layers to the core to create a strong impression about who you are. This step involves creating a definite and clear picture that will lay the groundwork for your Self Image.
3. Look at your struggles
Some people have a habit of associating your struggles with a bad period in your life, but a person with a positive image will try to find the good things that happened because of it.
Look at your perspectives and personal feelings and analyze your struggles. Do not rely on outside opinions as they do not matter; instead, take control of your internal world that matters a great deal in creating a positive image about yourself. Take a look at the incorrect assumptions, beliefs, or thoughts that you might have about yourself. Ask related questions like do you talk in a positive tone at difficult times, are your internal thoughts encouraging, or are they critical by nature? Do your thoughts distort reality?
Do you make assumptions about yourself, and are these assumptions hurting you in any way. Stimulate your ideas so that you can dig inside and find your honest core. Suppose you find that your thoughts are overly critical, unhelpful, and negative, and the assumptions are proving harmful in the course of self-discovery; In that case, it is the time to work on those areas and solidify your image.
Encouraging words will help to settle your thoughts in a positive environment. This will also help in clear thinking so that ultimately you will create positive self-impression in life.
4. Make a list of the things you like
There are bound to be numerous things you like about yourself. Make a list and write them down. Do you consider yourself smart, intelligent, attractive, or sexy well include all the qualities in the list?
You can also include personal skills that you are proud of. This is the time to put your onus on positive skills and qualities and appreciate them. This will improve and boost positive aspects of your image.
5. Make a list of your proudest life moments
There have been moments in your life when you were proud of yourself and wanted to cheer your efforts and acknowledge that you were simply the best. Make a list of your proudest moments.
Did you win any major competition, was your accomplishment in a specific field recognized by the peers and did you work on a special project that gained immense recognition?
You can also write down about the special skills and efforts that helped you overcome existing barriers and reach desired goals. Your accomplishments and proud moments will help you to remember how amazing you as a person are.
6. Do not criticize yourself
Criticizing yourself for any debacle is basic human nature. We are ready to criticize ourselves at the drop of a hat. Do not do so as it is not a solution. Committing errors is an integral part of human lives, and so is learning from them. When a person disparages himself, he loses his self-confidence.
Start by forgiving yourself and learning from the mistakes to not commit them again in the future. Remember, both good and bad experiences help to create a positive image.
7. Believe in yourself
Believe that you can create a strong positive image. Once when a person becomes determined to do so, the way automatically becomes smooth, and it becomes possible to gain the self-confidence to create a strong and positive image
8. Give yourself credit
Give yourself credit for your hard work and accomplishments as this will be reflected in your attitude when you are creating a positive and strong image of yourself in front of others.
9. Smile and be happy
look at the mirror and now smile. This will work wonders for your self-esteem and the image, and it will also make you happy. When you see your smiling face, it brings forth positivity inside you and the environment. It also portrays a good image of you in front of others, so keep smiling
10. Sleep tight
A person who sleeps at regular hours feels fresh and energetic the whole day. It boosts your self-confidence and prepares you to face the day with positivity. A person who has an irregular sleep pattern is cranky and irritable the whole day. He makes mistakes and spreads negativity with his pessimistic attitude in the surroundings. Sleep tight and give proper rest to your body and mind so that you can do wonders for your image.
11. Eat healthily
Eat healthy as it will keep you in a good frame of mind. A balanced diet will provide the necessary energy to make viable changes in your lifestyle so that you can easily create a strong and positive image of yourself in front of others.
12. Wear flattering clothes
Wear flattering clothes as it will help in boosting your self-confidence. When a person knows that he is looking good, it becomes easy for him to create a strong and positive image of himself in front of others.
13. Do the things that interest you
One of the best ways to create a strong image is by showing the world that you are happy. This is possible when you do things that interest you. Be the person you always wanted to be as this will boost your confidence levels, and it will become easy to create a positive image about yourself in the world.
14. Be true to yourself
Be true to yourself to show your real side to the world. Be the best version of yourself and show the world who you are to create a strong and positive image of yourself in front of others.
15. Do not let society define you
Society plays an important part in human lives, and it can easily manipulate people and change opinions. Its influence on people is immense, and in most cases, this can prove detrimental.
Do not let society define you or allow it to change the opinion that you have about yourself. Stand up to what you believe in if you are looking for ways to create a positive and strong Self Image.
16. Appreciate yourself daily
Before going to bed, list at least five things you liked about yourself on that specific day. You can create a journal and write it down every night. This will help in improving your perception and having a positive realization about yourself.
A person who can appreciate himself will be easily able to create a positive and strong image. Thinking good and appreciating yourself will boost self-worth and improve your self-confidence.
This step will prove a blessing in creating a strong image of yourself in the world
17. Create a gratitude journal
Creating a gratitude journal has proved immensely useful if you are looking for ways to create a positive image of yourself. Reflect on the things that you did and write down about the life-changing moments each day.
This is a positive exercise that will help you to know about the things that you should be thankful for in life. This pool of gratitude and positive bites will give your image the desired boost.
18. Create an accurate view of yourself
If you are looking for important steps that will help create a positive image, then ask yourself how you want to be and the image you want to have of yourself. Think hard, and be honest. Accept both good and bad and try to be a better version of yourself through honest dealings and impressions.
When a person is authentic, genuine, and honest, he will come across as real, which will help him create a positive image of himself. Remember creating a healthy and positive image is about taking all the steps yourself.
Do not let outside opinions, assumptions, or perceptions matter because the day’s demand is of shaping and molding yourself to become what you desire to be.
Self Image is a dynamic concept that varies as time passes. Remember, some tools can help you change for the better if you so desire; hence put your onus on the healthy and positive image instead of negative impressions in life.