By definition, self-image is our idea of ourselves and our worth. Just like any other opinion we hold, the opinion we have of ourselves is fluctuant and can change very much depending on circumstances. In this post I present a series of 5 questions you should periodically ask yourself, in order to keep your self-image monitored and to bring it back “on track” in case you are experiencing a drop in your self-esteem.
1 Are you doing what you want? This question is very important. As an overall, it’s important that you feel that your life is progressing in the direction you want it to. If for some reason you feel you’re not making the contribution you want, or you’re experiencing difficulties in your private or professional situation, your self-image will drop accordingly. In these cases, it’s very important to identify the 4-5 main “situations” and to start tackling them separately one by one. Every little step forward will give you back some self-trust, and you’ll see your self-image quickly benefit from your efforts.
2 Are you playing ALL the roles you want? Life is indeed a stage, and we all are playing roles in it. But are we playing the roles that are right for us? Society brings us to rely on a series of general identities (we can “play” the student, the mother, the businessman and many others), but ultimately we have to bear in mind that we own our lives and our personalities. Playing a role is very personal and it’s also a matter of space and quality. By playing a different role, we experience life from a different point of view. Good news: we can literally be whoever we want to, we just have to start behaving accordingly and we’ll see our personalities shift and follow our change.
3 How are you spending your time? The organisation of our days has an important role for our self-image. We can have great plans for ourselves, but if we spend our days in ways that are not productive, we will always have to deal with a low self-perception. The best way to get out of this (very typical) situation is to gradually introduce new productive habits in our lives. Exercise, socialization or engaging in new projects are all little steps to progressively get away from our “old” personality. We don’t have to make drastic changes overnight! The will of becoming more productive and our first little measurable results will push us forward.
4 Are you feeling stuck in your routine? In order to have a better self-image, we have to constantly introduce new elements in our lives. As I said in other posts, a too strict routine can lead to a low enthusiasm and to very few surprises. None of us wants to live a boring life, an a drop in our self-image sometimes is simply a symptom of this situation. Here’s the solution: Get out and surprise yourself! Get out gradually of your comfort zone and discover new passions and new talents. Life is meant to be challenging, and through successfully overcoming challenges we build up our self-image. So consider where you are now, set up some “easy” challenges, and start overcoming them. Once you’ll get more consistent, you’ll be able to make bigger steps.
5 Are you dreaming enough? It’s true that we have to live “in the moment”, but it’s also true that having big dreams can be a great propeller for change and self-improvement. We should always make sure to have dreams for our lives and our future, and more importantly, we should make sure that we are progressively moving closer to them. Write down a list of your biggest dreams and bring them in front of you from time to time. Where are you today compared to those dreams? What can you do to get a little closer to them? Answering these questions and acting upon them will reinforce your self-image today, making you work for your future at the same time. Good luck!