There are many articles and pieces of information about personal growth and the self image, most of which help the reader to push forward in life and make important changes if they can. Many times however changes are only temporary and we very quickly resort to our old ways. One thing I have learned about personal growth is it is sometimes difficult to take on board all the information that is available, partly because of the sheer quantity of it and partly because it’s big business and there always seems to be a new way of doing something. It’s hard to keep abreast of the latest product or idea.
I am writing this article to introduce you to some beneficial ideas that I have learned about personal growth and in particular the self image over the last ten years or so. I have put these ideas into practice and have had huge successes, although initially I found it hard going. I hope you benefit too.
All your actions, feelings and emotions are consistent with your self image. By the way your self image was forced upon you when you were a child. The environment and people you grew up with formed the image of yourself while you were very small and impressionable. Of course you did have some say in the matter as you grew older but your basic self image was formed when you were very young. This means of course you are not responsible for any feelings and beliefs you now have since you didn’t intentionally create them! However the good news is, now that you are an adult, you can redesign the image of yourself and therefore your life, exactly the way you want it!
So then, the self image can be changed. Positive thinking doesn’t help because it is external. If you change your self image everything else has to change too. Your whole life has to be consistent with your new image. In each person there is a ‘life instinct.’ We all want more life, more health, more happiness and success. In Maxwell Maltz book ‘Psycho-Cybernetics’ he describes this life instinct as a ‘creative mechanism’ which if used correctly becomes a ‘success mechanism.’ This mechanism must have goals to work on. These goals are of course mental images created by your imagination. Your number one goal should be your self image. He says ” Our self image prescribes the limits for the accomplishment of any particular goal. It prescribes the area of the possible.” So then you must visualise and act out new action patterns. You must act as if you are wealthy, successful and the person you want to be.
Most people unfortunately still are unable to put the previous paragraph into practice – I was one of them – and achieve what they want out of life therefore the following information is for them.
Your self image is created in two ways. Both are crucial to your success. The first is A BELIEF IN YOUR ABILITIES. This part of your image can be changed easily by rational thought. If you are not able to do something then go out and learn how to do it. This new confidence will help you achieve your goals. You can do or learn absolutely anything to be the sort of person you want to be. Since this part of your self image needs you to actually get up and learn a new skill or become more knowledgeable about a particular topic, to help you become the person you want to be, I don’t want to spend too long speaking about it. It’s up to you! If you really want to achieve or become better at something or be a certain type of person there is plenty of information on how to do it. The internet is a fantastic resource to start with. Just do it!
The second way your self image is created is a belief borne out by how you feel EMOTIONALLY about yourself. Your self image has to be consistent with how you feel about yourself emotionally. This emotional charge can be very powerful depending on how you were treated as a child.
For example….when you were a child, if you asked your mother to help you with a game or some painting you were doing and she said ‘No, I’m too busy,’ the emotional content of that statement would of had a huge influence on your self image. Let me explain. If she said it with a smile and a soft voice then that would have had a positive effect on your self image. However, if she said it harshly with a scowl on her face that would of had a negative effect on your self image. It is the emotional content of what she said rather than the answer itself that makes the difference. As a child you would have experienced many such episodes, some good, some bad. Hopefully the good would have outweighed the bad. If you have a negative self image which has been formed in this way you will not be able to improve it by rational argument. By the way people who have a negative image of themselves, formed in this way, put everybody else first all the time, believing that they are unimportant. They believe that they don’t deserve very much from life. We all know somebody like that.
As we grow up these emotionally charged incidence have less of an effect on us. Psychologists tell us up to 5 years old is the period we are most susceptible to this type of self image formation, however we are still susceptible up to the age of about 12 years old.
So why can’t we just change things?
If we now know that having a low self image due to emotional events while we were growing up is holding us back, why can’t we just change those feelings to more resourceful ones?
Well these feelings and emotions were formed by emotional events during your childhood, and the belief you have about yourself is buried deep in the subconscious mind. If you were aware of every feeling, every emotion, every thought, then you could change things into something more resourceful. However this level of awareness would put you in the zen monk category. I talk about this on my website below.
For the majority of people this just isn’t going to happen. The subconscious mind doesn’t care if you are unhappy or poor or lonely. The subconscious mind is concerned with your survival. Your internal world was formed while you were young and it was formed in such a way that it gave you the greatest amount of safety and security.
For example….while you were growing up, you learned that water is safe to drink but dangerous to fall into, likewise, electricity powers a light bulb and gives you light so you can read but is extremely dangerous to touch.
Your subconscious does not want to change any of this information because doing so might be dangerous to you. Likewise the self image formed from emotional events and deeply ingrained in your subconscious is part of you and must stay there to keep you safe as far as your subconscious is concerned. Your earliest experiences gave your subconscious mind enough data to build up a picture of who you are and how much you are worth. If your self image is such that it believes that you are a failure your subconscious mind will have you act in such a way as to fulfill this belief every single time!
So how do we improve this part of your self image?
Your subconscious created it so you could be as safe and secure as possible when you were young, given the circumstances you had to deal with. We can improve it very easily by doing something that most people are familiar with but unfortunately don’t do properly and that is of course by goal setting.(more information on my website below) By goal setting correctly we immediately give the subconscious mind something positive to work on.
If you remember, I said that this part of your self image only responds to the emotional content of your perceived world. This is the reason you have the kind of self image that you have now. Therefore it is important to realise that this part of your self image will only RESPOND TO EMOTION ONCE AGAIN. This is why you must IMAGINE and VISUALISE what you want. You must get EXCITED about every aspect of it. If you don’t get excited then you must choose another goal. Unfortunately people try to make their goals ‘realistic’ in terms of what their present self image tells them they are capable of.
For example….the person who wants the million dollar mansion but settles for the 200K one because his present self image tells him he has to be ‘realistic.’ It is this very ‘realistic’ self image that has kept him down in the first place! If he kept imagining and visualising what he really wants, and gets excited about it, the subconscious mind HAS TO bring the opportunities that will help him acquire his million dollar mansion! This is the way Universal Law works!
If people would only realise that the subconscious will make all their dreams come true if they believed this to be the case. Doing little action steps towards each goal on a daily basis will keep you positive and looking forward. If this was done by everyone we would all be completely in charge of our own lives and less dependent on government, welfare and outside influences.
It is such a pity that the subconscious mind is prevented from achieving anything that you really want because the conscious mind judges everything by what the eye and ear reports to be true, much of which is only perception with no real truth. Personal growth is all about the self image and awareness. While most people may never be fully aware they can certainly work on dreams and goals. They can visualise and imagine how achieving them would feel. They can become excited by the mental images. If they are persistent over time, and small steps towards your goals are achieved, self image will improve and you will become more confident. These small successes snowball into bigger ones and before you know it you have achieved your largest long term goals. I wish you huge dreams and success!
- Thought Power – Your Thoughts Create Your Reality (mediumsworld.wordpress.com)
- Knowing All About the Subconscious Mind (mediumsworld.wordpress.com)
- Meditation ~ Four Different States of Mind (mediumsworld.wordpress.com)
- Power of Subconscious Mind Over Health (joannewellington.wordpress.com)
- Why you should choose to follow your dreams.. (mediumsworld.wordpress.com)