• Self-Image: Is Our Life Defined By How We View Ourselves or How Others View Us?

  • It was out first CRUSH LIFE PODCAST episode and my Co-Founder, Joel Pilka, of The Positive Life Company was interviewing me. I found myself spilling about my childhood and in that moment, I realized the insanely positive impact my parents had on me. 

    I suppose many would say that their parents helped shaped who they are today, and I attribute this ONE THING that they did consistently to everything good that has become ME today! 

    That thing? 

    …they BELIEVED IN ME…

    Co-Founder, Amy Dix, and her parents (Larry & Ronda Dix)

    They never said I couldn’t achieve something or be someone. They never made fun of my big dreams. They never gave an alternative solution to my big ideas. Nope. They just simply believed in me. 

    Now, I have no idea if in their minds they thought I was crazy or not, but they never communicated that to me. They supported 100% of my dreams…even when my dreams were the wrong ones! 

    You can hear the full interview here: http://bit.ly/crushlifeamy

    Their support and belief in me gave me a strong self-image in life. Now, have I waivered from time to time in my self-image? Absolutely! 

    …But I have always been able to come out the other side with a strong belief in myself – thanks mom & dad!

    So…

    What is your self-image? How do you view yourself? Are your views of yourself the result of how others see you? How we see ourselves has a significant impact on how it is we engage with others and influences the way in which we navigate life starting in our childhood. 

    Our self-image can manifest itself in a variety of decisions we make ranging from something as simple the clothes we wear to the careers we choose to the car we drive.

    What is Self-Image?

    Our self-image evolves throughout the cycle of life, and in many instances, we have to work hard to control the narrative that defines it. Self-image is our concept of who we are intellectually and physically. It may include whether or not we deem ourselves as being gorgeous or unsightly, whether we are too fat or too thin; if we are smart or not so intelligent, or even our perception of self in society –are we low-class or moving in the top tier circles of the upper class? 

    Self-Image Factors

    Our image of self-begins to form during our early childhood. There are experts who indicate that parents, school teachers, siblings, friends or even complete strangers influence how it is we see ourselves. 

    Any of the people we encounter from the early stages of our lives through adulthood can have a negative or positive effect of who it is we look at in the mirror. 

    Couple these encounters with the highs and lows of life and there are multiple factors that determine our image of self. Some experiences have the ability to make us question and obsess about multiple factors that form our character. We are only human, and as beings on this earth, we are individuals with flaws. We have made mistakes, and on occasion, we have all failed. 

    This interpretation of self then impacts how it is we engage others. What do we do with these experiences and how do we respond in the face of those events that feel familiar and correlate with our self-image?

    Whose Self-Image Is It? Yours or Theirs?

    With so many factors forcing us to look inwardly and question how it is we perceive ourselves or how others view us, it is no wonder that it evolves and has a direct relationship with our self-esteem. How others see us affects how it is we see ourselves at various times in our lives, and therefore, there are times when our self-esteem may take a beating, and ultimately our self-image suffers as well. 

    However, for some of us, there comes the point in time in which we determine it is time to define who we are and how it is we view ourselves. 

    Think of this period as self-reflection. During this period of self-awareness, we can take control of our self-image, and if negative feelings or thoughts are flooding our senses, we can convert our image of self into one of positivity. 

    Creating A Positive Self-Image

    Since our self-image is ever-changing, we have the distinct power to swing the pendulum in the direction of positivity. We can teach ourselves to develop a favorable view of self, and we can push ourselves to see past our unique flaws and come to appreciate them. Because our self-image is evolving, we can continually evaluate those things that trigger poor self-image and address them head-on. 

    You must learn to appreciate all of your qualities, strengths, and uniqueness. It will require you to be okay with pointing out everything that is good about you and may even demand you solicit similar feedback from those around you or to surround yourself with an inner circle of people who are okay with celebrating you. 

    If you find yourself with an inner circle that does not believe in you, then maybe it’s time to reconsider who you let into your inner circle. My parents believed in me and that, in turn, developed to BELIEF in myself! 

    So, for goodness sake, if others do not believe in you, then know that it starts with YOU! You start believing in yourself first. You change your self-image of who you are. And then…watch how everything in your life will start to change too!