In a world where people are constantly changing the standards of beauty, it is difficult to not want to change something about yourself. From waist trainers, to lip fillers, to diet fads. People around us are always telling us how we should look and what we should be. In today’s world, it is so much easier to focus on all the things “wrong” with us rather than it is the things that are “right” with us. While there is nothing wrong with self-improvement as long as it is done from a healthy place, we don’t always have to improve ourselves through external alternatives. We can do some inner work to improve the way we view ourselves.
Inner work means speaking positive words to yourself; being gentle with yourself and treating yourself like you would treat your dearest and closest friend. Sometimes we are our own worst critics and we say and think mean things about ourselves that we wouldn’t dare say or think about someone we care about.
When we get into a pattern of negative thoughts about ourselves we start to develop a poor self-image. A poor self-image is the door to an entire of world of never feeling or being good enough. As a result of poor self-image, many people let their “glow” stay trapped inside of them. They are afraid of the world to see them being their authentic selves because they don’t feel like they will measure up. They are afraid of the rejection that may come with fully being themselves.
When you are a victim of a poor self-image, you don’t believe that you deserve the best that life has to offer, so you settle. For example, maybe you don’t feel smart or experienced enough so you stay at that job that doesn’t pay well and does not offer opportunity for growth, or maybe you don’t feel attractive enough so you stay in that relationship where you are dissatisfied because you lack confidence or feel undeserving of better. Maybe, you are constantly comparing yourself to others and you never feel like you will measure up. Poor self-image has a way of creeping into our lives and holding us hostage in a mediocre life where we don’t feel worthy of greatness.
When you harbor limiting or negative core beliefs about yourself, you carry those core beliefs until all of your experiences. Your core beliefs are rigid beliefs that determine your perspective and how your view the world. If your beliefs are limiting and negative as a result of your self-image, any situation that you encounter will always be influenced by those beliefs. It is important uncover and challenge those beliefs in order to begin having a healthier self image.
From a spiritual perspective, It behooves us to view ourselves as God views us. Psalm 139:14 states “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. This scripture highlights that we should praise our creator because his works are wonderful and we are one of his greatest works. We are wonderfully made. When you think of the most well-known artists or sculptors and how some of their masterpieces are displayed in art galleries, marked as invaluable and marveled by people all around the world; think of yourself as much more valuable than those masterpieces. While those masterpieces were made by the gifted hands of creative human beings, we are masterpieces created by the creator of all. We are irreplaceable, marvelous and created in his image.
There are many ways to increase your sense of self worth and improve your self image. You can begin by practicing positive affirmations: statements that positively affirm who you are and who you wish to become. You can also begin to work through some of your negative core beliefs with a counselor. There are also many self help resources that you can use to begin your journey to practicing self love. Take a look at my new workbook that focuses on self esteem.