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Self-image, self-esteem and self-talk might sound all alike, but the core of them take their power from very different sources. Let’s see.
What is Self-Image?
Self-Image is how we think others see us. Even though the connotation of self-image resides in our self, the extrapolation of others in this picture is key.
Imagine this, from a young age you have been told you are clumsy and you grew up by hearing this statement over and over again. The next time when you drop something you automatically say about yourself that you are clumsy. After a few years, you go to work or other social environments, where you already present yourself as being clumsy as some sort of disclosure for future reference. Sounds familiar?
Our self-image is based on the feedback that others give us, so basically is the image that we construct about ourselves with the snippets we received from others.
Take a moment and imagine how dangerous this is, when you find yourself in an unhealthy environment.
What is Self-Esteem?
Self-Esteem is how we think about ourselves. How we value, respect and commit to our own values and beliefs, how we set boundaries and how we communicate them, how we take care of ourselves and we prioritize our needs and health, how we offer ourselves time for rest and how we make healthy choices etc. All of these and many more contribute directly to our self-esteem, the way we see ourselves.
Let me give you a silly example, just to make it more visible. You had brown hair your whole life, you look in the mirror and go outside. A stranger comes to you and says, “What a beautiful redhead you are.” Are you going to believe him/her? Of course not. You’d assume that he/she is crazy and obviously was not talking about you or missed you hair color. Silly, ain’t it?! But this is the actual process of how it works.
How about Self-Talk?
Self-Talk doesn’t mean to talk to yourself, but it does mean to control your inner dialog that you repeat inside your head over and over again.
Self-talk is a powerful tool that you can use to clean up and build up your self-esteem. Have you ever consciously talked to yourself or are you just repeating what others said about you?
The role of self-talk is to enhance your discourse about your own self. Now, you can imagine what a significant influence it has over your self-esteem.
If you learn to use your self-talk in your favor, then you can build up your self-esteem, which leads to a better self-image.
Uhm… ok, but what to do next?
Well the first step is to observe and analyze your self-talk. Yes, but you might say nobody has time for this. Well, it’s about you, so find a way and make time. Start with 10 minutes of observation, continue with writing down your inner dialog, analyze what words did you use, are they yours, is this your linguistics or are you repeating someone else’s statements? Write down everything. You will learn how to do this on the run, fast, while processing information or socializing with others. I know it sounds cliché, but really, master the art of self-talk.
So there it is, hope I have answered some of your questions. Leave a comment or message me for more.