How we look can really affect how we feel because it starts to change the beliefs we have about ourselves. When you take a group picture, chances are the first person you would look out for in the picture, is yourself! And we start asking ourselves, “Do I look good? Are my negative features hidden?” Sounds like vanity to some but in actual fact, it is a natural response that we all seek to have a positive expectation of our self-image.
WHAT IS YOUR SELF-IMAGE?
Our self-image is our idea or perception of our own ability, appearance and personality. It dictates our behavior, our relationships, the work we do, the things we wear, how we present ourselves, our level of confidence and the amount of success achieved in life. It affects every area of our lives.
When you look at the picture of yourself in a long dress and you appeared to look tall and slim (exactly how you would like others to see you as!), it makes you feel good about yourself. This probably gives you confidence to want to wear similar dresses again, because long dress has a tall, slimming effect for you.
However, when you see an image of yourself in the photo that looks less flattering, for example, in sleeveless tops, and received negative comments about how you look, you start to feel disappointed because it is an image that is different from the expectation you have about yourself. In some instances, you might believe that sleeveless tops make your arm look wide and you stop wearing sleeveless tops and start taking action about slimming those arms.
When we start to identify ourselves with this experience and think poorly about ourselves, inevitably we changed the belief we have about ourselves.
IMPORTANCE OF SELF-IMAGE
As a personal stylist, I strongly believe in building a positive and healthy self-image from the inside-out.
A confident and attractive external self-image is NOT about losing the kgs and slimming ourselves into that pair of jeans or elegant dress we so desire.
But it starts from embracing your internal self-image by learning to love and accept yourself for who you are, making changes in the areas you can and choosing the clothes and colours that flatters your positive body features. When you love the way you look, your past belief about your body inadequacy is challenged and a positive change starts to evolve in how you see yourself. This helps you to develop a confidence that is not tied to people’s opinion but the person you want to be. A growing confidence that creates momentum and motivation that follows to make greater changes in other areas of your life.
Changing how we look externally is almost like the tip of an ice-berg - empowering us to pursue new challenges and personal growth in our lives, paving the road to life’s achievements and success.
PRACTICAL WAYS TO START LOVING YOUR SELF-IMAGE
So, how do we change the way we see ourselves, from negative to positive? Can we unlearn what we think we learned over the years? Can we change our opinions of who we are? Here are 7 practical ways you can kick-start immediately to help you build your self-image.
- Look updated. Weed out the old clothes and wear clothes that are in line with current trends.
- Have fun in your outfits. Choose colors you love or colors in your color season palette that makes you look refreshed and sharp.
- Walk with confidence. All it takes is to pull your shoulders back, lift your head and look straight (not the floor!), take a deep breath and walk.
- Set time for grooming. If we are able to take care of how we manage basic grooming, such as hair, face, nails, (etc.), we certainly put the message across our ability to handle tasks as well as how much we love ourselves.
- Implement a beauty or makeup routine. A pampering treat with face masks, or making effort to put makeup to freshen our look could play a big role in lifting your spirits even when you do not feel like the best of yourself.
- Daily affirmations. Remind yourself every day of the things that you appreciate about yourself. The smallest accomplishments should be given the limelight in your mind. There are many situations in our daily lives that can make us feel inadequate. Remembering what we have accomplished so far, helps counter our self-defeating thoughts.
- Surround yourself with supportive people. Have a group of friends who really appreciate you, and can provide you with constructive and honest feedback.
In a nutshell, self-image is how you SEE yourself and how you believe other people SEE YOU. It is more of a perception, and it is not always backed up by facts. Nevertheless, whether your opinion is real or distorted, if you have a poor image of yourself, your belief about yourself is limited and it will follow that you will feel less about yourself. However, having a positive and healthy self-image will empower you to feel good about yourself and motivates you to constantly make a positive shift in your life, to grow and develop and become the person you want to be.
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