Many factors influence a person's self image and also self
esteem. Self image
is a sort of mental image of how the person sees himself and
his positive and negative features and
These collective factors are related to the macro and micro
environment of the person. Our self image is greatly
built and developed as a result of our
It’s a result of our past and the influences we have had
along the way and our understanding and interpretation of
our life and life experiences. It is in itself part of
Our self image is also determined by the people in our
lives. For example
encouragement and believing in a child can greatly influence
ones self image and also self esteem, as opposed to criticism
and telling the child they are wrong and whatever they do is
not good enough.
arents may do this without realizing it. For example I was in a
swimming pool one day and a father was teaching his son how to
dive. The child
jumped in and the father said something like "No that’s not
right, you didn’t do what I told you….." It is also not so much the
words but also the tone of voice and the energy that comes
father was trying his best. His intention was to help the
child learn to swim.
The child's interpretation of his father's words is
important. If the
child noticed how much his father wants to help and that the
correction was a way to teach him to dive better, then when the
child is picked out by others in any situation he may feel the
same, I have something to learn and I can try better next
time. If the child
hears in his father's words, I am no good. I cannot even remember or do
what my Dad says, then this may influence his life and
therefore self image in any situation when he is doing
something he does not know how. I hope by this example I have
shown how easily past experience and conditioning can influence
how you perceive yourself.
image may also be affected by our physical appearance and body
weight. A person that is not attractive will seek attention in
other ways like excelling in a certain field. Sadly in today's
culture your looks and weight are influencing factors in many
different life situations.
A negative self image is associated with
thoughts of insecurity and lower self
It is also accompanied by a
feeling of low self worth.
These thoughts and feelings
are created by you and become a part of you, actually your
The great news is that
this is easily corrected.
It does mean a
commitment on your part. You do not have to believe, only to
commit to try and experiment.
life coach what is important for me is that my client
realizes his true self and finds
his strength from within. This for
me was a journey of self discovery and transformation.
it depends on the level of awareness my client has when
coming to the coaching. During
the coaching the mindfulness that I practice myself comes
though in my coaching and my client
evolves to realize that his self image is something that he
has built of him/herself.
When the client reflects on the images
that he/she has created, it's possible to re-visit them and
question them, creating turnarounds and seeing that perhaps
the thought: "I am not worth much" can be turned around to
"I am worth something" and for the client to see, realize
and know why this is so.
I now would like to discuss how
we can improve our own self image.
There are many ways and what's
important is to start somewhere.
Below are some exercises I ask
you to try and experiment with.
As a life coach my belief is that
change and evolvement comes through
yourself if you are happy with your
- Reflecting on positive self image
experiences: Write down 2 different
situations or events that happened in your life anytime
in the past that you are proud of yourself, or
situations or events that you feel you did your best
and that you are happy with the outcome. This
is the true you.
these down and then see what qualities were
- Observation of
yourself in a situation where you are insecure
about yourself: Take
a situation where you feel insecure about yourself and
simply watch the situation as if you are an observer
without judging yourself for being
Accepting yourself for who you are, right
This does not mean you will not be able to
means allowing yourself to feel this. I
recommend the teachings of Eckhart Tolle and his
book, The Power of
- Observation of
yourself in a
situation where you are secure and
confident Watch the situation - see what's
What do you like
about this situation?
What thoughts are in
- Externalization and questioning your
thoughts when you feel your self esteem has been
exercise is something that can be done if you feel you
want to improve your self image. When
you feel a situation that you feel like your self
esteem has been put down, write it down. This
can be done about any situation in the past or in the
moment that it is occurring. The
clearer your memory of your thoughts during the
situation the better you can question your
down as much as you can. The
externalization of the event also helps to clear your mind
and free you of your troubling thoughts
What did you think?
What sentences were
in your mind?
no respect for me" Or "No one listens to me" or "He
makes me feel stupid." Try and
find those sentences as they come up again and
your belief. Perhaps
its something someone told you in the past or a sentence you
may have heard one of your parents say. Ask
yourself if this is really true. How do
you know its true. Find the
the opposite is as true or truer.
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