How do we create our self-image?
In order to understand self-image, we must understand how it is formed.
Most beliefs and rules are formed in response to needs and have nothing to do with reality. They are generated by parental, cultural, and peer expectations and by your need to feel loved, to belong, and to feel safe and good about yourself.
You should remember that self-image is internal. Self-image is more than merely recognizing one's positive qualities. In fact, self-image is an attitude of acceptance and non-judgment toward yourself.
Values and beliefs give rise to shoulds. When you are convinced of the truth of a should,and forced to choose between should and desire, you sometimes choose desire. Then you torture yourself with feelings of guilt and self- blame.
However, it can be changed. Self-esteem is something anyone can increase.
Because you created that self-image, you can re-evaluate yourself as an adult, with adult standards, and create a positive self- image. Self-esteem is a blend of internal confidence, external achievements, and compassion for yourself.
One of the main factors that makes us different from animals is our ability to define who we are and decide if we like that identity or not.
It is wonderful that we can define who we are. The problem enters with the very human characteristic of judgment.
Ours is a personal judgment, and it can be based on truth or distortion, on reality or imagination. It can actually make us reject our very self. When we judge and reject ourselves, we often destroy our self- esteem.
Self-image is more than merely recognizing one's positive qualities. It is an attitude of acceptance and non-judgment toward yourself and toward others.
A mistake is only a mistake after the fact. You may immediately be aware it was a mistake, such as when you tighten a nut one more turn and the bolt breaks. Or it may be weeks or years before you feel that a certain action was a mistake.