Your self image isn’t just about what you see in the mirror, though that is a big part of it. Your image of yourself includes the thoughts you have about your appearance, and their relationship to reality. It also covers the things that aren’t visible to the naked eye - the strengths or weaknesses that you consider yourself to have, as well as how you think others perceive you.
Many people have a distorted self image. They have attached labels to themselves; fat, weak, stupid, homely. Often the negative labels outweigh the positive ones. Ask any person to list of ten things they dislike about themselves and they can probably rattle them off without hesitation. Ask for ten good things - that’s another story!
The world you live in often operates by making you dissatisfied. You are presented with advertising that tells you how you should look to be considered attractive - and never mind that only a tenth of a percent of the population of the world can even come close to their idea of ‘perfection’!
You are also told what makes a person ‘successful’ or ‘smart’ or ‘strong’ - again, with the presentation of standards that are almost impossible to uphold! This breeds a tendency for the average person to be disappointed in themselves, leaving you with a sense of having fallen short - and then you begin to suspect that others find you lacking as well!
Most of us will never be runway model thin, or have the ‘ideal’ cheekbones. We won’t be ‘successful’ enough to drive a Lamborghini. Living in a mansion in Malibu is probably not in our future, and we didn’t go to law school or become a neurosurgeon.
You look at yourself and your live and you feel that you have failed somehow. You have to realize that not being on the ‘A list’ does not mean you are a failure! Not being a size two does not automatically equal being fat. Not being a lawyer doesn’t mean your IQ is low! Your self image should not be predicated on the length of your eyelashes or what kind of car you drive.
You have to get away from the mentality that drives you to think poorly of yourself for not living up to an unrealistic version of reality. You need to look in the mirror and see a healthy person. You need to look at your personality, and see what makes you attractive to the people in your live.
You should be able to answer the question ‘what do others think of me?’ with an honest ‘it doesn’t matter, because I am happy with myself. I like what I see in the mirror, and I like what I see in my life.’ Once you start to appreciate who you are and what you have, you will naturally have a healthier, happier image of yourself!
Symptoms of low self-esteem
Female body image
List of emotions Going home from self image