In our previous post, we looked at how you can improve your self image as a means to control your life and the results in it. The point I made was that when YOU change, everything else changes as well. In this post, today, I want to switch gears and get you to start imagining yourself with a positive self image.
Why imagining yourself with a positive self image?
Because your imagination is one of the most powerful tools you have to become successful in anything you choose.
As far as we know, humans are the only species on earth with the ability to imagine and envision themselves in the future.
Imagination is essentially putting your daydreams to work.
So, using your imagination to, for example, imagine yourself with a positive self image, is not a waste of time as some people think.
Using your imagination to envision a different result in your life for yourself is a powerful part of the process to actually achieve that result.
Everything starts and imagination.
As a thought.
No one has ever invented anything or become a great success without having an awesome imagination and the courage to actually use it.
Now, this officer becomes very powerful when we put the concept of self-image and imagination together – as I’m sure you can imagine.
See what I did there?
Since we know that a low self-image impacts our behaviour in ways that many people don’t even care to understand, using your imagination to picture yourself in a negative manner, can and will hurt your results in a big way.
However, if you want to break free of your current situation and/or results, you must start with how you see yourself.
Moreover, should you be stuck with low self-esteem (i.e. low think of yourself due to a distorted self-image), using your imagination to imagine yourself with a positive self image (in the future), is vital both as a catalyst for change and an ingredient for long-term and eventual success.
Now, I understand that when you have low self-esteem, it may be difficult to imagine yourself in a successful role, either in your personal or business life, but it still doesn’t negate the importance that you have to try.
When you imagine yourself with a positive self image, literally with a positive and successful picture, you stand a much bigger chance to empower yourself to face challenges and overcome them, rather than waste energy on negative feelings.
If you’re in a situation right now where you cannot imagine any way out of it anytime soon, but you still want to do something to set some change in motion, my suggestion would be to start with how you imagining yourself in the future.
The reality is that you don’t HAVE to be a success to imagine yourself as one.
Imagining yourself with a positive self image is not reliant on or limited by your circumstances or situation.
That’s the power of your imagination.
You have the ability to imagine beyond your limitations.
And the best part is, you can do it without anyone else even knowing about it.
Which makes it safe.
You can spend all your time “dreaming” about what “success” looks like to you – whether it’s with your marriage, family, friends or career.
And you can put that clarity and desire to work by imagining yourself being “successful” in that area of life or role, and by changing the way you think about yourself (i.e. imagining yourself with a positive self image).
But right now, you might be asking, how do I do that?
Do I have any practical tips or suggestions for how to imagining yourself with a positive self image?
The short answer is, YES! Of course, I do.
And here are a few simple ways to use your imagination to start building your positive self image so that the real image eventually matches the one in your mind:
Hold that thought
Draw a mental picture of how you would look, act and feel a “success” in the area of life you want to improve.
Be really thorough and make your thoughts detailed and transparent.
Foggy or unclear details won’t be efficient and effective in creating a true picture of the new you.
Then hold that thought (image) in your mind (imagination) and when negative thoughts about yourself do happen, quickly interrupt and replace it with your new positive self image.
Don’t compare yourself to others
Something that will really mess with your ability to imagine yourself with a positive self image, is comparing yourself to others.
Not only is that foolish, but it’s also a huge mistake.
For the simple reason that you are unique.
There is no one else like you.
Moreover, we typically compare our weaknesses to other people’s strengths rather than look at the whole picture.
You have strengths that are other people’s weaknesses.
So, to be safe just don’t compare yourself to others because it is a zero-point game.
And it’s one that you will always lose because we never rig the game in our favour.
It’s almost like we find it very easy to beat ourselves up and be unkind to ourselves.
No, if you want to imagine yourself with a positive self image, rather use your imagination to apply your unique strengths to your eventual success or improvement.
Imagine yourself as the best version of yourself and use your strengths.
Because at the end of the day, when you compare yourself to others whom you consider to be “better” than you, you’re only downgrading your innate skills and talents.
In a sense, you’re feeding a negative self-image by doing at – even when you don’t mean to.
This one flows from the previous point.
In order to imagine yourself with a positive self image, i.e. literally hold a positive self image in your mind of yourself, you first have to love yourself.
So, when you consciously think about yourself, think of all the good things you’ve done and want to do.
Be kind to yourself.
And when you do that you find that over time those loving thoughts will manifest themselves outward and others will be able to see a change in you.
Remember what I said in the first post on this topic of self-image – we can never behave differently from the self-image we hold of ourselves and our mind.
But when that changes, everything else changes.
When we shift internally, that change becomes evident externally as well.
Put the past behind
Lastly, in order to set yourself up (free) to imagine yourself with a positive self image, you have to learn to let the past stay in the past.
No amount of beating yourself up or feeling bad about mistakes in the past will change in the past.
All you end up doing is reinforcing something that cannot be changed while feeling bad about it.
Again, it’s a zero-point game – one you cannot win.
But when all the failures and unpleasant episodes in your life are in your rearview mirror, you’ll have a much better chance of succeeding in the present.
At the end of the day, it’s important to understand that your mind will focus on whatever thoughts and emotions you’re feeding it.
Energy will always flow where focus goes.
So, make sure to feed your mind good thoughts of the present and future, and let your imagination do the rest.
Now, as a warning, prepare yourself for the fact that during the process of imagining yourself with a positive self-image, you’ll most likely run into obstacles such as inner criticism from yourself as well as from others around you.
But that’s no need to listen to any of it.
When we start making changes it is often very common that people around us respond in an unsupportive manner, for whatever reason.
Maybe they don’t know what to do with this new you.
Perhaps they’re jealous or threatened.
But who cares?
You do you and let them do them.
Stay firm in your resolve to put any unkind and negative words or actions out of your mind and concentrate on your own beliefs and convictions.
Because as Henry Ford once said,
“Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t – you’re right!”
When you think and use your imagination to become successful, you will.
Make your imagination work for you.