A Simple Discussion on Self-Image

Two WomenYou might quite frequently have heard the phrase Self-Image used but failed to define what this term is really all about or what it actually means. This article will basically discuss what Self-Image is about and other things related to it.

Definition

Self-image is defined as a mental picture one has on oneself. Self-image is affected by how the individual perceives him/herself and how other people see the individual. In other words, it is your self-perception or self-impression that has accumulated over a period of time. Self-worth is not a solitary perception on oneself, but how other people see you which may also influence your self-image.



Woman Cutting HairSelf-image can be positive or negative. A positive self-image is generally having confidence about everything that you do, while an individual with a negative self-image often feels doubtful and distrustful about their self.

Poor Self-Image

With so many factors having a great impact on your own view of your image, it is no surprise that an individual might suffer from poor self-image. This is a product of criticism and bad ideas that a person has collected throughout their childhood. The problem with a poor personal image is it can be extremely destructive and detrimental. The individual might view him/herself as a bad person and not worthy of much. Poor judgment is one of the detrimental causes of a poor self-image. If you are constantly praised by other people as pretty or handsome or clever but you cannot see it in yourself, it can result in doubts which equals to you creating a poor image.

People with negative views about themselves

Crying womanIn one particular study which was conducted, people who suffered from a poor image of themselves (or let’s say had a “negative” self-image) were those with Type A personalities and were perfectionists. These people will always expect and are used to high standards of success and when they feel that their achievements are not high or beyond a reasonable level, they often see it as a failure. The result is that they are very easily disappointed.  In addition, people who think that they have it all – looks, intelligence, skills, money – strangely enough are most likely have a negative self image.

Positive Self-Image

Thumbs UpWe are talking about negative, poor image but what defines a positive, healthy self-image, anyway? An individual with a positive personal image is one who has self-respect and respect for others. Also, an individual with a healthy viewpoint about themselves is someone who learns to recognize that there is great value and characteristics to be had from his/her mistakes and does not feel defeated or deflated in any way. When he or she is able to accept these extremes, they are said to have a positive self-image.

Factors affecting the images we have for ourselves

As mentioned above, ones image is not a solitary perception of oneself but also how the world perceives you and this perception can impinge on ones self-esteem dramatically. You, others around you and environment can have a great effect on how you truly feel about yourself and what you believe that others see in you. How you perform in school, your work and your relationships with other people also shape these perceptions.

Self-Image: So how does this affect me?

Whether it’s positive or negative, self-image has a huge impact on one’s life. It affects your complete outlook on life as well as the social aspects. To put it simply, if you have a good self-image, then what is likely to come around is nothing but positivity.

So, does it mean Negativity Reaps a Healthy Self-Image?

Thumbs DownNot at all! In reality, when we encounter failure and remember it and accept the criticisms, this can be really good for us. Criticisms help us fight back and facilitate positive changes within ourselves and help us learn by our mistakes so we don’t make them again in the future. However, remember an excess of this can lead to overconfidence and this can turn into arrogance – a trait that anyone seldom likes!

Simple and Effective Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem

According to psychology books, people who have a high self-esteem firmly believe in certain values and principles, and are ready to defend them even when they are being opposed or challenged.

Low Self EsteemThey are able to act according to what they think is best for them, trusting their own decisions, and not feeling guilty when others don’t like their choices. They are also satisfied with their life and perceive themselves as efficient, and generally being content with what they have accomplished. Most of all, people associated with having high levels of self-esteem are healthy, happy, optimistic, and fun to be with. In other words, being healthy and optimistic is a definitive way to boost self-esteem.

Scientists who continue to study the links between personality and health are finding that putting a positive spin on our lives has a powerful impact on our body, mind, and spirit. Research suggests that optimists may get fewer colds, have stronger immune systems, be less prone to depression, have enhanced self-esteem and survive surgery better than those staring at the half-empty glass! A cheerful outlook can even help protect us against life-threatening illness.



In a study conducted in 1999 involving 309 heart-bypass patients, it was found that the more optimistic the patients were, the less likely they were to return to hospital due to angina, infection or other complications related to their coronary artery disease in the six months following surgery. The most optimistic patients were half as likely as the greatest pessimists to be re-hospitalized. Researchers say that only 35 percent of optimism is inborn. The rest is learned based upon experience. Consider this a lesson in learning how to go from low-self-esteem to high-self-esteem so you can reap the health benefits of positive thinking.

Girls Mirror ReflectionWhen we have an optimistic outlook, we are less likely to feel threatened, panicked or angry facing the everyday catastrophes of life, from traffic jams, to screaming kids, rude bosses, or inconsiderate professors. Those peaceful reactions to stress cuts down the number of times our bodies are flooded with adrenaline and other stress hormones that tear down our immune system and wear down our hearts. Leaving us depressed, miserable, and sometimes heart-broken, all of which are contributors in having a low self-esteem. Stress isn’t what happens to you, it’s how you perceive what happens to you! Just like self-esteem. If you professed to yourself that you are unworthy and useless all the time, naturally a low self-esteem sets in. Healthy optimists don’t just paste on a grin and pretend life is all roses. They see problems every bit as clearly as pessimists-they just think they have the power to make the bad things better.

Researchers say that this sense of their power is a major reason optimists are healthier and have higher regard for themselves.

Blue FigureStudies show that feeling helpless, combined with a perception of unworthiness, inefficiency, or underachieved, are extremely stressful and can develop a low acuity of self. Children, pessimists and people who have low self-esteem have learned helplessness and are encouraged by the fact that they don’t have the power over any life events that happen to them. The ripple effect from what could be that one small difference in attitude affects their whole lives. Since pessimists figure, “no matter what I do, life is going to stink” “or I am always going to be wrong” they are more prone to stress-induced illnesses and diseases. In addition, they don’t plan ahead or look after their health, tend to take careless risks and are far more prone to untimely accidental death.

Optimists on the other hand, have a lot to be happy about. Their lives don’t just seem better-they literally are. The assumption that they can improve things becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy- they plan ahead and plan well because they think their ideas will work. People who expect the best are more likely to have good health habits, to exercise and eat well. They are always able to deal with the simple challenges of everyday life and are justified in enjoying their happiness.

So how do you learn to be positive? What can you do to boost your self-esteem?

Road SignsExperience is the best teacher. People, who have had good things happen to them, learn to expect good things. If you want to be happy and self-content, set yourself up for success not failure. Pick those dreams that are realistic and attainable. The optimism that seems to pay off is based on reality. If you’re petite and you want to be a professional athlete, that’s great, but think about riding a horse, not playing basketball. If you think you have bright ideas for a friend’s wedding, share it with the group. If they don’t agree with it, its fine! Don’t perceive the refusal as something that will make you less of a person or that you are being totally rejected. Let reality inform your hopes and let those rejections and criticism, be a challenge to be more creative in the future.

Don’t let those toxic thoughts roll through your mind. Recognize negative thoughts and challenge them with evidence. When something goes wrong, try to see the problem as short-lived and caused by external events you can change, not due to fate or character flaws.

Avoid negative self talk and global thinking. Replace the words “always” and “never” with less sweeping statements such as, “I forgot my keys today. I’ll keep them by the door” or “I may not be the greatest surgeon, but I am the best father to my kids!”

Point the finger at someone else. It may sound nasty but if someone else caused the problem, its healthier to blame that person than beat yourself up. Nobody says optimists are nicer-just healthier!

Teach yourself you’re a winner by celebrating your wins and achievements, even though they may seem small. At least twice a week, do something fun that you know you do well like sing, paint, do some gardening, volunteer; play your favorite musical instrument. Do it and claim that win. Once you have claimed it, celebrate the triumph. Go out with people who know your inner- self and have always loved you for being who you are. It is always good to be surrounded with people who appreciate even your imperfections and flaws.

Lastly, seek out optimistic friends and hang-out with them.

Red BallPositive people are really quite contagious. They always have something good to say and they are always appreciative, even with the littlest things that attract good vibes and positive auras. They always exude confidence. Most of all, their having a high self-esteem is infectious! As they say, you become like the people you surround yourself with.

What Is Meant by Self-Esteem?

The Meaning of Self-EsteemThe Meaning of Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is the reflection of personal worth. The theory of self-esteem stems from the early life in childhood. Parents, during this time, play a vital role in building self-esteem in their kids.  When a child receives approval and security from his significant others, he feels his worth and builds his confidence.

In What Way Can High Self-Esteem be Problematic?

A person can have low or high self-esteem. Either personality can lead to subtle problems. We often regard individuals with low self-esteem as the main dilemma but high levels of self-esteem can have a disadvantage too.

 



People with low self-esteem are individuals who think of themselves as worthless or less important. When such perception gets worse, it can lead to more serious problems. This may sometimes result in high anxiety levels, substance abuse, panic attacks or eating disorders. On the other side, individuals with high self-esteem feel good about them and are confident in almost everything. This can bring a lot of positivity but too much of it can be a bad thing at the same time. The state of feeling better than anyone else can lead to arrogance. Arrogance can be a point of issue, because it can pilot poor relationships with others and hold back ones career.

Low Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem is not uncommon in society. Let us see what defines an individual with low self-esteem.

Characteristics of an Individual with Low Self-Esteem

  • Does not accept criticism well. Individuals with low self-esteem are often resistant to constructive criticism.
  • Feeling of insecurity. Individuals who have less confidence in themselves may often feel insecure and jealous about others.
  • Afraid to take on new challenges and undertakings. Individuals may be hesitant to try new things. They also do not have many social activities or hobbies in life.
  • Lack of confidence. Low self-esteem people have problems in believing and trusting their own judgment.
  • Not expressive. With the intent to avoid criticism and negative comments, people can often become asocial or aloof.
  • Mentally occupied with negative thoughts. People with low-self esteem often do not succeed in life, because they are consistently negative in ideas and disapprove of most things.
  • Poor social interaction. It has been found that individuals who have these issues have a poor social life and very few friends.
  • Unhealthy heterosexual relationships. Low self-esteem can also affect relationships.

Self-Esteem AwarenessPeople with low self-esteem have very little value about themselves. They mainly see their faults, flaws and weaknesses as opposed to the positive qualities they possibly have. They also often juxtapose themselves to others and believe that they are better than themselves. In addition, they can be too highly-strung and constructive criticism may not work for them as this see this as a personal affront.

Building Self-Esteem Awareness

Individuals can change their perception about themselves. One can increase their self-esteem by taking a course or studying which will increase their self-worth (then eventually self-esteem). Individuals with low self-esteem can take educational classes in which they are taught all issues in connection with self-esteem such as what it is, the causes of it and what makes it poor or un-healthy.

A Lesson for Geeks: What is the Meaning of Self-Esteem?

Definition

Self-esteem is the manifestation of self-worth. Self-esteem/worth goes hand in hand. Self-esteem is a matter of expression of one’s opinion. In other words, it is not a true measurement of one’s actual worth, talents, skills and abilities. This would mean that an individual may have poor self-esteem at some point in their life, but over time they come to learn their unearthed capability such as having a great talent for dancing.

Factors Affecting Self-Esteem

People with high self-esteem are very confident and have a lot of pride. They always feel good about themselves and always have a positive outlook. While those people with low or poor self-esteem always feel in doubt about what they do.

The way a person thinksThe way a person thinks of themselves is mainly affected by childhood happenings and their environment. Childhood is an integral factor in forming a mental image. When we are praised by our parents or friends in our youth, we feel our worth and become confident in the things we do. When we feel beautiful, pretty or handsome (and are approved by others), we feel conceited and proud of ourselves. However, when we do not receive approval by our significant others, the feeling of worthlessness may begin to surface. People with high self-esteem are good at setting goals for themselves; so, it is more than likely that they are the achievers. They are likewise ambitious and competitive in all aspects of their lives.

Effects of Low Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem brings nothing but negative feelings and sometimes, depression. Also, if you have lack of self-esteem, you can’t easily adapt to change, communicate poorly with others and are unable to maintain healthy relationships. You will always feel insecure and vulnerable to criticism. In some cases, individuals with low self-esteem end up in mental facilities because of their depression getting worse.

Building High Self-Esteem in Children

To build high self-esteem in children, start it during their early childhood. Parents who always praise their kids for their accomplishments often lead to good development of self-esteem and confidence in their child/ren. Positive reinforcement is another way of building high self-esteem in children. For example, if the child feels he is going to fail at something, do not discourage him. Instead, offer alternatives and options. Let him become independent. In this way, he will learn to trust his instincts and feel good about himself.

Building High Self-Esteem in Adults

While early childhood remains a major contributing factor in building self-esteem, this does not mean that there’s no way adults can build their self-esteem too. Adults can build confidence and develop high self-esteem by themselves. By getting active in life, get socialized and giving treats or rewards to oneself.  This will bring up confidence and eventually develop a high self-esteem.

If you fail, try again! Never sit back and just wait for another fighting chance. Instead, look for chances and try once more. Don’t give up.  Building self-esteem in adults is easier. They acquire hope and optimism their existing abilities, skills and good experiences in life. Adults have the ability to improve themselves. They are more in control of situations and they have a higher chance of self-improvement.