One of the most profound effects of a poor self-image can be seen in the attitude a person develops toward his or her world. People with an unhealthy self-image have a fearful, pessimistic view of the world and of their ability to cope with life’s challenges. They see new or unexpected situations as a threat to their personal happiness and security.
On the other hand, people with a healthy self-image see the world as a challenge to be faced , an opportunity for personal strength and growth.
I recently (this morning) received a great voicemail from an old friend. I had spoken to him yesterday about my recent job situation and my other adventures in my life and he said he had to call and leave me a message because he was so surprised about what a positive attitude that I had about it all. It got me to thinking about attitudes in relationships and life. As we wake up each day we have a choice. We can choose to be in a bad mood, have a bad attitude and end up being nasty to everyone or we can tell ourselves that we are going to have a great day, a good attitude and smile throughout the day! My world is partially crumbling around me, I am losing a fun job because the company is going out of business and I am stressing over the fact that my National Pageant is not going as well as I had hoped or planned and I may be stuck with $12,000 or more in bills. BUT, I am keeping positive and staying focused on a positive life! My friend was so shocked to hear what I was going through, he said “I would have never guessed.”
Our interpretations of the world around us are affected by the picture we have of ourselves. A poor self-image distorts the messages we receive from people. It acts like a negative filter and keeps out the positive. A poor self-image is one of the prime causes or problems in marriage and relationships. If you don’t have a healthy self-image, how can you expect your partner to accept you for who you are?
Every day we are inundated with images of the perfect man or perfect woman on television, in movies. The question that comes to mind is “who says they are perfect?” “Who set up these standards? Society? Why does Society have a right to make me think I am supposed to look one specific way. God created us all unique and that uniqueness is what makes us amazingly special.
Here is a helpful lesson that might help you to realize how special and unique you truly are.
Get a piece of paper and write down the following:
1) List five personal characteristics that you believe make you special and unique.
2) List five people whom you think love you and how each person has demonstrated that love for you.
(remember that different people have different love languages) If you are not sure what those are go back and read my article on the Five Love Languages before answering this question.
3) What is the greatest act of Love you have given yourself?
Remember that you are a gift to the World and to those in your life. No one can be you.
A study done by Scientific American on College Students in 1988 discovered that a good self-image was directly related to better interpersonal skills. They were able to handle situations a lot better than those students with poor self-images. You can see the results at: http://www.scientificamerican.com/media/inline/000CB565-F330-11BE-AD0683414B7F0000_p87.gif
There is a great little place in the small town of Galt, CA, just 20 mins. south of Sacramento called Headquarters. That is where I go to give myself some self love and to help me with my self image. You can get your hair done or an amazing facial and relax. The owner Dana is a great listener and friend. She also has an amazing attitude and self image. If you can’t make it down to Galt, find a fun place in your area with people who are positive and indulge yourself once in awhile!
A friend told me once that if you want to be like someone or have what they have, you must act as they act. So if you want to have a positive attitude or a great self image, then start hanging around people who have great attitudes or wonderful self images. You would be surprise at how your life will change.
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Till next time,