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yourself happy"? Well, as worn as it seems, it may be true. The most important factor to happiness and well-being is self-esteem. Also important were feelings of independence and competency, often brought about by high self-esteem. Surprisingly, common traits like popularity, power, money or luxury were rated the lowest.
Having a positive self-image can be difficult, especially if one is affected by life's hardships, such as a disability, poor health, or financial or other major problems. But there are things you can do to improve your self-image and self-esteem. These things can, in turn, improve other aspects of your life like academic or financial success, relationships, and even health. What is Self-Image? Self-Image - The idea, conception, or mental image one has of oneself. Self-Esteem - Respect or favorable image of oneself (Random House Dictionary) Self-image is how you perceive yourself. It is a number of self-impressions that have built up over time: What are your hopes and dreams? What do you think and feel? What have you done throughout your life and what did you want to do? These self-images can be very positive, giving a person confidence in their thoughts and actions, or negative, making a person doubtful of their capabilities and ideas. Surprisingly, your self-image can be very different from how the world sees you. Some people who outwardly seem to have it all (intelligence, looks, personal and financial success) may have a bad self-image. Conversely, others who have had a very difficult life and multiple hardships may also have a very positive self-image. Some believe that a person's self-image is defined by events that affect him or her (doing well or not in school, work, or relationships.) Others believe that a person's self-image can help shape those events. There is probably some truth to both schools of thought: failing at something can certainly cause one to feel bad about oneself, just as feeling good about oneself can lead to better performance on a project. But it cannot be denied that your self-image has a very strong impact on your happiness, and your outlook on life can affect those around you. If you project a positive self-image, people will be more likely to see you as a positive, capable person.
Finding the balance between feeling positive about oneself but having realistic goals is important. Positive Thinking There are many ways a person can change negative thoughts and self-criticism to more realistic and positive thoughts. accentuate your strengths and assets. and arrogance. Having a self-image that is unrealistic can be a drawback. tell yourself to "stop it!" If you saw a person yelling insults at another person. Positive Thought Strategies 1.However. and move on. Maybe you didn't ace the test you were studying for. Accept flaws and being human. 4. As you become more comfortable with each new way of thinking (for example. but maybe your boss and coworkers respected you for getting up and trying. it's important that your self-image be both positive and realistic. especially when it exaggerates the negative. All people have . Write them down and remind yourself to pause and change your way of thinking each time you are being critical of yourself.") 2. underachievement. Sometimes putting a stop on negative thinking is as easy as that.so what? Talk to your boss about what went wrong. Sometimes having too positive an image of oneself can encourage complacency. Try to avoid thinking in extreme terms ("I always make that mistake" or "I'll never get that promotion. Correct your internal voice when it exaggerates. Sometimes having an occasional negative thought or criticism about oneself can encourage change. Maybe you did get nervous and blow that presentation at work . try to address the error in the future. The next time you start giving yourself an internal browbeating. Avoid exaggerations. whether that self-image is negative OR positive. Focusing on all of them at once may be overwhelming. Nip negative thoughts in the bud. hard work. but maybe your hard work and perseverance led to a better grade than you would have had. Why do you accept that behavior from yourself? 3. growth and success. Instead of focusing on what you think are your negative qualities. but focusing on a few at a time and reminding yourself of these positive approaches regularly can change your self-esteem. learning not to apologize or accept blame for other's anger) try adding a new positive thought strategy to your list. you would probably tell them to stop. Maybe you felt nervous and selfconscious when giving a presentation at work. Accentuate the positive. Read the positive thought strategies below and choose several that would help you most.
but expecting yourself to be perfect (which is impossible) and then punishing yourself when you fail is a vicious cycle. It's okay to be helpful. 5. we may not have done it all. Allow yourself to make mistakes and then forgive yourself. they shouldn't make you feel guilty or bad about yourself. Don't put standards on yourself that you wouldn't expect from others. if you are in the wrong and if you learn and move on. replace your criticism with encouragement. Don't feel responsible for everything. Do feel responsible for your feelings. In the same way. would have . but they can't dictate them. 9. congressman. Instead of nagging or focusing on the negative (in yourself and others). but don't feel the need to be all things (and do all things) for all people. . Using expressions like "I should have" is just a way of punishing yourself after the fact. 7. Apologizing for things and accepting blame can be a positive quality. Try laughing instead of criticizing.flaws and make mistakes. Replace criticism with encouragement. so can you. " Try not to constantly second guess yourself. don't expect others to "make" you feel happy or good about yourself.. family.you don't need to start there or even end there. but we did a pretty great job with what we did". criticize yourself for what you "should" have done better.) 8. could have. Don't frighten yourself! "Should have. But you shouldn't feel responsible for all problems or assume you are to blame whenever someone is upset. 6. They've forgiven themselves. Give constructive criticism instead of being critical ("maybe if I tried to do ____ next time.you shouldn't feel responsible for their happiness. You create your own feelings and make your own decisions. Let others be responsible for themselves and their actions -. postman. You are not to blame every time something goes wrong or someone has a problem. Accept imperfections.") Compliment yourself and those around you on what you have achieved ("well. or expect too much from yourself. 10. This is taking too much of a burden on yourself AND limiting those around you.what more can you realistically do? Focus on what you've gained from the process and how you can use it in the future. coworkers. Just as you can't "make" other people happy. not everything is your responsibility. Just as everything is not your fault. it would be even better" instead of "I didn't do that right.. It's great to want to do well. Don't feel guilty about things beyond your control. Avoid focusing on what wasn't done or 'should have' been done differently. Your boss. friends. Make doing your best your ideal -. and favorite movie star have all made mistakes. Perfection is a high goal to aim for -. People and events may have an affect on your emotions.
13. Do you criticize yourself with terms like "stupid" "ugly" or "loser"? Would you use those terms to describe a friend? Remind yourself that you deserve to be treated as well as you treat others. . Treat yourself kindly.either in thought (give yourself a compliment) or action (treat yourself to a nice dinner or new book. You can choose how to interpret comments and events. "You look good today. so keep your statements positive. Focus on what you CAN do. not what you can't. so try for the more positive interpretations. 14. 15.this is a surefire way to encourage negative thoughts and bad moods.don't wait to hear it from someone else. People often feel more comfortable treating themselves in ways they wouldn't consider treating others. Give yourself permission to decide you're doing the best you can. but remind yourself that you don't need approval from others to recognize your accomplishments. Do something nice for yourself sometimes -. Forgive and forget. Choose the brighter side of things. Try not to hang on to painful memories and bad feelings .) Look at temporary setbacks as opportunities for growth. Remind yourself of all your capabilities and positive qualities. (Don't forget that forgiving yourself is an important part of this process. It's important to work through things. If you say something often enough. too!) If you have a hard time forgiving or forgetting.) 12. forgive past wrongs and move on. but you can't let the past determine your future. Focus on what you're able to do. If someone says. Don't be afraid to seek help in accomplishing things.11. Avoid "can't" thinking or other negative language. Your past can control you if you don't control it. you may start to believe it. Give yourself a break. consider talking through your emotions with a good friend or counselor. You don't need to be all things to all people or please everyone. Using just one or two of the above strategies on a regular basis can greatly increase your positive self-image and self-esteem. Remind yourself when you're doing things well -. but try not to dwell." don't ask yourself "What was wrong with the way I looked yesterday?" Accept compliments graciously (don't ask yourself why you haven't been complemented on something else or why you haven't complemented you before. Making these internal changes will increase your confidence in yourself and your willingness and ability to make external changes and improve your life. If you can. not negative.
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