Self-Image is Everything
Deep inside our subconscious mind, we have a mental portrait of ourselves that determines how we define and believe in ourselves. It's the underlying foundation of our personality that affects our attitude and how we interact with the world.
The self-image is the "type of person" you are. It is essentially a system of ideas that was constructed from past experiences, successes, and failures.
For some people, they let their past experiences define them negatively. They believe the ideas that they are incapable, the failure type, and undeserving. It's even harder when it's their own partner, peers, or parents that are indirectly reinforcing these ideas to them.
Our mind is naturally biased and seeks things that we believe are consistent about ourselves and quickly reject those that aren't. When we are too focused on our failures and mistakes, we are putting reasons in our resume that confirms this negative self-conception.
"I failed that test again, maybe they're right"
"I made zero sales SEE I'm just not good looking enough"
"I didn't lose any weight, I'm just not built for this"
"I can't do it.."
We are subconsciously reinforcing these ideas in our identity and becomes a self-fulling prophecy. When we do succeed, it feels fake and unnatural that it limits us from reaching and performing at our full potential.
"I must have gotten lucky"
"Am I really capable of this task?
"Did I deserve this?"
"What's the catch?"
A lot of people have tried positive thinking and manifestation techniques, but haven't really done anything to change their way of thinking about themselves. They wonder why it didn't work when it's their own self-image that doesn't correspond with and produce the habits and characteristics that would get them those results. They are essentially lying to themselves and have nothing to reinforce these ideas to their self-image.
We all have the ability to change our self-image which reciprocates our attitude and perception towards circumstances. People with a good self-image have a "self" that they can trust and believe in. They lead a satisfying life where they can fully express themselves creatively. They are confident, secure, and free from other people's opinions.
Our imagination is so strong that a hypnotist could convince us that we are too weak to pick up a pencil, that we are in Antarctica and we start to shiver, or that something is in our mouth and we start to taste it. Our imagination could also convince our body is in danger when we mistake a hanged coat for an intruder or a baby deer for a coyote.
The nervous system can't tell the difference between what we imagine and what is real. It is simply responding to the information and mental images transmitted by what our brain thinks are true.
The same concept can be applied when redefining ourselves. With imagination, we can start creating mental images of the qualities of the person we wish to become. When we put this to practice and convince ourselves of it, it gives rise to emotions that greatly influence how we think, feel, and make decisions.
The key is, look for the qualities that you find reasonable, realistic, and true for you, someone that you can express creatively.
"Your imagination is your preview to life's coming attractions" - Albert Einstein
Look Past Your Failures
If there's a profession that losses more than anyone, it's a day trader. However, they continue to perform at a very high level because they know it's part of the game; sometimes they learn from it and sometimes it just happens and there's nothing they can do about it. As successful traders, they learned how to detach themselves from the losses by accepting and not letting it define them. What matters is being able to come up on top with the losses in the long run.
Similarly, I learned that failures, mistakes, and losses are part of life. Without it, how do we know what works and what doesn't? what's right from what's wrong? Nobody is perfect. They should only be there to be taken as lessons and that's it. Looking back too much will only perpetuate the exact thing we want to change.
Think about a self-guided torpedo. Its main objective is to reach a target and has some sort of system that allows it to propel forward in the right general direction. When it's on the correct course it gets positive feedback and signals it to continue what it's doing. However, when it gets off course, it gets negative feedback which it responses to by correcting its course.
This is how it accomplishes its goal, by making errors and correcting itself in order to keep moving forward until it hit its target. Similarly, look at innovators like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos, they succeeded from a series of trial and error.
Celebrate Your Wins
Instead of looking at past failures, look at the things you've accomplished or the actions you're currently taking. These are confirmations that you're no longer your old self-image but someone who is practicing what you believe yourself to be. It proves that you have a self you can trust and believe in.
1. Past Accomplishments
Celebrating your wins reframes you from a failure mindset to a successful mindset by looking at the things that went right. It shows that you are capable, have what it takes, and that you can do it again. When you have good self-confidence and self-esteem you are able to work optimally and creatively. Get that winning feeling back and open your mind to possibilities.
2. Current Actions
Take a step back and look at where you are now. If you are doing something that you weren't doing before then give yourself some credit for taking action. It's better than inaction because it shows that you are doing something to put yourself in a better spot; that's a win in my book. You're also constantly moving, meaning that you're getting constant feedback on whether you are going in the right direction or not.
Overall the message is that self-image is a powerful thing and you are the only person that can truly define it.
Start with your imagination. How do you want to see yourself five years or a year from now? Visualize it clearly and ask yourself what action would that person take right now. Take that action and continue to reinforce it.