We all have an image of ourselves. However, that image can often be biased. That’s okay, because no two people see us in the exact same way either, as we all make our own value judgments. Ultimately, what we think about ourselves is the most important, and so it’s important to make sure we nurture that, and act in a way where we can gain our own self respect.
Of course, thinking about this endlessly and theorizing about it can get a little heady, and there’s no reason why you need a thousand justifications for feeling like a good person in order to enact some self-respect and give yourself a little credit. However, it’s also true that if improving your image is tantamount to great self-care, it’s essential to figure out how to move forward with that in mind.
In this post, we want to discuss this, and moreover, help you understand how self-image works through a few tidbits of advice. It may take a bit of time to achieve, but we hope the following advice helps:
Act In A Way That Helps You Feel Confident
There are many ways we can choose to act in life. Of course, it all depends on the situation we’re presented with. However, many people often find themselves reacting to external stimulus, instead of proactively deciding how to be. This is because the latter is more difficult, and it’s not always easy to be the best you can be at all times.
However, there are a few measures you can take. First is to act in a way that helps you feel confident. Note that this isn’t the same as being totally confident and dominating every situation. It simply means being honest. If you need to express yourself in a situation, such as turning down a social invite, you can do so without feeling as if you have to simply accept because you don’t wish to annoy anyone. Little measures like that are self-care, because they help you actualize yourself in the present. To put it simply, speaking your truth can help you feel less like you have to hide who you are or apologize for it, and if applied delicately and with reason, this is tantamount to self-care from a social perspective.
Proving You’re Worth Caring For
Something wonderful happens when you take your time to care for yourself. If you spend time making good, nutritious meals, you get enough sleep each night, and you exercise and stretch, over time, you become more confident. You even become more confident without taking lessons on how to do that, or without feeling as though you need endless justifications for feeling confident before you embody it.
But how can this be? Well, because by those efforts, you’re proving to yourself that you’re worth caring for. Even if you don’t consciously make a note of understanding that, you begin to implicitly understand it by your actions. It’s hard not to feel protective of and considerate for something that you’re taking time to look after, and it turns out that you, yourself, can be defined in this way too.
This might sound like conjecture, but if you apply that insight to your own life, you’ll feel the change. From there, self-confidence becomes a healthy self-image, also backed up by your health decisions that contribute to an otherwise healthy body, which helps you look better anyway and compounds this feeling of worth.
How Do You Present Yourself To People?
Your self-image is something you can have fun with and experiment alongside if you feel up to the task. Perhaps you’ve always considered yourself as someone who ‘just doesn’t wear hats.’ Why is that? Perhaps you used to wear a hairstyle in your younger years that precluded this? Well, does that still hold up?
Challenging our impressions of the past can help us define our style anew, and also ensures we notice certain issues have not been forgotten or brushed over. For instance, it might be that you never really wear jewlery because you’ve never felt confident enough in your style to ‘finish off’ an outfit with eye-catching accessories. Might now be the time you change that?
How you present yourself to people is interesting in that it ultimately defines how you present to yourself, and for yourself, and by yourself. That curates our self-image, and can help us see ourselves in a new light day after day, month after month, and year after year.
But remember, you don’t need to go overboard to try something new and see just how radiant you can be. You may decide to view how to style a French-girl bob in 3 easy steps, or simply learn a new way to do your makeup, such as slightly winged eyeliner or other effects you feel present you as you wish to be seen. Caring for your style is self-care, because it helps you express your deepest sense of self, and that’s always a healthy thing.
Prioritizing Your Time
The truth is that we all have limited time each day and even over the course of a lifetime. For this reason, practicing self-care sometimes means knowing how to prioritize your time, and what that means going forward.
Improving your self-image, then, can sometimes mean valuing your time and only giving it to tasks that you deem most appropriate. Of course, sometimes we have to do things we may not enjoy, such as chores or a particularly tough day at work, but you can, in effect, choose how you use your time and where you place it outside of our responsibilities.
For instance, who do you give your time to? And what thoughts and practices do you entertain? Realizing that members of your social circle are anything but supportive (constructive criticism is separate), can help you understand that you’re not inspired by others but always feel on the defensive when they’re around. Should you give your time to that?
There are countless other examples we could continue with, but you likely know what they are in your own life. For this reason, self-care means knowing the value of your time, and where to place it. But more than that, this effort helps you improve your self-image in how you view your own worth, and what you give your attention and engagement to. Sometimes, this might simply mean knowing you’re worth more than getting into that fractious debate in a YouTube comment thread, or replying with vitriol to a criticism, because, of course, another excellent virtue in life is:
Learning Who To Take Criticism From
A big part of being criticized well is to learn who to take criticism from. If someone who is vitriolic, wishes to deconstruct your sense of self, or even your past internal and overly dramatic critic resurfaces, it’s quite easy to disregard this when you know how irrational they are.
Criticism is much more impactful and often constructive and worthwhile when it comes from people you trust, respect and admire. This way, you don’t have to let every comment in life get you down. Learning that can actually help you feel more confident in yourself, and it also means you become much more rational in how you constructively criticize your own actions. To that degree, your self-image improves, because you’re using much more rational, focused, justified, and ultimately realistic metrics to judge it against, metrics that only want the best for you.
With this advice, we believe you’ll find improving your self-image is almost certainly tantamount to great self-care.
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