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For many women over 50, self-image becomes more important, yet we struggle with it a lot. So many of us are having a hard time coming to terms with aging. Not all of us, but many. Today, I want to discuss why self-image is important and what self-image is.

What is self-image?

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I think it’s first important to understand what self-image is.

Self-image is how you view yourself, your body, your abilities, your worth, your beauty, etc.

It’s basically how we see ourselves and how we think others see us. Having a negative self-image can be very damaging and hurt our mental and emotional health. Oftentimes, our distorted self-image comes from limiting beliefs that may have been plugged into us either through our upbringing or from toxic partners. Sadly, we believe what people tell us when they have been telling it to us for so long. We get to the point where we think it’s the truth. However, on the flip side of that, an overly distorted self-image can result in narcissistic behavior. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
Our self-image is how we see ourselves. When someone has a distorted self-image, it means how they see themselves is inaccurate. Our self-image or self-concept not only includes our physical appearance but also the beliefs we have about our own abilities, talents, values, etc. Source: psychmechanics.com

What are the factors that affect self-image?

Some of the factors that affect self-image are, but are not limited to:
    • what you see in the mirror
    • your age
    • being bullied
    • low self-esteem
    • social media
    • comparison to others
It’s simple little things like this that can really affect our self-image. We are products of our upbringing and our environment. Some of us are strong enough to deal with and heal from it. Others struggle to do so. In today’s society, where so much of our lives revolve around social media and videos and beautiful women, many women over 50 feel unworthy, ugly, and sad. My goal with this article is to help you feel worthy and to help you have and maintain a positive self-image.

How does self-image affect behavior?

Think of negative self-image like having low self-esteem. The two are related. So when we have low self-esteem, besides feeling worthless, we also have no:
    • self-confidence
    • self-respect
    • self-worth/value
    • boundaries
Many people who suffer from low self-esteem are people pleasers. We desperately want to fit in, be liked, and have friends (want people to like and accept us) at any price. Because of this, people treat us terribly. We attract the wrong types of friends and romantic partners, and no one has any respect for us. It’s sad but true. I used to be like this. When we have a negative self-image, all relationships can be frustrating and exhausting, leaving you feeling unloved and unappreciated.

Why is self-image important?

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It’s important to understand that when we have low self-esteem, not only does our mental and emotional health suffer, but so does our physical health. How we see ourselves will determine how we show up to others, whether it be our friends, our romantic partners, our coworkers, family, or everyone. It’s no secret that we do show up differently with each person we meet, but if the constant underlying tone is low self-esteem and self-worth, people will pick up on that immediately and treat us accordingly. This can be so damaging in so many ways. When people repeatedly treat us poorly, our self-worth takes a beating until we feel so worthless that the only way out is through antidepressants and alcohol. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this happens to all of us, but it does happen, and even if that happens to one woman, that’s one time too many. When our mental health is compromised, so is our physical health, and before you know it, we’ve become a wreck. Not a pretty picture, but not one that can’t be repainted either!

Can we change all this??

Yes we can, and we’re going to right now. The first and most important thing that we need to do is unplug all the toxic limiting beliefs that we’ve held on to our entire lives. They don’t serve us anymore. They never did. Is it easy? Nope. Will it happen quickly? Also nope. Is it worth it, though? You bet

A few helpful exercises!

1 The first thing we must do is go through all those limiting beliefs, write them out, and then read them back to ourselves. 2 Now, take a minute to dig deeper and go back to where they originated from. Was it a parent, a sibling, or maybe an ex-partner? 3 Now take each one individually; this will take some time, so don’t rush through this, and release this toxic limiting belief. You already know it’s not true. There are a few ways to release it:
    • remind yourself that this belief is nothing more than a big fat lie
    • look at where this came from (toxic person who is probably no longer in your life), forgive them, and move on
    • write yourself a love letter and tell yourself how amazing you really are
    • mirror self-talk (i.e., “I am beautiful, I am worthy, I am amazing, etc.”)
    • start setting boundaries with people who disrespect you (start saying NO to disrespect!)
All these things will take time and hard work, but they will help you boost your self-esteem and self-confidence. Remember, you’re worth it!! You’re a queen, babe!

Women over 50 are perfect just the way they are

It’s time to stop the comparison trap. It’s time to stop thinking you are unworthy. It’s time to stop thinking you are less than everyone else. You’re amazing and perfectly beautiful, just the way you are. Don’t ever forget that. We aren’t in competition with anyone but the woman you saw in the mirror yesterday. If what you saw then didn’t make you happy, try to improve her (heal her) today. Work on your self-improvement, self-confidence, and self-esteem, and watch how your negative self-image will soon disappear and be replaced by a woman who oozes natural charm and authenticity.

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