Why Self Image is Important and How it Affects Our Behavior
I feel for many women over 50, self image becomes more important yet it’s something we struggle with 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 talk about why self image is important and what is self image.
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What is self image?
I think it’s first important to understand what is self image.
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 behaviour. 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 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.
You might really like these articles:
How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Never Feeling Good Enough? 11 Things You Need to Know
How to Dress Over 50-10 Things You Should Never Wear
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
Many people who suffer with low self esteem are people pleasers. We desperately want to fit in and be liked and have friends (want people to like us 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.
So how do we fix that?
Why self image is important?
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.
There’s a really amazing book by Louise Hay called You Can Heal Your Life.
Seriously. Get that book. There is so much valuable information in there about the connection between your physical health and your emotions it will truly blow your mind.
How we see ourselves will determine how we show up to others whether it be our friends, our romantic partners, our coworkers, family, 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 then is our physical health and before you know, we’ve become a wreck. Not a pretty picture but not one that can’t be repainted either!
Can we change all this??
Oh heck ya 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 we thing we need to do is go through all those limiting beliefs, write them out and then read them back to yourself.
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 a 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 (ie “I am beautiful I am worthy I am amazing etc”)
- start setting boundaries with people who disrespect you (start saying NO to disrespect!)
- cut cords of attachment with people who have been treating you like a doormat
All these things will take time and hard work but they will help you boost your self esteem and your self confidence times a million. 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 you’re 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.
I love you
ox iva xo