Change Your Self-Image
Your self-image represents your internal beliefs about yourself. The most common problem with self-image is that it too often gets mixed up between what you believe about yourself and what your brain says others believe about you.
I want you to think about a time in your life when you didn’t get what you wanted, and your self-esteem shot down. Maybe it was a college rejection letter, or a bad breakup, or maybe you got passed up for a big promotion.
If you want to do something you can, there’s no one stopping you except yourself. Your circumstances don’t hold you back, only the leashes you create with your own self-image. In my upcoming book, The Mindset of a Sales Warrior, I dedicate an entire chapter to how to build and maintain an unbreakable self-image.
Right now you hold an image of yourself in your mind. This image is a summary of all your past programming: your past behaviors, learnings, successes, setbacks. According to famed creator of Psycho-Cybernetics Maxwell Maltz, this creates two parallel realities for you right now.
1. You act, behave, and feel in accordance with the self-image you have of yourself, and you don’t deviate from it.
2. Your self-image can be changed.
Maltz was a plastic surgeon, and when he operated on his patients, he’d notice that for some, the physical improvement didn’t improve their mental self-image. One woman walked in wanting her broken nose fixed because it was hurting her self-image. However, when she looked in the mirror after he removed the bandages, she still felt broken. Her inner reality hadn’t changed. She still felt scarred and shattered, even though her nose was fixed. He called this the “stranger within,” because so often we don’t even recognize ourselves when we really examine our warped self-image.
We’ve seen examples like this one all across our culture. Young Hollywood stars start their careers wide-eyed and fresh-faced, but their self-image isn’t strong enough to handle the external pressure, and so they crack. An athlete suffers a meltdown during a game, and their self-image crumbles. It’s because their self-image was defined by their critics’ opinions and outside circumstances.
Just the same, I believe that every person wakes up every day with a certain dollar sign in their head, and they will do anything they can to make that dollar sign come true. This is completely self-image related. If you believe you’re worth $55,000, then your subconscious self-image will take over and you’ll do the things it takes to earn $55,000. If you believe you’re worth three times that number? Then your behavior patterns completely change. You begin studying and modeling the most successful people and altering your goals to achieve what you want to achieve. Everything changes.
“Your self-image can be changed.”
Famed speaker and author Dr. Wayne Dyer said something so profound that I’ve used this one quote to guide my own self-image: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
So if you want to change your own self-image, you have to change the things you look at. An important way to do this is to alter your focus. Your negative self-image as a salesperson is fed by all kinds of past programming: lost sales, jobs that didn’t work out, monetary setbacks. Those are all circumstantial factors.
Instead, choose gratitude. Shape your self-image into what you want it to be by mentally channeling success. What did you do to move that one sale forward last week? How did you give yourself a pay raise in the past? What can you do to improve upon that? How can you use your past success to solidify future successes?
Your own self-image can be a tyrant. But you can give yourself the gift of freedom by taking control of it and creating your own image.
Whatever your own negative beliefs about your identity are, you have the power to reverse them. All it takes is a decision.