It’s Your Self-Image, Not Your Reflection

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How Do You Perceive Yourself?

What do you see in the mirror? You see your reflection; or at least that’s what you think you are seeing. People see you much differently than you see yourself. The reason is, we see ourselves with our emotions, not what our eyes are actually seeing.  What is you self-image? Does your self-image have confidence? Or does it feel inferior?

Someone once told me that we all have a set weight in our mind, that are bodies adjust to. That’s why diets don’t work. We can lose weight on diets, but if your self-image is to be overweight; you can lose weight, but ultimately, you’ll gain the weight back after you quit the diet.  It’s because your self-image is one of being overweight. The actual number will vary, but nevertheless, you’ll find yourself in a state where you’ll always need to lose weight.

Your income, also has a set weight. You can set goals and reach them, but if your self-image is lacking or not having enough money, you’ll forever be dissatisfied with your income.  Unfortunately, this is true. It kind of sucks, to be frank. If you can be truly honest with yourself, without judgment, look back on your thoughts and life. You’ll be able to see the pattern. Most of us blame our conditions or environment. Aren’t you a glad to find out you have power?  Don’t you want a better self-image?

How Can a Person Change Their Self -Image

Changing your self-image is hard, but not complicated.  The reason it can be a difficult task is, because people hate change.  It feels unfamiliar.  It’s not what they’re used to.  Have you ever wanted to do something or go somewhere which no one you knew  was interested.  Yet, you were determined to go. As the event date moved closer, there probably was some sort of anxiety.  You weren’t sure where to go, what to do, what kind of people would be there, etc.  This is normal, but many people will let that feeling deter them from trying anything new. Good things happen when you push yourself.

When you overcome obstacles and get used to the idea that not all things are going to feel great, it makes you stronger.  This practice, is the start of changing your self-image.  Fear  in your self-image is what will hold you back.  So, what are you afraid of?

Fear

Most people are afraid of something; acceptance, failing, rejection, looking stupid, etc. Believe it or not, most people aren’t thinking of you as much as you think.  You can’t be rejected in this world, or you wouldn’t exist.  Your being in this world has a purpose. Just because you don’t know something, doesn’t make you stupid, and most important understand, failing is a part of success.  Those negative thoughts are in your head giving you your self-image.

Because of your negative self-image, you’ll believe a comment someone says to you, only if you believe it to be true.  If you thought you were fat, and someone made a remark how you could lose some weight, you’d get triggered.  If you thought you were skinny and someone made the same remark, you’d probably laugh or not have another care about the subject.  Your mind plays tricks.  The good thing is, once you know it’s only in your head is, you can change your self-image.

Affirmations

People have talked about affirmations forever.  In fact, none of what I’m writing is new information.  Affirmations come in different ways.  One is self-talk and one is facing your fears.  You build self-confidence when you push yourself.  You may fail while trying, but you will find that failing at a task isn’t the end-all be-all.  You can try again at a later time and you might get better each time. Or you might succeed the first time.  Either way the, you are changing your self-image.  Facing your fears or pushing through anxiety, builds confidence.

A strong and confident self-image opens doors for you.  You may not always like what’s on the other side, but that isn’t bad either.  Part of knowing what you want in life, is discerning what you don’t want.  This is how successful people make it.

Successful people know how affirmations work.  They change their self-image in the literal sense.  They dress the part.  If you want to be a rockstar, then dress like one.  When you walk down the street, people should know what you do by your style.  If you want to be an big executive, don’t buy a cheap suit.  Those are the little things that one can do to change self-image.  Of course, that isn’t the only thing.

Reading positive material that aids you in changing your self-image, especially before you go to bed.  It will help your brain rewire itself.  Your brain is plastic, it constantly rebuilding synapses.  What can you do to feel better?   Which areas do you want to improve your self-image?  Try it and see the results.

“The ‘self-image’ is the key to human personality and human behavior. Change the self image and you change the personality and the behavior.” – Maxwell Maltz

Why Are We So Obsessed with Perfectionism

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Perfectionism

Why are humans so obsessed with perfectionism? It’s something that doesn’t exist. Take the diamond for an example; all diamonds have some sort of flaw or it isn’t real. Yet we, the human race, are striving for perfection.

Any artist whether writer, painter, drawer, musician, etc. knows that their work could use some improvement, because it’s never perfect. But there comes a time when to the artist needs to let perfectionism go, in order to move on and bring the art/project into the world.

Striving to be perfect is a losing battle. I remember when I discovered how magazines airbrushed models on every picture. I was getting fitness magazines in order to get the exercises to get a certain body. What a rude awakening! I’m trying to achieve something that doesn’t exist. I was trying to get an airbrushed body.  Nothing like setting your self up for failure. It is impossible to reach that goal.

Perfectionism Can Be Debilitating

Perfectionism can be debilitating in many ways. One way that stands out to me and I grew up with, was my mother suffered from OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder. She had a hard time making decisions in fear of making the wrong one. Which lead to putting things off. It was pure torture for her when something didn’t go the way she’d planned. For some reason, the thought of a “redo,” never entered her mind. Imperfection wasn’t acceptable, even though it’s inevitable. It makes it hard growing up in that environment.  Fear of doing something wrong.

Another family member had such a hard time of picking out his clothes while shopping with his grandmother, leading to his missing out on getting any clothes. It’s as if he didn’t trust his own judgment to make the perfect decision. Again, fear is the underlying culprit. We’ve all heard of being frozen in fear.

When someone is so worried about making the “perfect choice” that’s when time can be wasted and non-productive. There is such a thing of researching too much. It’s a stall tactic, but the fear is real for some people. They lose sleep or even get sick over making the wrong choice. So why do we do this to ourselves when perfection doesn’t exist? Is it learned behavior or innate?

Perfectionism and “Reality” Television

For starters the “reality” TV show has an overload of influence on perfectionism. We all know, or should know, reality television, isn’t real at all. Television is out to make money and sell shows. Most of our reality stars are obsessed with looks. And not just any look. It has to be the “perfect” nose, cheeks, lips, etc.

For some reason, Hollywood stars have given doctors, especially plastic surgeons, the power to decide what perfection is on the human body. Young people are shooting Botox in their faces in their twenties. Or injecting their lips to the point of looking ridiculous. But many are doing it, so they must think it looks good.  Why do these stars think their appearance, before plastic surgery, was bad? What happened to originality?

I think people associate perfectionism with popularity. I think people are so desperate to fit in, they are afraid to express their own individuality, in fear of being mocked or not accepted.  How can we change this notion that being perfect is obtainable? Because it’s not! And it’s okay to embrace your flaws. It shows your are human and not fake. Wouldn’t you rather be a real diamond instead of an impostor like the cubic zirconia?

Perfection Is Subjective

There’s nothing wrong with trying to be the best you can be. That is perfection on it’s own. Perfection is subjective. What’s perfect to one person isn’t necessarily perfect to another.  So who’s definition defines perfection for you? Is it your mother’s, father’s, classmates, friends, or media?

Take your power back. Define your own personal definition of perfection, but include the natural flaws. Let that be your “True North.” Being your authentic self, imperfections and all, will bring you the most happiness, peace, and freedom.

We can nitpick ourselves to no end, but we can look at the accomplishments and see the beauty, as well. Sometimes perfection can be knowing when something is good enough. Don’t let the idea of perfectionism hinder your growth or ambitions. It will if you let it. Perfection comes from fear. Wouldn’t you rather live life from love?

“Many people think of perfectionism as striving to be your best, but it is not about self-improvement; it’s about earning approval and acceptance.” – Brene Brown

 

Emotions In The Process of Memoir Writing

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Emotions

Today I listened to Spring Forward Your Writing webinar with the speakers being Mark Nepo, Dani Shapiro, Linda Joy Meyers, and Brooke Warner. Each speaker had their unique way of addressing their emotions and process of memoir writing. I found myself with tears filling my eyes while listening.

I wasn’t quite sure where or why these emotions popped up. Questioning, if this was a normal experience, it was suggested that the answer could be found through journaling.

My answer was found in my journaling. We had a writing exercise with these topics: My suffering comes from… My joy comes from…. My work going forward is, what do they have to do with each other?  After writing, it was no wonder why I was emotional.

The one thing that stood out to me, was when Mark Nepo said, “Don’t try to be important.” Our ego can get our emotions in a tizzy, if we let it.

Don’t Let Your Ego Rule

Mark’s advice resonated with me beyond measurable. I took the message as, “Don’t let your ego rule this experience.” I know it is due to the fact that my memoir, Manifesting Me, is going to be public next month.  Once something is in writing, there is no turning back. Sometimes my ego chatter gets the best of me.  I feel extremely vulnerable and possibly exposed, leaving me anxious.

Your ego has a way of feeding your brain every negative thought; from the “what if’s?” and the “who do you think you are’s?” Thank God, I am not always listening to it. I find focusing on writing, gets me connect with my spirit side. I’ve said it many times before and I’ll say it again, live life from love. It produces a more desirable outcome.

Love, Compassion, and Encouragement

Panic and anxiety weren’t the only emotions I experienced. I felt deep love, compassion, and encouragement energy from all of the speakers; which also, brought me tears of joys.  It was a gift to hear how much we are alike, from our fears to our desires to get our stories out into the world. And mostly to make a difference, by being of service.

Multiple Memoirs, Multiple Emotions

Dani addressed the issue of multiple memoirs. She has many memoirs and never thought she’d ever have one after being a novelist. A memoir only tells a moment in your life, not your autobiography. So it’s likely you’ll have more than one story which will likely lead to another set of emotions.

She also mentioned the fact that most memoirists didn’t have the best childhood. Although, some memoirs are about travel and have nothing to do with a tragic upbringing. Regardless of what your story is, or how many others may have the same story, they will never be exactly the same. You want your audience to feel your experiences as if it’s their own. Dani said, “They aren’t reading your memoir because of you, they’re reading your memoir, because of them.”

Don’t Make It About You

The biggest mistake you can make being a memoir author is making it about you. I know that sounds hypocritical in the fact that, a memoir is about you and your story. What memoir is really about, is inspiring others through your journey and letting others know they are not alone.  Sometimes it’s an emotional journey or an adventurous journey, but it’s something that will stir emotions in the reader.

It’s your story they are interested in not you which is one of the biggest compliment of all.  If I can reach one person, I’m sure I’ll be emotional over that, too. I guess all and all, memoir can be very emotional and raw. It’s okay to be sensitive, and it’s very normal, when writing or reading a memoir. It means the writer has touched you and has made an emotional connection. Isn’t that what good writing does?

My Emotions When Writing

It takes courage to write your story. Taking risks feels uncomfortable, but it’s well worth it. Be fierce like the lion. Face your fears and feel the power in it. Nothing is better than overcoming fear or  challenging yourself .

My emotions have been all over the place when I’m writing. Sometimes I’m laughing. Sometimes I get angry, other times I’m in tears of great sadness or joy, and other times, melancholy. Your brain doesn’t know the difference between reality or fantasy. In turn writing a memoir is as if you’re reliving your experience. That’s why it’s so emotional! What emotions will your story evoke? Would you be willing to share your story? Or is it too emotional?

“Rational thoughts never drive people’s creativity the way emotions do.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson