Building your self-image

NLP techniques

Who is in control of building your self-image?  When you read that question, did you immediately react defensively and say to yourself, “Well, I am, of course.”  Let us examine that possible response. 

Do you make up your own mind about self-worth or do you take notice of the comments of other people?


I used to be self-conscious about my height, but then

I thought fuck that, I’m Harry Potter

Daniel Radcliffe


Check yourself in the mirror.  Are you happy with your body shape and size?  Are you overweight?  If you are overweight, are you in charge of what you eat or is the food in control?  Do you smoke tobacco? 

If you do, are you able to limit your smoking in the way that you want?  Do you drink alcohol within the recommended limits or are you inclined to binge drink?  Do you dictate what you drink, or is the alcohol in control?

Those sample questions can also be applied to prescription or illicit drugs, or even your shopping habits.  

When you go to the shops, are you going out with the intention of buying something specific or are you just looking for something to buy?

All of these questions have some sort of effect upon your self-image.  If you are not happy with what you see, ask yourself these sorts of questions to test where you are heading. 

We do everything for a reason and it has some sort of utility for us or we wouldn’t do it.  It is not right or wrong, but it does give us feed back.  

So if you don’t like your body shape because you know you are eating too much, ask yourself why you eat as you do.

Building your self-image – how do you eat?

If you eat when you are depressed and then eat more when you are happy, then your eating is geared to your emotions rather than your body needs. 

Perhaps you would like to ask yourself which you would like more:  a better body shape and more control of your life, or quick-fix eating and outsize clothing. 

Before you go shopping next ask yourself would you rather have more money in your bank account or a few items that you bought on impulse and might not look at again once you’ve got them home.

Building your self-image – glossy magazines

We live in times when we are surrounded by glossy magazines filled with young, underweight, airbrushed models and the implication is that in order to be beautiful you must look like them. 

There has probably never been a time either when so many people have wished to be famous.  Both of those things are illusory. 

The actor Jim Carrey once said, “I wish everyone could be rich and famous so that they could see it wasn’t the answer to anything.”

Building our self-image – plastic surgeons

Plastic surgeons seem never to be short of work.  There is a queue of patients waiting for nips and tucks, nose jobs or for what they regard as their desirable assets to be enlarged, modified or reshaped. 

There is also a large number of dissatisfied customers and an inordinate number of complaints against the plastic surgeons because the patient/customer is not satisfied with the outcome. 

Some of those complaints may be justified, but the vast majority are not.  Once the wounds are healed the patient examines herself in the mirror and decides she still does not look the way she originally imagined that she would look after the surgery.

Building your self-image – seeing yourself the way others do

None of us see ourselves the way other see us.  If you are constantly examining yourself in the mirror to dwelling on what you perceive to be your imperfections, your concentration is in the wrong place.  Neither does it do to compare yourself with someone else. 

Before you do that, consider everything you have got and be grateful for it.  Then examine the other person’s situation, see what they haven’t got that you have got and ask yourself if you would really want to change place with that person.  You cannot just select the bits that you want; you have to take the lot.

Be comfortable in your own skin.  In other words, concentrate on being yourself. 

You are unique, a one off; there is no other like you.  So there is really nothing to compare yourself with.  

Decide that whatever your current situation, you will do what you can to make the best of it.  Life is too short to embark upon any other course.

Building your self-image – addressing the issues

If you are overweight or smoke or drink too much, then address those issues.  There are pages on this website that can help you with that.  

Take exercise if you can.  That exercise doesn’t have to be running, playing a sport or going to the gym.  

It can be gentle exercise, at least to start with, and if you have a medical condition you may wish to seek advice from a medical practitioner.  But start to move your body.  Take a walk in the park or on the beach.

Building your self-image - involvement

Get involved in some activity.  My dear mother-in-law was very much confined to the house looking after her husband until he died three years ago, and lost a lot of confidence during that period. 

Since then she has learned to use a computer and now emails her friends all over the world, she goes to the local school several times a week and help young children to read and she has joined a bowls club.

Until then my mother-in-law was not an active member in her community.  Now she is very busy and doesn’t have time to feel sorry for herself.  

When she does have a moment she takes time to enjoy her children, grandchildren and great grandchild.  You are now wondering just how old she is.  At the time of writing she is 83 and going strong!

Building your self-image – modelling and anchoring

If you are wondering where to turn next, model yourself on people like this.  Read more stories about people who make the most of their lives and determine to be happy.  

Remember, happiness is not a prize to be gained at some time in the future;  it has to be worked on bit by bit every day.

Building your self-image

Practise this technique.  Imagine someone who loves and admires you standing in front of you now.  Envisage yourself stepping into their body and looking at yourself through their eyes.  

Concentrate on what they are seeing and feeling, and then mentally step back into your own body and feel a warm glow. 

Anchor that good feeling by pressing your thumb and forefinger together on your right hand, or, if you have already set an anchor in that way, use another part of the body.  Then fire off the anchor at different times of the day.



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