What do you see when you look in the mirror? Of course, your own reflection, but who are you really seeing? Recognizing yourself is more important than just identifying the face that you see in the mirror. It’s about seeing who you REALLY are.
For some people, this is not an easy task.
Some of us though you may have had a hard time growing up. It is strange that most of us like flipping through our old photographs. Sometimes just one image can take us back into a world when life was less complicated. Depending on the picture, sometimes we can journey back to a time when life seemed rough and it changed everything about us.
For some it’s an awkward yearbook picture…
For others it’s an item of clothing that immediately takes us back to where we once were.
There are things that can happen in our childhood that can rob us of our perspective and our self-esteem. But take heart, what you see today doesn’t have to be who you see tomorrow.
Wondering how to improve your self-image to lead a better life? Here are some important ways to do just that.
You can be your own worst enemy. Don’t think so? How do you talk to yourself when you make a mistake? What do you say when you did something well? Do you say anything at all?
For many of us, we say mean things to ourselves when we make a mistake. Putting yourself down won’t help you feel better about yourself. Changing how you talk to yourself with give you a strength that I’m sure you didn’t realize you had.
Remember, we all make mistakes. So don’t celebrate your mistakes, but instead use your mistakes as opportunities to help overcoming the obstacles in your life.
2. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
This is a BIG one!
How great will you feel about yourself if you compare your cutting room floor to someone else’s highlight reel? It’s easy for us to look at someone else and think that they have it all together, but that’s not always true. Sometimes, they are struggling just as bad as we are, but you don’t get to see that because they’re not showing the world their pain.
So, if you compare yourself to someone at work or home, you are doing nothing to help yourself become a better person. The only person you should compare yourself to is you. No one else can be you. Cut yourself some slack and realize that you have value and you are important.
One easy way to help yourself is to love someone else unconditionally. The love and respect you get from helping people is immensely helpful in creating a good self-image. It’s amazing what happens when we move past our own issue and help others reach their own potential.
3. Celebrate Small Victories
Do you ever congratulate yourself? Celebrate all accomplishments by treating yourself to small rewards. Remember, you are in charge of your own happiness. Don’t wait for someone to congratulate on your achievements. Rather, include people in your celebrations and you will have lifelong memories to enjoy.
4. Take Responsibility
We often fail to realize that procrastination is one of the biggest enemies for building a good self-esteem. Putting off important tasks will only make you feel worse later. Do what’s important first, even if it’s hard to do. Practicing this every day will slowly change your mindset and help you become proactive.
Remember, actions are rarely done right when you don’t take complete responsibility for them. Make sure that every action you have a purpose for. Let it follow the purpose that you have set for yourself and your life.
5. Stop Worrying
Give up worrying in 2017!
Has worry ever helped you to solve a problem? If worrying helped anything, we would never face them in the first place! Trust in your abilities and stop worrying so much about the future. You should take comfort in the fact that nobody can change the future or foresee what’s going to happen. The only thing you can do is give your 100% and you will continue to reap the benefits of your efforts.
6. Why You Eat
Do you eat because you are hungry or is food your escape from reality?
Let’s be honest, we have all sat on the couch and ate some ice cream, cookies, or candy when we felt sad. The truth is, we are what we eat. If we want to change how we see ourselves, we have to start today!
Start by preparing your own meals, even if you are eating alone. Set the table, turn off the TV, and learn to enjoy your own company. Eat leafy vegetables, milk, nuts, and fruits. This will help you feel better physically which will help you feel better mentally.
7. Take Up a Sport
Participating in sports helps you become organized as well as makes you fit. You now have people that you can learn and grow with. By taking up a sport, such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, you learn how to set goals and make attempts to accomplish them. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a structured program with stripes and belts for acknowledging the accomplishments you make. Belts represent your time and experience in training. Sports such as these help you channel all your energies to accomplish a particular task. As you continue to accomplish your goals in life, you become more confident about yourself and have an improved self-image.
Nothing is as helpful as exercise to boost the brain for helping you overcome a negative self image. Exercise, whether in fitness kickboxing class, running a mile, or practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu will help your body release feel-good hormones that help you in maintain a good self-image and increase increase your stamina.
When you do this, you will be ready to endure the pressures of life like a pro!
Remember, to pursue your goals and dreams by trusting your capabilities to perform to your fullest potential. When we have trouble seeing value in ourselves, it is almost impossible to have the perseverance and determination to invest the effort required in using our maximum potential. Low self-esteem makes it hard for us to see our true abilities and prevents you to perform to your potential.
So let’s throw out the negative self image and learn to love yourself! Do something every day to create the BEST you and shatter the mirror you see on the wall!
Professor Mikal Abdullah is a 2nd Degree BJJ Black Belt, veteran, father, philanthropist, and founder of Aces Jiu Jitsu Club. You can find her personal Instagram account with the handle @cerebralbjj or just stop by one of our locations and get a session in!