Magpie Magazine, September 2016
DO YOU LOVE YOURSELF?
Many of us feel we’re not good enough and we never talk about our poor self-esteem, but there are things you can do to improve your selfimage, says Ewa Pietrzak.
Jennifer Lopez, Serena Williams and Kate Winslet are among the beautiful, talented and successful women who have spoken publicly about their battles with low self-esteem.
Makeovers, styling and cosmetic surgery can greatly enhance the appearance of any woman. Surface improvements can be hugely beneficial, but the real secret to feeling fantastic is deep in the foundations of our being – it’s our ‘self’ image.
Self-image, as we know it today, was first discovered in 1960 by Californian cosmetic surgeon Dr Maxwell Maltz. He observed that reconstructive surgery often caused noticeable psychological improvement in the patient, but in some cases, there was no psychological change at all. This led Dr. Maltz to discover that we actually have two images of ourselves, the one in the mind and the one in the mirror.
Our outer image is the one we present to the world by the way we walk, talk, dress and meet and greet people. Weight control, fitness, dress, hair and makeovers can greatly enhance our outer image. From childhood, we have been developing our self-image and perception of what we are, who we are, and what we are worth. This is our inner control mechanism that determines how we feel about ourselves.
Self-image is fixed in the subconscious mind and determines how the rest of the world sees you. You are the only person in the entire world that can alter your self-image.
A friend recently announced that she is going to get a nose reconstruction. This beautiful successful woman looks perfect to me, but in her mirror she’s seeing a massive honker. Actually, a guy on Tinder commented on how big it looked and this spiralled her into action. Another woman I know was in a horrific burning accident as a little girl and her face has been badly scarred ever since. Despite being visually disadvantaged as a teenager, she met a handsome man, married and has beautiful children and a wonderful family life.
She is a friend of a friend and every time I meet her I’m inspired by her sense of comfort and confidence in her own skin. She is living proof of the power of positive self-image and reminds me to be very grateful for my beautiful face and skin, no matter what my inner critic is slinging at me. A healthy self-image starts with learning to accept and love ourselves.
We all arrived into this world as beautiful lovable babies, and that adorable perfect child still resides within us. We must not forget, ignore or damage our inner darling child, as this will be reflected in our outside world in the form of low self-esteem and unhappiness.
No matter how beautiful and successful we are, it’s important to maintain a loving relationship with ourselves. If we don’t love ourselves it will be very difficult for others to love us. And let’s face it, we all deserve to live a happy harmonious life.
SELF IMAGE EXERCISE
The following simple exercise is a good way to maintain and improve our self-image. Firstly sit down with a pen and paper (or computer/phone, if that works best for you) in a quiet space for 10 minutes and do a ‘self’ assessment.
- Make a list of qualities you like in yourself and carry them with you. These can be a memo on your phone or handwritten on a piece of paper. If you have difficulty coming up with such qualities, ask five people you respect (and who respect you) what qualities they like in you.
- Read the list in the morning and before you go to bed. Know that you are good enough ALL THE TIME. Yes, you are.
- At least once a day stand in front of a mirror and say the following:
(Name)_____, I love you and accept you the way you are. You deserve the best! Now, give yourself a big smile!
More effective tips and tools to help you live a fulfilled and happy life can be obtained by attending one of Ewa’s seminars.