"Self-image is something that’s curated, although oftentimes not entirely by ourselves."
| almost enlightened
BY ALEX MORIN
Alex Morin has led companies, grown brands and introduced innovative ways of approaching brand building and marketing in the promotional products industry. He's here to help you improve your messaging.
Do you want to know the single most common thing that holds people back from accomplishing their goals?
Yeah, so do I! But if I were forced to use my experience in coaching to pinpoint one commonality amongst people that fail to accomplish their goals, I’d have to say that it’s nearly always self-image.
You may disagree, which is totally fine. You may point out that for you, it’s a lack of time that prevents you from hitting your goals. And while I would agree that a lack of time will certainly prevent you from getting things done, I’d casually point out that a lack of time is a symptom of someone who doesn’t own their time.
I once signed up for a 14-week course that was being held once a week, in the middle of the work week. It was a big ticket course and I was afraid that things might come up during the week that would prevent me from attending the hour-long course (after all, I’m a pretty busy dude). Before committing to the course, I expressed said fear to the
Do you know what he said to me? He said,
“If the course is really that important to you, then you won’t miss any of them.”
“Huh,” I thought, “I guess he’s right.” And for 14 straight weeks, I never missed one of the classes. Without knowing it, I’d learned a valuable lesson about self-image that day:
When you know who you are (i.e., someone who’s accountable and dedicated to learning and education), then you tend to live up to the image of the person you’ve created for yourself.
Self-image is something that’s curated, although oftentimes not entirely by ourselves. One’s upbringing can have a significant effect on his/her self-image as can our peer group and even the TV entertainment we choose to consume. Therefore, I can’t fault you for the self-image that you currently have, although I will advise you that you are solely
responsible for it, as of today.
At every moment of every day, you have choices. For example, I ask myself the following
question whenever I feel discomfort: Shall I continue along this path that I’m taking or should I forge a new one? By doing this, I’m affirming the proposition that I’m in control of my life. I can keep going along the same path and expect more or less the same results, or I can take a different path and expect that the results will differ accordingly. This is where self-image comes into play.
WHO DO YOU SEE IN THE MIRROR?
When you have a clear vision of who you are, your actions follow your being and not the other way around.
For the 19 years that I’ve had children and a partner, I’ve never ever considered any type of physical coercion (abuse) in order to correct behaviour or guide an outcome. It’s not part of my self-image. I see myself as a peaceful and loving father and partner, who’s
equally as eager to teach as I am to learn. As such, when I’m confronted with a situation that enrages me (yes, it happens), I fall back on who I truly am. And the image that I’ve created of myself, as a father and partner, is of someone who is compassionate and non-violent. So the natural question is,
“How do I improve my self-image in order to become the person that I desire to become?”
To begin with, there has to be a desire to want to grow. And that desire has to be real and motivated by something larger than your own material needs. I’ve said it before
in previous Almost Enlightened articles and I’ll repeat it again:
People have an innate desire to want to grow. When you get in touch with your heart, you’ll soon realize that what’s most important is love. And since there’s always more room for love, then it’s never a chore to grow.
Unfortunately, apathy, a “me-first” society, and ignorance are what prevent a lot of people from even realizing that they want to grow. But as you read more articles like this one, listen to your favourite mentors, and discover a yearning to give more of yourself, then it will open the awareness that’s necessary to begin the reshaping of your self-image.
The next step is to do the work.
KEEP YOURSELF ACCOUNTAB:E
Find a way to keep yourself accountable that fits the self image you want to have. It could be using sticky notes, or bullet journaling or keeping a motivation journal to write down your goals accomplishments each day.
You wouldn’t expect to double the size of your biceps by doing nothing, would you? Then why would you expect that you can simply change yourself without the same kind of persistent effort? So instead of doing reps in the gym, you’re going to do mental reps that will slowly but surely change your self-image into the one you desire.
Here’s an exercise for you:
Every morning, as soon as you wake up, ask yourself the following four questions:
How do I want to feel today?
Who do I want to be today?
What do I want to give today?
What do I want to receive today?
Let’s rewind to the beginning of this article and focus on the person that doesn’t have enough time to hit their goals.
The issue here isn’t the time...
The issue is the person’s self-image. We’re talking about a person who thinks there isn’t enough time. If I were that person, then here’s how I would answer those four questions:
I want to feel like things come easily to me. I want to feel like I get things done with ease and efficiency.
I want to be the guy who is done all of my pending tasks by 3 P.M. and leaves early to play soccer with my daughter.
I want to give my energy to the massive inventory project I’ve been working on so that my teammates can profit by knowing that I’ve got them covered when it comes to proper inventory management.
I want to receive a gorgeous and well thought-out report that I produced with abundant creativity and ease.
If you spend the time creating the person you want to be, every day, guess what will happen? You’ll gradually change your self-image into the exact likeness of who you
want to become.
So who is it you want to be? Are you satisfied with the results you’re getting today?
You know it’s possible to transform your body if you hit the gym diligently; so why would it be any different if you were to dedicate energy to a mind that will grow in tandem with
your fervent desire to grow and be a better person? You’ve got this.
- as featured in marketingedge magazine April 2022 - click to open e-magazine