There is much more to self-image than just the way we look, it’s about self-discovery, reclaiming your identity and understanding your “true self.” You can transform your self-image with more self-compassion, awareness and positivity.
You will learn:
- What is self-image and how does it influence our lives?
- Avoiding things like comparisonitis that have a negative impact on our self-image
- How does our self-image get impacted by childhood experiences, hormones, and societal/cultural pressures?
- Tips and tool to help build a positive self-image, and get you out of a negative moment
When an extrovert with a history of self-image issues discovers there is much more to self-image than just the way she looks, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery to reclaim her identity and understanding of her “true self.”
I learned about building a positive self-image through the Samantha Leaf Podcast, Episode 20. It’s not just how you think you look, but rather a combination of your values, physical appearance, personality, worth, attitudes, and more. Negative self-image can be caused by comparisonitis, childhood experiences, societal and cultural pressures, hormones, and more. To build a healthy self-image, one should be aware of negative thoughts, be compassionate, understand one’s values, challenge negative thoughts, and surround oneself with positive influences.
“Be it until you are. It not fake it till you make it. Because I don’t think we should have a pretend. I think pretending can be problematic for us in many, many ways.”
In this episode, you will learn the following:
- What is self image and how does it influence our lives?
- What is the impact of comparisonitis on our self image?
- How does our self image get impacted by childhood experiences, hormones, and societal/cultural pressures?
- Tips and tools to help build a positive self-image, and get you out of a negative moment
Samantha Leith: How you feel about how you look does play a part in the glorious world of self image. How we feel and think about ourselves impacts everything. We need to cultivate a good one in order to live a really freaking great life.
There are six dimensions of a person’s self image. Physical, psychological, intellectual skills, moral, and sexual. Number one thing that would impact you negatively with your self image is comparisonitis.
Negative life events can impact you and impact your self image. Anything going on personally, physically, for you as well can impact it. We also want to remember that life is 50 50. There are things that we can do continually to help cultivate a more positive or healthy selfimage.
First one like you’ve heard me do in this podcast and probably in podcast before, is self awareness. You want to look at who you are in terms of your values. Reminding yourself what your values are and what you stand for can be a really easy way to get out of a negative slump.
What are your values? And if you go to Samanthaleef. Comfreebies, I have a whole values worksheet in there. We want to challenge our negative thoughts. Surround yourself with positive self care.
A couple of tips to help you maintain or build on a positive self image. Create positive affirmations that flip one of your negative thoughts about yourself. Surround yourself with positive influences. Set some realistic goals. Your self will get that little pop of love.
WHAT IS SELF-IMAGE AND HOW DOES IT INFLUENCE OUR LIVES?
Hello. Welcome to the Samantha Leith Podcast, episode 20, where we are talking all about self-image. Yes, self-image. Not the, oh, I’m looking pretty fancy pants today kind of self-image. The more in depth understanding of what self-image is.
And I’ll confess, I don’t think I actually really understood what self-image was for a long time. I literally did think it was feeling like how you thought you looked. I thought that was what self-image was and it’s not. It is so much more, my friends. However, how you feel about how you look and your physical attributes does play a part in the glorious world of self-image.
And I want to stress that this is about your self-image. This is not what other people think about you or say about you, or how you think you should think about yourself. We want to get to the nuts and bolts of how you truly, truly, truly, truly feel about what your self-images and all that it incorporates. Okay, let me give you a couple of statements. Sexy and desirable.
Does a little voice pop up in your head and go unattractive and undesirable? What if I said smart and charismatic, but a little voice whispering to your ear, dumb and old? How about the best? Still getting their version of yourself that you could ever be? Does that little voice pop back and go, you are not even close to being who you want me, honey.
Those words, that’s one of the easiest ways to identify if you have a healthy or a not so healthy self-image. That stuff, those words that we say and we think about ourselves, is a really quick way to figure out how it is going on for us. So self-image, if you have a Google, there are so many different definitions and so many different ways that people look at it and what it incorporates. And I, for example, didn’t think it was that important, but I didn’t have it in my original confidence stack and I’ve recently redone the confidence stack and there’ll be another Podcast on that coming up soon to incorporate self-image because I actually do believe it is that important. But it was my understanding of it and how it had kind of impacted me… wasn’t at the point where I thought it had to be part of it and now it is so it’s included.
So when we’re talking about it, we’re referring to the kind of beliefs and feelings we have about ourselves. And that might include things like our values, our physical appearance, our personality, how we laugh, our overall worth as a human being, okay? Our attitudes, all that kind of stuff all comes into that self-image bubble. Trying to think of a word collage, the collage that is our self-image, the jigsaw puzzle, all these bits that kind of go together.
And it’s really important because it influences lots of different parts of our lives. It influences how we talk to people, how we show up in the world, how we behave, whether we go for a goal or a job or whether we go to that party, whether we suffering from a little bit of insecurity or anxiety or self-doubt. That’s the flip side of not having a positive or a healthy self-image. Okay.
Why is okay my favorite word at the moment? Need to ask myself that. Seem to be saying it a lot. But I’ve never had a Podcast editor, so I’m not going to have the okay edited out now. Okay, I did it again.
That’s so funny. Our self-image is one of those things that’s not and again, talking about it, we can go, oh, my God, that’s so egotistical. Thinking about your self-image, it’s like that, how you think about yourself. Whoops, ego is not a bad thing. It’s really not.
How we feel and think about ourselves impacts everything. How we handle rejection or a setback or even a conversation, how we interact with people can be impacted by our self-image. So we really want to cultivate a good one and we need to cultivate a good one in order to live a really freaking great, extraordinary life, which is what I want to talk about all the time. We can develop it in lots of different ways.
So we’re going to touch on some of that. And I’m going to talk about how we can bounce out of having a negative moment about our self-image and how we can get out of that pretty quickly and how we can build on it and make sure we can support ourselves so it’s more positive. Forever, but eternity and until eternity and beyond. Yeah, not great at quotes Samantha Mary. You’ll notice, and you’ve probably heard me do it a few times on the Podcast so far or in any of my videos and things.
And if I am having that negative thoughts, I will use my first and middle name. So I sent out an email the other day, wrong link, and I think it was two spelling mistakes. Clearly chat gpd didn’t do it. And my first thought is, Samantha Mary, you’re such an idiot. And no, I’m not an idiot.
I made a mistake, okay? I want you to listen to the difference so I can now pick myself up when I have those moments, just like I did then and did the Samantha Mary thing. And it was quite literally a voice in my head going, Samantha Mary. I can be told off, like in my two year old, I can ask myself the question, okay, I’m not stupid, but I did something wrong or I made a mistake. How can I make it better or how can I fix it?
And in answering asking myself that question and coming up with a solution, I can then put something in myself image bank because I managed to solve it. And then the Samantha Mary’s get less and less and less. And now anyone listening to a Podcast knows my middle name is Mary, which is just bonkers. But that’s okay.
Oh well look, there we go another okay. Head back to your train of thoughts matter. What is it? What is self-image?
As I said, if you have a Google, you’re going to find a lot of different things about it. But I particularly like the work on self-image by one because Susan Altzman or Suzanne Olsen not sure. Hazard. And she said that there were three elements of a person’s self-image the way a person perceives of themselves.
The way a person interprets others perceptions or what they think others perceptions are that makes sense of themselves and the way a person would like to be. So I say, be it until you are not fake it till you make it. Because I don’t think we should have a pretend. I think pretending can be problematic for us in many, many ways.
Actually have a Podcast coming out about that soon, but making changes within your life that impacts your self-image based on who you believe you’re growing into being or the skills that you want to develop or you want to get fitter or you want to go for that job. So you start acting in a certain way, you’re being that you are it. That can be quite important. And I think that is definitely an element, the way a person thinks about how they would like to be as an element of their self-image. Then she went on to say, and I just let you know here. I don’t have a lot of notes when I do Podcasts.
I kind of have an idea about what I want to talk about. I might go; I’ve got to remember to mention these three points or something like that. But when I want to actually talk about someone else’s work, I’ll make little notes. So I’m like, oh, my God, I’ve got 1234. I didn’t put numbers next to them.
But she said there were six dimensions of a person’s self-image. So I want to get them right. Physical, psychological, intellectual skills, moral, and sexual. How you evaluate yourself on all of those things will be one of the dimensions that make up that kaleidoscope, the collage jigsaw plug, or whatever you want to call it. I’ve got a ball.
But she said there were six dimensions of a person’s self-image. So I want to get them right. Physical, psychological, intellectual skills, moral, and sexual. How you evaluate yourself on all of those things will be one of the dimensions that make up that kaleidoscope, the collage, jigsaw puzzle, or whatever you want to call it. I’ve got a ball.
If I videoed these things, you’d see me, my hands are up like pretending there’s a big ball in front of me. Natural self-images, big ball of self-images. I use my hands a lot.
I think that’s quite a video. Anyway, the way you evaluate yourself on all those things helps build your self-image. And like, those things help build your self-image. We can also any of those things can be impacted negatively, and then our self-image has a little chunk taken out of it. Sometimes it’s a really big thing and it’s like a crumbling avalanche.
AVOIDING THINGS LIKE COMPARISONITIS THAT HAVE A NEGATIVE IMPACT ON OUR SELF-IMAGE
Some of the things that do that are, well, actually probably number one, I reckon. My belief is the number one thing that would impact you negatively with your self-image is comparisonitis. But seriously, comparing yourself to someone, whether it’ll be intellectually or physically or emotionally and you think you’re less than just we got to stop that crap. That is like taking a sledgehammer to your self-image.
You’re comparing the way you did your makeup that day to the way someone did their makeup and they’ve got a whole Glam team. You’re going to feel like shit about yourself. So that’s a really good one to get a handle on.
HOW DOES OUR SELF-IMAGE GET IMPACTED BY CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES, HORMONES, AND SOCIETAL/CULTURAL PRESSURES?
Another thing that can actually impact us in those ways is childhood experiences. So whether someone made a comment one day about how something fits you or how you showed up or what you did, bullying people, not turning up to your birthday party.
I was one of those kids that had a birthday party that no one turned up to and I’m an extrovert and I like throwing parties. So even at seven, eight, sorry, that had a huge impact on my self-image. Might be the reason when I have parties now, I invite more people than I can possibly fit in anywhere, just in case people don’t show up. Only joking. I do still love throwing parties though, so it kind of been that bad for me.
But I remember at the time me going, I’m obviously not good enough and no one likes me because I’m too fat. Or all of these things just went tough. It was pretty tough. It was a strange kiwi. No one wanted to be my friend.
On and on and on and other negative life events can impact you and impact your self-image. Whether you got rejected on a date or for a job or someone in a shop, you’re in a shop and you’re trying something on and you know the sales assistant when they say, oh, it looks amazing, you know they are lying. I reckon that knocks yourself the wind out of your self-image a little bit. Really do. Can’t stand it when that happens like tell the truth.
I would much rather spend money with someone who says, I think this would suit you better, or not quite sure that’s right for your body shape or those shoes look a little tight. I would so much rather spend money with someone that does it. Anyway, that’s a whole other topic and I don’t cover sales, so probably not going to do a blog, Podcast rather about that.
Another one that impacts us is stuff that’s going on in society or culturally, whether it be media or advertising, the news, a trend, a crazy beauty standard that’s happening at some point or even when people look at where we’re looking at identity groups or groups of people, and there are negative connotations or negative stereotypes about those groups, and you happen to fit into one of those groups or identify with one of those groups, that can have a negative impact on your self-image.
So we have to be careful with that stuff as well. And other things like hormones. Oh my gosh, so I’m in that beautiful, fabulous, very minimal phase of my life, talk about that forever, and I reckon my hormones impact my self-image 100%, as it does your sleep and everything else. So anything going on personally, physically, for you as well, can impact it, whether you’re having a little bit of a depressive episode or your anxiety is up or I know for me, ADHD had a huge impact on my self-image both positively and negatively after being diagnosed a couple of years ago and also for those four and a half generations of my life where it wasn’t diagnosed and I didn’t finish things or thought it was a bit scotty and things like that, that has had a very negative impact on my self-image. So there are so many of those really personal things that can impact it and we want to not have negative impacts on our self-image.
We also want to remember, though, that life is 50 50. And I was going to say that a lot. I always say that one, and as do many other people, life is 50 50. So we can’t expect to always feel 100% about our self-image. We can’t always expect to feel 100% about life.
We can’t always be happy, happy, joy, joy. But we can do things that will help us move away from being in a moment where our self-images are getting a little more negative. And there are also things that we can do that we can build on continually to help cultivate a more positive or healthy self-image.
TIPS AND TOOLS TO HELP A POSITIVE SELF-IMAGE, AND GET YOU OUT OF A NEGATIVE MOMENT
So I’m going to go through some of those for you, and some of them are great to snap you out of a negative as well as helping you build positive. And some of them you may just be a little tall that you might go, okay, in those moments, I need to remember that, but I don’t need to keep doing it as like a habit thing, a habit thing of a t shirt saying, I do have the habit things.
First one like you’ve heard me do in this podcast and probably in podcast before is self-awareness. So picking yourself up when you hear yourself think or say something negative or overly critical about yourself, just being aware of those moments is really important for both overcoming negative and being more positive. And when you do have those moments, be compassionate, like not telling yourself off for having one of those moments. Don’t scold yourself because you had a moment of doubt about who you are and who you show up as. Be kind, be gentle, and give yourself an emotional hug when you’re having those moments.
You want to look at who you are in terms of your values. I think that’s a big part of self-image, because I know for myself when I’m agreeing to things or doing things that aren’t quite aligned with my values, my self-image takes a little bit of a dip. So reminding yourself what your values are and what you stand for can be a really easy way to get out of a negative slump as well as building a more positive self-image all the time. What are your values? Have you ask yourself this question?
Not what you saw on Instagram the other day as being the world’s best top, the world’s best top ten values. Not sure why that was so hard for me to say, and I don’t know if anyone’s ever done their posts, but we don’t want to buy into it if they have. What are your values? And I have, if you go to samanthaleith.com/freebies, I have a whole values worksheet in there that you can actually do. Really important if you don’t know them get on top of that and know what they are.
We want to challenge our negative thoughts. So you know how I did the, stupid things, and I gave you the little tip about asking a question. Another good way to challenge those negative thoughts is to actually ask yourself if it’s true. Is it actually true? Or have you just made that up like a Disney movie in your mind?
Okay, if you haven’t followed Byron Katie, you should. Amazing. It has a thing called the work, and you go to a set of questions about, is this true? Do you know it to be true? Because a lot of the time, things we say to ourselves or think to ourselves are 100% not true. Okay?
Okay? So challenge those thoughts, and I do encourage you to look at Byron Katie. Surround yourself with positive influences. And I mean this on every level, from the sense in your life to the people in your life to what you watch, what you consume.
And again, this isn’t what is positive to. You might not be positive to someone else, even as simply as I had a friend who was going through a tough time a few months ago, and I bought up what I thought were beautiful flowers. Like, I would have loved having them in my house. Would have made me feel amazing walking in and seeing them and find them. Got them to a house, and I’ve done that for years.
Got them to my shelf, and she went, oh, thank you for the flowers, but I’ll make me sick. I was like, oh, I just don’t like them. I was like, oh, okay, fair enough. She loved and appreciated my gesture, but they were a flower that wasn’t allergic to but played havoc with her sinuses, and she didn’t really like the look of them either, and that’s okay. So what was my positive, was actually a negative for her.
Surround yourself with positive. Self-care. Now, I talk about self-care a lot in everything and we all have different understandings of what self-care is. It’s not necessarily long massages and 5 hours of meditation every day with a face mask. Self-care can be a whole plethora of things, okay?
But it’s about looking after your physical, emotional and mental beings. So doing things that make you feel better, whether it is it might be a face mask. I love a little eye mask. Makes me feel so good about myself, being out in the sunshine, you know, getting up at a time that makes you feel good, any of those things that make you feel good, you want to do. And when you look at your journal tomorrow, because I know if you listen to this Podcast, you journal, I want you to write down the question am I treating myself like I’m extraordinary?
And then I want you to answer it because to me, self-care incorporates that. Like if I’m going through a phase where I’m being particularly good at honoring who I am and looking after myself, I’m treating myself like I am extraordinary. Like I feel like I am extraordinary. So asking yourself that question and seeing how you are actually treating yourself, start there and then incorporate a few things that are going to make you feel like you’re looking after yourself a little bit better. And there’s a couple of other things I want to share with you that can either help you get out of the negative or help you maintain or build on a positive self-image.
One of them is positive affirmations, which you’ve heard me do a whole podcaster on, so I’m not going to spend too much time going over. But creating positive affirmations that flip one of your negative thoughts about yourself can be really, really powerful. So remember back at the beginning I talked about, you know, I think I said sexy and smart or sexy and savvy or something like that. Sexy, sexy and desirable I think I said. And then I said unattractive and undesirable.
Well to flip it totally like that. You might find it hard, just like finding I hate my body to I love my body hard but maybe loving your ears or your hands is easier. Flip it to something you can see. They can be like tangible. Maybe you can’t flip it straight away to unsexy but maybe you can flip it to always be sexy lingerie.
Take it step by step by step or whatever it is you’re working on in terms of how you’re feeling about yourself. Try and do it by step with a positive affirmation. If you can’t go all the way, and I encourage you to do it in the mirror like if you haven’t looked at my mirror exercise before, do that. Stand in front of a mirror and say something positive about you to yourself whether it is I love my eyes, they’re the windows to my soul, they communicate with people, they cry at the craziest things on television.
I love my love. Whatever it is, say it into the mirror, and that will help build that and will help you flip out of something negative if that’s where you are at the moment.
Another thing I want you to do in your trusty journal is have an absolute brain dump about how freaking amazing you are. Like, truly, how extraordinary you are. What do you like about yourself?
What I like about myself? Date it and just go for it. As many things as you can think of, from the play you wrote when you were six, to the way you danced under a mirror ball, to the Pavlov that you made last week, to how you really believe in less plastic in the oceans and you get down there twice a year to help clean up the beaches. Whatever it is, I want you to write out all those things that you think are fabulous about yourself. Okay?
Go for it. Like, don’t have to see it. And anytime you have one of those moments of doubt, refer back to it and go, oh, that’s right. I might not be feeling great about whom I am and my self-image might be like, in this moment, but boy, did I do that. Well, yes, I’m dancing as I do that. You can see it, can’t you? In your head, imagination is a wonderful thing.
If you’re listening to this Podcast, I hope you think it is a positive influence on your life. And that’s one of the other tips I want to give you. Surround yourself with positive influences.
Like I said, the positive environment, the things you listen to, the things you read, the people you hang out with, all of those things really, really important. So if it doesn’t align with you feeling better or doing better in your life or who you are or what you’re going for, get rid of it, including social media, news, all of those things. Like, just ask them. It won’t do you any harm to just respond to DMs. Even if you have business for the next 48 hours, rather than actually scrolling through a feed and seeing what other people are doing, even a little time away can help you feel better.
Now, I know I’m repeating myself on the surrounding yourself with positive, but it’s really important. So I’m going to repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat. Surround yourself with positive influences, influences and influences. Maybe that’s what I should have done it as. Goals, every time you achieve a goal, you help improve your self-image, you help make it more positive, you help reinforce it.
So whilst I’m a huge believer in setting crazy out of this world, oh, my God, I’m actually going to do it one day goals. I also want you to set some realistic ones. And it could be like a goal that’s you’re just taking something from your to do list and you’re turning into a goal and you’re going to get it done. In the next 24 hours, you will feel better about yourself. Your self-image will get that little pop of love. Okay, so do it.
And back to the beginning when I talked about those little voices in our head, my last tip for you on this is watch how you talk to yourself. Like when I say those words, you idiot Samantha Mary. I wouldn’t say you idiot Elodie to my daughter, or you idiot Yvonne to my best friend, I wouldn’t do it.
So if you wouldn’t say something to your best friend or your child, do not say it to yourself. Start noticing those things and talking to yourself a bit better or as I said before, ask yourself the question about why you’re saying it. So you can solve for the problem and then actually build on your self-image. Okay?
That’s all the tips. Think I got them all. Six or seven, I can’t remember. Anyway, I think I did it all. Bottom line is improving your self-image is about focusing on the good stuff, the strengths, the things you’ve done well, focusing on positivity, focusing on being kind to yourself, focusing about focusing on caring for yourself. And all of those things will help you lead what I call an extraordinary life or a happier life, a more fulfilling life.
It will help you have more confidence, better relationships. It’s going to increase your motivation. If your self-image bank is like full, you are going to be much more motivated and much more disciplined to do the things you say you want to do or you think you want to do, which will then help you be more fulfilled. Like they’re all going to go around in circles and bounce off each other or like a waterfall flowing down which of a picture you want to have in your mind. But the base of all of those is having that better self-image. Okay?
So I want you to think about yourself image after this Podcast and I want you to write in the journal and I want you to just go to town on that what you like about yourself stuff. Really, please do that. And if you’re not I’m going to guilt you. If you’re not going to do it for yourself, do it for me.
I want you to think about how extraordinary you are and how fabulous you are. I really do. It helps. Doesn’t make you an egomaniac. It will help you.
And if you’d like to, I would love it if you tagged me on a post in the socials at Samantha Leith with something you did over the next few days to help build on your self-esteem. Or even one of those moments where you caught yourself saying something negative and you’re like, oh, pop, nope look, why am I saying, that what’s the better thing I could say. And that’s what I want you to do.
So until I see you or you hear me next week, have an extraordinary week, my friends. Bye.
Thank you for listening to this week’s episode of the Samantha Leith Podcast. If you enjoyed this episode and wanna dive deeper into the world of personal development and what’s possible for you, then I’d love to invite you to join the club. It’s my monthly membership designed to guide and support you with the tools and the coaching you need to be extraordinary. Head on over to samanthaleith.com/theclub for more information. I’d love to see you on the inside.