This week I watched two films, both with a similar meaning behind them which inspired me to make this blog post. In both films, the lead character has an accident which consequently changes their external and internal reality. Once the so called ‘magic’ is over and the women go back to their every day lives, they soon come to realise that is wasn’t really magic after all.. all it took for their reality to change was a change in their perception- their thinking and mindset had changed. Both women had learnt to see themselves in a completely new way, and because of this their life changed for the better, and people started to respond to them differently.
Yes these are films, however both carry a very important message-
“Change your self image, and you change your world”
We all have a self image, whether we are aware of what that is or not. It is a built up set of beliefs we hold about ourself which are based on past experiences and how others have treated or reacted to us. Many of these beliefs are deep rooted and formed during childhood.
Our self image determines our actions, thoughts/feelings, and behaviour- and vice versa. We will act like the person we believe our self to be.
Furthermore, our life experiences collected over time often validate and strengthen our self image, which can trap us into vicious cycles, particularly if we see our self in a negative way.
For example, if I see myself as being ugly, I may start to act in that way, and then attract experiences which serve as proof of it being true (whether it actually is or not). This could be a totally unconscious process, and most of the time it is.
When this ‘proof’ builds up over time it can be difficult to see that the root cause is actually to do with our self image, rather than the external events or things that are happening around us. Our whole reality is shaped according to the way in which we see our self. In addition to this, because as humans we generally like to be right (that’s the ego kicking in!) we reject anything that isn’t in line with our beliefs and only tune in to the things that are. This can really set us up for disaster!
The good news is that the self image can be changed.
This possible through changing our thought processes, behaviours, how we treat and respond to others, and our actions. It’s about knowing who we are and not feeling afraid to ‘be’ that person. Having the freedom to express our self creatively without any shame attached. Becoming aware of our strengths and weaknesses, and not over or underestimating the person that we are. Being completely honest with our self. We can then collect new experiences that validate our new and more accurate self image. By doing this consistently over time we will begin to see change.
This is a huge topic and there are various techniques we can use to make changes within our self including; CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), NLP (neuro linguistic programming), changing our perception of the past, goal setting, meditation, hypnosis, developing self compassion.. the list goes on and on.
The first step however, is awareness and acceptance. We can’t possibly make changes if we are not aware of and accept where we are right now. So begin to take a step back and look at yourself, almost as if you were seeing your life from someone else’s perspective, and start to take notice of the patterns that are playing out.
Thank you for reading.