Archives for September 2013

How to change your self image

Do you often feel hurt and let down? Do you feel that you are continually battling against not being good enough? Are you over-sensitive to other people’s opinions of you? Are you never content with who you are?

 We all live within the stories we have created for ourselves. As a child, we are taught how to make ourselves acceptable, so we squeeze ourselves into a box so that we will be liked. By the time we are adults, we have created an image for ourselves as the primary character, and an image, or plot, for the secondary characters.

 When someone doesn’t live up to the image that we have created for them, we feel let down and hurt. Perhaps we try to tell them how to behave differently – after all, if they can only conform to the image we have set out for them, we will be happy. However, this is destined to fail. They are the primary character in their own story and they are not going to change for us, because we are only a secondary character in theirs.

The truth is that our partner, child, parent, colleague or friend will never conform exactly to the role we have written for them and that is why we so often feel let down and hurt. But there is another way. If we can accept that people will never be exactly the way we want them to be, we can learn to let our stories about them go, and love them simply for who they are. The same goes for ourselves. By letting go of the image of how we should and shouldn’t be, we free ourselves to discover the beauty of who we really are.

A few days ago it was my birthday and I received one of the most beautiful gifts imaginable. A group of friends had put together a wordle for me. A wordle is a collection of words which interlock like a jigsaw puzzle or crossword. This wordle described the way they saw me and, reading it, I felt loved and appreciated. In seconds, it gave me a boost better than any holiday.

This is something we can all do for ourselves. Write down all the words that you think you are and then turn any negative ones into positives. If you feel not “good enough”, change that to “successful”; if you feel “fat”, change it to “slender”; if you feel “unlovable”, change it to “loving”. Then find common letters and link the words together. Be as artistic as you like and be proud of what you create. Put the wordle up on a wall and look at it several times a day. Then watch your self image improve and your confidence grow.

You can also do this as a present for someone else. Create a beautiful picture for them using their qualities. Choose from beautiful, fun, loving, kind, generous, exciting, intelligent, unique, talented, peaceful, calming…the list is endless. If you need some inspiration, go to www.wordle.net for ideas on how to do put one together.

We will always create stories for ourselves and other people but they don’t have to be negative, disempowering, needy ones. We can learn to love ourselves because of what we give to people, not require from them. Celebrate your own and others’ positive, life-affirming and beautiful qualities and watch yours and their lives relax, blossom and smile. You will become happier, healthier and more radiant, and so will everyone around you.

Love Laurelle x