Deborah Peniuk is a Freelance Writer, Blogger , Owner and Founder of AYA Life, a Full- service Travel Consulting Company and Creator of a new lifestyle blog : Life, Bliss and All of This… A Contemporary Spin on “A 40-something doing it all”
How many times have you questioned yourself or been asked, “What do you believe people think about you?” A person’s self-image is the mental picture, generally a picture that is very resistant to change or alteration, that presents those personal details that are open to objection by others (height, weight, hair color, gender, I.Q. score, etc.), but also details that have been learned by that person about himself/herself, either from personal experiences or by internalizing those judgments by others.
Let’s be clear on the titles – Self-Image is not to be confused with Self-awareness, Self-concept, Self-perception, or Self-consciousness.
Self-image may consist of the following:
• How an individual sees himself or herself.
• How others may see the individual.
• How an individual perceives how others see him or her.
Some studies say that poor self-image may be the result of accumulated criticisms that he or she received as a child which have led to damaging their own view of themselves. Children in particular are vulnerable to accepting negative judgments from authority figures because they’ve yet to develop the skills to really be understanding in evaluating such “reports” that can form lasting effects. But poor self-image is not always caused by other people.
Negative self-images can arise from a variety of factors such as personality type. Perfectionists, high achievers, and those with “type A” personalities seem to be prone to having negative self-images. This is because such people constantly set the standard for success high above a reasonable, attainable level which can lead to being constantly disappointed in this “failure.”
If we can take the time to change the messages we are sending to our youth and one another hopefully we can adjust some of our unhealthy images we hold in. Just this week I had to give myself a reminder and then I saw the photo below from hundreds of people – all shapes, forms, sexes ,sizes ,ethnicities doing a favourite pastime – Yoga, not just anywhere but New York’s Time Square for all the world to see. I’m sure some people were fighting with their own Self-Image but they went without judgement – something we should all try to do every day.