The way we see ourselves directly impacts every aspect of our lives. It affects the way we see others, the careers we pursue, the relationships we initiate, the foods we eat, etc. So it makes perfect sense to make an effort to continually improve the way we see ourselves so that we can better our lives and the lives of those around us as well.
1) Improving your relationship with Heavenly Father
This particular example is very personal to me. For that reason, I’ll just share why I find it so helpful and a few examples of how I go about doing this.
Identity is foundational in the way we see ourselves. While we can align our identities with the things that we do or the groups that we are a part of, I have found it to be far more secure to make the foundation of my identity an eternal one. I am a daughter of God. It is an absolute truth that is unchanging unlike my participation in certain activities and the practices of a certain party.
I used to own a handmade product-based business. If that was the foundation of my identity, selling that business or walking away from it, would have resulted in a bit of an identity crisis until I found something else to do and use as the new foundation of who I considered myself to be.
For these reasons I choose to focus on the identity of who I am as the offspring of Deity. The more I work on my relationship with Heavenly Father, the more I come to understand what I am capable of and how much I am loved.
Improving this relationship takes simple and consistent effort. It is doing things like scripture study, and not just reading the words, but pondering over them. What do they teach you about who God is and what kind of principles could you take and apply into your own life to become more like Him?
Improving your relationship with Heavenly Father could also include saying regular prayers that are more conversational and less like an order at a drive-through. It could also entail caring more about the Lord’s opinions of your choices over that of the world’s.
Those are just a few examples that are great places to start.
2) Pay careful attention to how your environment it affecting your feelings and energy
Another way to work on fostering a healthy self-image, is to pay close attention to the way that things in your environment are affecting the way that you feel.
When the things we are surrounded by and allowing into our minds are empowering us, it will feel good. We’ll feel energized and sometimes even excited. If the things and people in your environment are draining and distracting, you body is trying to tell you that it isn’t good for you. This also goes for the food and drinks that you are putting into your body.
When we don’t feel our best we don’t do our best, and when we aren’t doing our best, we know it! That simple knowledge that we aren’t putting our best foot forward takes a toll on the way we see ourselves.
3) Do things that will cause you to grow
Have you ever done something that was really hard? How did you feel about yourself after you accomplished it?
Have you ever failed at something really hard? How did you feel about what you were able to accomplish from trying?
My favorite games to play tend to be the ones that I’m more likely to lose. I love the challenge. It’s boring if it’s too easy and if you ask Sione, I’d get upset if I found out someone let me win.
Even when we fail, when we do things that push us out of our comfort zones and allow us to grow, it has a positive impact on our self-image.
But it’s also good to do as much as you can to set yourself up for success, too much failure can end up hurting that self-image as well.
4) Serve someone
Serving others is one of those 2 for 1 specials. We help others and ourselves at the same time. Sione and I noticed that we feel the most fulfilled and accomplished on days where we made time to do something for ourselves, one another, and for someone outside of our family.
Think about it, when was the last time that you did something nice without expectation of anything in return. How did you feel about yourself as you did it?
5) Make Self-Improvement a Daily Habit
One of the simplest ways to build confidence in ourselves is to keep the commitments that we make to ourselves. Our favorite way to do this is to make the intentional development of new and good habits every day a part of our daily routines.
We have a whole system we use to make this happen. It’s helped us develop habits, reach goals, and keep commitments to ourselves that we had found ourselves breaking over and over again before developing it. It is so simple to do once it is in place and our confidence in ourselves and our abilities have soared since doing it.