What is Self Image

Self Image

Our self image is more than just what we think of ourselves. Often our image about ourselves is a result of what our childhood had been and what adult experiences we have gone through.

So if we want to know what our complete self-image is, all we need to do is ask ourselves, ‘What do others see in me?’

What is Self Image?

Our self image consists of:

A. What we think of ourselves

B. What we think others think of us

C. What others actually think of us

How good or bad we think of ourselves is what decides our course of life, and often our decision-making capabilities.

My friend Samaira often lacked confidence in doing a lot of activities—a lack her classmates never had. Being a late child to her parents, her parents also had doubts regarding Samaira’s abilities.

One belief she picked up from her parents was that she won’t be able take part in camping. She came to believe that, it’s simply not her. Often such beliefs are so ingrained that it’s almost impossible to overcome one’s fears or apprehensions for a new work or activity.

So if our self image is what decides how we lead our lives, is it possible to improve on our lives by changing that self image? Actually, the answer is almost always a resounding yes.

This is why:

  • an obese person, with a fondness for food, develops the self discipline to exercise and eat right to lose weight
  • an injured person discovers a way to carry on with life despite the injury, and
  • an addict gives up on addiction.

Once we start looking at ourselves with new eyes, it’s possible to change our decisions and our life subsequently.

Samaira is now a very successful and inspiring kindergarten teacher. When I look at her life, I see that she has worked wonders with her self image. She tackles all problems without panicking, and not only looks after her own family, but is a caregiver for her elderly parents as well.

Samaira credits all her success to the time she spends with her little students, who exude so much positive energy. Thomas Harris, in his book, ‘I’m okay, You’re okay,’ has said, that every person’s psyche consists of rules which he lives by, emotions which guide him, and rationality which lives inside him.

At the risk of simplifying a popular theory, we can summarily say that it’s important to increase the rational thinking power of people to improve upon their self image.

A few tips to increasing self image

Positive Thinking

Concentrating on the positive sides of events or experiences, accepting compliments for work done, and concentrating on end results or goals often act as positive reinforcements that give us confidence.

Read all about positive thing in power of positive thinking

Learn to De-Stress

Daily life has a way of creating majorly stressful moments that cause frustrations that eat into our self image. Developing a way to distress oneself every day through exercises and hobbies often work wonders for a positive self image.

Learn all about stress management in tips to manage stress

Cultivate a Positive Social Circle

People who think positive often act as guides and role-models to others. Their constant positive comments about us improve the way we look at ourselves.


It’s important to have a positive self image to succeed in your career or life because the way we look at ourselves is often reflected in our body language.

Our postures are often picked up and assessed by strangers within 15 seconds of meeting them. A good self image makes for a confident person.

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About the Author

Moumita Basu is a writer and a soft-skills trainer. She works for a news agency. When not writing, she loves spending time with her family, reading and travelling, preferably doing all three together.

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