Perhaps one of the most liberating insights I ever had is that our self image is not set in stone. Like wet clay through childhood it might be greatly shaped by parents, friends and experiences.. but before it hardens in our teens or early 20s we have the power to greatly reshape it. And even into adulthood, though the clay might be hard as marble and not as easily reshaped, we all have the power of a master sculptor and every day we can chip away at it, to reveal the best version of ourselves.
How is this done? Words are the most powerful forms of shaping self image. Through words behaviors are born. And through behaviors, the brain develops references or files that it uses to justify the way it perceives itself.
As a kid I literally programmed the things I wanted to possess like confidence, attraction, love, and success into my brain through repetition. For example there was a time when I greatly lacked confidence in myself, and every night I would listen to a self-hypnosis audio on greater self confidence. Why self hypnosis? Because it drops the words past the filter of the conscious directly into the subconscious where the self image is directly affected.
Most of the time a person’s identity / self-image is formed unconsciously.. Each day of childhood builds upon the next and one day (usually in their teens) they wake up to it and there it is. And it plays an active role in how they feel about life, themselves or their abilities and what they attempt: for better or worse. But the reality is we all have the power to play an active role in our our identity / story’s development or redesign!
– Have a vision for the kind of person you want to be: your ideal version of self
– know that the path for getting there is repetition of the right words. Use feeling and your whole body as you say them for maximum impact. Or deep relaxation in self-hypnosis so the words bypass the conscious filter and drop down directly into the subconscious.
– Avoid making ANY negative statements about self, or using any labels that lock you into negative patterns (for example I do not believe in the labeling of psychological disorders and lifetime prescriptions for treatment as MOST disorders are just the result of temporary distortions of self, but with labels they become repeated their whole lives and therefore permanent)
– Repetition of the right words leads to right feelings and behaviors, which leads to the references your brain needs to justify the new self image.
– the process of development and redesign is never complete, which means you can forever improve upon your concept of self as long as you let go of past (especially limiting references) and keep upgrading the words you use to define yourself and your story, and keep acting in ways that are higher value to support the new story for real! And ultimately confirm the new story through better results in life itself.
-Remember, it all starts with the words we use. Replace all negative self-talk or labels with more positive / empowering statements and labels that you decide for yourself.
– Don’t use the past as an excuse for current results or remaining static in your current self image. Transform every “negative” memory (even traumatic ones), into a positive fuel to accelerates you into a future possibility that would not have been possible without it!