Females Force Blog

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7 steps to improve your Self-image

What is self-image?

Self-image as it is somehow self-explanatory is about the image that we have from ourselves. This image has two sides, the external image, and the internal image.

External image is the image that we have from our appearance. The image we have from ourselves about our shape, height, skin color, weight and etc. This is the image we have from ourselves when we look at the mirror or think how people see us when they look at us.

Internal image is more about our abilities, strengths, and relationships. It is the image that we see from ourselves when it comes to what we are capable of in terms of relationships and activities.

Wikipedia:

Self-image is the mental picture, generally of a kind that is quite resistant to change, that depicts not only details that are potentially available to an objective investigation by others (height, weight, hair color, etc.), but also items that have been learned by persons about themselves, either from personal experiences or by internalizing the judgments of others.

How is self-image built?

Self-image is an alive and ongoing process that starts from our childhood and is changing either in a positive or negative way until the last day we live. Self-image is affected by so many different items such as parents and family, friends, society, culture, religion, education and etc. Every single factor in our lives can affect our self-image.

Childhood

Self-image is strongly affected by the way we are raised. Our interaction with our parents, siblings, community, and society forms our self-image. The way they talk about us, about themselves, or even about other people is the way we learn how to look at ourselves.

For example, someone who is raised in a family or society that is much focused on appearance learns to be more focused on how they look. But someone who is more exposed to lifestyle and health learns to stay focused on their lifestyle than their experience. It is more possible that the first person grows a negative self-image based on unrealistic expectations about their look. A person with a negative self-image becomes highly judgmental about how they look and as a result, their self-esteem and confidence are also affected negatively.

A comment that you have heard about your weight, face, hair, skin, or about your behavior, intelligence, and performance at school when you were little can affect your self-image for your whole life either in a positive or a negative way.

Gender

Gender is a very important factor in shaping one’s self-image. The mental image that we have of ourselves could be highly affected by our gender. Women are more exposed to be judged by their appearance while men are more judged by their success and wealth. Women could grow a negative self-image about how they look while men mostly about their abilities.

Media

These days, media has the most influence on the image we have of ourselves. An image that is not likely anywhere close to those beautiful people we see on TV, Instagram, and billboards. Media and the way they advertise fashion and models can easily affect our self-image negatively.

It is very important that we become aware of how we feel about the image we have of ourselves and how we think about ourselves. And to understand how these feelings and thoughts are affecting our lives.

Here we need to talk about a very important topic, self-awareness.

Self-awareness

Every feeling we experience has a thought behind it. Believe it or not, it is true. If we feel sad, there is a thought behind it that leads us to feel sad. If we feel scared or happy, it’s because of how we think about that particular situation.

To have a better understanding of the topic, let’s take a look at an example:

When we fail an exam we experience sadness, embarrassment, and stress. Because we think about all the time we spent to prepare for the exam and we know that we need to do it again to be able to pass it. We may think about how others react when they know we have failed. We are stressed because we don’t know what to do next, or what if we are not able to pass it ever. And so many other thoughts that lead to feelings we experience.

So, it is very important that whenever we have negative feelings about ourselves, we become aware of how we feel and try to find the thoughts behind them. This process is called self-awareness and is very important when it comes to self-image.

If we want to improve our self-image in a positive way, we need to be aware of the feelings and thoughts we have about our appearance and our abilities. In this journey, you might need help. You could ask one of your family members, friends, or a counselor to help you.

How to build positive self-image?

Your self-image has been building up for years without you knowing the process. So, it is very important that you know changing and improving it is not something that happens overnight. There are some useful steps you could take:

  1. Be ready for the challenge: Get yourself mentally ready to challenge your old self-image and see how you could improve it.
  2. Be realistic: Try to see yourself in a realistic way, not the image that you have built based on unrealistic expectations
  3. Stay away from negative Media: Keep in mind that fashion and modeling is a highly profitable industry and Media is the shop. They are selling it to people by convincing them that beauty is what they show. Stay away from the trap!
  4. Practice self-awareness: Be aware of your thoughts and stop any negative thought that comes to your mind.
  5. Surround yourself with positive people: Remember that our self-image is highly influenced by the people we meet in our lives since day one. Every single person could possibly have an effect on how we see ourselves. So, it is very important that we try to find the people who feel good about themselves and give us the same feeling. Choose your friends wisely, the reward is priceless.
  6. Don’t compare yourself to anyone: The biggest enemy of self-image is comparison. Never compare yourself with others. There is only one of you on this planet with your genes and your background.
  7. Learn to love yourself: You are the only person who could give you the love you deserve. Learn to love yourself for who you are.

Read also:

How to look more beautiful? Wear confidence!

How to overcome fears? Face them!

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How to overcome fears? Face them!

When you read the title “How to overcome fears? Face them!” you might say; “well, if I could face my fears, I wouldn’t google for advice”. You are right! We all know that we need to face our fears to overcome them but we might not know-how.

Just like any other challenge in life, the most effective way to face our fears is to know them first. We need to know what we are afraid of and why. What is the reason not to be able to do what we want to do? What happens if we face our fears? What could possibly go wrong? And what is the reward when we finally do what we really intend to do?

But first we need to know what fear is. Or what makes us to feel afraid or scared.

What is fear?

Based on Wikipedia;

Fear is an emotion induced by perceived danger or threat, which causes physiological changes and ultimately behavioral changes, such as mounting an aggressive response or fleeing the threat. Fear in human beings may occur in response to a certain stimulus occurring in the present, or in anticipation or expectation of a future threat perceived as a risk to oneself.

Fear is useful!

Fear is a mechanism that protects human beings from potential dangers. In fact, humans have been able to survive so many dangers and difficult situations because of this emotion.

Humans learned to run as fast as they can when they see a tiger in the middle of the jungle. If not they would be eaten alive. They learned how to fight when they face a wild animal. There are so many other examples to show what a potential danger is and how the human body responds in order to protect us.

So, fear is useful. Fear is here to protect us so we can live long and safe.

What’s behind fear?

Fear is not always caused by a possible physical danger. What modern people are more afraid of these days is not physical danger but is psychological danger. We try to protect ourselves from feeling disappointed, humiliated, or heartbroken. We don’t take that exam because we don’t want to fail. We don’t express ourselves because we think our opinions might not be accepted or not good enough. We don’t attend meetings or seminars because we’re afraid of speaking in public. We don’t want to feel embarrassed if it doesn’t go as we expected.

But what we need to focus on to be able to analyze our fears and find a way to fight with them is to know “Why are we afraid of failure”?

We are afraid of failure because we don’t trust in our abilities. Fear is coming from a psychological danger that may hurt our feelings and confidence.

Fear or phobia?

What is phobia? Based on Wikipedia;

A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder defined by a persistent and excessive fear of an object or situation. Phobias typically result in a rapid onset of fear and are present for more than six months.

The most common are fear of spiders, fear of snakes, and fear of heights.

If you think you are suffering from a phobia, it’s a good idea to talk to a specialist and get help from experts.

Know what you are afraid of

If we want to get over our fears we need to find out what exactly we’re afraid of. I recommend you get a pen and paper and write down your fears. Then read the following questions one by one and try to find honest answers for them. I say honest answers because one of the fear mechanism’s job is to protect us from danger. Our mind could try to get away from the answer which causes pain.

To get the best result, when you answer the question ask yourself if it’s the real answer. The following questions will help us to understand the situation better and as a result, guide us to find a way to get over our fears.

Imagine your biggest fear;

  • What am I afraid of?
  • Why am I afraid of it?
  • What would be the effect of it in my life if I don’t do anything about it (short term and long term)?
  • Why don’t I want to face it?
  • What is the worst thing that could happen if I try to face it?
  • What do I lose if I fail?
  • What would happen if I fail?
  • How do I feel about myself if I don’t do anything about it?
  • How do I feel about myself if I try and I fail?

Now, you have a good idea of what your fear is. What is behind your fear and what would happen if you decide to ignore your fear or if you try to face it and fail?

Next step is to see the other side of the situation. Grab another paper and answer following questions:

  • What if I face my fear and overcome it?
  • How do I feel about myself?
  • What could change in my life when I overcome my fear (short-term and long-term)?
  • What good things do I achieve and what bad things do I lose?
  • Will this success help me overcome other fears?
  • Will this success help me to have a better life?

You could add more questions if you find more. Every person is different and unique. Our lives are unique. So, feel free to make your own list of questions and picture what could possibly go wrong and what the worst scenario would be. Also, how things could change for the best in your life when you face your fears and overcome them.

By doing this, you could picture your situation now and after you change it. It will help you to know yourself and your fears better.

Fear grows with time!

When we encounter a challenge in our life, we have generally two options; get scared and run away or analyze it and see how we can overcome it.

The first option is the easiest. Although there’s no growth, no result, no reward, and no satisfaction. Instead, we feel less brave and lose a little bit of our confidence every time we run away from our fears.

The second option is the right one but the hard one. We learn what exists on the other side of the wall of fears. We learn and we grow. Most importantly, we get more confident about our abilities.

Do not hesitate too much before you take action because fear grows fast and could paralyze you before you even realize it. Fear can spread and give birth to other fears. So, make sure you do something before it gets harder and harder to defeat.

But remember, everything can change when you decide to change.

How to face your fears? Take small steps!

When you know your fears and the reason or reasons behind them, it’s time to do something about it. It’s time to act, time to face them.

Start from small steps. Just like babies who learn to walk. Every small step you take, even if you fall, gives you the courage to go further. For example, if you are afraid of speaking in public, start with a group of two or three. When you feel comfortable with that, you make the next step and try a bigger audience.

Celebrate your success

Every time you succeed even if it’s small, celebrate it. Encourage yourself! Buy yourself a coffee, a book, or do something special as a gift to yourself. It gives you the feeling of victory even if it might look so small. Remember, those small steps grow into a big success.

Last but not least,

Love yourself for who you are!

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How to look more beautiful? Wear confidence!

I’ve been looking for an answer to this question, since I was a teenager; “How to look more beautiful?”

When I was a little girl, I was always told how cute I was or how beautiful a young woman I would become one day. I believed it was true since it was nice to believe. Who doesn’t want to hear nice things as a child or even an adult? Everyone wants to be loved and praised. It’s in human nature.

As a little girl, the world was so simple to me. I was supposed to grow up, meet the charming prince and live happily ever after. But it wasn’t that easy as I got older. When I became a teenager, I realized that there was an unannounced competition among girls. A competition about, who was going to stand out in gatherings? Who would receive more attention? Who was going to be the most popular girl at high school or university? And so on. A competition that was nurtured by society, media, and even families.

No one would openly talk about it but everyone knew it existed. Well, as a result, I started to search for ways to be that one girl. But how? The first and easiest way was to compare me to others and find out how I could be the most beautiful?

Comparing myself became a habit and that competition never ended. In every stage of my life, the subject changed from the most beautiful girl in the room to the best student, the best daughter, the best employee, the best wife, the best mom and etc. The list was never-ending and there was always something that I wanted to be the best at.

One day I found out all I was doing in my life was searching for an answer to this question: “How can I be the best?” After a lot of thinking about why is it important to be always the best, I realized there was a most profound issue down in my unconscious mind. In fact, I wasn’t looking for being the best, I was running away from another question which I wasn’t even aware of: “Am I good enough?”

It was a bad day, believe me. It was the day that I started doubting everything. It wasn’t about how beautiful, attractive, smart, or successful I was anymore. It was about “who I was” or “if I was good enough at all”.

Self-doubt grew to anxiety and anxiety to depression. Depression took away everything from me; happiness, life purpose, energy, and literally everything which could be me.

It was a very long journey to realize what was missing in my life. After lots of reading, consulting sessions, and research I found the answer. What I needed to be me and live my life as I was supposed to, was one single and very important word; “self-confidence”.

Please do yourself a favor, Get more damn confident!

I’m sure as a female, my story could relate to almost every other woman in the world. We’ve all asked ourselves at least once; “Am I beautiful enough?”

We’ve all googled these questions to find the right answer; “How to be more attractive?”, “How to get more in shape?”, “How to look gorgeous?”, “How to be a good mom?”, “How to be a good wife?” and on and on. Haven’t we?

If you haven’t, believe me, you’re so lucky and you might not even know it.

Let me tell you what the magic ingredient is to look more beautiful and attractive: Wear confidence! Yes, confidence is the most effective way to look more beautiful. You need to know why I’ll tell you. Let’s first take a look at what confidence and self-confidence mean.

What’s confidence?

Wikipedia;

Confidence is a state of being clear-headed either that a hypothesis or prediction is correct or that a chosen course of action is the best or most effective. Confidence comes from the Latin word ‘fidere’ which means “to trust”; therefore, having self-confidence is having trust in one’s self.

University of South Florida;

Self-confidence is an attitude about your skills and abilities. It means you accept and trust yourself and have a sense of control in your life. You know your strengths and weakness well, and have a positive view of yourself. You set realistic expectations and goals, communicate assertively, and can handle criticism.

Why confidence is the best accessory a woman can wear?

So, based on the two sources I mentioned, self-confidence is an attitude about your skills and abilities. It’s about having trust in yourself.

Now take a moment and think about the most beautiful, attractive, and successful person you’ve ever met. Then go over another list of people who share the same characteristics. Or even simpler, imagine all the celebrities who walk on the red carpet and smile at cameras with the attitude of “Here I am”! Don’t they all look good? Don’t they convince everyone that they are beautiful, handsome, smart, and successful?

Ask yourself why? You might say; well, they are what they think. They’re rich, successful, and good-looking. That’s why they’re so confident about themselves. But what about me? I’m not a celebrity or anything. I’m just an ordinary person.

Yes, you’re right. You’re not a celebrity but have you ever thought another way. They’re confident about themselves and that’s why they’ve become rich and successful. They’re confident and that’s why they even look attractive.

Here’s the mistake we all make. We are not just ordinary people. We have so much potential in ourselves waiting to flourish. We just need to believe in our skills and abilities. We need to know our weaknesses and strengths well, set realistic expectations, and achieve small goals of a bigger goal.

If you believe in yourself and have an attitude that shows how confident you are, who could possibly not believe you?

But how to get confident?

  • Stop comparing yourself to others!

Comparing is the enemy of self-confidence. Never ever compare your achievements to anyone else. There is only one version of you, being born in your family, in your town, and in the community, you belong to. You are made from so many different factors. You are unique, so is your life.

Stay focused on yourself and what you could do to grow and improve your skills and abilities.

  • Find your limits!

You need to be honest with yourself and see why you don’t trust in yourself. Make a list of things that stop you from thinking positively about yourself and see how real they are. And make a plan to get over your fears consciously. Every time you doubt yourself, call your conscious and see how you could stop negative thoughts and energy. Have a plan to overcome your limits!

  • Work on your attitude and body language

Remember, how important the first impression is. But why is it so important? It’s all about attitude and body language. The first impression is not about your opinions, your education, or your success. It’s about how confident you are about yourself and how you present yourself to the world.

Watch confident people, read more, and practice to look confident. The feedback you get from others is so rewarding that you will do it over and over again until it becomes as natural as breathing to you.

  • Stay away from negativity and surround yourself with positivity

Stay away from people who make you feel bad about yourself. People who make you doubt your abilities and humiliate you. I can’t stop repeating it, stay away from anyone who makes you see yourself as not worthy and capable. Stay away from them even if they’re your family or your best friends. Fill your life with positive, successful, and supporting people.

Level-up your relationships, level-up your confidence!

Last but not least:

  • Fake it until you make it!

Have you ever heard of this saying? “Fake it until you make it”. It works so well when it comes to confidence and communications. You need to imagine yourself as the person you wish to be or the person you want everyone to see in you and starts acting that way.

You will get anxious, stressed even embarrassed sometimes because you know you’re faking something which doesn’t exist. You might think everyone can through you and read your mind. You get stressed about what if they know how you really feel and think about yourself. But we all know, no one can read minds. At least not know.

Getting confident is like getting good at some skill. The more you practice, the better you get at it.

So start faking it until you make it!