How to create a positive self-image in 5 minutes a day
I’d like to create a positive self-image in 5 minutes a day and I’ll share with you why 5 minutes of daily visualizing can make a big difference to your life.
Why is it that it’s so hard to create change? We know what to do intellectually. We have all the knowledge and can talk about it ‘till the cows come home. We can sit in a meeting and agree on how to move forward and yet, nothing really happens. Why?
Our habits have a lot to do with it. With 40-50% of our lives lived on autopilot it’s no wonder change is difficult. Habits are subconscious and our subconscious actions create our results.
Your self-image is also deep in your subconscious. I have recently taken up the study of self-image and it’s a bit of an eye-opener. The book “Psycho-Cybernetics” by Maxwell Maltz is apparently a classic from 1960 but I’ve just got hold of it now.
Here are some lines from the book:
That my nervous system reacts appropriately to what I think is true hit me like a ton of bricks. I was meeting someone one day that I was not looking forward to. I felt so emotionally drained from the stories and images in my head before I had even left the house that I had to lie down. When I read that line, I was like “OMG, this is so crazy. I’m doing this to myself”. The person I was meeting had nothing to do with it and had done nothing wrong. I was doing this to myself. My nervous system was reacting to the pre-judgment and made up stories in my head.
I managed to snap out of it and we had a lovely meeting where I felt relaxed and confident. This is a true story.
Another true story is that of a couple of people I know of who’s had the gastric bypass operation. They both lost a lot of weight but is slowly putting it back on. One woman shared that it wasn’t the small portions that were the hardest part of her new life, it was that she still saw herself as an overweight person. Her self-image is still that of someone who is carrying too much weight even though she’s now a lot slimmer.
Understanding your current self-image
It’s true that how we see ourselves is how we act and react. We act and react according to our self-image. So, if you want to get different results than you have now, you have to create the person who gets those results.
I like to say that it all starts with clarity and that’s true here too. You start by understanding your current self-image. How do you see yourself? I got quite sad when I looked into my self-image, the deep-rooted belief I have about myself. There was a good portion of not being good enough. But I can see the pattern of how I act and respond in social and work situations has to do with how I see myself.
One way of busting your beliefs about yourself is to notice if you say things like:
“I’m the kind of person who….”
“That’s the way I am…..”
“My brain works in this way……..”
“I can’t do anything like that….”
These statements are clues to the fixed self-image you have. They are final and leave no room for improvement.
Once you’ve found out what your current self-image is I don’t want you to beat yourself up. Nobody teaches you this stuff. What’s great is that you now know what self-image has been leading (or misleading) you up until this point and now you have an opportunity to create a new self-image that’ll be even better for you. So, it’s all good. And this is the fun part.
How to create a positive self-image in 5 minutes a day.
There are some guidelines for creating a new self-image successfully.
It has to be a self-image you can trust and believe in, a realistic self-image and an image you’re not ashamed to “be”.
Write down how you want to be, how you want to be with other people, how you talk and what kind of tone you use.
How do you look, what kind of clothes do you wear?
What are you doing? What is your job? How do you feel about yourself?
Build an image in your mind that is you but a slightly different version of you. You may take inspiration from someone you know or someone you admire from afar. Have you ever thought “I wish I could react like that or be like that?”. Now’s the time to build that wish into your own self-image.
Inspired by the Psycho-Cybernetics book I recommend changing your self-image in these 3 steps:
Understand your current self-image. What are the stories you have about yourself now?
Create your new and positive self-image. If you now see yourself as not being successful or ashamed of yourself, I would go for the polar opposite. See yourself as a successful person (whatever success means to you). Write this image down in detail and keep adjusting until it feels right.
Decide to practice visualizing yourself as this new image every day.
I have made a simple reminder-list to help myself practice creating a new and positive self-image in just 5 minutes a day. The book recommends you spend 10 minutes 3 times a day visualizing your new self-image and if you can do that, no doubt you’ll get swift results. 1o minutes 3 times a day is a little ambitious for me, in the beginning at least, and I live by the kaizen philosophy of using small, continuous steps to create lasting change, so 5 minutes daily practice is realistic for me.
This 5-minute reminder list is in my resource library for you to download. It takes you through a process that takes just 5 minutes but you’ll feel the impact pretty instantly. I did.
Get it below.
Download a Self-Image Reminder
Access my resource library with a “Self-image reminder”, workbook, clarity sheets + more. You’ll also get my weekly emails with personal stories and more help to create more, live more and love yourself more.
Why visualizing repeatedly works
Our subconscious mind is the most amazing “thing” about us.
“The subconscious mind is not a mind but a goal-striving mechanism consisting of the brain and nervous system, which is used and directed by the brain.”
Your subconscious mind is constantly leading you in the direction of the images you think about consciously. You subconscious is seeking to achieve the mental images you create in your imagination.
And here’s the bugger: your subconscious doesn’t care if the goal it’s going for is negative or positive. Whatever images you feed it, it’ll seek to achieve.
This means you’ll get positive results if your mental images are positive and negative results if your mental images are negative.
I’ve heard this before when learning about the Law of Attraction which is the foundation of the Universal Law of Vibration. You attract the thing you are in harmonious vibration with. But reading this book is giving me new insights.
That’s the deal with daily practice. You have to see your goal (new self-image) clearly in your mind and your subconscious will react on it. You’re effectively reprogramming your subconscious and that takes repetition.
There’s no set time for how long this reprogramming takes. 30 seconds a day, 2 minutes, 5 or 10 minutes a day will begin the process and if you practice every day you WILL do it.
One of my favourite bits about doing this reprogramming is that you’re not to think about how to be your new positive self-image. All you have to do is see the image in your mind’s eye daily, visualize yourself being this way repeatedly and that’s it. Your subconscious will do the rest.
I’m doing it now (most days, it’s a practice ;-)) and I feel the difference.
Download the reminder-sheet in the library and you’ll be able to create a positive self-image in 5 minutes a day.
Big changes happen in just 5 minutes a day. That’s the kaizen way.