Before getting on stage, any performer – magicians included – has to believe that they have a right to be there, that they are both competent and entertaining. The challenge is often being able to carry this positivity over into the rest of life.
A healthy self-image can provide huge benefits.
I suggest that we can improve our self-image if we analyse:
- From where we ultimately derive our self-worth and
- How we describe ourselves to ourselves
Mirror, mirror on the wall…
Where do you ultimately get your self-worth from? For most people this will be a mixture of things:
- Our occupation can make us feel good or terrible about ourselves, depending on how it is going.
- Our family and/ or friends can make us feel valued and important, or not good enough, depending on our relationships and the culture in which they exist.
- Money and possessions can affect how we judge ourselves.
- Popularity online – social media “likes” – blog post reading stats – YouTube video viewing figures – can all affect how we feel about ourselves.
- Religion can play a part, either in a positive or negative sense: you may feel that God loves you whatever happens or that God fundamentally disapproves of you.
It is worth analysing which of these things are at play in you. Maybe all of them? Some of them a notoriously fickle and transitory, some last longer and go deeper, some are eternal. You can change your perceptions and feelings about some of them, eg, God’s view of you, through examining your theology and self-reflection.
Rock and Sand
Even if you are not religious, Jesus’ parable of the house builders is apposite here. One built their house on the sand, which was easier and quicker, but when the storms came it was washed away. The other built his house on the rock, which was more difficult, but it endured when the storms came. What is your self-worth foundation? How durable is it?
Talking to Myself
How do you describe yourself to yourself? What is your self-talk? How do you define your identity to yourself?
If you are constantly telling yourself, “I am loved and have my own unique place in the universe,” then you will feel much better about yourself than if you are constantly telling yourself, “I am not not good enough and don’t really deserve to be here.” You have to work out your own mantra. But you can’t ignore it, you will be telling yourself something, whether consciously or unconsciously. Better to be intentional about it.
I recently realised that I should probably start writing. I had never had a writing habit. I didn’t think that I was the kind of person who wrote. My self-talk was, “I am not the kind of person who writes. That is for other people who are different to me.” I have recently change this self-talk to, “I am the kind of person who writes books.” I haven’t written a book yet, but that change in self-talk has given me permission to see that is is possible and has got me on to the road.
Because You’re Worth It
You are a unique person with a unique contribution to make to the world. Find a way to believe that.