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Unveiling Your True Potential: Nurturing a Positive Self-Image for Personal Growth

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

girl is kissing herself
self image

We don’t always know ourselves as well as we think we do. As we age, our identities undergo constant shifts as we experience the challenges of life. But how do you see yourself? You look in the mirror and question yourself. Who am I? Do you see your race, ethnicity, gender, disability, your body figure? How do others see you? What do you hide? What is your identity? What parts of you are you still improving?

We all live with multiple identities, not multiple personalities, don’t confuse the two. This depends on the different roles we play in life: mother, wife, executive, bread winner, politician, newspaper editor. As we perform different roles in life, and as the roles and jobs change, the roles have a way of expressing themselves. But how these roles complement each other, determines our mental health.

All people are dealing with three basic personality components: The True Self – The Self Image – and the Ideal Self. But inner conflicts occur when the person you would like to be which is: Your Ideal Self (the person you think you are and want to become) and Your Self Image (how you see yourself) and Your True Self (the person who you are right now) are out of synch with each other and the boundary lines of the three components are a little unclear or fuzzy.

Being out of synch can lead to mental confusion, psychological blurring, and image distortion. Yet, being out of synch internally indicates conflicting forces in your mental life. But that’s okay, it’s only temporary: Relax - it takes time to come into your own. We are in a constant state of becoming. You’re growing into your skin and growing out of it, growing into it, and growing out of it. Your persona continues to evolve with your life experiences. Some experiences are negative, tragic, traumatic, and positive. Combined, they formulate who you are.

Life is movement. Your life is an ongoing evolutionary process. But The Balanced Self is the “Big Dog” of your personality. The Balanced Self is the complete you. Not the fragmented you. The Balanced Self strives to encompass inner experiences and outer behavior, including your biological nature, your various social roles, and how you function individually, and in groups. The balanced self is your authentic self…the person you want to be...and that is Your Ideal-self. The Balanced Self is a blend or integration of Your Ideal Self, Your Self Image, and Your True Self.

Becoming the “Big Dog” takes trial and error in life, being kicked around, making mistakes, trying new behaviors, switching jobs, and getting feedback from family and friends. Your Ideal Self is accepting all the parts of who you are. Being your free spirit. Sharing who you are. Believing in yourself and having the courage to be your authentic self and taking the risk to grow beyond your comfort zone. Growth requires self-confidence. Blazing your own path while being immune to criticism from the armchair critics safely enclosed in their cynical and narrow-minded opinions.

Remember, be easy on yourself. Keep navigating the flow of life on your own terms, as much as possible. Sometimes we must compromise to some degree to survive. But don’t compromise your life away. It takes time and courage to forge your own path in life. Go fear-ward and blossom. There is No Easy Way. At times, the hardest way is the shortest way.

About the Author:

Hilary Valdez is a freelance Writer living in Tokyo, Japan. He is an experienced Mental Health professional and Resiliency Trainer. Valdez is a former Marine and has worked with the military most of his career and most recently worked at Camp Zama as a Master Resiliency Trainer. Valdez now has a private practice and publishes books on social and psychological issues. His books are available on Amazon and for Kindle.

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