Your mind can create images, even images of yourself. Some images act like memories and are stored in ways that we are not aware of, or we might call unconscious self-images. Even though they are only mental concepts, we can even identify and believe that these images are us. Since we can believe many things about our self, we can have many self-images, even contradictory ones. Some of these self-images may be positive and some negative. All our beliefs about our self that are positive form a collective positive self-image, and create positive self-esteem. All the negative beliefs form a negative self-image and create negative self-esteem. Self-esteem is the emotional valuation or worth that arises from the collective beliefs in self-image.
Since the mind is the realm of imagination, nothing has to be fixed or finite. The mind can create many self-images and they can change moment to moment and be contradictory. The mind has no innate need or governing mechanism to resolve these conflicting self-images. This is how we can have numerous beliefs related to self-image that are positive and numerous negative ones. This explains how we can feel good about our self in one moment, and then triggered by a circumstance, or someone making a comment, we feel terrible and deflated the next moment. Our sense of identity can shift from one image to another with someone making a complimentary or critical comment. Our emotions often follow the shift in identity based on the image we align with.
Because self-image is created and maintained in the mind it can also be distorted. Images of our self from memories formed during moments of embarrassment, shame, guilt, fear, or anger might be lodged with lots of emotion. These emotions make them more powerful and distort an honest representation of our self in our mind. These types of memories with their distorted self-image and emotion project forward into our present day identity of our self. This can often cause a distorted sense of self-esteem and unhappiness. When we are engaged in self judgment, we are often judging a snapshot mental image instead of our real self.
Self-image also forms a sense of identity. We might in some moments believe ourselves to be a confident, capable person. In other moments we might believe we are insecure and incompetent. It can quickly shift from one to the other. This is an indication that our self-image is not fixed. We can use this realization to our advantage and consciously change our self-image. Once you become aware of how quickly self-image can change, you can take advantage of its malleable nature by consciously changing your self-image.
Changing Self Image
To see how to change self-image, watch listen to this video. It will talk you through a guided meditation. Through this process you will become aware of how quickly the mind creates a new self image and makes it seem it is your identity. You will also be introduced to being the witness observer of these false self images.
For more insights on changing or improving self image and their related thoughts and emotions, check out the free trial sessions of the Self Mastery Course.2