I am sharing my story because it was a struggle to go through all of what I did while maintaining a positive self-image. Relationships with peers, colleagues and even family members is definitely stressful and challenging. However, relationships with people shouldn’t influence the way you see yourself. What matters the most is how you see yourself. Your unique character and personality are key to your relationships with others and not the other way around.
Before leaving the house every morning, it’s a habit to stand in front of the mirror and check ourselves one last time. To start with, self-image is how we perceive ourselves based on how we look from the outside in addition to how we feel from the inside. The inside includes our personality traits and often includes our perception of our relationships with others – this specific part of self-image is tricky.
At one time, how I perceived myself was based on how others perceived me. Growing up, I was always known to be the quiet student. I didn’t have many friends at school and I was often verbally bullied by other students. My self-confidence, as well as my self-image, were dangerously low and I remember myself crying many times. It was a daily struggle for me to go to school and see the students who kept on calling me names, pointing and laughing.
All of these experiences added up and I was the quiet person who was verbally bullied and left with a low self-confidence. My self-confidence was strictly based on how others treated me and perceived me.
Now that I remember, the last 3 years in high school were very hard to go through. I convinced myself that the way I should see myself should be based on how others see me.
The shift from high school to university was definitely a challenge. All the thoughts and fears I had, remained. Will people call me names there too? Will I be able to make friends? But, it was definitely easier. College life gives you endless opportunities to prove yourself and to meet people from all sorts of backgrounds. Without intending to work on my self-image, it rapidly boosted. I soon realized that what seemed important in school wasn’t even worth the time thinking about at college.
All the negativity that surrounded me at school made me the self-assured and confident person I am today.
Below are three simple tips on how to maintain a positive self-image:
1- Enjoy positive relationships
These kinds of relationships are important since they help boost your self-image without you realizing. Surround yourself with people you find mutual characteristics with. These people definitely bring out the best in you and you should take advantage of this. As for negative relationships, you should learn from them as much as possible, a journey that can be both rewarding and difficult at the same time.
2- Embrace and learn from your mistakes
We all make mistakes. In order to have a positive self-image, you need to embrace and accept the fact that you did a mistake. Don’t go hard on yourself thinking that a bad decision means you are a bad person. This is NEVER the case. By embracing your mistakes, you learn to understand what really went wrong.
3- Know what you want and who you really are
Knowing what you want is tough, but definitely inevitable. It will eventually happen and you should focus on that to build a positive self-image on your own without comparing yourself to others or allowing others to compare you to them since this will lead to frustration and shaking your self-image. What matters is who you really are, which in itself is a very difficult journey.
There is always a struggle when it comes to maintaining a positive self-image, especially after meeting and communicating with people from different backgrounds. However, you should always keep in mind that a positive self-image will get us far in life, very far.
– Ziad Azar