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The Art of the Pickup : Did You Punish or Praise Yourself Today?

"Did You Punish or Praise Yourself Today?" / January 8th, 2006

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Did You Punish or Praise Yourself Today?
by Jay Valens of The Art of the Pickup
January 8th, 2006

How do you see yourself?

I don’t mean what you see when you look in the mirror. What I mean is, how do you perceive yourself in your own thoughts?

You may not have realized this but how you see yourself is more important than how others see you. The reason is that the basis of how people perceive you is rooted FIRST in how you perceive yourself.

Simply put, the foundation of how others perceive you is based mostly on how you perceive yourself and how this perception of yourself permeates outward.

If you see yourself as a loser who doesn’t get attention, then you’re just causing your own failure before you begin.

If you see yourself as a winner who people love to be around then, even if it’s not really true, at least you are giving yourself a CHANCE to succeed.

Giving YOURSELF a chance is better than giving up.

This is easier said than done for most. Working against your current self-image in order to create and believe in a new one might take you some time but it is possible and will make a huge difference for you.

First, let’s understand where negative a self-image might come from.

In your life, the following may have happened to you at least once, perhaps many times:

- Someone said something negative about you
- You talk about yourself negatively to yourself or others
- You made a mistake, and others criticized you for it
- You made a mistake, and criticized yourself for it
- You failed to achieve something you wanted
- You failed to obtain something you wanted

These are all real experiences for real people, everyone has dealt with all of the above at some point in their lives, typically many times.

The difference, the thing that has the most impact on how your self-image is formed is how you react and deal with those experiences.

Did you get that?

The important thing, above all else, for YOU and for NOW, is not what happened to you but how you handled it emotionally and how it affected your self-image.

Remember, nobody and nothing can affect or change your self-image unless you give them permission, because you are the one in control of that. And, ultimately, people you meet face-to-face are not going to judge you on a past of yours they know nothing about, they will decide how they feel about you based on how they perceive you. And, as I said already, that perception is mostly based on how you perceive yourself.

So if you’ve spent a life full of moments where you’ve criticized yourself, talked negatively to yourself, or allowed what others said or did to affect your self-image negatively, then you’ve got some work to do to repair that self-image.

How can you do that?

First, realize you can very easily stop living in the past by focusing on today. If your self-image is very negative then don’t even worry about tomorrow – focus on today. Focus on goals that you can achieve today and don’t leave idle time where you dwell on the past. That is the first step.

The next step is simple behavioral changes. These are easy to do, but you just need to be aware of them and be more aware of your own through process and how you react to things.

- If you find yourself worrying, try to focus on the positives of a situation and not the negatives. Give yourself some confidence that you can achieve what you want and base this confidence on the positives. If you can’t think of any positives, realize that if an outcome is uncertain then you at least have a chance and THAT is a positive.

- If you run into criticism from others, go ahead and let them say what they want, but realize that you have full control over whether their criticism will affect your self-image. Take it as feedback on that person’s perception, whether it is right or wrong, and use it to improve yourself in the future.

- If you catch yourself talking about yourself negatively (even to yourself in your thoughts) then STOP and realize that all you are doing is damaging your own self-image. Instead, be kind to yourself and give yourself a break. Nobody is perfect, and neither are you. We all have our own issues and don’t need to beat ourselves up about it. Replace such thoughts with positive observations of yourself.

- If you make a mistake, don’t beat yourself up over it. Applaud yourself for trying, learn from it, and move on. Every successful person has made more mistakes than have experienced success so realize that and it will help you look on such situations positively. It takes a lot more guts to try and make a mistake than not try at all, and that in of itself is a great way to look at it.

- If there was something you were trying to achieve and couldn’t do it, it’s OK and realize there is always tomorrow. You can create new opportunities and do better next time. Don’t allow the outcome of such things affect they way you see yourself. OK, so maybe you didn’t achieve a goal, but that should not cause you to be negative about yourself. Don’t let external things determine how you feel about yourself. If you can stay positive, that will have a far greater influence on your success in your future endeavors than if you allow failures to degrade your self-image.

- If there was something you wanted but didn’t get, then understand that most people don’t get what they want. Whether it’s something you can try to obtain again or not, such an external thing should not influence how you perceive yourself.

- Finally, always visualize yourself succeeding in your endeavors. Such positive thoughts build up your confidence which can actually affect the outcome.

See you later!

Jay Valens

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