This Article is About
self image
sarah ferguson the duchess of york
duchess of york
self esteem issues
internal feelings
sarah ferguson
oprah winfrey
low self esteem
mental images
physical appearance
career success
Self-image And Self-esteem What Are Yours Like?
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Newspapers regularly print stories about celebrities who have struggled with self-image and self-esteem issues. Kirsty Alley, (the former Cheers actress) has spoken openly about the battle she has had with her weight, self-image and the impact that these battles have had on her self-esteem. Oprah Winfrey and Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York have also spoken about similar problems. However, It is not just those that have struggled with too much weight, but also those that have felt the pressure to be underweight such as Portia De Rossi and Calista Flockhart.

Of course It’s not just weight that affects people’s self-image and self-esteem. Birthmarks, stammers and various disabilities can all have an impact on how you see yourself, as can a host of other issues, such as academic achievement, relationships, sport or career success. Similarly, it’s not just the rich and famous who struggle with self-image and self-esteem issues. Daytime television on both sides of the Atlantic are full of people who are not happy with their self image and have low self-esteem.

So what are the differences between self-image and self-esteem? Self image is how we see ourselves and is built up over a series of time from a number of mental images as well as a number of learned beliefs. These beliefs include ideas about physical appearance, personality and abilities. Self-image can be a very positive and make someone feel very confident or it can be negative and make them doubt their capabilities. How someone feels about themselves, doesn’t necessarily match with the view that people hold of them. Self-image undoubtedly has a profound effect on a person’s confidence and happiness, which is why self-image feeds into our self-esteem.

Our self-esteem is based on our internal feelings and an evaluation of ourselves based on our “perceived self-image”. Self-esteem is about how we like and value ourselves and how much we think we deserve to do well etc. When people face disappointments, it is their self-esteem that helps them to bounce back. Our self-esteem is closely linked to our success and can be improved over time by what we accomplish.

So what’s your self-image like? It’s important to have a positive self-image but also a realistic one. Having an unrealistic self-image, whether it be positive or negative can be damaging. There’s nothing wrong in being self-critical. It can shake you out of procrastinating and make you push yourself harder to greater success. However, constant negative self-talk, where you tell yourself that you’re useless and not good enough is not healthy.

Conversely having a positive self-image that is unrealistic can be just as damaging as indulging in lots of negative self talk. Being unrealistic about your self-image may lead you to be complacent about your abilities and lead you to underachieve or be surprised when you don’t achieve the success you think you deserve which then impacts on your self-esteem.

If you have self-image and self-esteem issues, then it’s vitally important that you seek out help and not leave problems to fester or grow. Most people will have times in their life when their self-image and self-esteem take a battering, but it’s important to ensure that this does not get out of hand. Our self-image feeds into our self-esteem and it is our self esteem that is one of the cornerstones for a happy and successful life.


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