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The core concepts of love body image and self esteem

  1. Who wants out when the going gets good? In his book, Your Erroneous Zones, Dr.
  2. We Use Self-Presentation to Increase Our Status and Self-Esteem Although self-esteem comes in part from our personal accomplishments, it is also influenced by the social situation.
  3. She always wished that she could have a tiny waistline.

On the one hand, self-worth measures how we feel about our unchangeable essence--important, essential aspects of ourselves. On the other, self-image is more about how we see ourselves in important, but NON-essential aspects of ourselves. The self-image is a collection of sensory images, beliefs, thoughts, and attached feelings we have about ourselves.

It includes both the ideal self-image and the perceived self-image. The ideal self-image is the complete set of goals and expectations for what we want to be like.

The perceived self-image is based on our observations of what we are really like. Guilt is caused by the gap between our ideal self-image and our perceived self-image--between our self-expectations and our self-perceptions. The larger the gap, the more guilt we feel. To overcome guilt we must reduce the gap between our self-expectations and our self-perceptions. We can either change ourselves to become more like our self-expectations, or we can change our self-expectations self-concept to fit reality.

It is important to remember, that in many situations we cannot change ourselves overnight. We may never be able to change some aspect of ourselves! How do we stop feeling guilty about something we can't change? The self-acceptance process described later is a step-by-step method for overcoming guilt associated with your body, your past, and your dysfunctional subparts.

4.2 The Feeling Self: Self-Esteem

But first, it's important to understand more about your self-image and how to change it. If I will not even admit to myself that sometimes I talk too much, do dumb things, have not met all my career goals, or bore people, then I am disowning those aspects of myself and feeling guilty about them.

Learning to love or at least accept every part of ourselves is a fundamental part of the core concepts of love body image and self esteem self-worth and self-love. One of the first steps is accepting our bodies and our basic physical limitations. Roger is an amazing person who has overcome what could have been a disabling physical condition. When Roger was born, the physician took Roger's father back to see him. His father saw a baby with one leg crumpled beneath him and hands and feet that ended in pointed stumps instead of fingers and toes.

The doctor warned him that his son might never be able to walk or participate in normal activities. Yet Roger's parents kept a positive attitude and always believed that their son could learn to do almost anything anyone else could do.

Roger said that they never let him use his disability to get away with anything. Eventually, one of Roger's legs was amputated below his knee and replaced with an advanced artificial limb. Then Roger learned how to play tennis. His "hands" each look as if he has one giant finger--with no thumb.

He learned a two-handed grip. He put the "finger" from one hand into the end of a tennis racket and wrapped the other "hand" around the throat of the racket. Roger would not allow himself to believe that he was limited by his disability. He played his hardest. He got so good that he began winning tournaments in high school and college and became a tennis professional. He got so good that he once played John McEnroe, when John was advancing in his career. Roger says that the night before the tennis match, "I slept like a baby.

  • We judge our likelihood of success and happiness as greater than our likelihood of failure and unhappiness;
  • Norman Vincent Peale--helped him understand that it was not his body that was his problem, it was his attitude about his body that was important;
  • He felt hurt and angry;
  • People who talk more and louder and those who initiate more social interactions are afforded higher status;
  • I was amazed that she still saw herself as fat.

I woke up every two hours and cried. Roger said that one of the hardest times in his life was as a child in a Chicago school. Many of the other children said cruel things about his limbs and shunned him. Some even tried to harm him. He felt hurt and angry. He kept his hands in his pockets so that no one would see them.

  • Norman Vincent Peale--helped him understand that it was not his body that was his problem, it was his attitude about his body that was important;
  • Eventually, one of Roger's legs was amputated below his knee and replaced with an advanced artificial limb;
  • The students then wrote explanations for why this might be true;
  • It seemed unfair to be given these distorted hands and feet.

It seemed unfair to be given these distorted hands and feet. Sometimes he felt sorry for himself. However, other people--like Dr. Norman Vincent Peale--helped him understand that it was not his body that was his problem, it was his attitude about his body that was important.

Once he began to accept and love his hands and feet for what they were and see the possibilities in them, he began to feel much better. Return to beginning Part of accepting ourselves is accepting other people's reactions to us. Roger began to understand and accept other people's reaction to his hands. He understood their curiosity, fear, and even disgust at seeing them. He accepted these as normal reactions and learned to focus on helping other people feel as comfortable with his appearance as he was.

For example, he "warned" the audience that after years of dreading to shake hands with people, he now really enjoys it and would offer his hand if they came up to talk. Being comfortable with his appearance and other's reaction to it changed his life.

Roger has been successful in his career, his marriage, and seemed to be a happy person on his journey toward self-actualization.

  • Psychological Review, 103 1 , 5—34;
  • Norman Vincent Peale--helped him understand that it was not his body that was his problem, it was his attitude about his body that was important;
  • If I will not even admit to myself that sometimes I talk too much, do dumb things, have not met all my career goals, or bore people, then I am disowning those aspects of myself and feeling guilty about them;
  • Speaking out and acting assertively is more effective for men than it is for women because our stereotypes about the appropriate behavior for women do not include assertive behavior;
  • He felt hurt and angry.

He said that he would never trade his positive philosophy for "normal" feet and hands. Maxwell Maltz was a plastic surgeon who became interested in "self-image psychology" because of his confusing observations of patients who had undergone plastic surgery.

Some patients who only received minor facial changes changed their personality and life dramatically while others with greater facial changes didn't seem to change at all. A boy with large ears had been told he looked like a taxi cab with both doors open and had been ridiculed all his life.

He had become withdrawn and shy. After surgery he became much more outgoing. Yet others, such as a shy Duchess who was given a truly beautiful face in surgery made no noticeable improvement in her personality.

Body Image, Self-Esteem, and Mental Health

Maltz concluded that the reason was because these people continued to think of themselves as ugly, different, abnormal, or defective people. It was their self-image that was the main problem--not their actual physical appearance. His conclusions caused him to begin to focus on improving people's self-image and eventually write books such as Psychocybernetics.

For years this was one of the self-help books most frequently cited to me by clients as a book that had helped them change their lives. One of my clients came in because she lacked confidence in herself--especially in meeting men and relating to them. Through her teen years she was 50 to 75 pounds overweight. Only in the past few years had she taken good care of her body and lost weight.

She was happy about that, but she said that she still saw herself as fat and ugly. In fact she was beautiful--she could have won a beauty contest. I was amazed that she still saw herself as fat. We discovered that a subpart of her had learned from her the core concepts of love body image and self esteem that it was wrong to show off and stand out. This part produced feelings of guilt whenever she tried to dress well or attempted to appreciate her own appearance.

She would not even accept what she saw in the mirror. It became important to reject these beliefs about being a "show off. To overcome her fear of self-appreciation, her repeated thoughts like, "It's wonderful to look at a flower and appreciate the beauty in it, and it's just as wonderful to look at myself and appreciate the beauty in my own body.

A good place to start is with our body and appearance. Most people do not love and accept every part of their body. Looking at ourselves in the mirror. In his book, Your Erroneous Zones, Dr. Wayne Dyer suggests that one way to increase our self-acceptance and self-worth is to examine each part of our body and each bodily function in detail and observe our own thoughts and feelings about each. Do we feel disgust at certain normal body functions or products--such as bodily fluids or waste?

If so, we do not accept all of our normal, healthy parts and functions. Try understanding how these basic functions work and how important these basic functions are to our health and survival.

Try loving each function because it helps keep you alive and healthy.

  1. My wife, Sherry, tried following Wayne's suggestion from his book and found that she could accept every part of her body except her tummy.
  2. The doctor warned him that his son might never be able to walk or participate in normal activities.
  3. Being comfortable with his appearance and other's reaction to it changed his life.
  4. Threatened egotism or confirmed inadequacy? His father saw a baby with one leg crumpled beneath him and hands and feet that ended in pointed stumps instead of fingers and toes.

Some people can become phobic about such normal processes. Our physical appearance is stressed so much in our society that we may be very sensitive about any part that does not measure up to our ideal. Stand in front of a mirror naked and look at yourself. What parts do you feel good about? What parts do you not feel good about.

How can you love and accept that part as it is right now.

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Don't say to yourself, "I'll love that part after I change it. You can still improve the part later if you choose. Ironically, changing the part may be easier after accepting it; because you can face it without guilt. Learning to love and accept our "most unacceptable" parts.

My wife, Sherry, tried following Wayne's suggestion from his book and found that she could accept every part of her body except her tummy. She has felt most of her life that her middle was too big. She always wished that she could have a tiny waistline. For years she had chosen clothes partly because they hid her tummy. She consciously worked on looking at her tummy, developing positive thoughts about it, and loving her tummy instead of disowning it.

This new tummy-acceptance had a number of effects.