By Sonya Yeh Spencer, ITA Certified NLP Trainer, Approved New Code NLP Trainer, Advanced NLP Coach
…you are communicating about who you are to you on the inside all of the time, and this “Self Image” is what your unconscious sees every second, every minute, every day, even when you are asleep and at work to help you maintain that image!
Did you know that how you see yourself might just be the key to your personal success? Have you checked yourself out in the mirror lately? No, not in the normal sense in front of your dresser. But in your mind, how do you look? What kind of adverbs would you use to describe yourself? How do you represent yourself inside?
Why is this important? Because you are communicating about who you are to you on the inside all of the time and this “Self Image” is what your unconscious sees every second, every minute, every day, even when you are a sleep and at work, to help you maintain that image. This is like a program that runs behind the things we do and think. We do not deviate from what our self image represents.
So, why not spend some time and understand how you see yourself on the inside and make necessary changes. Really ask, “is what I see on the inside matching the reality?” If not, it is time to do something about it.
This article follows from where we left off in our earlier article “The Inner Game of Success” . We are going to show you a way to check your current self image and your desired self image and how to get yourself image aligned. In many ways, this process will help you make a conscious choice about who you want to be and align your unconscious process through conditioning and self programming. Our self-image is a bit like self fulfilling prophecy, by skilfully working with it, you can have more choices in how you would like yourself to be. Like this Dove ad http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpaOjMXyJGk this process can help you discover aspects of you that you can choose to nurture, so you can accentuate them to be really a part of you.
Steps to check and align your self-image
Read the following steps first, then do it. All of the steps can be done in your mind, or you can lay out all the positions outside of you by following your instincts. The purpose here is to understand more about you, not to make judgements about what is good or bad. By understanding more about yourself, changes can be made to create an inner world that suits your current needs. You might need some note paper to complete this process, otherwise with practice, you can remember your thoughts along the way.
- Ask yourself “How do I see me now”? If there is a location where this current self-image resides, then where would it be? Is it inside of your or outside of you? If it is outside of you, use a marker (post-it note, rock…) to mark the location of your current self-image. If it is inside of you, lightly touch the part of you and say thank you
- Make the current self-image real, life size. If your self-image is outside of you, once you make it real – life size, step into this self-image and ask the following: Otherwise, pay attention to your inner, real – life size self-image and step into it in your mind while asking the questions below…
- What are the adjectives you use to describe yourself? How would you describe you? How would people who are close to you describe you? Write down all the good, not so good, and the neutral self descriptions. Act as if you were your loved ones or close friends and write down how they would describe you
- What do you believe about yourself to describe the you (from the previous step)? Also, write this down
- What are the values that you hold dear that have been expressed in your and the other’s descriptions of you? Write them down
- What are the behaviours that you do – that are a reflection of what your current self-image? What are the beliefs and values that you hold in that self-image? Write both of these answers down
- Step out of your current self-image and move about a bit, then repeat the steps from one to six – but instead of stepping into your current self-image, this time ask yourself “What is the self-image that will enable me to achieve ……” This is the preferred, or future you
- By now you have identified specifics for both your current and preferred self-image. Now stand in a neutral place where you can see both your current and preferred self-image clearly. Act as if you are a bystander and observe the two self-images. Notice any differences between the two. You can walk around and observe them from different angles to gain insight. It is okay if you feel that words escape you right now, but you might get a sense of something that is happening on the inside
- Notice if there is anything that you might like to change in the preferred self-image? Make these changes now
- Ask yourself, what would happen if I change my current self-image to be exactly the same as the preferred self-image and taking on all the beliefs, values and the behaviours that are associated with this preferred self-image. Consider both pros and cons of making this change. Notice your reactions on the inside. Is there any resistance? Step into this preferred self-image a few times and act as if it is now your self-image, just so you familiarise yourself with it. Are there any changes you need to make? Make all the changes you need until you are comfortable with it and are willing to make the change. Note: If there are strong signals not to make the change, ask is there any fear? If there is, ask what is it that you are fearing and where does it come from? Also, if it is okay to make the change for just a week to try it, if it does not work, we can always put it back. If by now you do not get a sense of agreement – thank yourself for voicing concerns, and leave the process here. You might want to leave this for a few days and insight into the situation might just come to you. You can also seek a professional NLP trained specialist for help. Make sure you find someone who is well trained to a high standard (at least 120 hours of training and 150 hours of practice after the training). Any concerns you can email us
- So if you are Ok to proceed with the change you can go ahead and make both self images the same. Step into each one of them once they seem the same and make final adjustments to ensure they are the same
- Step out and be in the neutral position and act as if you are the observer again. Ask yourself what do I want to do with both self images now? Just follow your instincts. If you have your self-images located outside of you, and have used markers to represent them, ask yourself “what do I want to do with these two markers?” Then do whatever your body tells you to do.
- Be still for a moment; notice how you are feeling differently. How do you see yourself now? How do you see the world and things you want to achieve in life? Imagine how you will behave with this “self” in a situation you are about to face. Do it a few more times with different situations
We do not deviate from what our self image represents
You have now just made changes to your self-image. This is a powerful pattern and you might need to repeat it a few times to make refinements. There might be things that come up during the process in the form of an unhelpful belief. Challenge yourself and ask “how do I know it is true?” Take your time to implement this process and allow yourself the time to integrate; just like putting it in the back of your mind and go about your daily life.
At the end of the week, spend some time to review what is different about this week? Have a look at this new self-image see if there are any shifts or is it how you would like this self image to be? It is important to understand that you are changing something that is quite deep and fundamental and new to you, so take your time. The more that you do it, the more you are going to discover yourself and have a sense of “I can direct myself and this is within my control”.
Again, we always welcome feedback and questions, just sent us an email. The above process has been implemented many times with our clients and students with great results. The differences are that this process was done under our guidance and many challenges were dealt with easily in sessions. I am quite confident that the above process after many refinements, most situation have been catered for.
If you are NLP trained you will realise this process is a combination of many different processes and ecology is built into it. Please note, unless there is true internal agreement, i.e. congruence has been achieved, do not make the change.
Live life and prosper!