There is something so powerful about the way we see ourselves. It simply predicts everything we do and everything we don’t. This is best illustrated by the breakthrough experience of Dr. Maltz* when he was conducting successfully plastic surgery operations on some of his patients but still they didn’t believe they looked better.
This made him discover that these people were more “scarred on the inside” which is; they got so much suggestion from their environment (parents, colleagues, etc.), especially in their childhood, that they are ugly. This made them whatever changes they do, they will still believe they don’t look good.
This doesn’t apply only on the physical look but it also in every dimension of our lives. If we were told so much that we were bad students or we can’t learn easily, we unconsciously start to accept this until one point it becomes an unshakable belief. Once it is a belief, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy which is, we always act in alignment with who we believe we are.
When we were kids, we were told all kind of things from being bad kid to being shy to being unorganized to being bad students and the list goes on and on. For every one of us, however, there have been specific negative things which we were told until they became a complete belief and dictated some aspects of our self-image.
The challenge about such a poor self-image (or aspects of the self-image) is that whatever we will do, have, or become, it will not make us feel better as long as we are scarred on the inside. By this I mean as long as we feel powerless or hopeless, not good enough or not beautiful enough.
So what is the solution?! Every process of change starts with a very first step which is awareness. Self awareness in this case is key to reflect and become conscious of all these negative suggestions that we were told which became beliefs.
The best thing you could start doing is to really list all the negative things you believe about yourselves. Write down every negative trait you can think of. Then the second step is to really challenge these self beliefs to check if they are really true. Belief is like a tabletop with four or more legs, the legs being the facts that support this idea. Therefore, we need to take the legs out of this tabletop by looking at opposite facts which defeat these beliefs. For example, if you believe that you are a “shy person”, look for all the different references which prove this to be wrong. If you believe you are an “angry person”, remember all experiences where you acted in a peaceful way in a challenging situation. The more you do this, the more you take out legs of this self-limiting belief.
The next steps would be to create a new empowering self empowering belief and take some baby steps towards making it real which is by creating legs to support it. Another method Dr. Maltz to help his clients which proved to be very successful was a small exercise of visualization where they see themselves in their imagination acting in contrast to their self-limiting beliefs. Within a short period of time, their self-image improved and they started feeling much better of themselves.
Maybe someone would say: But is this really worth the effort?! The answer is simply YES. It is indeed worth it, because until that moment when we take these “scars” out, we will always be chasing something on the outside to make us feel significant or loved or just feel better about ourselves. But remember:
Not even the whole world of cosmetics, plastic surgery, money, fame, success or love will make us feel better as long as we are scarred on the inside.
* for more information on Dr. Maltz experience and the power of self-image, check his book: “Psycho-Cybernetics”. It is full of insights and strategies on self-image. Check it in your local bookstore or on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Psycho-Cybernetics-New-More-Living-Life/dp/0671700758/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1325321676&sr=1-1
Another good book on the power of beliefs is the classic “The Magic of Believing” by Claude M. Bristol. Should be available in local bookstores. Link on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Believing-Claude-M-Bristol/dp/0671745212
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Alame Leadership said:
Thanks for this comment too Nolicwee. I don’t believe in quick fix solutions because they rarely deal with the real problem. They work with the symptom not the issue itself. Happiness as I see it is a self decision. To quote Abraham Lincoln: “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be”. But yes, this could be challenging at first to believe it and second to apply it because we have been so much conditioned since we came to this world that happiness is something outside while it is very simply inside.
I totally agree with you. True happiness only comes from the inside, making peace with ourselves. In fact, connecting more deeply to ourselves, cleaning all the past pains and angers is like to go back in time, having the power to design our future the exact way we want it to be. This actually gives us real power over our present and future. I do love this process. By acknowledging our fears & limiting beliefs, we can change everything, making our dreams come true. This brings so much harmony, self-confidence, infinite love and light in the inside that we want to share it with the whole world. This change our way of looking at life, knowing that we have the power to create happiness anytime, anywhere and even for no reason ! It even makes relationships so much deeper, feeling unconditional love, giving by choice and with pleasure not expecting anything in return.
As Anthony Robbins says: “Everything is within us now”
Alame Leadership said:
Hi Valerie, thank you for this beautiful comment, I like it a lot 🙂 It really expands on the ideas in my post and I agree with you on everything you said. I believe that one of the key reasons for not being happy is because in a way or another we don’t like ourselves. But this is very simply because we don’t know who we really are! Because we have been told so much what we aren’t and what we can’t do until we believed it! That is where cleaning these old limiting self-beliefs is key towards not only getting what we want in life (including love and success) but also enjoying life and the whole process…
Thank you Fouad 🙂 I find your posts always so inspiring and uplifting. I really like what you’re doing, spreading hope, positive energy, love, light, awareness 🙂 YESS ! This is great contribution 🙂 I belief this great energy can change and heal the world!
It is so important to discover who we truly are, requestionning our limiting self-beliefs. Here is a story that I really treasure. Since I first read it, it has been inspiring me and guiding me to find my path of happiness in life and I hope it can inspire more people…
The Chained Elephant
Alame Leadership said:
Thank you for the compliments Valerie! The video about the elephant is very inspiring. It could also teach us a very good lesson: we may have a lot of self-limiting beliefs like him but we are not aware of them and we will not be aware of them until we examine all our beliefs. It is not as simple as it looks. I read in one self-help bestseller book that the author was helping others to improve their self image until one day he realized that he himself has the same “disease”! He felt that whatever he achieved and became (he made a lot of money and became very famous), he still felt very hopeless! This is when he started working on his self image and started to become better… I will write more on this in future posts.. 🙂