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A Strong, Positive Self-Image Is The Best Possible Preparation For Success

A Strong, Positive Self-Image Is The Best Possible Preparation For Success

How do you see yourself?

One of the key determining factors in your chance for success, happiness and how others see you is your self-image. With a positive self-image, you will be ready to face all of life’s challenges. Even when things get tough, you know that you always keep your own best interests at heart and can rely on yourself as a source of love, guidance, and encouragement. Not only does a positive self-image benefit the individual, but because positivity is contagious it also benefits everyone around them.

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When you have a strong and positive self-image…

You have the courage to stand by your own decisions

When you believe in yourself and have faith in your own ability to make good choices, you will find it easy to stand up for what you think is right. Whether it’s making a decision at work, at home or in your relationships, when your self-image is strong you will feel more secure and optimistic in your life choices. This will give you the confidence to work harder, to chase your ambitions, and make your dreams come true. When you have a positive self-image that reflects your authentic self, you are more likely to live in accordance with your values and goals, which is a great foundation for future contentment and life satisfaction.

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You won’t think failure is scary

If you can see yourself as someone worthy and in possession of multiple talents and skills, failure won’t feel scary. Those who view themselves positively know that they have the strength to bounce back from failure, learn from their mistakes, and keep moving forwards towards a better life. In fact, those who maintain a positive self-image actively embrace the occasional failure, as they know that it isn’t the end of the world and can leave you feeling stronger and wiser than ever before.

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You won’t be undermined or manipulated by toxic persons

Self-image is a powerful shield against toxic, manipulative people. When you truly accept yourself for who you are and start standing up for your right to be treated with respect, you will be less vulnerable to people who prey on the weaknesses of others. Even criticism and bullying doesn’t affect people who love and honor themselves. They realize that the attitudes and actions of others are better understood as reflecting the personality of the bully rather than the victim. They remind themselves that they do not have to put up with bad treatment, and remove themselves from the situation as quickly as possible. They are brave enough to believe that they deserve better.

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You feel complete and won’t look for validation

People who are secure in their identities and trust in their innate worth do not need to be with others to feel complete or worthy. They see healthy relationships as an added bonus and a source of joy in life, but they are perfectly content to be single or to pass some time in their own company. With self-confidence and self-love comes resilience. This impacts positively upon every area of your life. When your self-image is positive, you have the confidence to be single rather than in a mediocre relationship, or to embark on a freelance career rather than settle for a life in the office.

Positive self-image is a vital component to success

Without it, you cannot hope to see a project through to the end or delay gratification in the name of reaching a long-term goal. People who see themselves in a positive light know who they are and what they want from life. As a result, they are focused on their goals and are willing to exert self-control when necessary. This ultimately creates conditions for success, which sets up a virtuous cycle. Confidence breeds confidence, and success breeds success.

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Jay Hill

Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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