Our self-image, or our idea of who we are, is a package we put together from how others have seen and treated us, and from our conclusions as we compare ourselves to others. Centuries ago, and still in certain parts of the world, people built homes from any readily available materials – rocks, adobe, logs, animal skins, blocks of ice, etc. In much the same way, when we were children, we built our self-image from what was made available to us.
Our construction materials were the reactions of others, primarily our families and close friends, toward us. Our self-image, therefore, is simply a belief system we created from those inputs. It is manifested in how we respond to the world that surrounds us - the people and situations that fill our days. These beliefs, however, may or may not be accurate but most generally they are not accurate.
Our essential nature, our real self that exists apart from our behavior, our opinion, our habits, etc., is really quite grand and wonderful because it is a storehouse of energy and potential that can achieve great things.
However, if people, who didn't have much self-esteem themselves, raised us around constant put-downs, we will not be able to use much of this amazing potential. Why is that? It is quite simple. Our behavior will always match our inner picture of ourselves, so it makes sense to look at our beliefs, get rid of those that hold us back, and learn how to affirm and tap into our immense potential.
This is not an impossible dream, but a real possibility for each and every one of us. We just need to work on building our self image by building our self esteem. We can do that through a series of written affirmations which is a variation of positive self-talk. If we think and act as if we have value we can rebuild our self image positively.