Previously I’ve alluded to the necessity of carrying out introspection (the examination or observation of one’s own mental and emotional processes) in order to improve your self-perception and body image.

So how exactly can you go about doing that?

The 3 R’s: Recognise, Rationalise & Restructure.

Recognise

Identify negative self-talk. Acknowledge its existence and generate awareness around it.

Rationalise

We often use rationalisation as an attempt to explain or justify (behaviour or an attitude) with logical reasons, even if these behaviours or thought processes are not appropriate (i.e. a distorted perceived body image and self-perception).

It’s a defence mechanism used to avoid the true explanation and makes it more consciously tolerable. We even convince ourselves that talking and thinking in such a way is admirable. We assume if we always point out the negative, then this expresses humility and prevents us coming across as arrogant or vain. We end up trying to best one another, by one upping others self-criticisms.

Instead, what I mean by rationalise, is using the aforementioned recognition of negative self-talk to run it by logic. Begin to process why you’re thinking in such a way and what might be a better way of going about it. Is my behaviour helping or hindering me?

Restructure

Think how you could restructure a thought so that it might lead to a more positive outcome.

For example, “I hate the way I look” vs “I don’t currently like the way I look, but I know I can change this if I…”. With consistent practice, you will slowly start to change how you think and mold what you believe about yourself for the better. This is something called positively stated or towards language.

Whatever language you use, your mind will follow suit and reinforce those thoughts, feelings and emotions. In absence or dismissal of compliments from others, you will only have your internal reference point to go off, further compounding these beliefs.

The stories you tell yourself are the stories you’ll believe.

 

Sam Bacon – Pioneer Performance Coach

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