Anyone can work on improving his/her self image . Here are three methods that have proven successful when it comes to improving self image.
The first method is called visualization. You try to visualize a specific outcome that is important to you. Visualization is a tool commonly used by successful athletes.
Competitive skiers are not allowed to do practice runs on a course before a competition. When they make their competitive run they will ski the course for the first time.
You may have seen Olympic skiers spend hours on a course before they run it, visualizing how they want to take each turn.
Lots of competitive athletes do the same, including gymnasts, kayakers, snowboarders, skydivers, and many others.
The same tool can serve you well in nonathletic pursuits. Just like a competitive athlete, you can visualize a specific outcome. It may be closing a big contract, getting a round of applause for conducting a seminar, or getting that smile of affection from a loved one for showing support. You may want to visualize getting your point across with your CEO, or disciplining an employee, or doing a presentation in front of the board of directors.
What happens in visualization, after periods of practice, is that these visual images become part of how we view our actions and ourselves and will allow us to start improving our self image. The brain records these pictures for later use. Visualization is not wishful thinking. It is programming your mind for the outcome you desire.
The next method is called win-win. In this method, you give people a lot of positive feedback and work hard to help others succeed. This makes you feel better about their work as well as your abilities as a manager. Helping others succeed is not only a way of improving your self image; it also makes managing more fulfilling.
The last technique is positive self-talk. It is estimated that we send ourselves more than a thousand messages a day. If you want to build up your self image, make sure that these messages are positive ones. The more you do this, the more the brain builds a positive sense of self. Examples of positive self-talk include the following:
- I am improving my management skills each day.
- I can handle this.
- I made a mistake but I will do better next time.
- Positive self-talk is like having an MP3 player in your mind that sends you only positive messages.
How Can Mistakes Impact Improving Self Image
In carrying out your duties as a manager, you’ll make an occasional mistake. You’ll exercise bad judgment. It happens to all of us. How you view and handle these mistakes is important not only to your own development, but also in how others perceive you. Your credibility is at stake. Be completely honest with yourself and everyone you associate with. Don’t try to cover up a mistake, rationalize it or—worse—imply that it might be someone else’s fault.
Many managers have trouble getting the following two statements out of their mouths: “I made a mistake” and ‘ ‘I’m sorry.” It’s as though the words are stuck in their throats and can’t be expelled. These statements are not signs of weakness and will not hurt you but contribute to improving your self image. They are signs of confidence and an acknowledgment that you are human.
New managers often have difficulty accepting responsibility for the mistakes of people who report to them. So skittish are these managers about mistakes that they avoid criticism by handling the more complex work themselves. When they do this, they create two destructive outcomes: they make themselves much less promotable and they kill themselves with extra work. These are the costs of their insecurities.
The way to solve this problem is to build your entire managerial role. You select better trainers; you become a better selector of people; you develop better internal controls that minimize mistakes and their impact. And when mistakes happen and you’re the culprit, you admit it, correct it, learn from it, and—above all—don’t agonize over it. Then you and the staff move on.