What do you think Self-Image is? How does it differ from one person to another? What impact does it have on daily life? How can you know what is your self-image? Is there any way to improve it? These are few questions that keep coming in our minds regularly. Below we will attempt to provide some answers.

Meaning Of Self – Image

Self-Image, as the words suggests, is the mental image that you hold about yourself. It is based on how you perceive your identity compared to others around you.

Types of Self – Image

The concept of self-image can be divided into 2 types –

  • Positive Self-Image: The individual feels happy and confident about self, about how he/she looks, about his ability to perform tasks well and overcome obstacles that come in life.

Example – I am very fluent and confident while interacting with people so, I think I could be a good fit for a career in Sales and Marketing. My appearance is beautiful. I am growing to achieve my highest potential. I value others around me and find them equal to me.

  • Negative Self-Image: The individual might possess exceptional qualities within themselves however might be not feel that they have these qualities and thus feel lack of confidence. They don’t feel loved, are critical of themselves a lot, and constantly compare themselves with others.

Example – My English skills are great however don’t believe it due to which my confidence reduces and hence I stutter a lot while speaking to people.

How is Self-Image Formed?

A person’s view of oneself develops through multiple ways. Let’s look at a few of them below:

  • Genetics

how genetics form self-image

Each person carries a specific personality type with him/her. This is a result of the genes they inherit from their ancestors. These genes predispose them to have a specific type of body, height, skin color, values, attitude, self-image and thus behaviors..

For example – Many People tend to see others and themselves through a critical lens. They are aware of the positive side too however are more focused towards the deficits. On the contrary, many people have higher levels of optimism and tend to focus more on the positives rather than the negatives as a natural pattern of their view of life.

  • Upbringing

How parents upbrining affect self image?

Since humans are social beings, we learn to associate and identify ourselves based on what opinions our parents and siblings have about us. To elaborate further, when our parents compliment us, we feel quite happy and confident in our abilities to do the task efficiently. We start believing in statements like – “You are a good boy”, “you are so beautiful”, “You are so handsome”, “Its ok to make a mistake”.

These words from the near and dear ones become absolute statements of our reality and such positive statements help us in building up a positive self-image simultaneously.

On the other hand, if our efforts are not recognized enough by others around us and if we are constantly criticized then, we start believing these statements to be true for us and we doubt ourselves, our abilities, our skills etc.

We form beliefs like, “I am not good enough”, “I don’t do anything right”, “I am ugly”, “I am incapable” etc.

We start seeing ourselves negatively and form a poor self-image as a result.

  • Social Media

Social Media Influence on Self-Image

With the advancement in technology and easier access to the internet, most people turn to social media for their leisure and entertainment.

On social media people usually post happy self and the best of self and family through pictures and videos and stories-

Most people on social media aim at getting likes and appreciations. This helps them boost self-image. The more the number of likes, the happier they get and at times get egoistic.

Many times, the same people also get trolled by many people. And such trolls do impact their psyche in multiple ways. We know of many celebrities deleting their social media accounts when they have got trolled by netizens.

Social media has been instrumental in making countless victims of poor self and body image. Most of the younger generation people look at photoshopped images of celebrities and think that their posted pictures are real. And that they need to look like them in order to be liked by others. This thinking leads to development of insecurities within themselves and dissatisfaction with their current self.

How to Improve Self – Image

The transition from negative self-image to positive self-image may be difficult but not      impossible. Here are a few steps that one could take to form a positive self image –

  • Keep Good Company

When you have supportive and optimistic people around you who compliment you for your success and achievements, who make you believe in yourself and your abilities, who uplift your mood when you’re feeling upset then, you gradually start building up your self esteem and form a positive self-image as a result. Avoid people who are always negative and critical about things in life.

  • Read Self-Improvement Books

book reading

One of the best ways to improve oneself is to take inspiration from people who have already experienced situations similar to yours and have overcome obstacles by refining themselves. Reading their stories would encourage you to become a better version of yourself.

  • Set Small Goals

It is important to dream big and have plans for the future. However, setting small and achievable goals also helps us to enhance our self-esteem. The greater the small victories, the greater the self-image formed.

  • Unfollow fake people on social media

As mentioned earlier, following celebrities on social media who post heavily edited unrealistic pictures would only make oneself insecure about one’s own physical appearance. This could further lead to further mental health issues and social withdrawal symptoms in the future.

  • Increase Self-Awareness

Self awareness

Just as you do routine physical check-ups of your body, it is equally important to keep a tab on what’s going on inside your mental thought processes. Whenever you think negatively or overthink then, you need to take a pause and reflect if your thoughts are rational or irrational. If it’s difficult to reflect and identify your thoughts then, you could seek therapy. The therapist would help you to clarify your thoughts and thus, form a better self-image.


Self-image is a dynamic aspect of our inner world that’s worth nurturing for a happier, more confident life. Remember, it’s a journey, and small steps can lead to significant improvements in your self-image.



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