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5 Steps to an Authentic and Effective Self-Image

e all have an image of ourselves that we want to project. It's the persona we put on when we want to impress others, or when we're trying to be someone we're not. But having an authentic self-image is key to a successful career. Here are five steps to help you find your true self and build an effective self-image.

You're a unique person with nuances that are unique to you!

When who you are aligning with what you do, you're living authentically. But most of us view ourselves in one way and live another. Authentic people act honestly and congruently.

The benefits of this congruency are enormous: success, self-esteem, respect from others, and inner peace.

Those that live lives misaligned with their values, beliefs, and attitudes suffer from more anxiety, guilt, and shame. It might seem easier to live up to the expectations of others in the short-term, but the long-term costs are significant.

person reflecting on her self image

Follow These Steps to Determine Your True Self and Live Life on Your Terms:

1. Identify your core values.

An authentic self-image is one that is aligned with your values. By knowing your values, you'll gain an understanding of what is important to you. Once you're aware of your values, you can build a self-image and life that are more meaningful and enjoyable.

Make a list of your values. Create a lengthy list and include everything that you think applies to you. Then, reduce your list to the ten values that are most important to you. You might struggle to narrow your list to just ten, but ten values are plenty.

2. Determine if you have any conflicts.

For example, you might say that adventure and freedom are two of your most important values, but what if you also strongly favor responsibility and security? Those values could be in conflict.

When you're faced with an inner conflict, you're likely to shut down and do nothing. If you've ever been paralyzed while making a decision, it's possible your values were in conflict. Think back to when you've struggled to make a decision and see if it's true.

Do you have any values listed that aren't really priorities for you? We often carry around perspectives instilled by our parents. Here's a news flash: they may have been wrong. Take the time to determine your values for yourself. Disregard what society says you should value. You're an individual.

3. Create an action plan for each value.

woman contemplating on her values and action plans

Imagine one of your values is frugality. You could create a budget and savings plan that incorporates that value. You might plan to start clipping coupons, visit less expensive stores, and search for free entertainment options available on the weekends.

4. Make a list of activities you enjoy that are in alignment with your values.

For example, if generosity is a priority, you could find an enjoyable way to spend your time helping others. If health is a value you cherish, you could join a soccer team or a yoga class. Find your favorite sport and participate.

5. Evaluate yourself at the end of each day.

Think about the instances when you failed to live according to your values. Likewise, contemplate the times you were able to live according to your values and self-image, particularly when doing so was challenging.

You have the power to create a self-image that is in alignment with your values, and this can lead to an incredible life full of authenticity and happiness. It’s not always easy to be authentic, but it’s worth it. The benefits are enormous. If you want help taking the first steps on this journey, we are here for you. Click here to learn more about our career coaching services that will help you thrive by living authentically according to your values.

Be bold enough to choose the person you want to become and live accordingly. The benefits are enormous. What are your values?


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