If we are talking secrets of success, which should we change first, our self image or our habits? Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? Did that big fat slob of a guy (or gal) end up on the sofa pigging out on cheeseburgers while watching day-time TV because they viewed themselves as hopeless, or did they end up feeling useless and hopeless as a result of their daily habits? And did that ultra-successful entrepreneur become ultra-successful because of the actions that he/she took or because they always believed that they would? Or did the one feed the other?
This is an interesting one. Hold a mirror up to your soul. What does your self image reflect back to you? Do you radiate with inner confidence or does the mirror reflect a rather more tarnished and murky version of the 'beautiful inner you'? Would you even dare to look in the mirror? What does your reflection say about you? Ok, so we all want to change a few things about ourselves... If I only had longer legs or more beautiful feet, gorgeous teeth and a perfect smile of course my self-image would rise several pegs up the totem pole to success. But what about the 'real you' - the you that is on the inside of 'you'? How much of that do you desire to change? Because to effect real change in ourselves, we have to start by changing our self image. Our self image is what makes us behave 'like us'. Therefore the habits we acquire and the way we ultimately 'see' ourselves in our life, are a direct result of our self image and the way that our self image views 'us'.
An amazing book that I have referenced before by Lanny Bassham, 'With Winning In Mind' (do read it if you get the chance), proposes that your self image holds the master key to your success. No matter what level of success you achieve 'outwardly' in your life, your life will ultimately only ever grow to the extent that you do, or more specifically, your self image does. So, as you achieve success, wealth, or 'status' in your life, if your self image gets left behind, eventually it will press the master 're-set' button on your life, and you will find yourself sliding backwards, sometimes at an alarming rate. (Think popstar/footballer who is catapulted to stardom before the self image has had time to comprehend and 'catch up'. Suddenly it all becomes too much and they begin to 'self-destruct'. Or the entrepreneur whose business is an overnight success but who, a year later, is flat stony broke again). It comes down to the fundamental issue of 'derservability'. Does the self image believe we deserve to have all this fame/beauty/wealth/ fill-in-the-blank? If not, you will not stay there, because the self image, like all of us, has a very comfortable comfort zone. The self image is what makes us behave 'like us'. If the self image asks the question "Is this like me?", and the answer comes back "No", the self image starts to feel out of control and will change or modify our behaviours to get us back firmly within the boundaries of our comfort zone. (Note here that self image has nothing to do with 'ego'. Your ego is on the 'outside' and is bolstered up by 'outside' events: Praise or adulation from the outside world. Images that are fed into your conscious mind from without. Your self image is the praise or adulation that you give yourself. The self-talk on the inside, the images you reflect outward from within).
So to get back to our question, in search of secrets of success, which should we change first, our self image or your habits, the answer would appear to be this: Our thoughts, habits and actions may be what get us to the level that we want to be in our life but ultimately, it is the self image that keeps us there. Therefore to effect permanent change in our lives, we need to work outwardly on ourselves, changing our daily habits and our daily diet of information going in (personal development), in order to be able to change ourselves inwardly and permanently change our habits and the results we are getting.
I will explore this concept in greater detail in future secrets of success articles because I am fascinated by this correlation of self image and success.
For now, I hope your mirror reflects the success you deserve!