The definition of self-image is: the idea one has of one’s abilities, appearance, and personality.
Generally speaking, we all have struggled holding ourselves in positive light. There is always at least one thing you dislike about yourself, whether that be the shape of your nose, how you walk, or even your laugh. You constantly seem to be your own worst critic. That soccer game you played today – it wasn’t so-and-so’s fault the team lost, it was yours. That music audition – you totally screwed up those two measures in the end of the excerpt and consequently didn’t play well at all.
I know the battle with negative self-image and low self-esteem is very true in my life. Being both an athlete and a musician, picking out my flaws is an extremely bad habit of mine. I use the term ‘bad habit’ because nothing good ever comes of persistently bringing yourself down. Of course it is important to realize your mistakes so that you can improve, but ceaselessly bashing yourself about every little thing you do will never make you a better person.
In those moments when you are criticizing yourself the most, it is especially important to remember that God made you perfect. No matter how low you feel about yourself, God will always love you. He loves your nose, your walk, and your laugh no matter what anyone else thinks about them.
“Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you” Isiah 43:4
Having a positive self-image is much easier said than done. I think we all tend to get caught up in outward appearances, but when who you are is really your inward state. We think having talent and being pretty is all that matters. Constantly comparing yourself to others on the basis of visible characteristics will lead you to have low self-esteem and a negative self-image. On the contrary, what God cares about the most is not what you look like on the outside or how well you play soccer, but rather He sees what is inside and that is what truly counts.
“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious” 1 Peter 3:3-4
Everyone has flaws – no one is perfect. Realizing this helped me accept the fact that no matter how hard I try, I will never be perfect and that is OK. God made you and He loves you, he doesn’t care about your faults. Having a negative self-image is something that only holds you back from being happy and being yourself.
words by Grace Butler and photo by Kate Bartley