Beliefs Influence Our Self-Image… Beliefs Rule!
All of our thoughts and feeling, choices and decisions, actions, reactions, and experiences are based on our beliefs. Beliefs precede our thoughts and feelings, choices and decisions, actions, reactions, and experiences.
An example of how our beliefs determine our self-image:
A woman is complimented on her beauty. How will she respond?
- A woman who believes she is beautiful will smile and say, “Thank you.”
- A woman who believes she is not will think to herself, “I am not.” Then wonder, “What does he really want? What is he up to? Sex, most likely.” She is suspicious and ponders the motivation behind most, if not all, compliments.
“You look very nice today!” he says with a smile and a twinkle in his eye.
She thinks not. She knows she doesn’t look good and she isn’t beautiful. She is overweight. Her make-up has worn off. So what does he really want, she thinks.
“I have an extra ticket to the theater next week. I was wondering if you would be my guest? Maybe we can do dinner before or after the performance.”
Ahhh, he wants to take me out for dinner and the theater, she thinks. What he really wants is sex. He thinks because he is taking me to dinner and the theater that entitles him to dessert after the theater. In her mind, she shouts, “Just try scoring Buster!”
“Would you go out with me?” he asks again.
“As long as it is plutonic and you understand I’m not interested in having sex with you,” she responded a little more harshly than she had intended.
Surprised and confused by her response and tone, throwing his hands up as if surrendering, he replies, “Plutonic. No sex. No touching. No handholding. Just two friends enjoying each other’s company. I can do that.”
The appointed evening comes. He arrives on time. Opens her car door. The conversation flows smoothly during dinner. He makes her smile and laugh, asks questions about her and seemed genuinely interested. To her amazement, she feels very comfortable with him. Surprising, here is a man that is intelligent, informed, and amusing.
They have so many common interests. They even knew some of the same people. All night long he had been the perfect gentlemen. During the performance, she wants to reach out and intertwine her arm with his. Then, she remembers telling him there would be no physical touching…and, there hadn’t been.
She is now perplexed. She has always ended up with losers; ones that needed to be rescued; financially in debt; broken inside from being betrayed in their last relationship; men that have only wanted sex; too shallow to nurture and be supportive of her.
After the performance, he suggests a cup of tea. At the quaint little café, here, right now, sitting in front of her is a man of quality, depth, and sensitivity. He is sincere, attentive, thoughtful…and attractive! He isn’t in debt; doesn’t have a broken heart that needs mending; his life is on track; he volunteers to be a Big Brother; he can carry on a conversation. He isn’t looking for a woman to complete him. He isn’t co-dependent. He has lived his life to the fullest.
And don’t you know, the mind chatter and thoughts were going crazy! “This is too good to be true. This doesn’t happen for me. This never happens for me. Probably under all this goodness is a hot temper. If he finds me attractive, something must be wrong with his taste in women. He’s probably out for the conquest. As soon as he thinks he has me, he will abandoned me. He’s too hot to be interested in me or to be monogamous. He’s probably dating other women, much prettier than I am. If I get involved with this man, I will probably cry a river of tears.”
She has created a potential relationship beyond the image she has of herself. One of two things will happen…
1) Either she will expand and improve her self-image, her feelings about herself, her beliefs about what she deserves in a relationship or
2) She will sabotage the relationship so she won’t have to deal with issues around a significant-other relationship.
Some of her beliefs about a significant-other relationship:
- No man will ever want me.
- I have a bad track record with men.
- It is hopeless that I will ever be involved romantically.
- Love is synonymous with pain and rejection.
- Love is synonymous with abandonment and hurt.
- The only thing a man wants from me is sex.
- Only a fool would want to be with me.
- There will never be anyone for me.
- I reject anyone that loves me.
- I can mold my partner into a shining gem.
- I am suspicious of anyone who shows interest in me.
- No one will ever find me worthy of love.
- I cannot sustain a loving relationship.
- I don’t trust anyone that would find me attractive.
- The odds are slim to none I will ever find a partner for me.
Some of her self-image:
- Emotional depth
Some of her feelings:
The Beliefs Rules!
With her beliefs about a significant-other romantic relationship, it is understandable she sees herself as deplorable, dumb, ugly, broken, and unsophisticated. It is understandable that she feels hopeless, inferior, depressed, worthless, and foolish.
With the beliefs she has, it is understandable her self-image is poor and the feelings she has about herself are not positive. The Beliefs Rule! Belief precedes all of our thoughts and feeling, actions and reaction, our choices and decisions.
She can change her self-image.
@ Tessa Cason, 2022.
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