Does Your Self Image Need a Software Upgrade? What my sunglasses taught me

How Old is Your Self Image?

When was the last time you changed it?

Have you ever unknowingly passed a mirror, glanced quickly, and wondered,”Who is that ________ (thin or overweight or gorgeous or tired-looking or handsome) human being? Then you realize it’s a mirror and that good looking dude, or dudette, as the case may be, is you?

On occasion, I’ve found myself in this jarring split second experience.

It was a slightly different jar that made me realize my self image was in need of an upgrade. Aspects of who and how I am, have changed. But the code inside my brain where self image is stored, has not.

This is the story of how I came across this idea of a software upgrade to overwrite the outdated code.

Lose the Loser Self Image

I was told, as a child, that I WAS A PERSON WHO LOSES THINGS. I also had difficulty telling my left hand from my right, as I was a tad ambidextrous. Then for my fourth grade birthday, my parents bought me a ring. By wearing it on my left hand, I would be able to tell left from right, a double gift. I also received the gift of a trip to The Museum of Science, with my classmates. I happily donned my new ring and went about the day learning about space, the human body, etc. All the while I also knew my left hand from my right. A great birthday, all in all.

At the end of the day, however, there was no ring. It simply fell off, never to be found again. And so, I spent another year confusing left and right. The experience also confirmed my reputation as a hopeless loser – of things.

Fast forward, x number of decades. I still lose things much of the time, or so I thought, until one day…

SELF IMAGE

I lost my sunglasses. I had them when I left the house for a road trip. Before we pulled out of the driveway, I remembered we hadn’t turned on the “No Burglars Here” light inside the house. So, I went back, turned on the light, got back in the car, and then…no sunglasses. I looked everywhere between the car and the house, in the house, in the car, on top of the car. Everywhere. Time to leave. We had to make a ferry,

When we returned a week later, I began the fruitless search again, spending, or rather wasting, hours over the course of many days. I walked nearby streets, looking in roadside shrubbery, in case they had flown off the car roof. Nothing.

Then, one day I opened the decorative box in which I used to keep my sunglasses, so I’d always know where they were. And.,,,there they were, looking right back at me, exactly where they belong.

Self Image Upgrade

I had looked in the box three or four times, but always with the expectation that my sunglasses wouldn’t be there. Why? Because according to the old code I AM SOMEONE WHO LOSES THINGS.

The glasses are dark. The inside of the box is dark. I didn’t look carefully enough. Why? Because if you are SOMEONE WHO LOSES THINGS, the last place you expect things to be, is where they belong.

It then occurred to me that I’d been “losing” things, only to find them where they belong for a number of years. I’ve spent countless hours of frustration peering under couches, flashlight in hand; moving car seats all the way forward then all the way back; cleaning closets; going through trash; you name it. All the time, I’m looking for something I’ve “lost” that is exactly where it belongs.

Downloading Your Self Image Upgrade

Instructions:

  1. Fold a piece of paper into 3 columns
  2. In column one, write 3 – 5 old statements you still believe about yourself
  3. In column two, list the behaviors you demonstrate that support, and those that counter, each statement in column one
  4. For each statement in column one answer the question, “Is this still true? (if needed, ask truth speaking friends to help)
  5. If the column one statement is no longer true, use column three to write the code for a statement that is true now
  6. Repeat the “true now” statement out loud until it’s worn into your brain (5 – 10 times)
  7. Next time you hear the old code inside your head, say the new one three times, out loud
  8. Rinse. Repeat.

Got a self image upgrade? ┬áPlease share the old code and the new. I’m always interested and your story just might will help others.

Other items of interest:


2 Responses to Does Your Self Image Need a Software Upgrade? What my sunglasses taught me

  1. Heather Stubbs October 1, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    Anne, this is brilliant! I want to start a series of public speaking workshops for women, and the first session will focus entirely on developing self confidence. Would you mind if I incorporate this idea into the activities of the day? Having read these instructions, I can’t imagine giving a workshop on developing speaking confidence without including something like this! – Heather

    • Anne Perschel October 18, 2012 at 6:40 am #

      Heather: I’d be honored and ask that you please reference as appropriate. Thank you.

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