Article: Your Self Ideal (Brian Tracy)

August 16, 2009

Your Self Ideal
By Brian Tracy

The first part of your self-concept is your self-ideal. This is the ideal image or picture you have of yourself, as if you were already the very best person you could possibly be.

Your self-ideal is made up of your wishes, hopes, dreams, goals, and fantasies about your perfect future life, combined with the qualities and virtues that you admire most in yourself and in other people.

Your self-ideal is a composite of the very best person you could imagine yourself being, living the very best life you could possibly live.

Develop Positive Role Models
In one study conducted some years ago, the researchers found many men and women who accomplished great things had--when they were young--been avid readers of the biographies and autobiographies of successful people.

It seems you have a natural tendency to identify with the hero or heroine in any story you read, watch, or hear. When you continuously immerse your mind in the stories of men and women who have accomplished wonderful things with their lives, you unconsciously identify with those characters and actually absorb their values, virtues, and qualities into your own personality.

Your Values Shape Your Personality
The values you choose to live by, and the way you define those values, shape and influence your personality and your achievements as much or more than any other single factor.

When you take the time to think through and develop absolute clarity about the key values and qualities you admire the most and wish the most to incorporate into yourself, you begin to shape and direct your whole personality and determine the results you achieve in the future.

How You See Yourself
The second part of your self-concept is your self-image. If you see yourself as positive, popular, productive, and successful on the inside, that is exactly how you will act on the outside.

The way you behave on the outside will largely determine the results you get. The results you get will reinforce your self-image, in either a positive or negative way, and will set you up to repeat the same behaviors in the next similar situation.

The Core of Your Personality
The third part of your self-concept is your self-esteem. This is the feeling or emotional component of your personality, the "reactor core" of your subconscious mind. Your level of self-esteem determines the vitality and energy of your personality and is the control valve on your performance.

Comparing: Your Behavior with Your Ideal
Your self-esteem is affected by many factors. One of the most important is the distance between your self-image, the way you see yourself in the moment, and your self-ideal, the way you would ideally like to be sometime in the future.

Whenever you feel your current performance and behavior is consistent with the best person that you can possibly be, your self esteem goes up. You feel happier and more exhilarated. You have more energy and enthusiasm. You are more positive and personable with others.

Action Exercise What are the values, qualities, and attributes of other people that you most admire? What actions could you take to incorporate those values into your personality?
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