Listed below are thirty-six activities which, when implemented in your life, will help you develop the positive self-image necessary to achieve personal success. Find one of the items listed below which you can easily implement. Then build on your success by trying other activities until you have a complete repertoire of positive experiences. By exhibiting positive attitudes, words and behaviors you will soon find your self-image expanding as you achieve personal success in developing your self-confidence and self-esteem.

1. Wake up happy. Optimism and pessimism are learned behavioral attitudes. One of the best ways to develop a positive self-image is to start early in life, or at least early on any given day. Wake up to your favorite music. Sing in the shower. Have breakfast with someone who is optimistic. Read an inspirational message first thing in the morning. Listen to a motivational tape on the way to work.

2. Use positive self-talk throughout the day. “Today is going to be a great day.” “Everything is going to work out.” “We’re going to make it.” “I’m going to close this deal.” “Next time I’ll do better.” “This is great.” “Tonight I’m going to sleep peacefully and deeply.”

3. Use encouraging, affirmative language when you talk to yourself or to others about yourself. Use uplifting and constructive adjectives and adverbs. Everything you say about yourself is being subconsciously recorded by others and, more important, by your own self-image. You and others believe exactly what you say about yourself.

4. Find something good in all your personal relationships and accentuate the blessings or lessons in even the most trying of circumstances.

5. Provide warmth, kindness and friendship to others. These are the most yearned-for commodities in the world. Everyone wants recognition, attention, praise and acceptance. We bristle at criticism and respond warmly to a compliment. We steer clear of people who make us feel uncomfortable. We gravitate toward those who make us feel good about ourselves. If you want friends, be friendly. If you want warmth, be warm. If you want recognition, praise others. If you want to be loved, love others. Cast your bread upon the waters and it will come back buttered.

6. Be empathetic. Learn how others feel and consider where they are coming from before criticizing or passing judgment. Even if you can't feel for everyone you meet, be certain that you feel with every living thing you encounter. It's the key to positive self-awareness.

7. Give of yourself. Spend time listening to and giving encouragement to someone else. Treat people like brothers and sisters. Provide value to someone through a kind act or gentle word. Make a contribution to someone or something for which there is no direct payoff. Share your talents with those around you.

8. Introduce yourself to a stranger who looks lost, confused or alone. You will be viewed as a savior. When you are in a group and feel uncomfortable, rest assured that there are others in the group who feel the same way. Get a conversation going with someone else. People love to tell you about themselves. Everyone yearns to be included and accepted. The best way to get acceptance is to give it.

9. See problems as opportunities. Make a list of your most pressing problems. Write a one sentence definition of the problem. Now rewrite the problem, only this time view it as an opportunity or exercise to challenge your creative ingenuity. View the situation as if you were advising your best friend.

10. Learn to stay relaxed and friendly no matter how much tension you’re under. Instead of griping, single out something or someone to praise. When tension or anxiety is present in a room, lower the pitch and tone of your voice, breathe slowly and deeply, sit back and relax your muscles, and respond calmly.

11. Think and talk well of your health. Cure what’s curable. Prevent what’s preventable. Enjoy the rest. In projecting your own health conditions to others, realize that your daily conversation is the automatic readout of your thoughts and emotions. Emphasize the positives.

12. Expect the best from others, too. Two of the keys of leadership are encouragement and praise. Vocalize, on a daily basis, your optimism and positive expectancy about your associates and family members. Emotions are contagious!

13. Associate with optimists and winners. The best way to stay positive is to surround yourself with upbeat people. Remain optimistic by associating with winners and optimists. You can be realistic and optimistic at the same time. Avoid people and situations where you become susceptible to the negative influences of others.

14. Read a biography each month of someone you admire. As you read, imagine yourself achieving the same accomplishments. Implement in your life the qualities you admire in those who you read about.

15. Replace the word can’t with can in your daily conversation. The vast majority of challenges you encounter can be successfully handled.

16. Replace the word try with will in your daily vocabulary. Exhibit a new attitude of dwelling on things that you will do, rather than the things you plan to try. Replace “I have to” or “I should” with “I want to” or “I get to”.

17. Focus your attention and effort on achieving the objectives you are involved in right now. Focus on the present or the future, not the past. Learn from the past, but don’t live in it. Forget about past failures. Remember, you are what you think about most.

18. Take the blame and the credit honestly and openly for your position in life. Accept what you have done wrong and move on. Don’t accept blame for what others have done. Also recognize your own achievements or contribution to the achievement of others. Accept credit where credit is due to you.

19. Seek out someone who is currently doing what you want to do. If there is something you want to do or experience, find an expert, get the facts, make a project of learning everything you can about winners in the field. People love to share their expertise and experience; they’re just waiting for you to ask.

20. Don’t worry about your fears. Fears are a part of being human. Share your fears with someone who can help you look at them realistically. Discard those fears that are not helpful to you. In place of the inhibition “I’m afraid to”, use “I’m more comfortable doing this” as a reason for your non-participation.

21. Imagine yourself achieving your dreams. Set aside 20 to 30 minutes each day when you can relax and imagine yourself achieving and enjoying your personal desires. You cannot reach an achievement until you can see the achievement in your mind.

22. Make a list of five of your most important current wants or desires. Next to each, write what the benefit or payoff is to you when it's achieved. Look at this list before you go to bed each night and upon awakening each morning. Determine one thing you will do each day to move you closer toward the things you want.

23. Visualize your triumphs. As you listen to soft music in the background, visualize your imagined triumphs. Write your thoughts and strategies as you contemplate how to achieve your dreams.

24. Limit your television viewing to stimulating, uplifting shows. Non-selective television viewing leads to tunnel vision and lethargy, and diminishes creative imagination. Positive, forward-looking people have little time for television.

25. Enhance your appearance. Since self-image is the conceptual, visual display of your self-esteem, assess those things which display yourself: clothes, vehicle, home, garage, closet, dresser drawers, desk, etc. Sharpen all of the expressions of your life. No expense is necessary. Clean and press your clothes, clean your home and spruce up your yard, wash your car, straighten your closet, drawers and desk.

26. Discipline your body to improve your cardiovascular system by jogging, walking, swimming or some other healthy form of motion at least three times per week. An optimum distance is 12 to 18 miles per week. Eat nutritional, balanced meals instead of junk food.

27. Set aside a specific time each day or week to initiate action calls or action letters in your behalf. Don’t wait for invitations to succeed; go after what you want.

28. Act as if your rewards in life are a reflection of your hard work, service or contribution – which, of course, they are.

29. Invest in your own knowledge and skill development. Read books, listen to tapes, attend seminars, enroll in college classes. Listen to educational and inspirational cassette tapes while you drive and before retiring in the evening. Listening sparks the imagination and, as in learning a foreign language, promotes permanent memory retention. Take charge of your life!

30. See the person you want to be when you look in the mirror. It takes just as much work and effort for a bad life as it does for a good one, so choose to be what you have always wanted to be.

31. Set your alarm a half-hour early tomorrow morning and leave it at the earlier setting. Use this extra half-hour of your life to wake up and live. Use this time to answer the question, how can I best spend my time today on priorities that are important to me?

32. Finish unpleasant tasks. Make a list of any necessary, but unpleasant, tasks you have been putting off. Put a completion date after each task and start and finish each one. Immediate action on unpleasant projects reduces stress and tension, thereby raising your self-image.

33. Maintain good posture. Make a conscious effort to walk more erectly with a relaxed, but more rapid, pace. There is a strong correlation between the way you walk and how you feel about yourself.

34. Smile! It’s contagious. Smile and the world smiles with you. Your outer expression is a gateway to your inner feelings.

35. Set your own internal standards rather than comparing yourself to others. Keep upgrading your own standards in personal grooming, lifestyle, behavior, professional accomplishments, relationships, etc.

36. Do what is right. You cannot do wrong and feel right. You cannot be bad and feel good. The right thing to do is usually apparent in most situations. Choose the right path. Do the right thing. Perhaps nothing impacts your self-image more than doing what is right.


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