The Most Important Relationship You’ll Ever Have


August 21, 2009   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

If you Google the word “relationships”, your search results will be several links to articles and web sites on the topic of relationships between members of the opposite sex, and relationships with other people.

Yet in these search results, we don’t find links and articles on the topic of the most important relationship you’ll ever have, the one you have with yourself.

The relationship you have with yourself has a tremendous impact on your life.

Lately, I’ve been reading through Dr. Maxwell Maltz’ book Psychocybernetics, and the early part of the book focuses largely on self image and how it affects a person’s life. Dr. Maltz offers several examples where people with a poor self image produce mediocre results, and those with a strong self image produce stellar results in all areas of their life. Your self image is ultimately the relationship you have with yourself.

Why is this the most important relationship you’ll ever have?

Given that our external world tends to be a reflection of our internal world, this relationship will ultimately determine how people see us. If we see ourselves as below average, unsuccessful, or a failure, then we exuded these qualities in our energy, and the people in our lives will see us exactly the same way, and we will tend to attract circumstances and events to support this self image.

The same is also a true for a positive self image. Without a healthy self image, our personal development efforts will not be nearly as successful.

The parallel to our professional lives is equally important. More important than how you manage others is how you manage yourself.

4 Ways to Create a More Positive Self Image
A negative self image can result from a number of different things in your life. What caused the failure is not as important as focusing on how to fix it. Think of this way. Where you came from isn’t nearly as important as where you are going. There are several different ways to begin repairing a negative self image.

    1. Affirmations
      Affirmations are perhaps the most commonly used tool to make changes in our lives. It’s been said that if you lie to yourself enough, eventually you will start to believe that lie. The negative self image you’ve developed is largely a byproduct of something you’ve told yourself over and over again. Thus, it makes sense, that the same can be done for creating a new positive self image. 
  • Visualization
    A wide range of people from athletes to professional speakers have utilized visualization in order to enhance their performance. One of the beautiful things about our brain is that is can not distinguish between experiences that are vividly imagined, and those that actually happened. Have you ever had a dream and a few days later you couldn’t figure out whether or not it was something that actually happened? This is exactly what is happening in the visualization process. Taking conscious control of the mental pictures you are making in your head gives you power over the results that occur in your life. The key to using visualization successfully is repetition. By visualizing a new, empowering self image on a daily basis, your mind will eventually accept it as reality, and the external world you see will follow. 
  • Mind Movies
    Given the rapid pace at which new technology has developed, people are finding many innovative ways to take combine visualization and affirmations. Mind movies are an excellent technique for doing that. The concept of a mind movie is very simple. First you develop a list of affirmations for all the things that you want in your life. Then, find pictures to match all of the affirmations you have written down. Combine the pictures and affirmations with some upbeat music and you have a mind movie. What’s great about this technique is it eases the burden of trying to picture something in your head since you have a picture right in front of you and the affirmation to go with it. 
  • Paraliminal/Hypnosis Tapes
    Paraliminal and hypnosis tapes are also great tools for repairing a negative self image. These tools provide you with a guided visualization and can be extremely effective if used on a regular basis. Paul Scheele’s Peak Performance visualization was one of the most effective tools I’ve come across. I utilized it for job interviews, sports, and self image.

Each of these tools is equally effective. The key however is commitment and consistency. Rather than doing each of these steps every once in a while, you are much better off doing one of these four things all the time.

Written on 8/21/2009 by Srinivas Rao. Srinivas is a volunteer for the Quality of Life Project. The website shares best practices on getting the most out of life from well known types like Richard Branson and Tom Skerritt to lesser known but equally interesting individuals. The mission of the organization is to help people live more enjoyable, purposeful and contented lives. Srinivas also writes at Photo Credit: Katie@!

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