Perception Series: How to improve your self perception.

How to improve your self perception.

As someone who has worked as a career photographer for the last decade, it has literally been my job to understand and improve the self perception, or the self image, of my clients.

Most people I’ve encountered struggle with their self perception.What I’ve found is that it doesn’t matter how expensive the suit is.  It doesn’t matter how neat the hair is or how perfect the body is.  Most people I’ve encountered struggle with their self perception.

This poor self image isn’t just about physical appearance for everyone.  Some people deal with a poor self perception when it comes to their intelligence.  Some people feel like they are incapable of having a successful relationship.  Some people feel like they will always have financial problems.  While others have a self perception that says they will never fit in… anywhere.

Everyone has their own fill in the blank when it comes to problems with self perceptions.  They sound something like, “I can’t have, be, or do this because I am _______________.”

The way that we perceive ourselves is the way that we present ourselves.I really can’t overstate the importance of self perception. The way that we perceive ourselves is the way that we present ourselves.

Back to photography…  Two people come in for a session.  The first lady, we’ll call her Mary, has what our culture would say was magazine cover good looks.  The second lady, we’ll call her Susan, is an average looking girl.  She’s not a knockout, but she’s not scary or anything either.

I used to get excited when Mary’s would come to me for photo sessions.  I’d make the assumption that I was going to get some great new pictures for my portfolio.  Many times though, I was reminded, that all the good looks in the world can’t compensate for a poor self image and lack of self confidence.  Whenever those were prevalent, the pictures would be average.

Susan however, would come to the session full of confidence and ready to show the world her beauty.  Time and time again, this ‘average’ looking lady would walk away with stunning images.  Why?  Because the way that you perceive yourself is the way that you present yourself.  People will almost always receive the image of yourself that you perceive.  When you see your greatness, they will too.

The same holds true in nearly every area of your life.  The person lacking confidence, presents that perception to his employer and is turned down for the promotion.  The guy who believes his girlfriend doesn’t really love him, pushes her away and reinforces his poor self perception.  The woman trying to close a business deal perceives herself as less talented than her competition and presents her product without confidence.

Every area of your life is significantly affected by your self perception!

Here’s three simple ways to improve your self perception.

    1. Surround yourself with people who believe in you.

I highly recommend finding a vibrant church. Sometimes family and friends can be this voice too.

    1. Find something that you can win at and do it often.

Golf, video games, music, art, tap dancing… whatever it is, do it often. Winning at anything communicates to our self perception on a subconscious level.

    1. Understand that the world has only been given one ‘you’.

You possess something in your makeup that this world needs. You’re the only one capable of giving the gift of ‘you’ to your family, to your company, to your relationships, to your church, or to your community.

self perception,

Wayne Dyer said, “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change.”  That has perhaps never been more true than when we are speaking of ourselves.

I believe there is hope for each of us.
I believe we can overcome failure.
I believe that we CAN change.
And I believe that each of us is called to soar!

Have you found something that helps you with your self perception?  Share it with the rest of us by leaving a comment.

perception series
View all four articles in the perceptions series here. If you have found them to be helpful, share them with a friend. Perception Series


About the Author

Jeremy BinnsWhen I'm not trying to save the world from the coming zombie invasion, I love my wife, hug my daughters, write, photograph, listen, observe, explore, and worship.View all posts by Jeremy Binns →

  • lulu

    wow, thank you so much for this article and blog. I just heard a message about self-perception the other day and decided to google on how to improve my self perception. I’ve been enlightened from your blog. I will take your steps and try to put into action in my own life because God is big and I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

  • Aarav

    Nice blog – can clearly relate to it ..

  • Kip Law

    Hi Jeremy,
    I am often told the very thing you’ve said in your blog post here which is, essentially, if you believe in yourself, other people will believe in you too. I typically find that sentiment insulting as it can SOMETIMES indicate that I’m repelling people from me and they don’t want to be friends with me because I’ve mysteriously sent a signal that “I don’t think I matter so you shouldn’t think so either”. I just hate that idea. But, I am slowly starting to explore just what exactly that idea looks like and how I can change it. I’m sure self-perception can change a lot of things for the future as I continue to develop in this area, but I’m so curious to know if it’ll change anything about the current situation(s) I’m in.

    For example, I’ve been getting to know a young man now for 3.5 months. We met up twice back in September and then said that we would meet up again when he came back home from school during the Holiday season. Throughout that time however, my insecurities seemed to be on full blast. He initially said we should keep in touch. Unfortunately, I was so fearful that we would lose touch with him that I would text him once a week or every other week just so that we wouldn’t fade out of touch. If that fear weren’t enough, I also feared that I was boring to him, so I tried hard to sound interesting EVERY TIME we text’d each other. Then I feared that he didn’t like me because although he always replied to my texts, he never initiated text conversations, so I was concerned about that for some time as well. Literally every moment, every day of every week of every month that I’ve known him, I’ve been depressed about something.

    Just 2 weeks ago I asked if he wanted to grab some coffee, he said he’d be busy but should have the time the following week for coffee. I told him what days I was free and he said he would figure it out and let me know what worked for him but he never followed through with that. That completely rocked my world because I assumed that that indicated he really didn’t like me and that was the end of our friendship. But, I text’d him nearly two weeks after we last spoke and he never mentioned anything about it but he responded to me. However, even in his reply I read more into it than may have really been there.

    Now I’m taking some time to step back from the situation. Not because I need to let it go but because I just don’t think I’ve been viewing things fairly or responding appropriately. He doesn’t know and never knew that I’ve had severe reactions to his every word and reply, only my close friends and family know that. But, I think that I really need to work on how perceive situations and how I perceive myself.

    Now that it’s been 3.5 months and we’ve been talking back and forth, do you think it’s too late to change in the situation or too late for him to see that I’m not fearful and afraid???

    I’m often told the very thing you’ve said in your blog, “

  • La

    I try to perceive myself as a happy and fun loving person with no problems in the world. I give advice to many friends who come to me for help, but who I perceive myself to be isn’t me. I don’t feel like I’m all there yet. I want to be that person. So reading this helps so much. I am taking all those steps to get to where I want to be, and i learned today the best gift is myself. Who I am is good enough, and if the world can’t except me, it’s their lost someone else will, and it’s time I except me!! Thank you!!

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

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