By: Anthony Zataray
Have you ever tried to improve something about your life? Maybe tried to lose weight? Or perhaps get a better score on a video game or a better GPA in school? What were the challenges of achieving these improvements? What makes progress so hard?
I stopped working out and began eating more because I was going out a lot more, enjoying my last days being home and being around my family. I fell into unhealthy eating habits and became lazy. During the summer, my weight started to show, and as I looked in the mirror it seemed to appear everywhere. I stepped on a scale, and I weighed the most I had ever weighed in my life. Spurred toward change, I did my research on diets and quickly started to follow one, I worked out one to two times a day, and I cooked my own meals. Within weeks, I lost a significant amount of weight and it was amazing; I developed an addiction to the process, and I dropped my weight down to the same weight as I was freshman year of high school. My muscle tone was great and for the first time in awhile, and I was finally happy with my body.
This might be a familiar story to some: working hard at the gym, having a strict diet, and making progress, but then letting all of that progress fizzle out because of other responsibilities. This is a shared human experience because everybody has a comfort zone. These comfort zones include video game scores, social atmospheres, GPAs, or scoring averages in a sport. These comfort zones fuel your self-image. If you remain inside of your comfort zone, it is impossible to elevate yourself above the image you already have. If you think you are an average student, then you can never become a great student.
To improve your self-image, you must stretch outside of your comfort zone by filling your subconscious with new thoughts and images, having your goals in mind as if you have accomplished them already.
Losing weight or gaining a new body image is not just about committing to a workout plan and a diet; it is about boosting your self-image. This is because low self-image means low motivation, and conversely, high self-image means high motivation. If there was ever a time you attempted something and came up short, it may have been because you didn’t truly believe in yourself. A self-image is a monitor of your comfort zone. It works like the regulator of an air conditioner in a room; if you set the room temperature at 72 (the comfort zone), the regulator will allow the room to get to 74 degrees or to 70 degrees before it either cools or warms up the room. The same goes for your self-image: it regulates your comfort zone. In other words, when the self-image gets either below or above its preset image of you, it will regulate it with either better performance to compensate or lower it to bring it back down to its fixed image.
So, next time you try to improve an aspect of your life, make sure that you use this knowledge to improve your self-image. Doing this will not only help with attaining your goals, but keeping them long term as well. Self-image is an undervalued aspect of achievement; every person that has great success has an astounding self-image because it automatically equals great confidence, motivation, and resilience. So start building and start achieving.