This is a sentiment that alone holds no weight.
It’s comprised of action. But before action can take place, it’s your self-image that must be aligned with where you are going.
An unhealthy self-image has no positive benefit.
An unhealthy self-image can sabotage any project you’re working on, any habit you’re trying to lose/create.
An unhealthy self-image can also disguise itself as that comfort or “right” feeling, pulling you in the other direction of freedom while it whispers in your subconscious, “no, you shouldn’t do that.”
You can do and be anything.
What I mean by this is that you (can) control the image of yourself in the way you feel, act, and behave.
Attitude is image. Style is image. The way you eat is image.
Everything you do, from brushing your teeth to sitting on the couch to smiling, is image.
And you get to control that.
How I relate: I’ll give an example of myself. Many years ago, I would get drunk and sometimes while out with friends, get into fights. I held onto this “tough guy” image that allowed me to act recklessly and at times raise my voice, possibly going into the proverbial ring to swing a few punches.
I wanted to fit in and was scared because the image I saw of myself was not good enough — so I used aggression to cope with my problems.
It took time to lose that image of myself. I had grown up in New York, and although I was a kid from the suburbs, there was still this image of masculinity that I needed to uphold. I couldn’t allow my friends or anyone to see my feminine side, though it was hard because I had grown up in a house with two older sisters and a mom who I spent most of my time with.
After meeting my-now-wife, it was on a trip to Cancun, Mexico, when we were swimming in the water and she said to me, “You know your friends like to get you riled up because it’s novelty. I know that’s not you, but you’re seen as a novelty when you‘re drunk and get into fights.”
It was that day forward that I changed. I no longer looked at myself the same. I stopped trying to be this person who knew everything and who used his toughness to release his own fear and anxiety. I never again wanted to be a “novelty.”
Today, my friends laugh when I tell them who I used to be. They say, “No way! That couldn’t be you. Look at you now.” But of course it wasn’t me, yet it was me. It was an image I had of myself.
I’ve since become a loving and kind-hearted person, though, at times like any human, I can be rough and get irritated.
What changed for me the most was on that day in Cancun, I saw my image, honestly — a scared-of-being-judged young guy who started fights in order to give himself a sense of false strength. Then I decided no more and I changed my image to who I wanted to become.
It took me about 6 years to get through some of the emotional blockages that I caused myself from bottling my psychological pain in my adolescence.
My final result was the feeling of grace and lightness when looking at myself in the mirror and truly loving the human, both physically and spiritually, that I was.
If there are any words of advice that I could give you, it would be to: Be determined to get past the darkness and move toward the light, even if you can’t see it. You need to keep moving with such love and devotion that you thank this life for everything it’s given you - struggles included - as you become who you want to be.
You can do and be anything.