3 Steps to Create a More Powerful Self-Image

What does it mean to act “out of character?” In Hollywood, when an actor breaks character, it means they are acting in a way that isn’t consistent with the character they are portraying. Sometimes an actor will get so enmeshed in their role that they argue with the writers and directors proclaiming, “My character wouldn’t do this!” You may not be an actor, but I can assure you that you also have a character that you cling to and defend. If you’ve ever said, “That’s not me!” or “I could never do that,” it may be time to re-write your character so you can start to live your best life without limits and without fear.

Last week a good friend of mine couldn’t wait to tell me how proud she was for getting up early and going to the gym. “I don’t know what came over me,” she gushed, “it’s so out of character for me.” This innocuous comment illustrates both a tragedy — when you cling to a less than optimal version of yourself — and an opportunity — when you can recognize that you have the ability to break free from your own limits.

Who you have been doesn’t have to be who you are. You are not computer code, which once programmed, cannot change, grow or adapt. Your life is shaped significantly by the character you create and the story you tell yourself about the kind of person you are, what you’re capable of achieving and how you should behave.

But what happens when we desperately want a leading role, but our character has a bit part? What happens when your view of who you are actually holds you back? Is there something that would propel your life forward, but that you just can’t bring yourself to do? If so, it’s time for you to create a different story and character that embrace what you’ve been resisting.

Here are three steps to help you create a more powerful self-image:

1.  Who do you think you are? You are who you think you are, so let’s find out what you think about yourself. Write down everything you can about how you think about yourself, especially any negative labels you use, such as shy, dumb, guilty, angry, etc.

2.  Get real. Focus on the characteristics that are holding you back and think about them rationally. Are you really a terrible public speaker? Really? What proof do you have? Are you’re not the kind of person to get up early and exercise? Really? Are you a vampire? Do you have a medical condition that prevents you from getting your butt out of bed at 6 a.m.? Excuses often turn into habits that then create our character.

3.  Create a better character. Stop being half the person you could be by creating a new character — one that does what you’re afraid to do or wouldn’t do.

What would be “out of character” for you? Standing up for yourself? Taking a risk at work? Saying no? Trusting? Questioning? Speaking up? Starting? Finishing? Becoming healthy? Staying sober? Showing up on time? Starting a company? Sticking to your guns? Reading a book? Writing a book?

The next time you find yourself saying, “I couldn’t do that, that’s just not me!” Yell, “Cut!” and re-write yourself a better character.

(Hollywood Sign image by Derek PurdyCC 2.0)

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Sarah M.
Sarah M5 years ago


Morgan Forrester
Past Member 5 years ago

I have to agree with Jane.......if someone constantly rips down anothers self esteem,it won't matter WHAT they try to tell themselves.Wish "rewriting" was that simple -would give people whom are meek &/or abused a quick way out.
Rewriting is more complicated than ABC.....unless,you're only talking about a select group of people with very little problems to begin with.........which would be frivolous in the self help area.

Jane Barton
Jane Barton5 years ago

Nope, the first step ISN'T just accepting yourself. If it were that easy there would be no need for any doctors and everybody would be happy, happy, happy. Our self image depends on OTHER people and partly on BRAIN WASHING. How do you explain all these mass murders by people who were bullied? Some @#^holes tore down some peoples' SELF ESTEEM and the people went postal. Why did these people go postal? Why didn't they just "accept" themselves? Do you know why? Because it's not always HUMANLY POSSIBLE! Everybody has a breaking point. I get so sick of these articles telling people
to just "accept yourself". If that was REALLY possible then there wouldn't be any murders in the world. The problem is there there isn't enough kindness in the world and there are too
many pricks and bullies. Those are the ones we have to come down hard on, not the victims.

Marie W.
Marie W5 years ago

Self image is self worth.

Elaine A.
Elaine Al Meqdad5 years ago

Amen to that Ron B.

Ron B.
Ron B5 years ago

For starters, if you want a better self-image, don't try to find it in Hollywood.

Jennifer Walsh
Jennifer Walsh5 years ago

great article!! thnx

Jennifer C.
Past Member 5 years ago


Winn Adams
Winn A5 years ago