The Boundaries of Self

Self Image and Self Limitations

How we communicate with others, the content and quantity of our conversations are mostly driven by our belief and Values systems, especially those driven by the way we see ourselves – our self-image.

Self-image has a thousand variations in literature that only serve to confuse and perplex. Here I want to define both what self-image is as defined by the Neuro-Com Mind Model, and discuss what is most desirable from a sustainable mental health perspective and from the global perspective of survival of the human species..

First, the definition: “One’s self-image if the sum total of how one feels about self when the underlying unconscious programs that react to one’s environment trigger emotional reactions when one perceives oneself in comparison to one’s environment.”

Most people think this is a conscious reaction, but the only conscious awareness is of the momentary physical/emotional reaction to the information you unconscious mind presents. This automatic and mostly uncontrolled reaction is based on the belief and Values system recorded in your unconscious mind.

Statistically close to 95% of the human race has an underlying self-image which is at best fragile and at worst totally negative. It is sometimes balanced by memory groups that are developed after the critical first five years, but in a perceived threatening situation, physically or socially, the underlying negative reaction almost always takes precedence. How we place ourselves on the scale in terms of our self-awareness and self-appreciation is determined by our upbringing and how we were treated in the first critical five years. The underlying beliefs and Values we take on board and the behaviours we learn from others determine both how we compare ourselves to others and how we behave in social and community situations for the rest of our lives.

So, in considering what an ideal self-image is, we must consider what type of self-image is desirable in order to live in a social environment. This in turn must impinge on Values of ethical, moral and beneficial behaviour, for self and others.

A “big ego” which presents as someone who thinks they are better than anyone else on a consistent basis rarely function very well long term. Their modus operandi is to make everyone else feel inferior to them. This behaviour is seen in loud, aggressive, sociopathic and narcissistic personalities, including bullies. Such behaviours are often seen in body builders where the physical external shell is used as a compensation for poor underlying self-image and through lack of emotional intelligence over compensate.

They are usually totally unaware that normal people don’t like them and justify this by believing that they are so superior no one can match them. They are often followed by people with poor self-image, hoping that some of this perceived self-confidence and bravado will rub off on them and improve their lives. This group are often heard singing their own praises totally oblivious to the fact that no-one cares, or often views them as arrogant fools.

At the other end of the scale is the bulk of the human race with poor underlying self-image. As I said this is sometimes balanced with totally separate programs learned after the first five years, but it essentially limits one in many ways during social interaction, belief in ability to be productive or learn new skills.

In the middle of these two groups are some who have a balance of these characteristics. If it exists the restrictive poor self-image presents itself as a level of humility and understanding of other people and their suffering, their emotions and behavioural traits. At the same time they are comfortable in their own skin, and feel capable of doing or learning any task put in front of them. They perceive no limitations and have a high degree of emotional intelligence. Curiously, experience shows they have a balanced brain function where the activity in both left and right hemispheres is equal. This provides the ability to see the big picture and have a real and useful understanding of emotional states, and at the same time have the ability to process details and analysis. Risks can be assessed against consequences. Logic is balanced by emotion.

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