Your phone sounds off throughout the day and night—phone calls, text messages, emails, and social media updates.
Your kids argue. The dog won’t stop barking. Your friend goes on and on about the new man she’s seeing.
Or maybe the noise is primarily in your head. You’re worried about all the things on your to-do list, replaying a disagreement you had with a co-worker, and wondering why you didn’t get more likes on Instagram. And a little voice inside your head keeps reminding you that you’re not good enough to start the business you’ve been dreaming of.
It’s an inside job
The noise in your life can create an internal string of thoughts, emotions, feelings, and attitudes that can drain you and be harmful to your self-perception. The problem is how you perceive yourself creates results in your outer world that reflect the image you have in your mind.
So, in a fast-paced, technological world where you can connect with almost anyone or anything anytime you want, how do you cut out the noise and improve the way you think of yourself?
Here are three suggestions:
1. Emulate Success
Successful people are disciplined and don’t put up with a lot of distractions in their lives.
So, if you want to create a better self-image, model yourself after someone who already exhibits the characteristics and lifestyle you dream of. Study what they do, how they talk, and how they handle themselves. Emulating your person will cut out much of the noise in your life as you focus on the success you want.
2. Create Boundaries
Establishing personal boundaries help to define you by outlining what you like and don’t like. When you set boundaries, you determine how you will be treated and how you will respond. These boundaries are essential to cut out the noise and create healthy relationships and a healthy life.
Here are three basic types of boundaries:
• Mental: Mental boundaries include being aware of and controlling your thoughts, emotions, values, beliefs, needs, wants, and opinions as you interact with others or yourself. Knowing your mental limits allows you to have positive, productive, and comfortable interpersonal relationships with others.
And understanding the power of self-talk and taking steps to keep yours positive has the added benefit of increasing your self-esteem and improving your self-image.
Establishing effective mental boundaries allows you to become a leader, not a follower.
• Master Impulses: Setting boundaries for your choices and decisions allows you to control impulses, such as getting distracted by social media, email, or thoughts while you’re working on something else.
You can master impulse management by saying “no,” when your mind latches onto things, ideas, or conversations that don’t matter. Practice this skill every day.
• Physical: To a lesser extent, creating physical boundaries also can help you cut out the noise. Being aware of and communicating your personal space enables you to reduce noise by letting people know that standing too close to you or plopping down on your desk are unacceptable to you. It also builds your self-esteem.
3. Limit Social Media
There are many benefits of social media. It allows us to reach or create lifelong friends. It can strengthen social awareness and empathy. And it gives us a platform to showcase our creativity.
However, social media can create a significant distraction in our lives too.
For instance, there’s a good chance you follow at least one celebrity on a social platform. If not, you have likely been tagged in celebrity posts by a friend.
It’s not unusual for people to be attracted to a celebrity’s lifestyle, home, and fabulous vacations. There’s nothing wrong with wanting more—we were designed for it.
However, following celebrities or anyone else to the point of distraction from your own goals creates noise, and it can also make you feel inadequate if you compare yourself to others.
Social media should be a safe space for you to be yourself, but don’t allow yourself to get caught in comments and arguments or jumping from one account to another for long periods. Limit your time on social media to two or three sessions and no longer than 20—30 minutes a day.
Also, keep your experiences on social media positive by following only inspirational pages or content that truly speaks to you and helps you become a better version of yourself. Lose the need to compare yourself to what others post.
Rise above the norms
Our culture infuses noise into our daily lives. And that noise can create fear, scarcity, and a sense of inadequacy inside.
But humans created culture. God created you.
You don’t have to succumb to cultural norms or outdated programming you’ve been living by for decades. Instead, you can choose a new narrative for yourself, including how you look, feel, earn money, treat yourself, allow others to treat you, and any other choices you make.
You see, the real you is perfect, boundless, and is always looking for ways to expand. If your self-image reflected this beautiful truth, your life would be EXTRAORDINARY.
But is that really possible?
One could argue that people like Jesus, Gandhi, and Mother Theresa had a self-image that reflected their true selves.
But you don’t need a “perfect” self-image to live a more fulfilling and bountiful life. Just cutting out the noise and having a more positive self-image than you have now is enough to take your life to a new level.
To more and better,