Self-image is how we see ourselves and how we want others to see us. Self-awareness is who we know ourselves to be.
People focused on self-image, put their attention towards their physical presentation and whatever achievement means to them in all areas of their lives. Their behaviors follow particular patterns. They may move up the corporate ladder or socially or in whatever area matters to them, but they seem to stay the same personality-wise over time. This group is where you'll find perfectionists, as well. Members of this group are often stressed-out or easily enter this state of being. Self-worth is usually determined based on others' opinions or on monetary measurements. Happiness is usually dependent upon how things turn out for them.
The other group pays attention to their physical presentation and things they choose to accomplish; but, these things piggy-back on the foundation of who they are based on their ongoing development of self-awareness. You can rely on them, but their behaviors and actions change in accordance with increases in self-awareness. There are no perfectionists in this group because they know perfection is unrealistic, whereas excellence is realistic and attainable. Members can be affected by events, but have a strong foundation of self that readily returns them to a state of balance and a generally easy-going manner. They determine their own worth because they are self-actualized. Happiness is something they choose to experience more often than not.
The self-image group often stays contained emotionally. They may not even know what they really feel about something. They may live primarily by logic and, to some degree, emotion. Emotions and feelings are not the same thing. Self-aware people deliberately search their feelings so they can live every moment as authentically as possible; and, they strive to properly manage their emotions.
We can read the descriptions for both groups and determine which one we are in. We can ask questions such as, How's this working for me? What might I want to change? Where we can get into trouble in our lives is when we place our value into the hands of anyone or anything other than ourselves. This leads to the people-pleaser syndrome that creates lives of frustration and bitterness.
It's up to each of us to decide which adds more value to our lives: Self-image or self-awareness. Only we can recognize which one serves our life purpose and experience better.
About Joyce Shafer
Joyce Shafer is a Life Empowerment Coach dedicated to helping people feel, be, and live their true inner power. She's author of "Don't Want to be Your Guru" and other books/ebooks, and publishes a free weekly online newsletter that offers empowering articles and free downloads. See all that's offered by Joyce and on her site at http://stateofappreciation.weebly.com
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