How Do You See Yourself?

How Do You See Yourself? Understanding Self-Regard

Our brains are like cameras that are constantly receiving information. Based on the information we download from these cameras, we’re able to make crucial judgments about the world around us. We’ll watch a presentation and determine next steps, or we’ll spot an outfit on a mannequin and decide to buy it. It’s this ability to perceive and judge our environment that has helped us adapt and survive for so many years.

But what happens when we turn the camera around and point it at ourselves? What do we see when we look through the lens? How do we judge and evaluate what’s looking back at us? We often do this subconsciously, turning the camera inward and judging what we see. This practice is what is referred to as our self-regard.

What is self-regard?

Self regard is the level at which we respect ourselves—it’s our self-esteem or confidence. It is part of our Emotional Intelligence. Those who regard themselves poorly may typically be unhappy. Meanwhile, those with high self-regard tend to have more positive feelings about themselves, which enables them to feel enhanced satisfaction with life.

Yet, self-regard isn’t about an inflated self-ego, either. We all have weaknesses, and part of a healthy sense of self-regard is being able to understand your weaknesses and accept them.

How does self-regard fit into emotional intelligence?

I once read that “self-regard is the spinal cord of your emotional intelligence,” and I couldn’t agree more. This sentiment rings true for anyone who knows how incredibly debilitating a back injury can be. When your self-regard is out of alignment, it can cripple your emotional intelligence. If, for example, your self-regard is low—you believe you’re not worthy of success—then your emotional spinal cord is prone to buckle under even the slightest amount of pressure or criticism. This can then create an emotional tailspin in which feelings of anger, sadness, or fear take control.

Overall, the way in which we view ourselves is the crux of our emotional intelligence. It’s important to be able to respect oneself and have confidence because, from there, happiness can be a natural byproduct.

When you turn that camera inward what do you see? Is the developing image positive, negative or somewhere in between?  If you want to improve your self-regard, work with a coach, a therapist and/or real personal/professional development books and start a goal focused on you. Efforts to improve ourselves lead to loving ourselves more. For additional strategies to increase your EQ and self-regard, contact us today!

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