In Pursuit of a Healthy Self-Image
I have a healthy self-image. I really do. I know so, because my wife tells me that’s where my arrogant attitude comes across loud and clear. But I am serious. I have worked really hard on this one. I have the same insecurities that others have. I have the same issues balancing hectic work and family lives as others. I think I’ve eventually come to terms with the fact that I’m human, and that I’m okay with me.
This was my struggle in my younger years, and also when I did therapy. The younger me would puff out my chest and use my self-image as a mask to ward off anyone that attempted to come at me. Stay away. I am tough and powerful, and very confident. That was the attitude I used to discourage anyone from challenging me. I thought I would be happy because I believed I –and more importantly everyone else–would think that I had a strong self-image.
But that didn’t bring happiness. Not totally. I think what I learned in therapy is that some self-image is important for happiness. I know that I feel better and am happier when I am bathed, manicured, and dressed in clean clothes. I learned that personal hygiene helped me attract my wife. That makes me happy. And I learned that being comfortable with my self-image gave me some degree of happiness.
I also learned this, though. More of this image stuff didn’t make me happier. I have more money today than I did in college. I have nicer clothes in my closet. I have a nicer car. But none of that stuff gave me more happiness. When I was 30, I was happy when I bought a new car. However, I wasn’t happier than when I bought a ‘new to me’ used car at 39. I came to terms with the fact that I have enough self-image to make me happy. Pursuing more of my self-image won’t make me happier.