It takes COURAGE to know yourself well and to live life being EXACTLY who you were meant to be. It’s perfectly ok to explore what the heart wants and to tune out the rest of the world long enough to build a relationship with your soul. The most beautiful thing you will ever witness in your life is the moment you start to unfold into the exact person you were meant to be. You are not born knowing yourself. You do not get to know yourself simply by growing up and growing old. Knowing yourself is a conscious effort; you do it with intention and purpose. How do you look at yourself? How would you describe yourself?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Self-Image: How you VIEW yourself. For example: intelligent, attractive, funny, ugly, popular, stupid. It’s also severely affected by what you think other people think of you – your weight, attractiveness, intelligence etc. It is very helpful to eliminate the dependency upon the opinion of others as it is not always useful in understanding yourself.

Self-Esteem: How you LIKE yourself. First let’s take a look at the word esteem – which means to like, admire, hold in high regard. Self-esteem is the ability to do this for yourself: to like, admire, and value yourself. You feel you deserve good things or you don’t.

Self-Respect: How you TREAT yourself.  You take care of yourself, you’re kind to yourself, you don’t put yourself in dangerous scenarios, don't do drugs, don't eat bad food all the time, sleep around etc. It’s hard to feel happy when someone is mean to you all the time! And it’s us. We are mean to ourselves! Sometimes not only do we treat ourselves poorly, we actually indulge in self-sabotage!

Comfort eating is a common form of self-sabotage, especially when a person has weight concerns, diabetes, or heart problems; self-medicating with drugs or alcohol is another common form, going on shopping sprees when you can't really afford it, and procrastination may be the most common of all. Not accepting a compliment is self-sabotaging. A Compliment is a VERBAL GIFT. Just accept it gracefully.

Comparing yourself to others is also sabotaging. Personality begins where comparison ends. Comparing yourself can lead to jealousy. Jealousy is when you count someone else’s blessings instead of your own.

Psychologists have proven that you will most consistently perform in a manner that is in harmony with the image you have of yourself. How you view yourself can be the difference between success and failure in life and a contributing factor to your very happiness.

To Truly Know Yourself You Must Invest Time in Yourself. Here’s where we fail. We are busy to an extreme. We don’t value ourselves or we would realize it is critical to take time with yourself. You must take a RADICAL Approach. Here are 3 Steps to help You. 

R              READ…all the time. Read self-improvement books, read books about achieving happiness, read the Bible. Jeremiah 33:3 Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and mysterious things you do not know.

A              ASK…yourself questions. What is making me unhappy? What is most stressful about today? Am I living my values? What am I really angry about? What would make me feel better? Who should I call?

D              DO SOMETHING FUN…weekly. Work up to daily. Go for a cappuccino. Watch kids play at a park. Take a trip to the bookstore. Read the Sports page. Help someone for no reason. Go to an amusement park. Golf. Take up a new hobbie. What do you really, really enjoy?

When you TAP into your true self, several things happen. You will have less stress in your life because you know how to manage things better. You will become more confident in your abilities, celebrate your successes and realize you deserve good things. Life becomes more enjoyable and fun. You also have a better chance of obtaining what you want in life because you have identified your passions and set appropriate goals. All of these benefits are tremendous!

The good news is you CAN change the image you have of yourself. Start by agreeing with God!  God doesn’t dwell on our weaknesses or failures. God sees you as strong and courageous, of great honor and value. He made you special and unique. Do yourself a favor and BELIEVE HIM.