There are many things that can influence our self-image, and you might be surprised how small and easy many of them can be.
For example, in your everyday life, how often do you take a few seconds to make someone else's day better?
One of the things I noticed when I started improving my own self-image in my early 20s, was that people around me started calling me a “gentleman”.
And at first, I kind of objected to it.
The word made me think of men who did nothing but try to impress through kindness. And I wanted to be an exciting young guy with a bit of an edge. (Yes, my young ego was very much in play at the time.)
After all, I had been working hard to get rid of my “nice guy” habits that so far had made me be the biggest people-pleaser I knew. And people-pleasers rarely get what they want, because they're too busy pleasing everyone else.
But then a friend of mine explained it to me.
“The reason people call you that is because you do the little things. Anyone can hold a door for someone else, but when you do it you smile and wish them a good day. Unlike most guys, you compliment your male friends rather than compete with them. When you say thank you, you look me in the eyes. When you see that something might be wrong, you ask if everything is ok.”
It suddenly started to make more sense.
I’d always cared about other people, and even when I was at my most shy and timid I tried doing nice things like hold the door open for strangers.
But I would do it half-turned away from them. I’d be looking down. I’d not answer their “thank you”s with anything more than a nod.
Now that I had become more confident and was more comfortable in my own skin, however, I did what I could to also connect with people in those moments.
“The little things” include basically anything that costs only a few seconds of your time, that's a nice thing to do for someone else, and that you're doing because you want to, not because you think you have to.
When you combine those little things with a moment of connection – you stand out.
And not only do you stand out to others, but you start creating the self-image of a person who can feel good about how you show up in the world. Who can be proud of your actions. And who knows that you can also get something out of being nice to others - namely that moment of connection and appreciation.
Soon enough you'll start seeing yourself as someone who contributes positively to the social landscape around you. Who other truly want to have around. And you'll start recognizing how well you can connect with others – even if it is just for a moment.
So please join me in doing the little things in a more connected way.
Lift your eyes up from the ground when you move around in the world, and look for opportunities to do the little things for strangers.
And when you do, look them in the eyes and give them a smile.
You’ll soon truly start to feel why this is a habit we should all practice.
Hi, I'm TJ Guttormsen.
Since 2009 I’ve coached clients ranging from Olympic gold medalists and billionaires, to people who simply want more out life.
I’ve done over 100 national media appearances, published books, and created online courses that have earned several “Highest Rated” titles from their 11 000+ members.
Today I coach clients from all over the world, and teach seminars for business and events from my home in Las Vegas.
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