Photo Credit: Brooke Lark,

How do you change your self-perception – the way you see yourself?

Have you ever planned a project, intending for it to be perfect, then realized you needed more love or support? Somehow, you skipped a step that meant the result wasn’t going to be what you said you wanted. Have you ever reinforced that feeling by seeing yourself as “stupid” afterward? Do you want to continue that thought, feeling, and action next year?

You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew.

                                                                         Albert Einstein

How do you change your consciousness? How do you see the world anew?

On your New Year’s resolution checklist, ask yourself, “Who do I see when I look in the mirror?” Do I tell myself that I never do anything right, or that whatever I do is good? Something in between? Here are three steps to take to figure out how you see yourself in the world now and how you can see yourself in a new way.


The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) has an informative chart of seven levels of self-perception that help clarify what you are thinking that makes you feel and act the way you do. When you talk to yourself (not the kind of talking to yourself that alarms your family, but a silent, inner-monologue), how do you spend most of your time? We all have thoughts at each of these levels at different points in our lives, sometimes within the same 20 minutes. Some situations require specific self-preservation responses. However, usually, one level seems more familiar and comfortable and is our normal way of being. Which one is your normal, now?


People at the first two levels are often motivated by fear.  At those levels, you behave as though you always need more than you have or you won’t have enough. You are afraid others will take away your power or your ability to take care of yourself. People outside that environment or above that level might consider that you are irritating and have some unlovable qualities. People at Levels three, four, and five are motivated more and more by decreasing fear and increasing faith.You are developing faith in your own abilities and in connection to the universe to take care of your needs. You can even take care of the needs of others. You want to make everything work the way it should, to take responsibility for your behavior, or to make sure you as well as everybody you work with benefits from whatever you create. People at levels six and seven are motivated by a feeling of oneness with everyone and are closer to being non-judgmental. You might be able to show someone the long-term goal and to put present-day situations in perspective.


Since perception of yourself is a thought, you can consciously create a “you” closer to your ideal and see the world anew! Abigail’s last New Year’s family luncheon had been normal. She asked one guest to bring extra table settings. She had made the soup everyone had clamored for but didn’t have enough spoons for all the guests. She had tried out two recipes and was nervous about how they would taste. She asked two of the guests to bring something to drink and avocados for the salad because she had forgotten to do it before. She was tripping over her own feet and losing all sense of the plan she had made. Her mother patted her hand and whispered in her ear that they all expected to have to help because she usually turned a beautiful meal into something that made her look helpless. Abigail hadn’t realized that helplessness had become part of her identity and decided to change. She practiced imagining herself as someone who got positive attention and love because she was calm, organized and competent. This year, she began preparing for New Year’s lunch two weeks before and shopped with lists of what was needed in categories of food, drinks, table settings, and decorations. She scheduled a deadline for completing each thing. Abigail completed the table settings and simple decorations the day before. She could have asked for help, but just to prove to herself that she could be responsible for the entire event, she didn’t ask anyone. On the morning of the lunch, she popped the seasoned-in-advance, already carved meat and chicken in the oven, made the salad, added finishing touches to the  cooked soup, string beans, black-eyed peas and rice, put  them on  the “keep warm” setting and patted a well-worn card on her refrigerator door that said:

1. Prepare for Success
2. Plan Ahead
3. Do it Simply and Do it Well

Then, she took off her apron, turned on some smooth jazz and rested before the guests arrived. It had taken a year, but she saw herself as a new creation, organized and calm. Her stunned family loved her anyway! Changing your self-perception might be a task that is easier done with support. I can give you individual attention at Clarity and Possibility Coaching.