Setting the record straight on IMAGE by: Motivational speaker Ashley Poptodorova


You-are-beautiful

 

I am so excited to be sitting here blogging to you, coffee in hand and Jesus Culture playing in ears. 😉 I know it has been a while. I have had an eventful and fun few weeks. Lots going on! In the process of setting up my new Wellness blog, I just spoke at the Girls of Purpose conference in Tampa. It was a powerful presentation on IMAGE. I had to share and recap for those of you who have not had the opportunity to watch the video. I will be posting a link to the video in this blog for those who would like to watch it.

IMAGE. A simple 5 letter word that can ultimately determine which way your life goes. Really! It is THAT powerful. Do you know the image you hold of yourself? What does it look like? How do you view yourself? What do you see when you look in the mirror? How do you SPEAK to yourself?

I want to help you gain a better perspective of the image you hold of yourself, how you got to this point and (if negative) steps you can take RIGHT now to start changing and improving your self image (and thus your life!). This is not intended to be a “self-help guru” type of blog post, rather, a REAL person sharing a real testimony and tips for changing your life and self image. I was once in a VERY different place with my life and my IMAGE until I let God really come into my heart to begin His awesome work. The changes were astounding (so much so!) that I desperately want to share with you. It could GREATLY change your life if you apply it.

Ultimately, ask yourself the following questions to determine your IMAGE of yourself. These things will help give you a better idea of how you arrived at where you are today. Remember, you can’t fix “where you are at” if you do not really know where you are starting. A great starting point is “self-evaluation” and taking a deeper look at what is really going on inside of your heart and mind.

How were you raised? With love or with abandonment, shame or abuse?

What words were spoken into you?

How were you taught to measure your success…? By materialism or inner worth?

Are you surrounding yourself with those who build you up or break you down?

What kinds of relationships and friendships do you engage in? (REALLY EVALUATE THIS!) Often times, negativity starts brewing from those whom we associate with the most!

How do you speak to yourself daily?

Do you believe you have to “look” at certain way to gain acceptance?

Do you believe things you read or listen to? (Magazines, music)

You see, if you really start to evaluate the things happening daily in your life, you will find that they can be put into one of two categories: USELESS for you or USEFUL to you.

Just because you were raised to believe one thing about yourself, it does not mean this IMAGE cannot be changed! YOU have the ability at any moment to change your image. Yep… how cool is that!? I found FREEDOM in this! Now, how can you start changing your image if you find it is needed? Its simple but hard. It is a simple concept but hard in the sense that you have to be consistent. Each day  you have to be very “aware” of the thoughts spinning around in your head as well as the people and situations you engage in. You must also be careful to set reasonable expectations for others. You see, sometimes, when we are “lacking” something or “needing” something… we tend to look for these needs to be met from others. You must come to understand how to properly get your needs met. I’m going to share soon… keep reading! 🙂

Start by understanding that you can’t do it alone. When you search for help fixing image only through the “world” you will always be let down. Why? Because you are searching for something the world can’t provide. Whether it be attention, affirmation or something else, it is a dead-end. Eventually the world will let you down. Sometimes our expectations of others is simply a way of showing the “needs” that we have. While the realization is helpful, it is CRUCIAL to understand how to properly fill your needs. You just can’t expect people to fill your needs! Why? Because people are IMPERFECT beings! Whether they mean to or not, they will let you down. It is human nature to do so.

So… how can you properly fill your needs? How can you seek to understand yourself, your image and your life better? Simple. Get to know the one who made you! Basically, when I really let go of control and let God move in my heart and my life… THIS is when things started changing! Did it mean that I had no more pain (or issues)? NO, of course not! It did mean however, that I finally relinquished control to the ONE who does have the answers to help! God moved like a flood in my life! He knocked down the walls and the places that I had built up so high, no one could penetrate. He came into my heart and removed the pain (infection) allowing me to heal and move forward. He gave me understanding to places that had no understanding before. He gave me insight and JOY. Yes… true, pure, deep belly JOY that can only come from the Lord. No matter what your circumstance or what is spinning on around you, this deep JOY burns like a fire. It is ALWAYS there. It is JOY that comes from knowing WHO you are, WHO made you and knowing that you serve a purpose! It is knowing WHO you are in Christ. Talk about IMAGE changing and LIFE CHANGING! 😉

Suddenly, everything that mattered before starts to matter less. You care less about pleasing others and more about pleasing Him and living out your purpose for life! This is the STARTING point. Trust me when I tell you this. Once you start to focus on your relationship with Christ, He begins to do a work (and a GOOD work!) in you. He begins to redefine you. He teaches you how to let go of that which no longer serves a good and wholesome purpose in your life. He teaches you how to LOVE yourself like He loves you. Oh, and how powerful this is!!

I want to share my video with you from the Girls of Purpose Conference this past weekend. It was an amazing weekend and Holy Spirit filled! No matter what your belief, please take some time to watch it. I guarantee you it will be powerful and life changing! 😉

Ashley speaking on IMAGE at the 2013 Girls of Purpose conference

Here is to you believing and knowing how beautiful you really are! You have such a purpose for your life. It is time to STOP believing the enemy and lies of the world and start believing the GREAT things God has in store! 🙂

Blessings and health,

Ashley

 

 

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