Selfies for Growth, not Narcisissm

Taking selfie on smartphone in strong sunlight
image credit: photo by Mink Mingle on Unsplash.

So many people view selfies as the epitome of narcissism, but selfies are not only for narcissists. Perhaps for some it may be, however for others, selfies may also be an opportunity to explore and express one’s self in a new and different way.

It can be a wonderful and creative time to look at ourselves, not just physically, but in a deeper way. We can experiment with how it feels to be silly and playful, or artsy and serious.

I remember a time when many people chose not be before a camera because they felt self-conscious and didn’t like how they looked in pictures. Selfies can be a way of working through this uncomfortable feeling and becoming more comfortable in our bodies and with ourselves.

They can also be a way to see ourselves more clearly. For example, Jane hadn’t realized how little she smiled and how serious she looked until she saw herself in selfies. Through experimentation with selfies, and the intention to shift this, she became more in touch with her inner child and was able to smile more.

Having Fun With Selfies

Selfies can also be a way to catalogue one’s experiences and to tell a story about one’s self. Have you ever wanted to travel the world? You can easily edit yourself into various backgrounds and places all over the world, without leaving your home.

Or:

  • Experiment even just around your own town.
  • Take pictures of yourself in front of landmarks, or in front of places that mean something to you.
  • You can create a photo album online and then have it printed. This is your chance to make the story book that you’ve always dreamt of – the fairy tale with you as the star! Or ...
  • Use your selfies to take on a new personality. Always wondered how it would be to be a blonde, or to be a flapper, or a Spanish conquistador? Find some inexpensive options at a thrift store or Halloween store, and then take your own pictures; no one will know but you!

Valuing What You See In Your Selfie

Of course, we can also use selfies as a chance to do some deeper emotional work. Here’s a fun way to experience this:

  • Selfie in hand (or next to you), close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
  • Then, take a look at your selfie, as if you were seeing yourself for the first time.
  • Notice all of the wonderful things about you – your amazing hair, the sparkle in your eyes, mouth, cheeks, how everything works together in perfect harmony.
  • Allow yourself to fall in love with you, experiencing deep awe and wonder for the perfection of you.
  • You are the only you that will ever be, and how wonderful you are!

Whenever any negative thoughts come up about things that you want to change about yourself, simply return to the idea that you are already perfect and wonderful, just the way you are. You might even want to repeat this affirmation from Louise Hay: I love myself exactly as I am. I no longer wait to be perfect in order to love myself.

Loving Yourself

If it seems too hard to ever be able to experience the wonder of our selves, then it may help to speak to a licensed therapist. A psychotherapist can help you to build up your confidence and break down the heavy inner dialogue, allowing you to experience the amazing life that is available to you.

At Nassau Guidance & Counseling, we have worked with many people in all walks of life, and encourage all forms of self-expression (including selfies!) for the facilitation of healing and an increase in well-being

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