Your Self Portrait Symbolism that will guide you...

I recently read a book by Charlotte Beers-an American businesswoman and former Undersecretary of State- who talked about an interesting concept I would like to share with you: the self-portrait. Now, I’m not asking you to go off and have your headshot taken or have a budding artist paint an image of you – although the latter could be fun!

Rather, I am referring to an inner self-portrait of who you aspire to be in the future. According to Beers (2012), this technique centers you and acts as a psychological compass, helping you align your thoughts and your actions accordingly.

A self-portrait can be any person, object, or image. All you need for this to work is a sense of symbolism that will guide you through moments of doubt and inner conflict.

For example, my self-portrait is a tea bag.

At this point, you may be scratching your head. How is a tea bag representative of a self-portrait, and how does it act as a moral and professional compass? Let me explain.

One of my favorite quotes is by Eleanor Roosevelt. She stated, “A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water.” I love that! I also love tea which makes this quote even more apt!

As I go through challenges in my everyday life, I go back to this image-or this self-portrait. I picture myself as a strong person; a robust and complex cup of tea if you will. I go back to that quote and, more importantly, that image. In doing so, I am immediately transported and returned to my center. This is the power of my self-portrait.

This is an enjoyable, meaningful exercise and one that takes some time. At first, I was at a loss and could not find a self-portrait that worked for me. I tried to relate to various images, but none resonated deeply with me. It is critical that your self-portrait is personal and highly meaningful to you.

So please take some time to think of an image, a person, or a symbol that mirrors the person you want to be, and use it to your advantage! Your inner portrait will act as your talisman, and see you through many challenging moments.

Leave a Reply