How to Create a Positive Self-Image in Life and Relationships

Most men are familiar with self-image but vastly underestimate its practical impact on their lives and relationships. They fail to realize that everything, from their career prosperity to their romantic success, relies almost entirely on how they view themselves.

Intelligence, good looks, and education are erroneously pedestalized, and a man’s perception of his own importance and ability to succeed takes a back seat.

Men will spend their entire existence tailoring their personality and life to the tastes and preferences of women, close family, and friends, without every asking themselves that quintessential question:

What would make me happy with myself?

The irony of it all is that it is only by asking this question that a man is able to find the fulfillment, romantic success, and approval that he is looking for.

Men think the key to creating a positive self-image is winning smiles from others, when the reality is, positive self-image only comes when you can face yourself in the mirror, and smile.

But how do you create this positive self-image, and before that, how do you rid yourself of limiting beliefs and self-sabotaging mindsets that drag you down each day?

The answer is complicated and usually lies shrouded in layers of painful self-reflection and more practical work than most men have the drive for.

The question is: which man are you? 

The one who’s so afraid of facing his past that he shatters every mirror in his house and avoids his reflection at all costs? Or the guy who recognizes that the fulfillment and gratification that await him are worth the blood, sweat, and tears that come with that crucial glance in the mirror?

Built, not Found: The Overlooked Truth of Positive Self-image

Before proceeding into actionable strategies to build and maintain self-image, I must first overturn one of the modern world’s favorite falsehoods.

You are not entitled to a positive self-image.

The world pushes the tantalizing message that positive self-image is something that we are all entitled to at birth, and must be revealed to us through self-discovery.

The world of men has been misled by these claims. We are told that enough mirror affirmations and validating self-talk will make us like ourselves, no matter how unlikeable we are.

Since you’re here, my guess is you’ve seen firsthand the falsity of these beliefs. You’ve tried the affirmations, the meditation, and the compassionate self-talk, and are ready for the real answer.

Well, here it is:

To build a positive self-image, you have to turn yourself into someone you like.

Simple, but profound.

Throughout my ten plus years as a men’s coach, I’ve learned that the best way to do this is to treat yourself as you would treat someone you care about.

This idea was popularized in the brilliant Dr. Jordan Peterson’s book, Twelve Rules for Life, and has helped millions of men climb out of self-dug pits and escape self-sabotaging lifestyles. 

  • Would you want someone you love to stay in a toxic relationship? Of course not, so you shouldn’t either.
  • Would you want someone you love to watch porn each night? No, so neither should you.
  • Would you want someone you love to spend forty years working a job they hate? Of course not, so you shouldn’t either.
  • Would you want someone you love to eat junk food and skip the gym? Hell no, so get your ass out of bed.

Self-image is built by passion, dedication, and self-accountability. You CANNOT earn positive self-image without putting in the work. Make yourself proud of who you are and your self-image will improve.

6 Ways to Create a Positive Self-image

So you’re ready to put in the work. Here are six crucial steps to build your positive self-image.

1. Match your actions PERFECTLY with your words

Your life is built by the things you do, not the beliefs you hold or the words you speak.

Most men are talkers nowadays. Day after day, they make empty promises to themselves and others. 

It starts with harmless things: getting home from work later than promised or forgetting to grab groceries though they assured their wife they would. But after a while, these harmless things turn into habits that erode relationships and cause a loss of respect. Dates are missed, anniversaries forgotten, and the words “I love you” stop meaning anything.

That’s just one half of the story, however. 

It isn’t only other people that lose respect for you when your words prove meaningless; you lose respect for yourself.

Think of it this way. Each promise you’ve made yourself or someone else, spoken or unspoken, has the potential to add to your self-esteem or detract from it.

If you back your words up with action, you prove to yourself and others that you are trustworthy. When you trust yourself, you respect yourself. When you respect yourself enough, you’ll begin to admire yourself. This is how you create a positive self-image.

If your actions don’t reflect your words, however, you prove to yourself and others that you don’t have the strength of character to make your convictions a reality. As a result, you lose respect for yourself. This is how a negative self-image is fostered.

Stop taking your words lightly. 

  • If you aren’t going to change your career, then don’t say, “Yeah I gotta find something I enjoy more.”
  • If you aren’t going to get in shape, then stop saying, “Yep, I really gotta lose this belly fat.”
  • If you aren’t going to intentionally put effort into planning more dates, then stop saying, “I promise I’ll do better, Baby.”

It’s these neglected promises that tear your self-esteem and self-image apart.

2. Move on from your past and forgive yourself

Regret is a necessary component of the human experience. It helps us learn from our mistakes.

It helped the cavemen know what worked and what didn’t when hunting mammoths and it helps men today avoid dating yet another toxic partner.

We live, screw up, and do our best to avoid these same mistakes in the future. The proper amount of regret is what inspires change.

But too much regret leads to paralysis.

Men who can’t move on from past mistakes and never allow themselves to be forgiven essentially neglect one of life’s greatest gifts: the ability to live and learn. 

Stop thinking of your past as mistake-ridden and pointless and view it as a series of stepping stones that lead to who you are today. You’re doing yourself a disservice and essentially giving your past-self the middle finger by not using his mistakes to fuel your success.

Men who can’t move on never do anything of import because they’re too busy drowning in regret. They fall into a hole and rather than climbing out, spend their time bashing their head against the wall, remonstrating themselves for falling in the first place. 

You can’t hope to build a positive self-image if you can’t let go of the past.

3. Leave the job that “pays the bills” and do something you love

The satisfaction men get from life is a reflection of the quality of their relationships and the fulfillment they get from their life’s work.

From a young age, we are told to find a job that “pays the bills” and instilled with the idea that our working life is something we have to get through to earn retirement.

It’s time to put this harmful belief to bed.

As a man, your life is your work.

Studies repeatedly show that meaningful work is, without a doubt, the most accurate indicator of a man’s contentment.

And it doesn’t stop there. Men who have satisfying work are more invested fathers, more loving husbands, and better friends. 

Work is the well that men draw their meaning and fulfillment from. The depth of your well and the amount of meaning you are able to pull from it depend on how much you enjoy your job.

If you’re hitting the snooze button over and over again and having to force yourself out of bed each morning, you should not be confused about why your self-image is poor. You have to find work you’re passionate about to be happy with yourself.

Men who don’t do meaningful things don’t feel important. One of the keys to having a positive view of yourself is feeling important.

4. Build a body you can be proud of

The modern world is a soft place.

Once upon a time, a man’s survival and success depended, in part, upon his fitness. If he wasn’t able to physically protect his wife and children, he wasn’t a suitable partner. If he wasn’t strong and fit, he wasn’t an effective hunter.

Nowadays, however, the relationship between success and health has diminished and many men have forgotten its importance entirely.

While we may not be fighting off saber tooth tigers or tackling mammoths these days, a man’s body is his temple. It’s a physical symbol that tells the world I mean business! When a woman sees a man who takes care of himself, she knows he’ll take care of her just the same.

Don’t let the toxic self-love movement of today convince you of anything else. If you want to wake up energized and alive, date high-quality women, and live the last twenty years of your life on your feet rather than with a walker or wheel-chair, your body needs to be your top priority.

  • Eat a consistent, healthy diet (high protein, low processed food)
  • Sleep 7-9 hours a night and go to bed at a consistent time six days a week
  • Drink more water than you want to
  • Move at least a couple of times a day (doesn’t have to be in the gym)
  • Get sun exposure everyday (ideally first thing in the morning)
  • Screens off at least an hour before bed and after you wake up

These are the essentials. Don’t stop there.

The body that greets you in the mirror each morning can either put a smile on your face or make you throw on a baggy sweatshirt before walking out the door. Your choice.

5. Surround yourself by grounded, uplifting people (romantically and otherwise)

We’ve all heard it said a hundred times: you are the average of the five people you spend time with most. 

If you’re struggling with your self-image, I challenge you to take a look at your inner circle. Are the people closest to you living their lives to the fullest, or are they toe-dippers, content to watch from the sidelines and complain about how unlucky they are?

Are the guys you hang out with on the weekend men you aspire to be like, or nobodies content to drink their lives away?

Is your girlfriend a positive force in your life, or just a companion on a lonely road?

If the majority of the people close to you aren’t pursuing the high and quality things in life, you can bet you won’t be either after hanging around them a bit.

We are the company we keep!

If you aren’t intentionally choosing your friends and lovers, your self-image will suffer mightily. 

6. Stop trying to make everyone happy

When most men approach a woman they are interested in, their brain is screaming one question:

What can I do to make her like me?

They shoot their shot, get rejected, and tuck their tail and make the lonely trudge back to their seat.

The next day, they’re in the gym training for one reason and one reason only: to make her like them. 

They’re missing it. It’s all the wrong approach. Creating a positive view of yourself is about learning to flip the script and ask yourself this question instead:

What can I do to make me like me?

  • Not what job will make my parents proud…what job will leave me satisfied?
  • Not what university will make my classmates jealous…where do I want to go?
  • Not what house will society approve of…what fits my goals and makes me happy?

Once you like you, others will start to like you too (especially women). There is nothing women like more than a man who is content in who he is and where he is going.

Positive self-image is built by doing things for yourself and giving the middle finger to society and their ever-expanding list of expectations.

Flip the script is the key that unlocks the door to a satisfying life.


If you’ve gotten this far, it’s like you’re still looking for something. Maybe my words have spoken to your heart and you’re eager to hear more. Maybe you’re just lost and alone and in desperate need of a friend or mentor on this lonely road.

Whatever the case, I am here to help. If you’re tired of going through the motions…if you’re tired of acting in society’s play of your life…if you’re ready to kiss the mediocrity and mundanity of your life goodbye…it’s time to level up your inner circle.

My team of top life coaches and leaders have helped hundreds of men climb out of self-doubt, addiction, and low self-esteem, and we’d love to help you too.

Whether you’re looking to ignite passion again, get rid of people-pleasing behaviors, or learn your way around the romantic world, my team is ready to take your existence on this earth to the next level.

I will warn you, however, that our programs are not for everybody. We DO NOT do the work for you. We ARE NOT superheroes who will somehow mend your broken life all on our own.

Changing your life starts with you. You have to have the bravery to look at yourself in the mirror and cultivate the courage to believe you can be better. Ultimately, only you can change yourself.

The Times Have Changed. This is the Way Forward in 2024.

Here’s how I can help in my new FREE training on becoming a stronger Grounded Man:

1. The new path for men that creates a purpose driven life and doesn’t require you to lose your personal power, put women on a pedestal or sacrifice your goals.

2. Why men consistently settle and ignore the most important areas of life like the quality of their intimate relationships, social life and happiness and how to optimize all three without sacrificing professional growth.

3. The biggest mistake 97% of men make that breeds loneliness, breakups and emasculation that is absolutely reversible with this counter intuitive strategy.