That’s Like Me: A Simple Tool to Shape Your Self-Image

I want to help you see yourself in a new light.

Because you aren’t just one you. There are lots of different versions of you that show up in the world.

Different Versions of You

Some versions of you rock it.

They bring their A-Game to life. They’re energized, present, and loving–embodying the virtues you hold most dear. They’re you when you’re fully-alive, playing at your edge, and living into your potential!

But other versions of you…leave something to be desired.

They’re getting worse marks on their internal report card. They’re lower-energy, more reactive, and less understanding. They’re you shrunken to a fraction of what you’re capable of.

These two versions of you create a spectrum. On one end is your higher self. And on the other end, your lower self.

Throughout the week, you show up in different places on this spectrum. One day you’re in a higher place, and a few moments later, you’ve dropped into a lower place.

This variation is to be expected. If it were out of your control, you’d just have to go along with it.

But fortunately, this process isn’t random! You have direct influence over how you show up in the world. There will always be ebbs and flows…But, what you choose to do, and where you direct your attention, makes a difference.

Which turns this understanding into a game, oriented around a single question:

“What can I do each day to show up at my best?”

There’s a LOT that goes into answering this…So where do you start?

It all starts with your self-image.

How you see yourself determines how you think and act.

  • If you see yourself as an on-time person, you’re more likely to be punctual.
  • If you see yourself as an athlete, you’re more likely to exercise, eat well, and get good rest.
  • If you see yourself as bold, you’re more likely to take action in the face of fear and uncertainty.

So if you want to show up at your best in each day…You’d benefit from examining:

  • “How do I show up when I’m at my highest?”
  • “What qualities does the best version of me embody?”

The more that you see yourself as the highest version of you, the more you’ll show up in that way. Same is true for the opposite.

Which means shaping the way you see yourself is a transformational skill.

But information without practice leads nowhere. So I want to give you my favorite tool for optimizing your self-image. It’s a tool I use with myself and my clients on the daily.

“That’s Like Me”: A Tool to Shape Your Self-Image

This tool comes from Olympic gold medal winner Lanny Bassham in his book With Winning in Mind.

It helps strengthen the connection between you and your higher self while releasing the connection with your lower self.

It works in two parts.

  1. When you do something that’s aligned with your higher self, acknowledge it by saying “That’s like me!”
  2. When you do something that represents your lower self, note it without beating yourself up by saying “Needs work!” and/or “That’s not like me.”

As Dr. Rick Hanson, neuroscientist and meditation expert says, the mind is like Teflon for the positive, and Velcro for the negative.

Using “That’s like me” makes the positive stickier. It imprints these moments on your mind. It reminds you that showing up in an amazing way isn’t a fluke. It’s just who you are!

And using “That’s not like me / Needs work” makes the negative less sticky. It’s a way of acknowledging that your missteps don’t define you. It wipes clean the smudges of these moments, so you can detach from your lower self.

Put it Into Practice

Enough talk, it’s time for action! Here’s how to put this information into practice:

1) Get clear on how you show up when you’re at your best.

This isn’t about trying to be someone you aren’t or living as a fairy-tale character. It’s about you identifying your best qualities, and how you show up at your best.

Give this version of you a nickname. How do they act? How do they think? How do they impact other people?

One of my clients is named Lev. He characterized his highest self as “Marble Lev”. It’s the most heroic, made-from-marble version of himself. And he also got clear on the specific qualities Marble Lev brings to life.

2) Use “That’s like me” to celebrate your best moments.

Increase your awareness of your greatest moments by noting them with “that’s like me.” Say it out loud, or write it down!

  • Take action even when you feel fear? —> “That’s like me!”
  • Create space for stillness? —> “That’s like me!”
  • Stay fully present and engaged in a conversation? —> “That’s like me!”

3) Use “Needs work” to brush off your missteps. There’s no benefit to ruminating on your worst moments. Needs work is an opportunity to begin again. After all, what matters most is you move forward from where you are now.

  • Miss a day of meditation? —> “That’s not like me…Needs work!”
  • Get impatient with a friend or coworker? —> “That’s not like me…Needs work!”
  • Shy away from discomfort instead of doing what’s most important? —> “That’s not like me…Needs work!”

Picturing You…

With a clear vision of how you show up at your highest.

Celebrating your best moments. Noting the low points without judgment.

And day-by-day, moving in the direction of your highest self.


PS: Even more fun than using “That’s like me” to celebrate your best moments is to use “That’s like you” to celebrate other people when they do amazing things! Help THEM see their own greatness.