We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
So the way to look at my sinful self is to see it emaciated, crucified, and dead. When my sinful old self was crucified with Christ, it was so a new life might be had in Christ's resurrection. The gospel is thus my reason for living as a Christian. It is my life. Any other life that I once had is dead and gone.
The perspective I must have on what I once was must be balanced by this fact. I am a new creation in Christ. The old self is dead. The new self lives in Christ. I am no longer enslaved by sin. I am now the slave of Christ, duty bound to follow my Master's desires for me because He saved my life.
This gospel perspective is what I must carry with me. It gives me real hope. It will make me find the life I already have in Christ. It will give me the right opinion about sin. It is a lifestyle that I must inhabit.