Self-Improvement Tips: Self-Concept Theory

Today I am going to share with you one of  the many self-improvement tips on self-concept theory which I have learned from various sources.

Do you know that everything we know about ourselves, all our beliefs, are all wired inside us called self-concept?

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Definition of Self-Concept
The way you see yourself (self-image), the way you wish you were really like (self-ideal) and how much you value yourself (self-worth or self-esteem). These three components made up your self-concept.

Self concept is how we think about and evaluate ourselves. In other words, to be aware of oneself  is to have a concept of oneself.

How you react or behave largely determines by your self-concept. So you can say that all improvement in your life begins with an improvement in your self-concept. If you want to change your performance and your results in any aspect of your life, you have to change your self-concept.

As I have mentioned above, the three parts of self concept are:

1. Self-ideal (What you wish you were really like)

2. Self-image (The view you have of yourself)

3. Self-esteem (How much value you place on yourself)

What is Self-Ideal
Self-ideal is the person you most like to become. But rarely, is our ideal self is totally in congruence with what you like to become. In short, most of us experience a certain amount of incongruence. According to humanistic psychologist Carl Rogers, there is always be a gap between the real self and
the ideal self; the “I am” and the “I should”.

When we have this imperfect self, we defend it by either denial or perceptional distortion (reinterpreting the situation so that it appears less threatening).

What is Self-Image
Self-image is the way you see yourself and think about yourself. The mental image one has of oneself. Self-image is an internal discriptions of one’s characteristic self, which includes your intelligence, physical outlook, talent, personal traits and social roles as well.

The development of our self image is affected by various factors. For instance parental influences, friends, environment, the media etc. Self-image is important because how we think about ourselves affects how we feel about ourselves and how we respond to life.

What is Self-Esteem
Self-esteem or self worth is about how much we value ourselves. The word esteem means thinking that someone or something is important or valuing that person or thing.  Self-esteem is how much you value yourself and how
important you think you are. It’s how you see yourself and how you feel about your achievements.

Bascially it is about your opinion of yourself. We either have a high self esteem which is a good opinion of yourself or a low self esteem, that is a bad opinion of yourself. Your self-esteem can be defined as how much you like yourself. The more you like yourself, naturally the better you perform at
anything you attempt.

Your self-esteem or self-worth is determined by how closely your self-image matches your self-ideal. We always compare our actual performance with our ideal performance without us actually consciously knowing it. Whenever you feel that you have lived up to your best or actually lived up to your self-ideal, you feel good. The feel good factor is actually your self-esteem.

Self-esteem is the core of your self-concept and personality. So if there is anyimprovement in any part of your personality or performance, it will boost your self-esteem. As a result, it causes you to like and respect yourself even more. The more you like yourself, the better will be your self-image and so is your performance. And you will move towards becoming more like your self-ideal.

As you can see, all the three components of self-concept are inter-related and they all affect your whole life. The frightening thing is if we have a poor self-concept of ourselves, then you will always live an unproductive, miserable and unfulfilled life.

But the saving grace is self concept is learned. We are not born with it. In other words, we can change our self-concept any time. The first thing we should do is to question our beliefs we have about ourselves. Our self-talk or internal dialogue is what forms our beliefs. As you have already known the power of belief from my last post. So, change your self-talk now. Remove all those false beliefs or self-limiting beliefs which you have been telling ourselves all this time.

Now you know why our helpful friends or relatives’ advice like, ‘look on the bright side of things’ or, that we should ‘try to be more positive’, have no impact on you.

As they say, you are what you think. And you know the power of thought. If you want to change something about yourself start first changing your self-concept.

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