Self concept is the idea we have in our head of who and what we are. There are a lot of factors that can contribute to how we view ourselves! Many times our self concept is shaped by what we are told about ourselves when we are young.
The tricky thing about it is that once we have an idea of ourselves fixed in our head, we tend to keep reinforcing it subconsciously. This can be bad for our
if the concept of ourselves has too many negative aspects.
For example, if I see myself as ugly, it could be due being told I was ugly as a child. Since I believe I am ugly, I don’t take care with my appearance - why should I? I dress in a slovenly fashion or forget to comb my hair or brush my teeth. I keep subconsciously making myself more like my negative opinion of who I am.
If I think of myself as stupid, I may go out of my way to not be asked questions. I may keep silent when my opinion is sought, not because I have nothing to offer, but because I believe I have nothing. I prevent myself from growing and learning out a certainty that I will fail!
I can change the view of myself, but it takes time and determination - and above all else a recognition that my concept can be mistaken. The trick is to start being aware of the inner voice that speaks to me - and questioning it when it tries to drag me down.
If I notice that I tend to generalize - if a lot of my inner dialogue starts with the words ‘I am so (ugly, useless, clumsy)’ then I need to stop and challenge that concept! I need to ask myself why I think those things, and prove myself wrong.
I need to set myself up to succeed. If I need a makeover to feel better about myself, there is no harm in that - but after the makeover I am not allowed to put down my appearance. If I need to set simple goals so I can reach them, I shall - and then I will try harder ones.
Only if I face my inner self and correct the concept I have of myself can I grow as a person! My self concept is linked to my self image, my self worth and my self-esteem. If I believe I am a certain way, I will continually try to match myself to that concept. I have to take responsibility for making sure my concept is positive, so my actions and behavior will be, too!