Understanding Self Concept

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Everyone has a self concept, but if it is negative, it is not doing you any good. In fact, it is probably holding you back in many areas of your life and preventing you from making any progress. A self concept consists of all the snapshots or self-schemas of an individual’s past, present, and future, so every individual’s self conception is unique and relevant to them. An individual’s self concept can be adjusted if they are not happy with it. Many people have misconceptions about the self concept theory. Read on to find out more about the definition of self concept and self esteem and to understand the psychology behind an individual’s self concept.

What Is Self Conception or the Concept of Self?

A person’s self concept can be compared to their self-identity or self-perspective as a collection of beliefs that one holds about themselves. This includes gender roles, sexuality, academic performances, sports accomplishments, and racial identity and how they generally accept these aspects of their lives. Generally speaking, self concept is how people identify themselves or others by answering this one question, “Who am I?” A self concept contributes to the outer actions and attitudes that the world sees by using the picture that is formed inside us and in our subconscious.

What Is the Difference between Self Concept and Self Esteem?

Self concept is very close to self esteem with one major difference: self concept is what describes the person, for instance, “I am a teacher.” It is the cognitive component that the individual has stored inside and that gives them their perspective of their identity.

Self esteem, on the other hand, is opinionated and qualitative. Self esteem puts a value on what the self concept includes. For example, a person might say, “I am a very good teacher.” A person with a positive self concept will likewise have a high self esteem because they see the areas of their life in a positive and acceptable perspective.

The self concept of a person is their identity both of and to themselves. It is their image and the idea of how they fit in the world. It includes the thoughts they have about themselves and how well they understand and know themselves.

Example of Self Concept

Imagine you are offered a job with no blueprint, and you have never learned this job. The difference is that someone with a positive self concept will adapt and learn it quickly while someone with a negative self concept will not find the initiative or the desire to fill the position. The negative self image says, “Why should I try? I won’t succeed anyway,” while the positive self concept says, “I’ll give it my best shot.”

A person’s self image is their perspective, of themselves and of the world around them, but self esteem works side by side with self concept to form the ideas of an individual about how they feel.

Why Is the Concept of Self Important?

The way a person sees themselves creates a scenario of how they fit in the world, and it is more significant whether it is a negative or positive self concept. Those with positive self concept are statistically more successful, and it enables them to have a more realistic perspective of life.

A negative self concept has the reverse effect. A poor image of one’s self leads to low self esteem. If a person is not comfortable with themselves and they lack confidence, they will be insecure in new situations and meeting new people and they may find it difficult to stay motivated in life. A negative self concept is not always apparent to the individual. At times, they can hide behind the illusion of their former self or adopt a generally negative attitude in life.

Receiving encouragement and praise pushes an individual forward into a better place where they are able to perform and feel better. Never underestimate the power of a well-spoken word.

A Healthy Self Concept Discourages Bullying

A child who has developed a good self concept and self esteem is not likely to be bullied in school or to become a bully. Because they have a positive self concept, they do not feel that this is something they want to participate in. A healthy child would more often try to help another child who has fallen into the bullying game.

Self Concept Activities

There are many ways to gain a positive self concept, thereby increasing your self worth and self confidence, which will improve the quality of your life in general. Not everyone has been born into the type of environment where self confidence and self esteem abound, but as was explained above, someone can always improve low or negative self concept and self esteem.

Since the formation of an individual’s self concept begins in your mother’s womb, it’s always better to start activities of self concept improvement as early as possible. Young children take to self concept activities very easily, and this forms a positive foundation for them. A positive self concept leads to a happier, healthier life.

There are self concept activities for preschoolers and people of all ages that can be implemented to improve self concepts. Anybody will experience great benefits as their self concept is adjusted into a more positive perspective. Here are a few activities to try.

For older students, this is a good exercise to allow each person to develop and establish their own self concept:

Part 1: Take magazines, newspapers, etc. and have those participating cut out pictures, words, and symbols that represent their character traits, places they’ve been, jobs they have held, and things they enjoy doing. The participants should then paste their cuttings to a piece of cardboard and create a collage; they should write their names on the back.

Part 2: The collages are put up on a wall, and the other students or participants should take turns guessing which one belongs to whom. The owner of the collage then explains their pictures and statements.

Activity for high school students:

Have students make a list of their top 10 character traits. Then have them go back to each trait and write a potential profession that identifies with it. Have students read their most significant traits and the profession that uses it and why they might want to work in that profession.

Here are four self concept activities for preschoolers:

  • Encourage the children to bring their favorite item from home and discuss why it is their favorite object.
  • Have the children draw their portrait on paper plates. Give them buttons for eyes, yarn for hair, etc. Go around the group and have them express why they chose the materials they did.
  • Make hand and foot prints and compare them to others in the classroom.
  • Play “Guess Who.” Pick a child, and tie blindfolds around the eyes of the rest of the group. Give three clues about the one selected, and have the group guess who it is.

Since the self concept begins at a young child, using these activities to improve a self image is usually better when they are implemented soon in a child’s life. Adults who have problems with negative self concepts can easily work through these exercises to improve their perspective on their identity. Developing a healthy self concept is an excellent way of improving your life.

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