Everything begins and ends with you!
Your self-concept is how you view yourself. How you view yourself, determines how you will experience life. If you see yourself in a positive and healthy light, your life experiences will be positive and healthy. It doesn't mean, of course, that your life will be free of challenges and adversity, just that you will have a healthier approach to dealing with them. If your opinion of yourself is shaky and fragile, you will find life's challenges overwhelming and at times, insurmountable.
What is your self-concept?It is the understanding and knowledge you have of your own existence and how you see yourself in relation to others and to your surroundings.
In order to possess a positive or healthy self-concept you must:
- Know yourself
- Love yourself
- Be True to yourself
To be sure, a healthy self-concept is more than having high self-esteem. While high self-esteem is important, the term itself can be misleading since self-esteem is largely based on your 'feelings' of self-worth and encompasses your 'beliefs' about being valuable and capable. It consists of your self-image, either positive or negative, at an emotional level.
When based on emotion, self-esteem can be wavering and vulnerable to threats. Likewise, if it's obtained mostly from external factors, such as an attractive physical appearance, or being popular, you can feel on top of the world one day, and find yourself disillusioned or disappointed on the next.
Therefore, a healthy self-concept must derive from within. Instead of being dependent upon validation from external sources, or the wavering opinions of others, self-esteem must result from self-reflection, self-analysis and self-acceptance.
What constitutes a healthy self-concept?
- The ability to know yourself; to be able to assess your strengths, weaknesses, talents and potential.
- The ability to love and accept yourself as you are, knowing that you can improve and develop any aspects of yourself that you choose.
- The ability to be honest with yourself and be true to who you are and what you value.
- The ability to take responsibility for your choices and actions.
When you posses a healthy self-concept, nothing can rattle you, or take you off your stride. You are confident, poised, and assured because you know you are equipped to handle whatever comes your way.
Adapted from http://www.essentiallifeskills.net/self-concept.html