Definition Of Self Concept



Would it surprise you to know that a definition of self concept - how you see yourself, will determine the resultsand outcomes you derive from your goals?

In the area of personal development, there is often a lot being said about the need to remain positive or to have a positive mental attitude (PMA).

However, what is less talked about is the importance of your self concept, self-esteem and how these key aspects directly influence your ability to maintain a positive mental attitude.

Without doubt, it is easy for anyone to remain positive andupbeat when things are going well. When they are not, or you feel you have little to no control over undesirable life events, it is a different story all together.

I'm sure you can relate to the well-meaning friend or relativewho tell you to 'look on the bright side of things' or, thatyou should 'try to be more positive'. It's alright for them - they're not the ones feeling the reality you're experiencing.

Until they do, they cannot possibly give you advice on how or what you should be feeling. Only you can do that! Doesthat sound about right?

It makes sense therefore that you learn how to do exactlythat. Your definition of self concept - how you see yourself, directly correlate with your ability to maintain a positive frame of mind.

It is this positive state that will help you to adequately manage and overcome any life storms you experience. But first, you must learn how to nurture this positive state.

Nurturing a healthy sense of self calls for a critical evaluationof the value you place on yourself. That is:


  • Your level of self-esteem
  • The amount of trust you have in yourself


    Having trust in yourself refers to the degree of confidence you have in your ability to get things done.


    Combined, these two key aspects will dictate how you effectively conduct yourself in difficult situations; and, your level of competency in managing challenging life situations.

    Learning how to nurture your healthy sense of self or a healthy self concept is therefore a broad, two-fold process that will in turn equip you with the skills and resources you'll need to deal with whatever life throws at you.

    The following show you two ways of achieving this! The firstrelate to building low self-esteem and provide you with resources,self-esteem activities and exercises you can use to increase yourself esteem quotient.

    The second will focus your attention on how you perceiveyourself, helping you to arrive at a clear definition of selfconcept that is personal or unique to you.




    definition of self concept -How to nurture your Healthy Sense Of Self

    To sustain a positive mental attitude, your self esteem must be high. If your self esteem is low,you will need to work on it. You'll find this building low self esteem exercise and self-esteem activity, useful.




    definition of self concept -getting to grips with how you see yourself

    The following exercise will help you to clearly identify your definition of self concept - how you perceive yourself, as wellas how you perceive other people see you.

    Using your journal, list your responses to the following. Use four positive wordsto describe yourself for each of questions below:


  • How you see yourself as a friend?
  • How you see yourself as a work colleague or neighbour?
  • How do you see yourself as a partner, mother or wife etc.,


    Now that you have a definition of self concept in relation to your other significant networks, the next step is to assess how and why you have come to hold that world view.

    This is important because, the words you use to describe how you see yourself are most probably based on the feedback you have been receiving and/or just an image of how you would like to be perceived. Now answer the followingquestions.



  • What has helped to shape this definition of self concept that you presently hold?

  • How did you arrive at this perception of yourself?

  • To what extent has feedback from these significant networks helped to shape your perceptions?

  • To what extent are your perceptions based on an image of how you would like others to perceive you?


  • Now that you have finished recording your perceptions, you nowneed to turn your attention to how you believe your other significant networks perceive you.



  • List four positive words that a good friend would use to describe you

    (For instance, might they see you as being - caring, loyal, supportive?

  • List four positive words that a work colleague might use to describe you

    (Your work colleague might say - you're dependable, helpful, efficient for example)

  • What four positive words might your partner use (Might s/he say that you're loving, committed)

  • How about family
    (Do they see you as being responsible, dependable, for example)?


  • Take a close look at both your own description of yourself againsthow you perceive other people see you. How does your self-description or definition of self concept compare to those of your other significant network of family, friends, work colleagues etc.,?



  • Are you less forthcoming with positive words used to describe yourself?

  • Are other people's view of you very much different to your own? If so, how is this so?

  • Could you now ask each of them(only the the people you trust and who love you) in turn for their responses to the above questions?

  • Are you really ready to hear how they perceive you and perhaps why they perceive you in the ways they do?

  • What can you learn from their responses or feedback? Could you now journal your many insights into the definition of self concept you hold and what you can now do to build positively on your healthy self concept

  • Do you want to change? More importantly, are you ready to change your life/how you see yourself - for the better?


  • As you can clearly see, a definition of self-concept involve you understanding and engaging in two key processes - i.e. the value you place on yourself (self-esteem) and the level of confidence you have in your ability to take positive action to change - (self-confidence). You have all the tools you need at hand to now nurture these important aspects of yourself. Go, make a start!



    "The people and circumstances around me do not MAKE me what I am, they REVEAL who I am". (Dr Laura Schlessinger)





    The information on this site is purely of educational value and is not intended to replace your seeking medical advice. You must consult your doctor over all your health concerns.


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