How do you feel about yourself? Do you support yourself? Do you expect
too much or not enough of yourself? Do you have a good self concept? What is self concept?
To put it in other words, self concept is self esteem.* To have self esteem is to respect
yourself. Appreciation of who you are is as self esteem. You must be aware of your
weaknesses as well as your strengths. You must believe in yourself and accept yourself to
have a positive self concept. You will be able to accept mistakes or setbacks without
shame, guilt, or blame. You will learn to accept the weaknesses and mistakes of others. As
you develop a positive self concept, the feeling that you need to prove yourself to others
will lessen. You can approach tasks without fear of failure or defeat. Relationships with
others will become stronger. More people will want to be around you. You will be capable
of facing all!
IMPORTANCE OF A POSITIVE CONCEPT
A positive self concept or esteem is essential to a person for a
variety of reasons. It makes no difference what point in life or career position in which
a person may be situated. Having a positive self concept will allow a better chance for
success. Individuals avoid playing false roles when they convince others everything is
going well or blaming others for the way you feel. A person with a positive self concept
will not be bitter, but better. Striving for self esteem brings out the potential for
leadership in an individual. A. H. Maslow writes that all persons need a "stable,
firmly based, usually high evaluation of themselves, for self-respect or self-esteem, or
respect from others."
A positive self concept can lead to many rewards:
- Stronger self; More confidence
- More trust in own ideas, skills, and knowledge
- Able to turn opportunities into realities
- Use mistakes to learn and improve
- Gain endurance and fortitude
- Fears and obstacles will not stop progress
- More dynamic and interesting person.
- Gain social approval
- Able to focus thoughts toward bigger aspects of life
- More emotionally secure
- More inner courage
- Gain the ability to control personal future; create circumstances instead of following
- Learn to handle success; keeping your head in the clouds and your feet on the ground at
the same time
- Will have positive feelings for and from others
SELF-CONFIDENCE LEADS TO SUCCESS!!!
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A POSITIVE CONCEPT AND CONCEIT
Confusion sometimes exists between having a positive self concept and
in being conceited. Conceit is the excessive feeling of ones own worth. Although
self esteem is also feeling good about ones worth, the key difference is excessive.
Excessive refers to frequent open displays of worth. A conceited person is boastful and
arrogant. This is unlike a person with a positive self concept. Positive people do not
necessarily voice their own personal satisfaction in worth. The worth of these people
naturally shines through to others. It is usually others who make public the worth of
individuals with strong self concepts. By definition, there is a fine line between conceit
and positive concept. However, when attaching qualities to individuals, the differences
between the two are apparent.
PERSONAL STRENGTHS AND LIMITATIONS
Individuals who wish to develop positive self concept must discover
their strengths and limitations. You can sharpen your strengths and build upon them to
reach a higher level of satisfaction. One way to visualize strengths is to formulate a
list of attributes and choose the ones that describe you. Approach limitations in the same
manner. You need to recognize your limitations before you can overcome them. After
conducting a personal analysis, you will have an easier time strengthening your assets and
overcoming your limitations. Examine and evaluate each attribute as to their importance
regarding your self esteem. Ask yourself, "How does this enhance or hinder my self
esteem?" From that point, you should be able to come up with a reasonable starting
point in developing your self concept.
DEVELOPING A POSITIVE SELF CONCEPT
There may be several ways to improve ones self concept. A good
place to start is to build on a persons successes. Situations that are unlikely to
promote failure are a necessary beginning. When there is success, emphasize it. The
following is a list of suggestions to help develop a positive self concept:
- Begin positive self-talk; dont put yourself down
- Do quality work; then compliment yourself to yourself
- Set goals
- Dress successfully or dress in a way that makes you feel good about yourself
- Speak up and let others know your views
- Tackle the things you fear; dont put them off or fuss over them
- Forgive yourself as you would others
- Continue to learn and be observant
- Change undesirable habits and develop productive habits
- Seize opportunities to learn new skills
- Stand up for others
- Maintain good physical condition
- Appreciate what you can do, rather than what you are unable to do
- Cant compare yourself to others
- Count your blessings
- Go the extra mile to do your best
- Believe in yourself
By following these and other similar suggestions, you can begin to
develop a positive self esteem. A good idea is to remember two areas that can influence
Your personal thoughts
Are you positive or negative?
The people you "hang around"
Do they enhance your good qualities or your bad qualities?
Brown, J. (1986). "How to rekindle confidence and esteem".
Burns, J.M. (1978). Leadership. Harper Colophon Books, Harper and Row
Pub.: New York, N.Y.
Canfield, J., Wells, H.C. (1976). 100 Ways to Enhance self-concept in
the Classroom. Prentice-Hall, Inc.: Englewood Cliffs, N.J.
Moczygemba, L. (1988). "Self Esteem - High self-regard is not a
natural behavior, but one to be learned daily." Dayton Daily News and Journal Herald,
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
A.H. Maslow - theorist in the early 1900s who developed the
"hierarchy of needs", which is a guide to a persons well being
Attributes - qualities that describe a person, in this case, they are
Conceit - excessive appreciation of ones own worth
Dynamic - energetic and active
Endurance - ability to hold out or last
Fortitude - moral strength
Self Esteem - confidence and satisfaction in oneself