How do you define who you are?
Do you rely on the different roles and relationships you have, eg mother, teacher?
Is it more about your thoughts, emotions, and knowledge of the world that you live in?
Is it about your Self Esteem and how you view yourself and what you look like?
Is it about if you LIKE yourself?
Is it what you think you can achieve and accomplish in life?
GUESS WHAT! Its ALL of these things!
SENSE OF SELF is the way we think and view ourselves, our traits, values, and it incorporates what we believe and our purpose in the world and how we interact with those around us and the world in general. SO, ITS BIG!
Our Sense of Self is a very complicated concept because it’s both the inner and outer working models of self. We cannot separate how the two interact with each other. Its WHY we do what we do and choose the things we choose.
Often however, sometimes we get lost in the outer world and other opinions and ideas and lose that feeling of being connected with our actual self! This is not hard to do as we are continually changing. You are certainly not the same person your parents brought home from the hospital! Yet you are still you! We are meant to GROW and LEARN and as a result, so does our Sense Of Self (or SOS as I like to call it because it’s our beacon in the dark to give us direction!)
- Self-Image – This typically relates to how you view yourself and includes things like your personality traits and physical description eg I Identify with being loyal, a Psychologist and tall, and a certain age (which will remain a secret for the moment ;-) ) . It is usually the first thing that we identify with when we are young. You will often hear a little child tell you with great pride “I am 3”, or I’m a big sister, I am good or bad etc. At its lowest level, our Self Image affects how we think and feel and also how we interact within our world, Self-image affects how we think, feel and behave in our world. It is basically all that you know about yourself.
- Self Esteem – Is basically how we view ourselves and what we think is true of ourselves. This is typically established in early childhood with what is mirrored to us by our parents. So, can often be faulty as they were set up from the eyes of a child and an immature brain. As adults, we are continually drawing on these sometimes-old faulty beliefs and deciding on how we are supposed to act and behave within our world around us. As you would imagine if you have flawed negative views of your self or are very critical of yourselves, this will impact on your self-esteem and how you view yourselves. Therefore, it is necessary to challenge old faulty beliefs, so they do not continue to impact on your life.
- Ideal Self - This basically the concept around the person who we would like to be. It is where our aspirations and goals about our future are, and it is always moving and changing. For example who you thought you were as a child is not the same as when you were a teenager or today. There is always a struggle between our ideal self and the way we behave because let’s face it, we can all act poorly at times and out of character with who we identify with being. This very real struggle comes from the need to fit in and be part of the bigger social world. We are continually adjusting and comparing and deriving information from our social interactions. We all seek external validation and comparison of how to respond and behave, and as a result, we are continually changing to meet these social roles. This means that we are continually struggling to match and align with our Ideal self. What we present to the world and who we think we are and how we should behave often don’t match. This will result in fear and self-doubt, which makes us feel lost.
This is the reason why I have developed courses and workshops that deal with this specific concern because it is constant within everybody.
Imagine if you could be more aligned with yourself and act according to your values more than you don’t. Imagine if you could be aware of the faulty belief systems that are continually sabotaging your behaviours and moving you further away from that ideal self.
Thank goodness this is achievable and not as hard as you would think.
If you are curious simply fill out this quiz to see if you would benefit from some insight and tools to help you.