The Five shapes of self.
The Five shapes of self examines the identity concept referred to as the Self. Our idea of self is the subject of much debate, and is very much dependent on the context of the beliefs we carry about ourselves. Our social environments shape the ideas we have about the who, the what and the why we are. For this article we are simply looking at the five definitions we use to describe the concept of self.
Self Esteem: Firstly what exactly is self esteem. It is how we value ourselves as individuals.It is an innate quality which we are born with. Through it, the judgements we make are based on our belief of what makes us valuable as a person. For many self esteem is another term for self worth.
Self Worth: This is a personal judgement, based on the value of external factors.Things such as Possessions, wealth and status are used to generate a sense of scale. Which is used as a measure of the value we hold, when compared against others.
Self Confidence: Is not so about how we rate ourselves mentally, it’s more about what we do. Self confidence comes from our ability to both do things, and in getting them done.We have two sides to this coin, there are those with low self confidence and those who are brimming with it.
Those with low self confidence have the tendency to focus on things which they cannot do, as opposed to what they can. This leads to a pessimistic view of their abilities in general, which in turn creates a limiting belief in the options available to them.
Those with high self confidence have a strong sense of identity in what they can do. This offers them a greater outlook on the options and choices available to them. With this comes the realisation, that they may not be able to do everything, but can exercise the choice to choose on what they what want to work on. What they cannot do, they will find someone who can do it for them.
Self Experience: This looks at how we define ourselves as people. Everyone’s concept of themselves is different, and can be identified by those elements we decide as being important. These can be the thoughts we have, the roles we play. Even our physical bodies.
For some the thoughts they have, for others the feelings and choices are how they define importance. There are those who define this by what they do or what they own.
Identifying with external factors can lead to problems. As with the person who identifies with their job, the vacuum that can be created should they lose this job, they ultimately lose their identity.
Self Integrity: As people we have this ideal image of who or what we want to be. In fact there is a tendency to compare our current self with our ideal self image. The closer we can identify our current self with the ideal image. The greater our self integrity becomes. The further away they are, the more internal conflict we experience.
This ideal self image is based on our values of who and what we feel our ideal person is or should be like.
Congruence: These are people who closely match with their ideal self image. Achieving this state has given them a sense of self integrity. Centering themselves around their ideals brings acceptance of who and what they have become and achieved. These accomplishments fuel them forward toward their ideals and the things they want to achieve.
Incongruence: Difference between the ideal and actual self creates conflict. Self acceptance is harder to achieve, as they cannot be who they want to be. This internal conflict creates negative feelings which takes them further away from their ideal self.
These then are the five definitions of self as we know them. Our own internal definition is unique, and will reflect where we are in the process of life.
In essence, We are who and what we make of ourselves.