Thursday, March 11, 2010

Self Concept

OK...there seems to be a lot of confusion out there - well, today, I am going to clear this up for you.

Disclaimer - I'm not a psychologist....just a guy tripping along the orb trying to make sense of it all and helping out a few others along the way.

All my life - I have heard people talk about self-esteem...either about themselves or about others. "She has self-esteem issues."

Just to be charming - I like to ask those people, "what is self-esteem anyway?" You can probably guess what crappy answers and/or puzzled looks I have gotten. While I say "charming," I think I have heard other people say, "jackass" when I ask this question. Who knew those two words were synonymous?

So, today - I have repackaged this whole "Self Concept" together in a cogent way that works. Others may disagree with me on this but.....well....uh......they probably have self-esteem issues. Besides, it's my blog and I can say what I want.

I hear terms like - "Self Concept"..."Self Esteem"...."Self Ideal"...."Self Image" and I know there has to be confusion. Hey, that is what I am hear clear all of that up for the world. So, here goes:

Self Ideal - OK....whether you think about it consciously or not, this is the maximum person that you think you could be. This is you at your best. It's a picture in your mind's eye.

Self Image - the same mind's eye is at work here....but here it sees you as you ARE. With very few exceptions, the self ideal is always anywhere from a bit more to a LOT more than the self image.

So.....we now have this gap - between self ideal and self image. We can't just call it a gap and leave it at that, now can we? Heck no. We are busy little beavers. This is where self esteem comes in.

Self Esteem - is how you view the gap between your self ideal and self image.

Let's say we have someone - (we'll give this person a fancy name like Example One) who really thinks they could be everything to the world......and they almost actually are. Yet, they absolutely can't stand that there is a gap there between who they are and who they could be. This person would have a self esteem challenge. We sit there in awe of what they are but they just won't be satisfied. As a matter of fact, these type of people can be the most miserable to be around....despite their apparent high degree of "success."

Now, let's say we have someone else - (who has a pretty cool name as well...Example 2) who knows they could really be someone...and they know that they really aren't. They have a much bigger gap than our example above. Yet, they have no challenge with that gap whatsoever. Because society loves to label people, it may call them "lazy" or "a slacker" but, if the person is good with that gap, there is no self esteem issue.

Now, in example 2 - let's say our person sees the gap and says, "doggone it, I think I'll get to work on that gap. I'm fine with who I am...but I could be better." Once again, no self esteem issue because, even though the person wants to close the gap, they have no problem with the gap existing.

What is the Self Concept? - it's the umbrella under which the three terms (self image....self ideal.....self esteem) live. that you are knowledgeable and stuff - you are asking, "what's the point?" ( guys are tough!)

Here is the point - if you have a gap.....and you want to close that gap.....stop hating the gap. You are where you are for whatever reason and there is nothing at this moment you can do about it. Now, there may be something you can do in the next moment to close the gap, but hating the gap will hold you back.

It will make you - very unattractive to those that may be able to help you close the gap. Did I say unattractive? might actually repulse them. I mean, come on, do you think that people who are in a position to help you (who probably have no self esteem issues) want to get near your trashy self-esteem? Well, they won't tell you they don't. People with healthy self-esteem are usually pretty nice. Still, let's say if they see you coming far enough down the block, the cross-walk may get a little more crowded in a hurry.

So....there you go - my educational piece to the world is done. I'd been meaning to write this one down for awhile....but I hadn't. There was a gap between what I was doing and what I could have been doing as it related to this issue.......and that gap could have stayed there a loooooong time because, quite frankly, I was good with it being there.

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