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The Power of Self Concept


Self-concept is the image of ourselves that we create in our mind and body.   Itís how we perceive our strengths, weaknesses and self-worth in relation to our world.  We are not born with our self-concept, we create it through life experiences.  As we grow, through our experiences with our parents, family members, friends, teachers, etc. combined with the societal norms we accept, we start to form the idea of who we are and who we believe we should be in order to be safe, loved and valued.


Our self-concept also defines our unconscious feelings and reactions toward people and things that occur in our lives.  If we believe that we are somehow inadequate, we respond from a place of inadequacy.  If we instead believe in our ability to overcome a challenge, we feel stronger and more at peace with anything that occurs in our world.


As our self-concept is created, it starts to form our patterns of behaviors and how we act in situations with others and behind closed doors.  We determine the shadow selves (the parts of ourselves we hide from others, and sometimes from ourselves), and the face we put on in front of other people.  If within our self-concept, we had a belief that being kind would somehow foster creating the life we desire, we might have a kind demeanor to others.  If instead, we created the belief that people cannot be trusted, we might be more reclusive.  Iím being VERY basic here, just to prove the point.


Understanding how we got to where we are is an important part of strengthening our emotional foundation as we grow because at some point in our lives, our self-concept will be challenged in some way.  We might get sick in a way that is shocking, we might lose someone that was core to our self-concept, we might decide the work we always loved no longer brings joyÖwhatever wakes us up, when itís time to make changes as an adult, self-concept always comes to the forefront.


When something shakes up our world, I believe, it is an opportunity to renegotiate who we are and who we want to be.  We get to acknowledge, perhaps for the first time, that we no longer need to believe in things that donít fit who we have become.  We get to determine what our new beliefs are, after years of experience, and become more authentic within our selves.


Understanding that our self-concept is NOT our soulís truth that we are born with, rather, it is something that is created and recreated throughout our lifetime, is an empowering belief because it gives each of us the power to change.   This is a big part of what life is about on the spiritual and authentic path, recreation and consistent assessment of our own values, beliefs and actions to ensure they align with who we truly are.


If this concept is of interest to you, I encourage you to consider the upcoming telecourse, The Empowered Self.






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