Self-concept is the global understanding and perception you have of yourself and your relationship to others. It is based on the opinions you have of your social identities and personal qualities. It originates from what you believe about yourself and your views towards your personal existence. Simply put, self-concept is your perception of who you are and how you believe you fit into the world around you.
Your self-concept affects how you think, behave, and act in your various roles throughout life. Taking the time to reflect and focus inward on who you are can help you develop a strong self-concept.
Formation of Self-Concept
As you become aware of yourself as a unique individual, you begin to develop a concept of yourself. That concept is a mental image of how you perceive yourself and who you believe you are. It is formed based not only on how you see yourself, but also how you think others perceive you.
The concept you develop is basically an organized structure of thoughts about your personal existence. This organized mental structure is the totality of your beliefs, values, preferences, attitudes, and attributes.
Aspects of Self-Concept
Self-concept is the way you organize and interpret your inner world of personal existence. It is learned, influenced, organized, multidimensional, and dynamic.
No one is born with a self-concept. It is develop as you grow and make connections with the world around you. It is through interaction with the environment and reflecting on that interaction that you create your concept. It is basically a product of socialization and personal development. The concept of yourself is developed through self-awareness. Mainly, by taking the time to reflect on past and current experiences.
If something is learned, it can be influenced by different factors. Your concept is no different. Your mental concept is formed in a number of ways, but is predominantly influenced by your interactions with other people in your life. Your perceptions can be shaped and can be altered has you have life experiences and interact with others.
You have numerous perceptions regarding yourself and your personal existence, and each perception is arranged along with all the others. You may think that you are intelligent, funny, compassionate, selfish, patient, stubborn, and loving. However, no matter how many different perceptions you have of yourself, there is one perception that supersedes all of these assessments, creating one organized concept of oneself.
Self-concept is multi-dimensional. You have separate beliefs and perceptions about the physical, emotional, and social aspects of yourself. Those various beliefs combine to form one concept.
The concept you have of yourself is a continuous process. It is shaped and reshaped through life experiences. You gain a constant assimilation of new ideas from life experiences. As your life experiences expand, your insight towards yourself may constantly change depending on the way you respond to such changes. You tend to let go of thoughts and ideas that are not congruent with the way you view yourself. You hold on to those that you think are helpful in building a more favorable perception of our personal existence. Although it is dynamic, it is composed of relatively permanent self-assessments. Therefore, it is relatively consistent, stable, and tends to resist change. If self-concept did changed easily, you would lack a consistent personality.