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the self concept in psychology and your Behaviour

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

The self concept in psychology

In psychology Self-concept has many definitions but they all have the same meaning. Your self concept is your perception of your own self and of your own abilities. When I ask you to describe yourself in one page you are going to write down all the beliefs you hold about yourself as a person. The way you view yourself and your capabilities is called the "Self-concept".

Examples of Self concept could be:

“I am a sociable person”
“I can solve any problem”
“I am fat”
“I am unattractive”
“I am clumsy”
“I am uncontrollable”

How your psychological Self-Concept affects your whole life

The most dangerous thing about having a distorted self-concept is that your subconscious mind always works to prove your self concept true. For example,if you consider yourself an unattractive person then your subconscious mind won't motivate you to do anything to become attractive. This self-concept may hinder you from trying to follow a healthy diet, may prevent you from buying attractive clothes and can even force you to act in an unattractive way!!

Trying to become attractive without changing your self-concept will never work as You will always feel that there is something artificial in your behavior. If you want to change something about yourself then know that you must begin by changing your psychological self concept self-concept.

If your self-concept states that you are clumsy then you will always act according to it even if you tried your best to conceal that side of you. The harder you try to do something that doesn’t match your self-concept the more you will find your attempts useless.

The salesperson who believes that he is a failure because of his self concept will always fail to sell anything. The guy who believes that he is worthless because of his self concept will always act in a non confident way even if he tried hard. The athlete whose self-concept states that he doesn't have the ability to win the gold medal will never get it.

To summarize this, it's almost impossible to challenge your psychological self-concept and that’s why you should try to change it instead of challenging it.

Psychological Self-Concept and Behavior

Suppose that someone's self-concept made him believe that he is persistent, How do you think will this impact his behavior?

This person will keep trying to reach his goals even if he failed hundreds of times. On the other hand if his self-concept made him believe that he is a victim then would have given up after the first try!!!

So it's all about the self-concept. If your self concept made you believe that you are self motivated then you will always feel motivated.

When you change your self-concept your subconscious mind will change everything accordingly in order to fulfill that self-concept. So whenever you want to change just change your self-concept and let your subconscious mind do the adjustments.

The Psychological self concept and breakups

Some people fail to recover from breakups quickly just because they have the self concept of being broken or of not being resilient, in my book How to get over anyone in few days i described how following repetitive behavior that reinforces the self concept of being broken can prevent you from recovering fast.

After a breakup you should reinforce the self concept of being resilient and solid in order to recover within a short period of time.

How to change your Self-concept

your Self concept was formed as a results of the different beliefs you formed about yourself earlier in your life. You are not born with it and that’s why you can change it.

Your self-talk is what forms your beliefs, and your beliefs are the pillars that hold your self-concept So in order to change your self-concept you should first question all of the beliefs you have about yourself. You should then discard false ones then adjust your self-talk in order not to form additional incorrect beliefs.

Final Words on the psychological Self-concept

You are what you think So if you want to change something about yourself then start first by changing your self-concept and then you will find that the change is happening effortlessly.

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