• Your self concept is the way you choose to perceive yourself
This self-perception is actually the key to your life experience
about your social identity and ego vs. your soul identity
• Access lots
of resources on how to be yourself - the REAL you
• And read an example
based on nose picking ... :-)
Your Self Concept Is SO Powerful!
Who you are is important.
all, YOU, being utterly unique, are extremely important in and of yourself.
Secondly, who and what you perceive yourself to be, your self-perception, is
extremely important, too. Why?
Because your self concept is the very core
of your life experience. It is probably THE most important factor in deciding
what kind of life experience you're going to have.
Having a life
experience that's kind of lousy? Then check out how you consider yourself, your
Odds are that it's not as good as it might be - for
instance you may have self esteem issues, or, you may have self confidence
issues (not the same thing, but connected); or you may suffer from guilt,
anxiety, shame, depression or something equally nasty. Or, you may simply be
very identified with your
. So many people are; in fact, most people are, and
overall it doesn't feel good.
Either way you will not be having an
optimal life experience, and you'll be wanting to do something about that.
Checking out your self concept is a logical first choice.
Your Self Concept?
- a Quick Definition
it is your idea about who and what you are. For example, I might
ask you this question: 'Who are you?'
Your answer to that question
reveals something about your self perception. Not everything there is to know about
it, but what lies foremost in your mind. You might answer me that you are a
woman called Monica who works in a beauty parlor and who has two children and a
loving husband. Or something along those lines. Those things are the upper
layers of your self concept.
The slightly deeper layers might be things like: 'I am a devout Catholic and a very reliable
person. I want to be a good person and do what is right, so I do a lot of
community and charity work.'
Layers of your self concept which are
slightly deeper than that might be something along the lines of: 'Sometimes I
just get so angry and frustrated, and also I feel guilt shame about a lot of
things I feel, think and do. I fear that I am not really a good person after
And those would just be some of the upper layers of your self
concept. In truth your self-perception consists of layers and layers like that.
See what I mean by self concept, now?
So, let's cut to
the chase here.
self realization, self actualization, self awareness, knowing who you really are
(know thyself), 'finding yourself', being yourself, being authentic ... no
matter what you call it, it all revolves around three things:- Who you
have been brought up to think you are (your ego and social identity)
Who you really are (your real, authentic or soul identity)
- Who you
decide to be (your choice, using your free will)
Now, that is the core
thing for you to know. That is the basis info you pretty much NEED if you're
interested in personal development, self improvement and spirituality. Three
It may not sound like much, but it is. (Remember, you get the
real deal, the really important high-level self improvement information here on
thePersonalDevelopmentGuy.com). So again, please remember that:Your
experience of life relies heavily on your self concept, which in turn relies on
three things, a) Your
ego and artificial,
b) Your authentic soul identity and c) Your free will choice.
what is so important about that?
Reason no. 1 Why It Is Important
Your Self Concept Dictates Your Life Experience -
First of all,
since most people think they are their ego (including body, gender, family-ties,
habits, thoughts, beliefs, education, job, etc.), you probably do, too, right?
Which means that who you THINK you are ... isn't really who you are. Sure,
you are your ego, body, thoughts, skills, habits, beliefs, etc, but those things
are actually just the window dressing of who you are.
You are MORE, so
much more and, at the same time less ... meaning you are NOT as unimportant,
incapable, lonely, worthless, loveless, not-good-enough, etc., etc. as you
think/feel deep down. On the contrary, you all the opposite of those lousy
Being identified with the upper / outer layers of your self
concept is a sure-fire way to a less-than-optimal life - and it doesn't have to
be like that.
Reason no. 2
Secondly, and this is very important
indeed, you DO have an identity beyond your ego; you do have what may adequately
be called a soul.
This is not just guesswork on my part, it is
experience. Both my own experience and the experience of many of my clients (the
folks I coach and guide in consciousness).
I often call what I do
'inducing consciousness', and though that may be many different things, one of
the most powerful ones is helping people to actually consciously experience
their real identity, their soul identity.
It can and does change people's
lives for the (much) better. And happily, it's easier than you may think.
Reason no. 3
Thirdly, which may be the most important reason of
all, it means that you have a choice.
Since your self concept is 'how you
perceive yourself', your self concept is totally under YOUR control.
I know that lots of teachers will tell you that you can choose between your ego
and your big identity, your soul identity, but most of those teachers will
present it as an all or nothing choice. 'You've got to lose your ego to
experience your bigger identity,' they will say. That is not so.
truth is you have an infinite number of possibilities to experience your soul
In fact you have the possibility every time you have a choice -
which means before, during and after every single experience you have in your
life. (That's a lot of opportunities!)
Time for an example.
An Example ...
Let us take a really obvious example: Your relationship to
your love partner, a family member or one of your friends. Let's say this person
has a habit which annoys you. So, every time the person 'performs' his or her
habit, you get annoyed.
That habit is an action - which you experience.
You have an unpleasant experience every time the other person does this thing.
Looking at the action, there is a 'before the performance', a 'during the
performance' and an 'after the performance'.
Well, that is one experience
for you, but three choices.
And the Example Is: Nose Picking!
say the other person is a man and he is publicly picking his nose, and you don't
First, you have a choice on how you are GOING to experience
his nose picking. You can decide which kind of experience you want in the
Next, when he actually picks his nose, you can decide how you are
going to react to that (both inside yourself and on the outside).
finally, later, when he has picked his nose and you are thinking about your
experience you have a choice as to how you want to interpret your memory.
In each of those three situations your experience depends on who you decide
that you are.
Does that sound cryptic? It isn't.
If you decide you
are your ego, you will condemn his nose picking, and YOU (not he) will have an
If you decide you are your soul you will regard
the experience in the light of absolute love and acceptance and YOU will have a
pleasant experience (of love and acceptance).
It's as simple as that.
What You May Need to Switch
I can almost hear you say, 'That's all well
and good, but how do you actually DO that? How do you
consciously change your self concept from ego to soul in the
time it takes for someone else to pick his nose?'
question. The answer is that while it is basically just a
choice (like choosing to eat a banana instead of an apple), in
order to start making that choice you do need awareness,
preferably in the form of first hand experience of your bigger
The optimum condition is one where you have
CONSCIOUSLY experienced BEING your soul identity. Even if it
is just for a brief period of time, say few seconds.
long as you were AWARE that what you were experiencing was
your soul identity, you will have the edge.
Identity - Establishing a True Identity 'Baseline'
thing is, to be able to switch from your ego identity to your
soul identity at will, for instance when someone is annoying
you, you probably need something to compare with - a sort of
true identity baseline.
Odds are you already have that,
but aren't aware of it. And if not, there are ways you can do
Your Social Identity
- Mixing Culture and Identity
On the other hand, perhaps
you want to know more about that part of your
call your social identity.
Your cultural identity is
pretty much the outermost layer of your self concept - the
layer you present to the world, but also one of those layers
you need to be aware of - lest you start to identify with it.
Nonconformity - Typically Just a Different Kind of Social
Some folks pride themselves in NOT being like
other people (the herd), but rather go to great pains to be
An example of this is the Punk movement
which started some time before the turn of the millennium.
Ripped up jeans and t-shirts, funny colored hair in weird
haircuts, makeup and lots of piercings. In the big cities
around the world you still see people dressed like that, now
The funny thing this is, it is just as much a
uniform social identity as wearing a suit and tie.
you are defining who you are like that, you are still defining
yourself from the most shallow layer of your self concept -
only now you are defining yourself as being things that the
majority are not.
It Sucks to Be You -
If You Aren't Being Yourself :-)
Oftentimes people come
seeking my services (as a personal development coach and guide
in consciousness) because they just can't stand it anymore.
'My life sucks!' they will tell me, 'And I myself suck, too,'
they will sometimes add.
Well, that IS one possible (and
likely) effect of identifying with the shallow layers of your
self concept. Luckily there are ways out of that mess.
But Even You Feel It Sucks to Be You:
- Be Gentle With Yourself
No matter how you feel about
yourself you can still be good to yourself as a matter of
conscious choice. Yes, even if you feel you don't deserve it.
And perhaps you should consider this?
Matter Where You Go, There You'll Be
The above headline is
an old zen saying (and also a book by Jon Kabat-Zinn).
And it's true of course - in a sense. Even if you 'run' from
yourself and all your troubles to another town, another
country or even to the moon, you will carry whoever and
whatever you perceive yourself to be (your self concept) with
you. There is no escaping it ... or is there?
Why is being authentic, being yourself, so
important? And what about those times when you want to be true
to yourself, but you hardly even know who that is anymore? If
you like, you can read about this and a lot more in the big
personal development article
And now ... for one of the things you may have
been waiting for: Information on how to do it.
practical tips and hints as in the personal development
How to Be Yourself
All this talk about soul brings up a very
interesting question: Can you sell your soul? Read the answer
to that in the personal development article
Soul Power and How to Sell Your Soul - or Not">Sell Your Soul
Dark Night of the Soul
The Dark Night of the Soul is a dramatic expression which
describes a very real occurrence: The beginning transition of
your self concept from ego identity to soul identity. It is a
crisis, an identity crisis.
The Chinese written
language 'puts it' very aptly by having the symbol for crisis
be a combination of the symbol for 'danger' and the symbol for
This identity crisis occurs when you
grow tired of both your shallow social identity and your fear
based ego identity ... but you don't yet know how to let go of
them and just be yourself (your soul identity).
This is not
very funny, and it does happen to quite a number of people
doing personal development and/or spirituality.
happens to the same person more than once (usually in 'light
Self Actualization: Be All You Can Be
And finally, some powerful words about self realization, the
driving force behind self improvement, spirituality and
personal development for quite a number of people.
have this nagging feeling that the contain the seeds of
something that is powerful, loving and uniquely creative at
the same time. Plus, they have acquired a lot of different
skills along the way, too. Well, fitting it all together and
making that unique package actually work, is what self
realization is all about.
The Personal Development Guy's Self Improvement Ezine (FREE)
Would you like to keep in touch - and get high-level tips and special bonuses? Then please sign up for my self improvement newsletter The Personal Development Guy's Self Improvement Ezine. It is totally FREE.
PayPal is one of the largest payment processors on the Internet. When you click the Donation Button, you can make a donation of your choice on an encrypted and secure page.
Thank you very much!
I LOVE Your Support
If you've found the free personal development content on this website useful, please click the Donate button. Your donation will help me to keep producing free, high-level self improvement information. I am VERY GRATEFUL for your support!
Inspirational Quotes, Poems and Funny Short Stuff
If you want, you can also get your personal development, spirituality and general wisdom in an ultra light version - or even add your own wisdom to the site. Just go to the other sister of this website at:
- World's Best and YOUR Best Quotes, Poems and Short Funny Stuff
Quotescoop.com is also known as:
This is where you might go for a quick 'fix' of wisdom and humor.
A special treat is that this site has forums for you to present your own wisdom and humor in the form of inspirational short funny quotes, jokes, notes, letters, stories, SMS text messages and poems. Share your wisdom and witticisms with the world!
High-Level Positive Parenting Advice and Deep Insights
Positive Parenting Ally is the parenting equivalent of the Personal Development Guy. This is where you go if you want really deepen your understanding of parenting, empower your kids and make everyday life more easy and joyful.
- Parenting advice for the conscious, open-minded parent!
Back to the top of this page about
Self Concept: Your Self-Perception = Your Life Experience!
Where Would You Like to Go Next?
To see what has been added to this site recently (plus
offers, etc.), check out Blog
& News at thePersonalDevelopmentGuy.com
You might also like to read something related at the page Be
or at the page Empowerment
or at the page Letting
To share your own short
improvement ideas, tips, musings, quotes, stories,
spiritual jokes, etc. (and read the short ideas, etc.
others have shared) jump to Shared
Blog: Self Improvement Ideas
List of all the subpages to the main page
Who are You? (Self Concept):
How to be Yourself
Sell Your Soul
Jump to the
Personal Development Guy Homepage