Discovery Of The Self-concept

Perhaps the most important breakthrough in understanding human nature in the 20th century was the discovery of the self-concept. Your self-concept is the master program of your personal computer. It\’s made up of all the ideas, experiences, decisions, emotions, knowledge, and beliefs that you\’ve acquired from infancy and possibly from even before that. Your self-concept serves as the operating instructions for your mental computer.
You always behave on the outside in a manner consistent with your self-concept on the inside. Because of the role of your self-concept, you cannot change anything in your outer world permanently until and unless you first change the way you think. You have to change your mind about yourself to change your reality. Now, as it happens, you have several mini self-concepts.

  • You have a self-concept for the kind of person you are for your personality, positive or negative for your attitude and your values.
  • You have a self-concept for the kind of life you lead for your income, for example, the home you live in, the type of car you drive, and the type of work that you do.
  • You have a self-concept for your health and your weight, and your level of fitness.
  • You have a self-concept for how well you perform in any athletic endeavor.
  • You have a self-concept that governs your level of creativity, intelligence, sense of humor, memory, ability to speak to a public audience, and competence in everything else you do.

And you always act on the outside consistent with your self-concept, your inner programming to get your life more into balance, you must carefully examine your inner world. You must hold it up like a picture frame to your outer world and compare both worlds. You must find where there is incongruence between the inner and outer that might be causing you to perform poorly or to be unhappy and frustrated for any reason.

Your self-concept comprises three parts:  your self-ideal, your self-image, and your self-esteem.