Improve Self Concept
3 Ways to Improve Your Self Concept
This is another one of those vulnerable posts. Talking about these things can be embarrassing, but I know there are other people out there who feel/have felt the same way. If this can help any of you, then sharing this is worth it. I know it helps me when I can relate to people so you feel less alone with your personal battles.
I think lack of confidence has been an issue for me almost all my life. I have always been the super shy, reserved girl. Usually, I would keep to myself and often felt like an outcast. Now, there have been some areas that I’m pretty confident in. For example, I am very confident in my character. If people talk trash about me, I find it surprising because there is very little character wise that anyone can justifiably criticize. I work hard to be an ethical, good, genuine person. That’s just part of who I am, and I’m confident in that. However, in a lot of other areas of life my confidence has either lacked or been inconsistent.
The thing about confidence is sometimes we seek that in other people. I will say that in the past few years, I have really struggled with confidence in a few big areas. As I got older, I actually started to question my worth. I know that sounds terrible, but I had a lot of insecurities. Unfortunately, I placed a lot of my value in other people and how I was treated. When you feel like you are doing things right and you still don’t get the attention, compassion, or treatment you desire, you start to question your worth. Again, that is the wrong thing to do. This is what happens when you let insecurities consume you though.
Anyway, after going through some dark moments I decided this has to change. This has led me to a path of focusing on me and my self concept.
What is Self Concept?
According to Dictionary.com self concept is: “the idea or mental image one has of oneself and one’s strengths, weaknesses, status, etc.; self-image.”
Overall, self concept is your opinion of yourself. How do you perceive yourself in various areas such as character, appearance, intelligence, as a significant other, as a worker, etc.
Think of how many negative things we say about ourselves on a regular basis. Even if we are joking, if we say it enough, those thoughts start to become a part of who we are. We start to engrain that into our mind and believe it. For example, saying something like “I’m such an idiot” or “I’m broke” can seem harmless. Start saying that every so often and now you have convinced yourself that you are those things and subconsciously will live up to those roles.
If you plan to improve your self concept, you need to stop the negative self talk ASAP! I understand it’s challenging. Think of that rule, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say it at all”. That is usually said in regard to talking to other people, but how about applying that to your self talk too? Stop self-sabotaging. Even if you have made stupid mistakes, do not call yourself an “idiot”. If you only have $100 to your name, do not claim that you are “broke”.
You may be wondering how can you even improve your self concept especially if you have been self-sabotaging your confidence for decades?
Here are three ways that you can improve your self concept. So far these techniques have done wonders for me and my confidence.
This has been the biggest factor for improving my self-concept this year.
It is typically best to stick with “I am” statements as you give yourself power. I highly suggest saying your affirmations aloud daily and even multiple times a day if you can. Say them with confidence even if you do not believe what you are saying or if what you are saying is made up. It is so easy for us to believe the negative things about ourselves that are not true. Think of how many times you have self sabotaged right after getting a genuine compliment from someone. Start tricking your mind into believing the positive too. Plus, most of what you are saying about yourself is likely true.
I literally say things that a few months ago I would NEVER say about myself. I’m also an extremely humble person and dislike vanity. You can be confident without becoming cocky and remain humble as well. I started with things that I did believe, but then I incorporated the things I did not believe just yet. Perhaps there will be things you may never truly believe, but again you are tricking your mind with this habit.
This can be something you do while looking in the mirror while getting ready in the morning, in the shower, or while you are driving, or wherever you think will be the most beneficial. I personally like to do my affirmations in the shower. I feel that it is the least distracting place. I am not going to be interrupted by my phone, the dogs, the TV, traffic, etc. I say the affirmations like a declaration. Do not say the affirmations with any hesitation or question. It will feel SO uncomfortable at first, but it is not for anyone else, but you. Give it a few days and you will actually enjoy it. I noticed it brings my mood up. I’ve always enjoyed showers, but they are even more exciting now because I know I feel great after affirming.
Honestly, I will sometimes curse as for me it can bring more meaning to it. I will particularly do that if I had a rough day that may have made me question something about myself. Some affirmations I will say multiple times if I really want to emphasize something. My affirmations focus on everything from what I want out of life, who I want in my life, my personality, my appearance, finances, goals, my health, and more. Again, you want to stick to starting each phrase with “I am…”. I would say 95% of my affirmations start with that.
I am not going to share every single affirmation I say as that is personal to me, but here are a few I say daily:
- I am worthy.
- I am enough.
- I am attractive.
- I am respected.
- I am appreciated.
- I am empowered.
- I am the chosen one.
- I am valued.
- I am healthy.
- I am wealthy.
- I am on the right path.
- I am in the best shape of my life.
- I am special.
- I am radiating.
- I am supported.
If you truly know me, you know I am one of the most selfless people. I give and give and give to others, yet hardly do much for myself. It’s great to be a selfless person, but when you do that to the extent that I have you start to lose yourself.
Pampering yourself does not have to mean going on a crazy shopping spree or spending $100 on manicures each month. For me it’s simple things. I know I feel so much better about myself when I do my hair, especially if I curl it. Even if I have nowhere to go, I will oftentimes just curl it because it makes me feel better about myself. Other things I like to do is put on some makeup, paint my nails, or put together a nice outfit. What makes you feel better might not help someone else. For example, taking a bath is not something I enjoy at all. Yet, a lot of people consider a bath their “me time”. You will know yourself what you consider self care and what will help your self concept.
Exercise and Be Healthy
Exercise is pretty much the answer to any problem. The world would for sure be a happier place if everyone exercised regularly. When you exercise consistently, you start to see progress. One of my favorites, Tony Robbins, says “progress equals happiness”. It is so true! Physical and tangible progress is so rewarding. Honestly, appearance is likely one of the biggest issues for people when it comes to confidence. We all are insecure about something physically, even people who are seen as flawless. When you feel your strength increase, see definition in your muscles, or shed some fat, you begin to feel more confident. Plus it’s good for you all around.
Start Your Self Concept Journey
Of course confidence and self concept is ongoing work. Even though in this moment based on my situation, it might seem like I should feel the least confident. I did at first, but then I was like “holdddddd up, girl stop that!” I am confident in who I am as a person, what I have to offer, and how I look. I also know areas that I need to work on to continue to improve which is what keeps me humble. However, I do not need validation from anyone else anymore, especially someone if they don’t deserve me. It’s actually super satisfying to come to that realization.
I hope some of this could help you especially if you are struggling with self concept. Take care!