How to Change Your Self Concept?

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Written By Muhammad Saad

I'm a psychologist dedicated to evidence-based research in psychology, covering diverse aspects of the field.

In the story of your life, your self-concept is the main character. How you see youself, shapes how you’ll be. But what if you could reshape how you view yourself? The good news is you have the power to reshape self concept.

 

My Self-Concept Journey

For most of my life, I struggled with low self-esteem and a poor self-concept. I always put myself down and doubted my abilities. On the inside, I didn’t feel very good about who I was. It started to really affect me in negative ways as I got older.

One day, I realized I didn’t want to feel this way about myself anymore. I decided it was time to change the way I think. I started making a conscious effort to catch myself whenever I had a negative thought and replace it with something positive. Whenever I was hard on myself, I countered it by reminding myself of my good qualities.

“Experience is not what happens to you; it’s what you do with what happens to you.” – Aldous Huxley

It took some time, but slowly I began to see myself in a better light. As I changed my internal dialogue, my confidence grew. Now, a year later, I feel so much better about who I am. I’m proud of the person I’ve become and no longer limit myself because of my past self-doubts. Learning to change my self-concept was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

 

How Do You Currently See Yourself?

To start changing, it’s important to look at how you see yourself now. Take time to think about your self-concept in different parts of life – personally, at work, and socially. Are there any negative beliefs that might be holding you back? Reflecting like this can help identify areas you want to improve.

 

Steps To Change Your Self Concept

Step 1 : Challenge Negative Self-Talk

We all have automatic negative thoughts about ourselves sometimes.Research shows the typical person has 12,000 to 50,000 thoughts every day (Kahneman, 2011). A lot of them are unhelpfully critical of ourselves. We need to work on noticing and stopping this negative way of thinking.

Author Anne Lamott famously said “You own everything all the wrong reasons for your life. Now, try to own your life for the right reasons” (Lamott, 1995). Take a cue from her empowering message and start paying attention to how you commonly talk to yourself. Do you criticize your mistakes harshly or minimize successes?

For example, instead of the default thought “I’m such an idiot for forgetting my keys again,” gently reassure yourself “It was an honest slip-up, and I’ll find a system to remember next time.”

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Step 2 : Start with an important question: What do you really believe about yourself?

Now that you’ve started catching and challenging negative thoughts about yourself, it’s time to look deeper at where your self-concept comes from.As coach and motivational author Wayne Dyer said, “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” With this next reflective exercise, we’ll work to expose any false or limiting beliefs holding you back from your full potential.

Start with introspection: “What are the main beliefs I have about my character, abilities, and value?” Take time alone with pen and paper to writing them down carefully without judgment. Be fully honest without worrying if your answers seem “good” or “bad.”

Some beliefs may have developed a long time ago based on things that happened, and you never questioned them since. Others could just be things you tell yourself without proof. The goal here is understanding, not being hard on yourself for flaws. Once you gain clarity, you can start making changes.

Once you make a list of beliefs, rate how much you believe each one on a scale of 1 to 10. The ones around 8-10 probably influence your self concept. Then look at each belief carefully: “Where did this come from? Is it still helpful or holding me back?” Question beliefs that don’t match who you are now and what you’re good at.

You might notice some key beliefs don’t feel accurate anymore, even if they still affect you in small ways. It helps to you letting go of outdated ideas from the past opens up new opportunities.

Step 3 : Focus On Your Strengths

Now that you’re gain awareness of limiting self-talk,It’s time to balance out the way you talk to yourself by focusing on skills and strengths you may not see. We often make a big deal out of weaknesses but don’t notice what we’re good at, fueling self-doubt. Everyone has abilities worth feeling proud of.

Psychologist Donald Clifton identified strengths as the intersection of talent and well-developed skills (Clifton & Harter, 2003).Spend some quiet time writing down natural talents like empathy, creativity or leadership that come easily, and skills you’ve practiced hard. Don’t overthink or compare – it’s about seeing your real abilities. Reviewing this strengths list daily helps to chnage your thinking.

 

Conclusion:

n conclusion, changing your self-concept takes dedication to inner work and reflection. By following the steps shared here you can start journeying toward building a stronger, more positive view of yourself.

“Your life does not get better by chance; it gets better by change.” – Jim Rohn

I’d love to hear how the Steps I discussed With my experience are making a difference for you. Feel free to share your progress – your comments help others as well.

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