How to Increase Positive Self-Concept During and After a Pandemic and Coronavirus Isolation

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increase-positive-self-concept

You say: “Increase Positive Self-Concept” like those words have explosive meaning.

Hmm. What is self-concept let alone have a positive one?

The covid isolation period was killing me. It had given me so much time to reflect
on what is important to me. In life. In general.

We saw dozens of actors, performers, entertainers showing off their
skills at making fun videos on how to do this or that during coronavirus
isolation.

What did that do for me?

Well. It seemed to lower my self-concept even further.

It made me feel inadequate. That I don’t seem to have those
fun video skills. Or, in fact, have many creative skills at all.

The aim of this article is to find out what this ”self-concept” thing
is all about, because I may be over-reacting or just getting this wrong, when every time I see someone who appears to be more capable than me, I go into a long, slow, slide into feelings of lack of self-worth.

I may actually be happy, and don’t know it yet.

I am going to trawl YouTube and personal development blogs
to see what I can up with and will get back to you.

Speak soon…

Self-Concept and Self-Esteem

Back now.

This is what I found out.

Self-concept and self-esteem seem to be related.

Smith and Mackie (2007) defined self-esteem as follows:

“The self-concept is what we think about the self;
self-esteem is the positive or negative evaluations of the self as in how we feel about it.”

Ok. So, what that means to me is self-concept is an abstract thing. A concept.
An idea of who we are, or how we are in the world, e.g.

“I am good person.”
“I am doing the best I can.”
“I am intelligent and productive.”

Whereas, self-esteem appears to be this:
“Am I really a good person?”

“I feel inadequate most of the time.”
“There are so many more intelligent people out there, I am just kidding myself. “

Self-concept is also a conglomeration of deeply held beliefs, emotions, feelings, thoughts, interpretations and experiences which initially commence in early childhood.
(For a detailed explanation of this personal development topic on early childhood issues that impinge on self-esteem – see this article: Letting Go Guide here)

The most interesting factor that has become obvious from that definition is that, unfortunately, the majority of people view themselves as coming from a place of “lack”, of “being less” or “feeling inadequate”, and therefore, have a self-concept that is negative. And this leads to all kinds of issues.

The other concept to consider is the development of emotional intelligence. Emotions are the language your inner self, or soul, as they communicate to the body, to indicate how you feel and what action needs to be taken. Increase Positive Self-Concept  If you are happy, fine. If you are not, then you need to take action of some kind to get back in balance.

So, part of self-growth and self-improvement is to develop emotional intelligence, which is the capacity of individuals to, not only recognize their own emotions and what they are trying to tell you, Increase Positive Self-Concept the body/mind, but also, to recognize the emotions of others, interpret them meaningfully and then use them as a guide to either, changing your thinking or behaviour, or to understand the actions of others. Increase Positive Self-Concept Understanding emotions help you to adapt to an environment to be able to achieve your own goals.

How Does Self-Concept Develop?

Increase Positive Self-Concept

Increase Positive Self-Concept is the result of an organic process. It comes in blocks of information and interpretation. It comes in waves. And. If we are attuned to the intelligence of what our emotions are trying to communicate to us, then our self-concept would be in a continual state of growth.

The issue is that we are constantly self-monitoring this position. When we evaluate where we are and who we are based on those beliefs that we developed throughout childhood, we keep coming up short. Increase Positive Self-Concept External comparison with others, do not help. This evaluation results in how we value ourselves. Our self-esteem.

As stated above, our concept of self has developed over time, and which is intrinsically based on the attitudes, beliefs, experiences and interpretations of those experiences, from our primary care givers.

If these early childhood experiences were more positive, then our self- concept would tend to be more favorable, and this solid foundation would continue to serve us into the future, Increase Positive Self-Concept even if we are subjected to later life experiences that offer opportunities to knock us down.

On the other hand, if our early childhood experiences were more negative, then this would influence our concept of self throughout our lives. Increase Positive Self-Concept And, if we were to experience more negative events later in life, then we would not have that solid pillar of strength to be able to withstand our increased negative thoughts and
feelings about who we are, especially in comparison to others. We would always be living in doubt.

The question that now needs to be asked is this: is it possible to change our self-concept from negative to positive?

I believe that simple answer is: yes. However, how long that will take and what you might need to do, will vary from person to person.

How to Increase Positive Self-Concept

At the basis of our self-concept are our beliefs about ourselves, who we are, what we are capable of, our sense of worth and so on.

Positive beliefs are great. However, it is the negative beliefs about self which continually cause us grief.

So, part of the re-education process you might take is to be able to acknowledge which negative beliefs you might hold, and which ones keep cropping up most of the time which diminish your self-esteem, and therefore your concept of self.

One way of doing this is to identify what physical symptoms you are experiencing and work back to find out what underlying negative beliefs you have, Increase Positive Self-Concept or which values you are missing in your life or have not experienced much. Increase Positive Self-Concept (You can find out these on pp 120-121 of my book titled:
How to Boost Success in All Areas of Your Life)

In the literature, various researchers have identified up to 12 negative beliefs that are the bane of human existence. I will not go into these in detail, Increase Positive Self-Concept however, the most troubling negative beliefs and the effects thereof, Increase Positive Self-Concept that everyone experiences at some point in time throughout their lives include, from most prominent to least prominent:

  • I am unworthy
    Constantly seeking love and approval
  • I’m not good enough
    Compulsive trying to improve one’s circumstances or capabilities
  • I am powerless
    Blaming others. Being a victim. Unconsciously setting up situations
    for you to fail or lose.
  • I don’t belong
    Seeking wholeness and always feeling different and feeling that you
    need to confirm to fit in
  • I can’t trust myself or others
    Seeking safety internally or from external forces.
  • I need to be perfect/ I am not allowed to be capable
    Seeking peace. Compulsive need to fault finding. And.
    Underachievement and lack of commitment.
  • I need to control myself in some way
    Limiting yourself in some way to fit in. Not speaking up.
  • I am insignificant/ I don’t have the capacity
    Trying to survive in various environments. Detaches from reality in order to survive. And. Comparing yourself to others and coming up short. Scared of people finding to that you do not have the capabilities.
  • There is a right way to do things/ That is the way things are

Intolerance. Seeking predictability. Rigid in outlook and ways of doing things. Accepting things without research. Giving up responsibility to research different ways that may be more useful.

So, the basis of being able to move out of your negative beliefs and into more positive states, is to work on at least the first two of these negative beliefs:
I am unworthy or I’m not good enough.

How Do You Work on The Most Troubling Negative Beliefs?

There are basically two ways:

Through internal work or through external work with the help of a therapist.

The internal route is the slowest, and it takes an enormous amount of self-reflection and acknowledgement. Increase Positive Self-Concept This means you need to be able to recognise every time you go into feeling lack of worth or not feeling good enough, and adjust your thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

The external route, via the help of a therapist helps you release these negative beliefs, and helps you get to that stage whereby you can go:
”Ah ha. Now I know what that means.”

In either route, you will need to come to that conscious recognition of what thoughts, feelings and behaviours are contributing to those negative beliefs.

However, in my experience, if you are able, and, as a starting place, I would always go with external help to commence your journey of self-improvement.

Way Forward

Knowing that there are negative beliefs that underlie your concept of self, and knowing that there are ways you can help yourself become more positive, what actions will you take to commence this journey?

Wishing you all the best in unravelling your best self Increase Positive Self-Concept is the result of an organic process. It comes in blocks of information and interpretation. It comes in waves. 

2022-05-10

Written by Celine Healy

Contact: celine.healy@iinet.net.au