What is Self-concept?
According to Wagner, self-concept is that image or mental picture of our invisible self, a feeling of being a person, sense of somebody or of being nobody (p. 5). There are three functional aspects of self concept: appearance, performance and status. It is noteworthy that our feeling of identity of being somebody is derived from feelings when rated by others (p. 13). I could identify with these three aspects of self-concept. Several years ago, when I left my job to be a stay home mum, I struggled with redefining my self-concept. What am I? Why is Self-concept important?
While I subsequently found my significance in Christ, I am further enlightened by Wagner’s discussion on of self-concept and its importance. An adequate self-concept is a precious possession that enable one live a useful and productive life, he is emotionally secure and functions from inner resources in a crisis. He accepts his appearance and views his shortcomings as problems to be overcome and not judge himself as a bad person. He functions because he knows he is and not always trying to become. A person with inadequate self-concept tends to focus his energy and efforts to establish his self-identity, to measure up, his mind is divided into coping with his rectifying this inadequacy and normal living (p. x, 15) What Make Up Self-concept?
Wagner paints a picture depicting the cycle of how inadequate self-concept is developed. The feelings of belonging, worthiness and competence form the essential elements of self-concept, they blended together like musical chords (p. 17). When one’s sense of being somebody is threatened, he reacts negatively with hostility, guilt or fear. When he tries to force the situation to change through his hostility, he loses his sense of belonging. When he forces himself to change because he is feeling guilty, he compromises his worthiness. In fear or anxiety tries to protect himself from the threat, his...
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