5 Ways to Understand Your “SELF”

Many a times in life we encounter an identity crisis to understand oneself. Until you realize what is your true self, you believe yourself to be the name that has been attached you in the form of a brother, sister, husband, wife and other such relations we form in our lives. And these vivid relations make us confused as to how to understand our own self.

The term self-concept is a general term used to refer as to how someone thinks about or evaluates or perceives themselves. To be aware of oneself is to have a concept of oneself. And it can be best projected in relation to your image concept. Your self-image is what you see in yourself. It does not necessarily have to reflect reality.  One definition of self-concept is “the individual’s belief about himself or herself, including the person’s attributes and who and what the self is.”

According to noted American psychologist Carl Rogers (1959), he believes that the self-concept has three different components:

  • The view you have of yourself (self-image)
  • How much value you place on yourself (self-esteem or self-worth)
  • What you wish you were really like (ideal self)

Here is a list of 5 Good Ways to understand your “SELF”

  1. Jot down your favourite things – Making a to-do list or a week long agenda or your preferables to get distressed. Yes sometimes these little things work for you.
  2. Affirm how wonderful you are – Make a list of 10 great qualities, and tell yourself that it’s safe to be you. Make a self-confession of the things you like about yourself and feel pride to have those.
  3. Intrapersonal Circles Who are the ones you can’t imagine your life without? Formulate circles and write down the names of the closest five persons (even your pet). This will help us to prioritize yourself in life.
  4. Calculate your ego quotient – According to Freud, a noted psychologist, our personality develops from the interactions among what he proposed as the three fundamental structures of the human mind: the id, ego, and superego. While ego is more rational and at times refrains us from doing things, the id, the most primitive of the three structures, is concerned with instant gratification of basic physical needs and urges, the superego is concerned with social rules and morals—similar to what many people call their “conscience” or their “moral compass.” So we should analyse our ego quotient to now ourselves in a better way
  5. Who Am I? – This is a small exercise. Here is it: Hand out sheets of paper and coloured pens to all the participants. The participants are then asked to draw a small circle at the centre of the paper and a horizontal line across it. The horizontal lines divide the circle in two halves; one representing their needs and the other, their wants. Now ask the participants to pen down what their needs and wants in descending order of importance, i.e. the further away from the circle, less important is the need or want. These needs and wants can be physical, materialistic, emotional, social or mental characteristics etc.

This would help us to understand the importance of knowing oneself, appreciate one’s positive qualities while being aware of one’s weakness and increase self-confidence.

 *Content retrieved in parts from youth changemaker for Foundation for Social Tranformation Ms. Radhika Goswami on her recently concluded study on “THEATRE TECHNIQUES IN CONFLICT TRANSFORMATION FOR ADOLESCENTS”


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