Unfortunately, many people do not have a positive self concept. Society places a number of unrealistic examples of perfection before us. The media continue to show us that in order to be truly happy we must be attractive, tall ,thin ,witty,affluent, and perfect in every way. How can we interact with the world in a positive manner if we are less than what we see as ideal? This is a challenge that faces most people.
Others are not influenced by the example that the media have established but have been surrounded by negative people. Negative people can only chip away at an individuals' self concept. If someone tells me that I am not good ,why shouldn't I believe them? The most important thing that people with less than positive self concept can do is to realize that they alone have to power to change the way that they see themselves.
Every individual has the ability to improve his or own self concept. While others can affect how individuals see themselves,change must begin within the individual. The first step in improving oneself is to perform self assessment. A self assessment is an individual evaluation in which individual strengths and weaknesses are identified. A self assessment helps individual to determine where they are headed if they make no changes in themselves or in their behavior. A self assessment must be performed honestly and is meant to evaluate the individual. Instances in which individuals believe that they have been overlooked or have experiences "bad luck" are not relevant during a self assessment. Excuses and blame do not contribute to the performance of an accurate self assessment.
To begin performing self assessment, ask yourself the following questions and record your answers on the sheet of paper or on your computer:
- What are my strengths? What do I receive compliments from others for having done well. What do I think I am good at?
- What are my weaknesses? What activities do I feel less confident in performing? Do I frequently make excuses or blame others for my failures? Do I finish what I start? Do I say yes too often? Do I pull my weight in a group activity?
- How do I see myself? Am I dependable? Do I speak well in front of others? How is my sense of humor? What do I like most about myself? What do I like least? If I could change one thing about myself, what would it be?
- Do I establish goals and work toward achieving them? Do I take pride in successfully accomplishing task?
Even if you are not entirely pleased with the outcome of your self appraisal, you now have a valuable new information about yourself. Most people have a very little self awareness because it is sometimes difficult to recognize who are and how others see us. It is much easier to make excuses for our failures and to blame our circumstances on someone else. Do not dwell on any negative information that your self appraisal may have revealed. Go forward making goals to emphasize the positive aspects of yourself and exploring ways to improve those areas that need improvement. Above all accept yourself as the unique person that you are.
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