THE FOUR PILLARS OF SELF – CONCEPT : SELF – ESTEEM, SELF – EFFICACY, SELF – IMAGE AND SELF – AWARENESS
Who are you? What does define you? What makes you “YOU?”
You might answer these questions in number of ways like “I’m a daughter”, or “I’m a professor” or may be , “I’m an optimist”, “I’m a good opportunist”, “I’m a good friend” etc. These responses basically come from our inner sense of who we are. We all are having a sense of “SELF” , whether that sense of self might be positive or negative. The sense of positivity or negativity entirely depends upon on our own experiences in life and our own perceptions and assessment of ourself.
The Self concept is a factual description of how you perceive yourself.If your perception is distorted,this description may not be an accurate depiction of you, but is an accurate statement of what you believe about yourself.
The influential researcher Roy Baumeister (1999) defines Self- concept as:
“The individual’s belief about himself or herself, including the person’s attributes and who and what the self is.”
Basically self concept is the image that we have of ourselves.And this image get developed in a number of ways but is particularly influenced by 4S’ of Self concept i.e. Self-esteem, Self-efficacy,Self-image and Self – awareness.
The four pillars of self concept are interrelated and interdependent.
SELF-ESTEEM - Self-esteem is the respect that a person has for oneself. A person with positive feelings regarding the self is said to have high self-esteem. However, self-esteem can refer to very specific areas as well as a general feeling about the self. For instance, a person may have low self-esteem regarding physical attractiveness and high self-esteem about ability to do a job well.
SELF-EFFICACY -Self-efficacy is a person's belief in their ability to accomplish some specific goal or task. It generally corresponds to the level of competence an individual feels. Competence can vary from one situation to another. For instance, a person might feel quite capable competing in a particular sport but may not feel competent speaking in front of a group. As a result, overall self-efficacy may not be completely accurate as it is assessing an individual's general feelings of competence across a variety of situations or tasks.
SELF-AWARENESS – We are best to know our own potential, limitations, feelings as well as our position in society which includes recognition of our personality, our strengths and weaknesses , our likings and dislikings etc. Self – awareness helps us in recognizing our inner self which would also help in understanding others too.If we will know ourself then only we can rationally decide that what expectations we can have from ourself and in which direction we have to take steps further. If we will understand ourself then only we would be able to understand others too. Logically the sense of empathy is also dependent on self- awareness to a larger extent.
SELF – IMAGE - Self-image is related to what we see when we stand in front of a mirror. However, it is much deeper than that. Self-image basically refers to how we see ourselves on a more global level, both internally and externally.
The Mountain State Centers for Independent Living explains further:
“Self-image is how you perceive yourself. It is a number of self-impressions that have built up over time… These self-images can be very positive, giving a person confidence in their thoughts and actions, or negative, making a person doubtful of their capabilities and ideas.”
In layman language, we can say that Whatever picture we get in our mind when we see ourself in the mirror is self – image. Self – Image is dependent on our own perception, knowledge, beliefs,experiences etc.The positive self – image is important in helping one to discovering and accepting self and others too.
Self – concept is the core of personality of every individual.It affects each and every aspect of human behaviour:ability to learn,the capacity to grow,the calliber to change.A positive self – image is the best possible preparation for success in life.The concept of Self – concept will be better justified by the following quote -
“What I do is the truest mirror of who I am.”
? Craig D. Lounsbrough