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The concept of self comes from the past and future; how an individual was, and who the individual want to be. The self attempts to maintain a constant relationship with its various elements and the external world by creating identities discerned and defined by connection with the external social environment. In addition to this, the self is concerned with its external impressions and presentation it makes on other people. The interplay between the self-esteem, self-concept, and self-efficacy as well as environmental influences inflames an external presentation of the self in a social world, which continually demands acknowledgement, acceptance, adaptation, and accommodation ( ). Social surroundings have an effect on the awareness of the self, and variations in the environment such as healthy, socioeconomic status, and age motivate certain behaviors directed by bias and personal interest. As the self is concerned with its external appearance, it adapts and accommodates in various situations. In my personal examples of major developmental experiences, I continue to experience growth, change, and redefinition as I redefine, refine, and reevaluate my sense of self while accommodating my internal and external influences.
The self exemplifies how an individual perceives, who he/she is. The self-concept defines the organization of roles and attributes that the person sees in when looking at oneself. According to ( ), a general definition of self comes from social interaction; this guides and influences a person’s behavior. ( ) states that self concept consists of three sources: self-perception theory, cognitive dissonance theory, and self-presentation theory. The self-presentation theory shows how an individual will try to stay consistent; an individual does not want to appear inconsistent or foolish. An individual can take the consistency to an extent that he/she portrays hypocrisy or insincerity, but such an action can help in making a good impression, and showing the perception of self. The cognitive dissonance theory illustrates that an individual inspires to maintain a consistency among his/her cognitions. ( ) asserts that this theory assumes that an individual lacks harmony or senses tensions or his/her’s beliefs and thoughts are inconsistent. An individual, who justifies his /her actions by believing them to be true, is unreceptive to self-correction ( ). In a nutshell, this theory illustrates that an individual’s view of the self will become reliable in actions irrespective of a person’s past beliefs. The cognitive dissonance theory shows a justification of self-persuasion even though self-perception shows the reasons human beings compare the self to others. Self-perception is how an action of a person is judged by the actions of other people’s attitudes, traits, and environmental forces. This theory implies that when an individual’s own attitude is lacking, the individual will look at himself/herself as another person would look at him/her, by observing the circumstances and self-behavior that cause the person’s attitude. An individual observes his/her own attitude and actions like an outsider would, concluding how the individual reacts to the situation. These three theories of self illustrate why an individual conceives who he/she is.
The relationship or connection between the self and others influences self-awareness while affecting how the self reacts and adapts to certain situations. ( ) states that social relationships rouse an evolving definition of self as these connections continue to force self redefinition and re-identification. The self has a deep rooted capability for self-preservation, and self-protection, and uses cognitive abilities to maintain and support stability to its essential character. ( ) affirms that the self-concept is made up of schemas, which are beliefs about the self which guide and organize the processing of self-relevant information. So, using these mental templates, people can accommodate and organize various elements of their internal world while providing a safe integration into the external social world. The personal self-schemas include models of present self-descriptions and those of the possible self ( ). The self-schema of the possible self includes hopes and ideas for positive potential while concurrently avoiding and harboring visions of the dreaded or feared self.
Although individuals appear to know themselves better than they know anything else in the world, self-knowledge is flawed, particularly in the personal viewpoint of behavioral motivations ( ). Influences on the self, for example the cultural influences are generally invisible to the self, and unconscious processes and external observations influences and regularly weaken or undermine conscious behavior and choice. ( ) states that individuals tend to diminish the importance of traumatic and emotionally stimulating events while miscalculating their capability to cope with these situations. Though human beings have continuous exposure to the internal dialog of the inner sanctum of the self, the perspective of the self is biased, limited, and often undeniably wrong ( ).
Influences on the self include the roles in which a person participates, individually created social identities, long-term and daily failures and successes, comparison to others, culture, and the judgment of other people. The true self serves as a meaning in life. How an individual sees him/herself is how the individual will experience life in the social arena. Probably my most momentous self-schemas are those, which define me as a son, brother, student, and considerate caregiver to my family. I look to my family and friends for an understanding of how I should react and act in life situations. Learning from their examples has brought my own personal variation of how mishaps and events should be handled. My possible selves include a brave soldier, significant guide, and fundamental friend in numerous relationships, and an involved and integral family member. Today, I find that I am an indispensable friend and important guide in many relationships. Openly, I shy from this part of myself because I feel that individuals expect me to live up to a particular expectations and I opt not to experience that depth of responsibility at this point in m life. I believe that this denial of social purpose and service stems from a fear of appearing self-serving, self-righteous, and biased in my views. During challenging and difficult times, I sense a looming trepidation of the inability to achieve my goals. Just like any other person, I consciously opt to trust the more positive elements of my possible and desired self while consigning my sense of insufficiency and fears to the rhetorical internal dialog, which occurs within the confines of my mind. I find the belief of such dialog leads to the literal deficiency it rouses. Like other people, my self-knowledge is flawed as many of my behaviors, intentions, and self-identities have an inexplicable genesis. I achieve biases, which serve my sense of self whether or not they have any basis in reality, and I perceive myself as optimistic, intelligent, and less prejudiced than my peers. A person is a product of his/her own environment, I hope as I grow and develop in my environment, I remember to love myself, know myself, and be true to myself.
Self-efficacy is the determination people have with regard to their individual competency and the efficiency with which they affect their world ( ). The perspective with which people regard their level of self-efficacy relates directly to their tendency and ability to set and meet goals and challenges, and the perseverance with which they commence and overcome them. The capacity to commence and overcome challenges and persevere in the achievement of goals perpetuates a greater sense of self-efficacy and a sense of achievement ( ). I have a strong sense of personal efficiency with an understanding I can embark on challenges, set higher than average goals, and persevere to achieve and accommodate my designated agenda. I also feel that my sense of self-efficacy is growing with each new understanding I have about myself, and how I create reality. Depending on the initial desire and challenge to accomplish a goal, I have noticed that I am able to take on unreasonable and the loftiest challenges. I personally consider failure an essential part of life, not one I readily aspire to or anticipate, but one, I accept in the sum of my undertakings. Simply put, failure is a great part of human life, and it has its place in building character, rather than quitting when I fail, I see failure as just another challenge. Failure does not affect my sense of self-efficacy, but does not sway my determination to learn from, to accept, and create a stronger structure from which I will overcome future challenges.
Self-esteem is simply defined as a person’s sense of self-worth. When maintaining a self-concept, an individual’s self confidence comes into play. Life’s powerful disappointments and greatest accomplishments contain equal experiences and pleasure ( ). ( ) states that there is a continuum on which lies the perseverance and excessive self-confidence and positive thought, which rouses unrealistic goal setting and socially estranging narcissism. I consider my self-esteem slightly above average when reflecting on my self-awareness, self-knowingness, and knowing what and who I am on the deepest level. I believe that self-esteem is either diminished or enriched by a person’s personal dialog. I am mostly appropriate in my understanding of my superior ability for understanding, accomplishment, compassion, tolerance combined with my general lack of belief in most of my personal dialog. Personally, I have learned that as much as I am influenced by the internal acclaim and praise, I am affected by the internal admonition and criticism. I have a sense of the wavering and adaptive nature of my own self-esteem, and as such, strive towards accommodating, acknowledging, and relying on a more stable element of my human spirit. Life’s notable disappointments and great achievements contain equal experience and pleasure. The significance and weight of each is determined by individual perception.
When I reflect over my life, I realize that my personal development has been significantly affected by various experiences that help to define me. In my twenties, I moved to the United States and had to rely on my self-esteem, efficacy, and self-concept to adjust to the new environment, meet new people, and overcome my fears of been a diamond in the rough. I had to consider that I wanted for myself because it was like starting my life once again in a completely new place. I had to relearn what the society expected of me, and what role I wanted to play in it. In this part of life, my self-perception played a notable role, relocating in another country meant new goals, new challenges, and more ambitions. I had to succeed in life because I had others who depended on me.
My second and equally important experience is my work as a soldier. I have lost comrades in war and the result of this is that I regularly face my inability to accommodate and understand the transition between life, and death, as I explore my existing ability to honor, love, and provide comfort in a world where I do not have a handbook or compass to guide me. I often question the character of life and inner self, concurrently finding joy and an ever increasing ability for care and compassion. The experience continues to expand, diminish, provoke, limit, strengthen, stimulate, incapacitate, and demand my greatest self as I face my fears. Without a doubt, my personal development is still ongoing and I hope to thrive, and succeed in my life experiences and new ones while working on my course. I need to use the concept of self to settle on my attributes of where I am, and where I want to be. As I grow older, I consciously decide to trust the positive elements of my life. I have learned to respect my ideas, trust my intuition, and develop plans for the future. I need to understand the significance of self-concept, esteem and efficacy to help my experiences or journey of personal development. Every major event in my life has brought the self, which I am today. I work harder to reach the element of self to the person I am and what I want to be.
To answer the question of why I am who I am, it is essential to look at the self. The self is a composite of numerous elements significantly constructed and structured by exposure to other people. Life experiences rouse change and accommodating in the self, as well as the transition between various self-schemas and the possible self. The relationship between the various selves is supported by self-efficacy, self-esteem, the interaction of which becomes the representative external product of the self. In my personal development, relational experiences cement and stretch my personal sense of self-esteem, and self-efficacy as I account for personal failures, overcome challenges, and continue to accommodate, and refine my shortcomings and abilities. The numerous good and bad decisions I have made in my life have showed me the countless dimensions of my values, character, and ethics. All of these aspects foster my view in life, and ideas about my ever evolving self.
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