The self-concept is composed of relatively permanent self-assessments, such aspersonality attributes, knowledge of one's skills and abilities, one's occupation and hobbies, and awareness of one's physical attributes. For example, the statement, "I am lazy" is a self-assessment that contributes to the self-concept. In contrast, the statement "I am tired" would not normally be considered part of someone's self-concept, since being tired is a temporary state. Nevertheless, a person's self-concept may change with time, possibly going through turbulent periods of identity crisis and reassessment.
The self-concept is not restricted to the present. It includes past selves and future selves. Future selves or "possible selves" represent individuals' ideas of what they might become, what they would like to become, and what they are afraid of becoming. They correspond to hopes, fears, standards, goals, and threats. Possible selves may function as incentives for future behavior and they also provide an evaluative and interpretive context for the current view of self.
earlier paper (Korb, 1984) I described one of the reasons for the slowness of the maturation process: the necessary change of the "core" self concept from the (to some extent) negative and shameful (Yontef, 1993) sense of self that is learned in childhood and reinforced by personal experiences throughout life. The mature "core" self is basically acceptable; the sense of personal identity is positive.
Negative beliefs about the self are built up in early years of life (perhaps before age 6) as a reaction to the input from significant others. Often this self-concept, or sense of personal identity, is a response to the lack of validation or the negativity and criticism (as experienced by the child) that are addressed to him/her. Although there may be praise also, these criticisms are built into a set ofbeliefs about the self that is based on the
perceived truth of the criticisms. The person will behave then in a way that reinforces the negative concept. If I have been convinced that I am stupid, I will behave in stupid ways\u2014although in fact I may be quite intelligent. If I believe that I will never amount to anything, I will sabotage any way in which I might be successful.
However, in keeping with the Gestalt belief in the wholeness of each person, in the possibilities that are present in the "core" self, there is also an inner knowing of the truth, a knowing that I am not stupid or that I can be whatever is in me to be, that it is wonderfullyunavo idable being one's self and making one's own decisions\u2014that I am important and want to do important work. This knowing is the foundation forinteractin g appropriately with
Psychologists usually regard self-esteem as an enduring personality characteristic (trait self-esteem), though normal, short-term variations (state self-esteem) occur.
Self-esteem can apply specifically to a particular dimension (for example, "I believe I am a good writer, and feel proud of that in particular") or have global extent (for example, "I believe I am a good person, and feel proud of myself in general").
Synonyms or near-synonyms of self-esteem include: self-worth, self- regard, self-respect,, self-love (which can express overtones of self- promotion), self-integrity. Self-esteem is distinct fromsel f-con fidence and
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