self concept and self esteem

Self Concept and self esteem

What is self concept?

Self concept is what you understand about yourself. It is not the same as self image or self consciousness.

It includes:

  • your social character or abilities
  • your physical appearance and your body image
  • your thinking

Your self concept can change because you see and understand things differently depending on your feelings, beliefs and attitude. Self awareness is a two-way process as your feelings and beliefs affect your self concept and the opposite is also true. Awareness means becoming aware of what is actually true about yourself and this important because you probably believe you are as you see you yourself but others may see you quite differently. Awareness is the process of moving your own view closer to the truth.

Can you tell me more?

Your self concept is your understanding of unchanging characteristics you have:



  • are you tall?
  • are you fat?
  • are you handsome?


The best definition I could think of for the term self concept is the idea you have of who you are and what makes you different from everyone else, in other words – what makes you “you”? You should clearly see that all the things that are “you” including your personality, charateristics, appearance, social persona and psychological personality create a complex person and understanding who you are is not easy. In terms of self esteem, the idea you have and your attitude towards your idea of who and what you are is the most important. Remember we are talking about the characteristics of you that are unchanging but your idea or concept of these can change with time.

Can you change your self concept?

Yes. By changing:

  • your attitudes
  • your moods 
  • your values
  • your beliefs

Look at the items above. They are all things that are possible for you to change. You may believe that some of these are beyond your control or are automatic but in fact you can change any belief you want. If you change a belief by challenging it and looking for evidence against your belief you can also change your attitude and your thinking and improve your self concept and your self esteem as well.

If you can accept that you can change your beliefs, values, moods and attitudes then you accept that you can change how you feel about you and the idea of who you are will change also. You do not need to worry too much about the truth of every part of you but through gradual self improvement you can learn to understand more about the best parts of your character and being and appreciate who you are more. This will increase your confidence and self esteem for sure.

Your self concept is just one factor among many that have an impact on your self esteem and self confidence.

Want to learn more?

Read how to end negative thoughts


How to improve your esteem and confidence

Want to increase your self confidence at work, in your daily life and improve your relationships?

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