Our self-concept, how we see ourselves, is a powerful determinant of our lives. Who we believe we are is a construct we’ve picked up from the beliefs, projections, comments, and behaviors of those around us, combined with the experiences we have had to date and how we have chosen to interpret them.
What if you had different experiences, different role models and projections, given yourself different explanations of the world? You would have a different self-concept, a different identity, a different sense of what is possible. Give deep thought to your self-concept and how it was shaped and formed. Do your belief systems serve you, support you, challenge you to find, develop, and become your best self?
You can choose to consciously shape your self-concept first by:
- Becoming fully aware of the programing that has been running in the background of your subconscious (“You are not responsible for the programming you received in childhood. As an adult, you are 100% responsible for fixing it.” – Ken Keyes Jr., 1921-1995)
- Creating a vision statement of an empowering self-concept; how you’d like to evolve and develop (“You need a plan to build a house. To build a life, it is even more important to have a plan or goal.” – Zig Ziglar, 1926-2012)
- Begin by moderating yourself talk, orienting toward being your own BFF, coach, and cheerleader (“As the fletcher whittles and straightens his arrows, so the master directs her straying thoughts.” – Buddha)
- Surrounding yourself with likeminded, growth-oriented people who challenge you (“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn, 1930-2009)
- Becoming a lifelong learner (“Commit yourself to lifelong learning. The most valuable asset you’ll ever have is your mind and what you put into it.” – Brian Tracy)
I am a firm believer that “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out” (Robert Collier, 1885-1950). Toward that end, I’ve always had goals (“I’m a North Star Person”); even when I was uncertain as to specifics (we all are at times), I always tried to move forward in some direction, broad education/generalized growth/savings, convinced that some application would surface down the road and better something than nothing.
Most folks go the same distance in life, just all too many wander in circles, hence “Sail a Steady Course”. A corollary of that is I do not allow short term emotions/weakness to undermine things I’ve worked hard to achieve. That would not be me, that is not who I am, that would be antithetical to my self-concept, to my identity that I’ve worked hard over a lifetime to construct. Every disciplined effort yields multiple results; every yielding to temptation licenses the next.
“Every person takes the limits of their own field of vision for the limits of the world.” – Arthur Schopenhauer, 1788-1860
“Your subconscious mind makes all your words and actions fit a pattern consistent with your self-concept and your innermost beliefs about yourself.” – Brian Tracy
“The greatest barrier to achievement and success is not lack of talent or ability but rather the feeling that achievement and success, above a certain level, are outside our self-concept – our image of who we are and what is appropriate to us.” – Nathaniel Branden, 1930-2014
As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier