In a very chaotic world one struggles with self-identity. “Who am I?” is a thought that we all, at one time or another, contemplate…even if it is only for a moment! This is a very complicated question to answer.
The “self” concept is how we think about and evaluate ourselves. It includes the view we have of ourselves (self-image), the value we place on ourselves (self-esteem/self-worth), and what we wish we were really like (ideal self). Our self-image usually includes our description of our physical characteristics, social role (our identified role) personal traits (our self-description of personality traits) and or existential/abstract being (spiritual, universal). These factors influence how we view our “self” and what is our relationship to that “self”.
Many of us struggle with the reality of self-identity, as we are uncomfortable with “self-acceptance” of who we are, and “self-forgiveness” for what we may not be.
We struggle to find our “self” when we are so many things to so many people in the scope of daily life.
We don’t make the time to be alone with our “self” and reflect unconditionally on the vision of our “self”. In fact, we fear being “alone”. This innate fear comes from our self-esteem, which is the extent to which we like, accept, or approve of ourselves. It is how much we value ourselves, and the degree to which we have either a positive or negative view of ourselves. An individual with a high self-esteem has self-confidence in their abilities, self-acceptance, optimism, and does not worry about what others think. Low self-esteem leads to a lack of confidence, the desire to be or look like someone else, pessimism, and always worries about what others might think of them. Positive or negative self-esteem is shaped by the reactions of others, our comparison of ourselves to others, our social role identity, and the identification and belonging of our personality to a role.
Take a moment to “be with yourself!” Reflect on “who you are?” Answer the question “Who am I?” in 20 different ways. Then, evaluate yourself by using the categories of physical description, social role, personal traits, and existential/abstract characteristics. Is your self-esteem high or low? What are the factors in your life that made you who you are? And how can you move on to “choose to change” these?
We cannot change the past…however we can shape our future!
Through self-reflection, self-acceptance and forgiveness, and learning to have compassion and unconditional love for ourselves, we can re-acquaint ourselves with our “true inner self”.