Sunday, October 6, 2013

Personal Reflection on the Self

          The self, attempts to continue or maintain an unchanging relationship with different aspects of the social world by a means of the creation of identities defined and discovered by an association with the social world. A concern of the self is its image and the impressions it makes on other individuals. The interplay occurring among the self-concept, self-esteem, self-efficacy and environmental influences provoke external images of the self in the social world, which constantly requires acknowledgment, acceptance, adaptation, and accommodation (Orth, Trzesniewski, & Robins, 2010). For an individual to understand his or her “self,” one must understand what the self is and understand the “terms” of self-concept, self-esteem, and self-efficacy. A further understanding of the self occurs through social experiences that affect personal development.
Defining the Concept of the Self in the Social World
          The concept of self is the most important aspect of an individual and is an individual’s answers to the question of “Who am I” in the social world (Myers, 2010). Self-schemas, possible selves, self-esteem, and self-efficacy are important aspects of the self. Self-schemas are beliefs regarding self, which guide, and organize the processing of information of self-relevance (Myers, 2010). Basically, self-schemas are the elements of one’s self-concept, and specific beliefs by which an individual defines himself or herself. An individual organizes his or her world by schemas, which are mental templates. An individual’s self-schemas are a means of perceiving oneself as smart, musical, athletic or by whichever influential affect how one remembers, perceives, and evaluates themselves and other individuals. If music is central to an individual’s self-concept that individual tends to notice the musical interest and musical skills of other individuals.
          An individual will recall rapidly musical-related experiences. Individuals will welcome information consistent with his or her self-schema. Self-schemas make up an individual’s self-concepts and help him or her with the organization and retrieval of experiences (Myers, 2010). The other important component of the self is possible selves. Therefore, an individual’s self-concept not only includes one’s self-schemas about who he or she is currently but also who he or she may become, which is an individual’s possible selves (Myers, 2010). An individual’s possible selves includes visions of the self as for dreams of becoming the in shape self, the rich self, the loving self, and passionately loved self (Myers, 2010). Possible selves also include the self an individual fears or dreads becoming. Therefore, possible selves includes visions may be positive or negative.
          The aspect of self-esteem describes an individual’s sense of self-worth and is how he or she views themselves. Self-esteem adopted during an individual’s childhood often remains stable throughout one’s adulthood but the lowering of self-esteem can occur at any given point and time. Self-efficacy is an individual’s sense that he or she is effective and competent (Myers, 2010).
Applying the Self to Life
          The self or self-concept is an answer for the question of, who one is (Myers, 2010). Self-concept includes the aspects of self-schemas and possible selves. Self-schemas are a definition of the roles individuals have within their lives. My self-schemas are schemas that define me as athletic, smart, a father, and student. Possible selves include the visions that an individual dreams of becoming. My possible selves include clinical psychologist, professor, writer, and researcher. Possible selves also include the self an individual fears or dreads becoming. I fear becoming a failure in life.
          An individual’s self-esteem includes negative and positive self-evaluations. Self-esteem also details an individual’s self-worth. An individual can view him or herself positively in certain areas and also see him or herself negatively in other areas. My level of self-esteem is above average. Self-esteem is not a one dimensional concept, which is true about my self-esteem. In certain areas of my life, I view myself positively, and in others areas I view myself negatively.
            An individual’s self-efficacy is the belief of his or her capabilities to perform a certain task. An individual with high self-efficacy will set high goals, possesses more confidence, are more persistent, and normally has more success in life. Although an individual with low self-efficacy may avoid challenges may give up difficult tasks, and expects failure. My self-efficacy level is high but not too high. I know what I am capable of as a father and college student. I set challenging goals and do not expect failure.
Social Experiences that affect Personal Development
          One social experience that affected my personal development was the day my first child (my son) was born. That day 11 years ago I became more than just a man; I became a father. A father who had another human being depending on me for survival, love, compassion, and empathy. Sure my wife depended on me to provide for her as I would for my son, but with the birth of a child I completely had to share my life and share who I was to foster the development of my son.
            Another social experience that affected my personal development was the day I became a college student again. Socially, I have had to interact with other students from across the country and allow other students to see and read my coursework, thoughts, and beliefs as a student of psychology. Going to college means one has to mature quickly and carry themselves as a mature adult who has a goal of learning and succeeding in life.
          For an individual to comprehend the self, he or she must comprehend the definition of the concept of self, and comprehend the concepts of self-esteem, and self-efficacy. The concept of self and the concepts of self-esteem, and self-efficacy provide the basis for an individual to understand the self. Self-schemas and possible selves are also two concepts of importance. Comprehending the concepts of self-schemas and possible selves allows an individual to understand who he or she is currently, and who he or she may become. Two social experiences that affected my personal development were
Myers, D. G. (2010). Social psychology (10th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
Orth, U., Trzesniewski, K. H., & Robins, R. W. (2010). Self-esteem development from young adulthood to           old age: A cohort-sequential longitudinal study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98(4),             645. Retrieved from

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