Your self-concept is how you evaluate and view yourself. It is linked to your self-esteem, which is linked to your feelings of self-worth. Psychologists say that the two determine how you will experience life.
Studies show that if you see yourself in a positive and healthy light, your life experiences will be positive and healthy.
So what's the key to a healthy self-concept? According to Psychology Today:
- Know yourself
- Love yourself
- Be True to yourself
It's interesting to note that when based on emotion, self-esteem can be wavering and vulnerable to threats. Likewise, if it's obtained mostly from external factors, such as an attractive physical appearance, or being popular, you can feel on top of the world one day, and find yourself disillusioned or disappointed on the next (this is the reason why I emphasize professional accomplishment and personal growth - our self-concepts and self-esteem are intertwined in both).
Therefore, a healthy self-concept must derive from within. Instead of being dependent upon validation from external sources, or the wavering opinions of others, self-esteem must result from self-reflection, self-analysis and ultimately, self-acceptance.