Analytical Essay on Self Concept: Self-Actualisation Tendency, Self-Acceptance and Introjected Beliefs

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Carl Rogers believed that for a person to grow in society they needed to be in an environment to help them develop a healthy personality. With this kind of environment comes openness, acceptance and empathy. If a person does not have this kind of environment while growing up, Carl Rogers believed that a person would not be able to develop a healthy personality for one’s self and relationships with others. The self-concept is made up of how a person see’s themselves. As a young child they develop tangable concepts such as having blue eyes, the best writer in their class or the fastest runner in the playing field. As a child develops so does their own self concepts and inner values are demonstrated such as being happy, enthusiastic and confident. As a person develops into adulthood they will add their own characteristics that help define them as a person this can include expressing a liking for a specific type of music, dressing in different clothes and hairstyles. These self-concepts change throughout a person’s life. This led Carl Rogers onto many factors which affect self-concept, some of these factors are stated below –

• Self-actualisation Tendency

Carl Rogers self-actualising theory demonstrates that a person has one basic motive in life and that is the want to fulfil their own potential and achieve their goals as a person in society. If a person grows in a suitable environment the person will have the potential to grow into who they want to be and be able to demonstrate this within their surroundings. A person can take the opposite road to this and become destructive when they are faced with lack of self-belief or external factors over-riding their own “valuing” concept. Carl Rogers believed there are five characteristics that create a fully functioning person, these are as follows –

  1. Open to experience – whether the experience is positive or negative a person would be able to deal with all experiences. If the experiences were negative the person could deal with this rather than resorting to their defence mechanisms.
  2. Existential living – This is “living in the moment” where a person is able to live for the here and now and not judge experiences on their past/expect too much from the future.
  3. Trust feelings – a person should be able to trust their own feelings and decisions and not have to ask for other people’s opinions as a person should be able to make their own right choices.
  4. Creativity – A person needs to take risks in life in order to experience new change, so having the confidence in one’s self to be able to make changes in their life without being thrown off balance by the said change.
  5. Fulfilled life – This is demonstrated when a person is happy with one’s self and in the life that they have created, while accepting new experiences and challenges as they come along in a positive nature.

Returning to education while working a full time job and being a single parent is a big deal. I have grown as a person to realise that I can achieve what I want in life no matter the barrier – open to experience.

When I have been a student in the past I struggled juggling my whole life and ended up dropping out of the course however when returning to study this time round, the negative experience I had did not hinder me as I did not judge my present experience on my past experience – existential living.

There are some people in my life who think that I am taking on too much and try to persuade me to leave my course and focus on my family however I trust in myself that I am making the right decision as this will help me shape and mould a career for my future while demonstrating to my young daughter that you can achieve your goals in life – trust feelings & creativity.

My life is very demanding with all these aspects to juggle but by making sure that I allow myself separate study time and “play time” with my daughter allows me fulfil my role as a mother and a student which in turn fulfils me. I fully understand that new experiences and challenges can creep up when you least expect it i.e sickness, holidays, childcare issues, the weather for example and the ability to deal with these in a positive nature is very important – Fulfilled life.

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• Conditions of Worth

One of Carl Rogers concepts is “conditions of worth”. This is when a person is given the right conditions to grow they will use their own self direction, experiences and trust in themselves regarding the choices they make in life. It is explained that if someone grows in an environment where they are always looking for approval, this can be damaging to a person’s own self-worth as they are not fulfilling their own goals in life but the goals that are expected by someone else.

An example of this is when I was eighteen and worked for Brewers Fayre - I was always told what an amazing job I was doing and that I was an asset to the team. However, as time grew I started to believe that if I made a mistake at work I wouldn’t be seen in the same light and respected as much as I previously was so I then added extra pressure on myself to make sure I was constantly pleasing my boss. When in actual fact if I already believed that the job I was doing was good enough I wouldn’t have seeked this external approval and put this added pressure/stress onto myself as I would have already known my own conditions of worth.

• Self-acceptance & introjected Beliefs

Self-acceptance is often something that everyone thinks they automatically do however when we look deeper it turns out that self-acceptance is not such an automatic state. Many people in society struggle accepting themselves and exactly who they are whereas we should all be accepting our true self and embracing this without exceptions. Often when we cannot accept your true self this can be a result of someone else’s introjected beliefs meaning that we take on someone else beliefs and values and internalise these.

An example of this is that I was never been able to accept myself when I was a child and in early adulthood as I was overpowered by the introjected values of my mother and close circle of friends. When I was a teenager I was slightly overweight and my mother was not one for letting me forget this as she told me that “you will never get a boyfriend if you don’t lose weight” and “no one will give you a job if you’re fat”. My friends were very similar as they taunted me. I didn’t see myself in this light however I soon began to believe that this was true and my own self-worth almost became non-existent. I was a good student and excelled in everything that I did but I started to think that the way I looked would be a barrier in relationships, career, friends and the list goes on. In 2014 I married the father of my daughter and I thought life was amazing however this high was short lived. My husband started to comment on my looks and this took me back to the taunting days of my childhood – he doesn’t love me anymore because I’m fat. I stood up and said “this is me and if you don’t like it leave” I had decided that no one was going to tell me that I was unacceptable in society because of the way they perceived me. I see myself as a very confident, high spirited, beautiful individual and no one was going to break me down anymore. Since then I have never let my looks bother me. I learned to accept myself from this day forward. “I am ME and I like ME”.

• Locus of Evaluation

Carl Rogers wrote about the locus of evaluation, this is one of the ideas that formed a “person centred approach to therapy”. This is explained as the tool used by a person to make valued judgements regarding themselves, other people and the world itself. The values and standards that a person sets often depends on the expectations of other people or a persons own past experience. It is explained that there are two ways of operating a locus evaluation and these are –

  1. Internal locus of evaluation – this is when a person trusts their own instincts and values their own view of self. This evaluation isn’t common in many people however they can obtain this by going through the “seven stages of process”.
  2. External locus of evaluation – This is the most popular evaluation that many people refer to as this is the views of others and what other people find as acceptable in society. This is often demonstrated by a person’s parents and a person will grow by what their parents have deemed as acceptable. Each person will have been brought up slightly different and therefore their own external locus evaluation could be completely different to another person.

Often when something goes wrong in my life I already know how to change/adapt my surroundings to turn this negative into a positive however I don’t often trust that my own instinct is correct. I seek the opinion of around three people in order to make a well-rounded decision. After learning some of Carl Rogers concepts and theories it has made me realise the value of internal locus evaluation as often what I am hesitate about changing will only either benefit or hinder myself and not those around me so the opinions of others are irrelevant.

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Analytical Essay on Self Concept: Self-Actualisation Tendency, Self-Acceptance and Introjected Beliefs. (2022, July 14). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 20, 2024, from
“Analytical Essay on Self Concept: Self-Actualisation Tendency, Self-Acceptance and Introjected Beliefs.” Edubirdie, 14 Jul. 2022,
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