Self-Concept As a Continuous Development Process: Reflective Essay

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What is the self? Who am I? Which parts of you is “I”? What make makes me “me”? Have you ever questioned who you really are? Is there really a “self”? How are we able to recognize or know our “true self”?

In a world full of mysteries and unbelievable things about life, most of us, human beings tend to ask and ponder about some of these kind of questions as we grow older. We also tried to understand and considered the possible theories or the perceptions of our great philosophers, psychologist, scientist and other well-known persons about self-concept. These people came up with their own views about this topic and presented it to the world which helped some individual to give thought to or to also connect these concepts with their own lives, but many people were still contradicting about their theories, they said some of their notions were not true or possible that is why up until now we are still finding for a clear and concrete answers about the self. With all of these misperceptions, can we really say that the self is an important thing that each and every one of us must truly know? Does it really matter? How significant it is?

The self for me is a very complex idea. Most of us have different meanings or definitions about the word “self”. Why? Because each of us is unique. We have different experiences, thoughts, beliefs, personality, feelings and perspectives about our existence in this world. We don’t have the same purpose or reasons on why we continue to live. We have dissimilar goals, interest, capabilities, meanings and roles in life. So, with these, we can still again ponder or ask ourselves on how do we become like this? Why do I behave this or that way? Who am I at this present time? What are the factors that forms one’s personality or self-concept?

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We always find ways or clues on how we can also answer these questions within ourselves. We never stop understanding and reflecting about our observations to our individual existence. Each of us have different beliefs and views about self, we may have come up also with our own insights about self.

Understanding one’s self is very complicated and hard to describe. By considering and summarizing the theories of some of the philosophers that we have discussed, I was able to formulate my own perceptions of the self that relates to my character and my own views about our life. So, my theory has also a similarity and combination with other theories that were mentioned which I find it very interesting and fascinating. Based from my own conceptualization and observations from my eighteen years of existence, people might also consider and reflect to the ideas I will be presented.

To begin with my theory, Self is the focus of our daily actions. It is continually developing and growing. Some of us believed that self-concepts show significant part in motivating us and forming our personalities. As we grow older, we are involved in experiences which develop our sense of self.

I believe that we absorb certain qualities form everything we interact with. It is from the environment which we grow. It is where we shaped our personality. Personalities is what makes an individual unique or distinct from other people. It observable that our behavior and traits differ depending on a specific situations or scenarios which is I think it influenced by our experiences and mainly with our environment. It is from the environment where we experience and feel happiness, sadness, fear, love, hate and anger. For example, if I lived with my parents who raised me very well and taught me such good deeds in life and also have friends who are very kind, open, smart and hardworking, then expect that I will also be like them since I was influenced and it is the things for me which I think socially acceptable. Thus, I tend to copy their actions and positive traits in order for me to improve myself. Otherwise, if I raised on a negative environment or in a place where I am surrounded by broken family, people with bad attitudes or friends who are fun of cutting classes, has a lot of vices, bullies and cheater, then it is also possible that I also share or have the same personalities as them. So, in this example, we can say that environment is one of the common factors that develop and shaped our own self-concept.

Moreover, cultures and religion are also one of the factors that affect the behavior of a person. It is in the culture and religion who commands the rules on the practices and characteristics of an individual. For example, here in the Philippines, we all know that it is a predominantly Catholic country. In this nation, we are taught about rules written in the bible which is the ten commandments, the seven sacraments, every Sunday we go to church to pray and attend mass, it encourages us to know what is right from wrong, and we also have laws that protect our human rights.

In this example, it supported some statements of the following persons. To Hofstede (1991), the culture is biased according to the culture and the condition in which an individual is raised and lived through. According to Sood and Nasu (1995), they explain that the nationality of an individual also can have an impact in the development of culture and values. Thus, Wines and Napier (1992), the religion is described as a moral code, which rule the behavior of an individual or a group of individuals or a society.

To deepen and widen my theory, I believe that self is a developmental process. As people grows older and lived longer in this world, our self-concept is being formed and being changed through the different factors such as environment, culture, religion, and significant others.

Significant others are also the ones who contribute in transforming and developing our understanding ourselves because from their opinions, feedback and criticism about us, we tend also to reflect and think deeper on how we act and what are their views on us. Through communicating and social interactions with others, self-concept is being developed. Parents, grandparent, friends, boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife and teachers may become our significant others. Those are the people who we valued the most. For example, when those people told me that I’m kind, friendly, hardworking, faithful and so on. Then, I’m also going to think that it is true because that is what they see on me. I also believe that the influence of those people continues to mature. As we grow older, we become sure about ourselves and we may not agree anymore on them. What is the essence of knowing self? A lot philosohers may be right on their their theory in which I believe in just like Socrates. I believed that we have one soul, for our Divine Creator made his sons with unique identity, plan and the character the we build in this life. It is our responsibility to choose what is wrong and right, but the decision derived from our values. Character formation is not made in one day or attending a lecture from our teachers. The totallity of who we are is just a reflection of our childhood. Parents are the main source of our personality today, because of them we were informed. Soul, is the biblical truth of our life which rest inside our body. Every life has divine soul within, it takes a matter of searching our conscience that we maybe able to apply the learnings from Socrates. It is our duty to achieve for the common good. Really, it does’nt matter on what philosophy we use or believe in, it’s the justification and effect of our decision. Since day 1, we are taught by our family how to do things the first time. We came across different people and childhood friends, without knowing that they too has affected our self in one way or another.

Education, molded us to be a better son and daughter while we understand the purpose of the things around us. We may not understand the reason for quite sometime but as we strive to seek for truth, ask questions to get answers. Are we aware that we can cleansed our soul by doing good to others? St. Augustine state that the superiority of of our soul over our body. Physical parts of our body is just our mechanical components to complete a task or make it function as what our Creator design perfectly.

Teenage years is also considered as one of the most influencial part of our life, to take control of ourselves. We try to test for our potential, experiment to get answers to our problems. Unknowingly, we are all leaders in our own litte way and take control of situation. Setting up standards will start to blend with our character, as people recognized us of who we are, what we want. Ambitions, expectation in life and pursuing it makes the difference now to use principles from our philosophers. They are just guide to make me understand that truth from the past will now be accepted as facts of today. St. Augustine introduce the philosopy of dualism between material and intellectual. As we search for our own path to success or to survive, we nourished our minds with information to be an intelligent person. I also accept that I need material things to give me comfort, a sense of fulfillment. It’s impractical to say that I only need intelligence but lack material things to appreciate and apply what I learn.

Religion is a part of our self, it allow us to ponder the deepest secrets of our life, moral values, biblical stories to define love and hate. Well, it does not matter at all on what religion we believed in, Christianity, Baptist and others. The real score in establishing this group or sector was based on the teachings of their own philosophers and ancient leaders. Faith should not be a topic of discussion for in the end it will only result into argument. Respect is one of the most important value that our parents taught us. As a formation of character starts in our home, environment will be our playing field to practice our norms. At this point in my life, I can attest and conclude that we reach for happiness. Everybody deserves to be happy, to be successful, to cleaned our soul and be at peace. It is a lifetime purpose of every human being. There are circumstances where we find ourselves hopeless, full of anger, envy and a lot shortcomings. Adopting the ancient teachings will only be a guide to me but it will not always be the case in life struggle.

Eternal destiny describes human being as essentially immortal souls striving to reunite with God through faith and reason. Sometimes, we argue in order to prove our principles, justify our rights and set as holder of truth. Control of our situation, make us a wiseman, a leader and reach for unity. War is the result of grid, seek for power, creating kingdom, injustices, oppression and a lot more reasons. Knowing self is the most important aspect that i should dealt with, to be a responsible individual. True love for God and family as well as other persons that forms our environment.

Time evolves, I accept science as a systematized knowledged derived from facts, observation and experiment. To find the absolute truth I need to conceptualized my idea, form different ways to solve it. It takes Descartes Philosophical project to analyzed that scientist learn from their mistakes, before achieving the final outcome. Faith stays within our minds as long as we continue to be strong, determined and united with God our great Creator.

Finally, realizing all the principles from our ancient philosophers will give us the independence to decide, make the right choice and reject bad habits, traits. Being a christian filled my soul with love and reality makes me righteous self. Education is just one way to build our foundation in life, but our environment keep us to be in touch with reality and take actions for every situation. I know that I should amid the noise and haste and let peace there maybe in silence. Motivation to succeed starts within us, to be a worthy real person. We can only influence the values we learn from the past, if we know how to practice it for real, seek for happines, cheerish every moment of our life and love with God, that is SELF.

References:

  1. Chaffee, J. (2013). Philosophers Way, The: Pearson New International Edition: Thinking Critically About Profound Ideas. Harlow, United Kingdom: Pearson.
  2. Essays, UK. (2018). The concept of self. Retrieved from https://www.ukessays.com/essays/philosophy/the-concept-of-self.php?vref=1
  3. Sincero, S. M. (2012). Self-Concept Theory. Retrieved from Snakk Om Mobbing: https://explorable.com/self-concept-theory
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Self-Concept As a Continuous Development Process: Reflective Essay. (2022, July 14). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 20, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/self-concept-as-a-continuous-development-process-reflective-essay/
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