Self-concept can be described as how someone thinks about or perceives himself or herself. When one becomes of oneself, they have a concept of who they really are. A person’s self-image is affected by many things including friends, parents and even the society at large. Self-concept grows as a person’s continue to know himself or herself. How the society views us might also change how we see ourselves. One might see themselves as kind, generous, self-conscious and at the end of the day all these characteristics mould the self-concept. How you see yourself could not necessarily mean that that is who or how you are. It is just a matter of how you see yourself. Most of my self-concept theories developed when I was in high having becoming more aware of myself them. From my high school through to adult life, there are a couple of characteristics that have shaped my self-esteem and self-image. This article will discuss some of myself concepts and how they came to develop and how they have been nurtured throughout my life.
Discovering oneself is one of the best ways to deal with esteem issues and accepting oneself. I always thought that I knew myself best. All the adjectives that I chose for myself have always been me. I was not surprised that I chose those characteristics for myself. I was a cheerleader, which made me one of popular kids during high school. That made me proud, self conscious and even tense at times. I was always struggling not to make mistakes. I wanted to be perfect in everything that I did.. I have always been so fun and outgoing. Being a cheerleader in high school meant many things. Apart from performing well in the field one is also expected to perform well when it comes to the classroom. That in itself comes with a lot of pressure and that at all times made me quite tense. I did not want to lose my shape and at the same time, I wanted to stay top of my class. Living up to the expectations of everyone can make one to be so uptight at times. All my life I did not think that I would ever use to the word, ‘introvert’ describe myself.
Before having my second child, I was still the person I was in high school. I was fun and outgoing. I enjoyed going to parties and socializing with people from different areas. I have now toned down and have adapted to unfamiliar surroundings of being an adult and a family person. Nowadays I am always home with my child most of the time. When my boyfriend leaves for work, I am left at home alone looking after the baby. Most of my friends now live far away from my place. That means that I do not get to socialize or meet new people anymore. I am more confined to myself at home, just my baby and me. Even when I attend my boyfriend’s work function, I am that quiet shy person who does not much. I like to sit by myself at a corner because most of the time I do not know what is going on or what people are discussing. People might interpret this as being anti-social or lack of interest in what they are discussing but in reality, I just do not know what they are talking about. This is what makes most people think that I am an introvert. Introverts are people who are not as outgoing and tend to be quiet in a group setting. That is what I have become of late. I am also mostly self-conscious about my looks when I am around people. I am not sure how I look or how people think, I look and I therefore tend to keep to myself. I started being self-conscious in high school.
Cheerleaders in high school are one of every high school girls’ dreams. When one becomes a cheerleader, she becomes a role model to most of the other students and therefore many things are expected of her. Being a cheerleader in high school comes with a lot of pressure. One is expected to be at always look their best. The cheerleaders are always in competition with each other comparing who looks the best than the other. We had workouts every morning when our weight was checked. Our coach expected us to maintain a Victoria’s Secret kind of body. There was no space for extra skin. This concept made me become self-conscious. Every girl kept on comparing themselves with each other just to ensure that you remained on top of the competition. Everybody wanted to have the perfect tan, skin and bones body. Our coach was quite strict and did not expect to see any extra skin. I always hated the morning cheerleading classes because they somehow made me feel exposed.
Two babies later, I have become more concerned about hoe I look. I still have the extra baby weight. When I am walking around, I keep wondering what people think of me. Sometimes I look at the mirror and I do not like what I see. There has been too many changes with my body even with my relationships. Nowadays I am even worried about how I dress and how I look in that outfit. I think that most of my clothes make me look fat and I do not like it. I want to go back to my pre-baby body. Being so self-conscious has made me become less social. Even when I attend functions, I like to keep to myself. Sometimes I think that everybody is looking at me and thinking how fat I am. This is one of the reasons that maybe people have come to see me as an introvert. Being self-conscious has always made me become nervous and tense especially because of the many things that are expected from me.
Being tense always makes me aware of things that are not even important. I was always been self-conscious of my grades and my body. As I had stated earlier being in cheerleading one is expected to excel in all areas from the field to the classroom. I had to make sure that I did not miss any class or practice. Maintaining my size ‘0’ and good grades was always what I was all about in high school. I did not want to be kicked out of cheerleading especially because we had quite a tough coach who could stand any extra skin otherwise one would be kicked out of the team. The tension in me made me become more self-aware about my body in adulthood.
With motherhood, coming in so quick, I had to learn how to take care of my baby. Babies can be quite delicate and they need to be handled with care. A baby does not talk and it becomes difficult for them and their parents to understand what is going on with them. There is always tension when the baby cries and one is not sure why they are crying. When my first baby came, I found myself calling my doctor when the baby cried uncontrollably only to find out that the baby is just hungry or sleepy. Struggling to be a perfect mother to my children and the perfect girlfriend to my boyfriend has become another reason for my tension rise. I am always questioning myself whether I am doing thing right. I however thank God for my boyfriend because he is always there reassuring me that everything will be fine.
The insight that I have gained from this assignment is quite surprising. I always knew that I had issues with self-concept but writing them down made them appear more real. This makes me look at life differently. Most of my self-awareness has always been influenced by other people. I always feel that I need to feel or dress in a particular manner because the society would approve of it. I have generated ideas of who I think I am and I have accepted those as myself. Now that I have analyzed those characteristics, I have realized that I need to work on myself. I would like to accept the changes that have come with my life changes and adulthood. This is because the way I feel about myself have affected my life in a negative manner. My relationships are not the same as before. When one does not love and accept themselves then it becomes difficult for them to deal with other people. This has strained my relationships and it might be what ends my relationship and I do not want that to happen. I want to change and accept the changes that have come with my growth.