Everyone experiences life differently. A good day in one person’s eyes might feel catastrophic to someone else. We have accounts of our own stories and our accounts of the stories we share with others.
No matter what our perceptions are, they are shaped interactively by self-image. Our self-image affects how we perceive, which affects our image. So, if our perception is influenced in part by our surroundings, is it fair to say that it might vary as settings change?
Breaking Down Self-Concept
Psychology has its own definition and theoretical structure of how we, as people come to understand who we are. Or so, who we think we are. Though, that’s only the surface of it. Psychology is, of course, not the only institution to explore what the “self” means.
It has been a concept widely investigated by many groups of people, spiritually and culturally. Sociology has its take, based solely on our social environment. Because of this, many people come to know self-image as the overarching idea of who they believe themselves to be.
However, you may think of self-image as one corner under the umbrella of self-concept. Self-concept is a collective theory that takes many aspects of how we can conclude ourselves into consideration. There are various angles to weigh in our consciousness, and self-concept is an in-depth exploration of that. It involves:
- Examination of social, religious, spiritual, emotional, and physical information
- Development from childhood and onward, ever-changing
- Information from logical and emotional consciousness
Self-concept is a compilation of self-image, self-esteem, and self-awareness. To put it concisely, what we think we see in ourselves, what we think we feel about it, and what we think we know to be true for a fact.
The bottom line is that all this information precedes our perception and is not always consistent with “reality.” Then, there’s the argument of what reality really means, but that’s another conversation.
More about Self-Image
Because self-image is what we think we see in ourselves, it is determined by several factors of its own. First, there is how you perceive yourself, along with how you think others perceive you. Then, there is a channel of comparison between that information and what you would like to be true.
Meaning, the way you most desire to be. In this sense, self-image is a sort of attitude that arises from how closely related the person you perceive yourself to be is with the person you’d like to be. Then, it trickles down to what is important to each person, particularly, and in this space, there is a lot of room for interpretation.
How it Can Waver
For example, take a person whose conditioning has lead them to equate how people feel about their appearance with a high level of importance. This person may put more emphasis on drawing conclusions about themselves based on the kind of interactions that might allude to how people perceive their attractiveness or physical attributes. They may feel more or less confident in these types of settings based on what they believe others perceive about themselves.
If a person’s conditioning has led them to place more importance on say, whether or not they are wealthy, the same will apply. Their self-image will consist of the conclusions of how wealthy they think they look, how wealthy people believe they are, and how this information compares with the fact of how wealthy they’d like to be versus the reality.
With this logic, we can begin to understand how a person’s self-image may waver according to setting or situation.
If a person who thinks their value is all in the job they do, their self-image may rely most on their work-life for influence. It might feel exceptionally good or bad to be at work based on this information. It may change once they are in another setting where all new perceptions have been made based on how important they consider that setting, and how closely they tie their self-esteem with it.
A Note from GR8NESS
Remember that when it comes to aspects of the mind and mental health, nothing is black and white. There are endless possibilities that determine how each person truly perceives themselves.
If you ever feel as though you struggle with your self-image in any part of your life, acknowledge it. Don’t beat yourself up; simply accept the reality of where you are mentally. Then, understand that you have the right and power to shift it at any time. Take care of yourself, and take care of your self-image.