The “self-view” is a term created by psychology experts for how you see yourself. Sometimes you will also see this called your “self-concept”. Basically your self-view is a combination of your opinions, beliefs, attitudes and preferences that form your definition of who you are.
It is all about how you think about yourself. This is really powerful because it will define how you think and the way that you act. This is critical and we really need it to make sense of our world.
The Self-View has been Studied by Psychologists for a long time
The concept of it is easy to understand but it is a very complex psychological area which has had psychologists trying to figure it all out for a very long time. Although everyone has a self-view it is not always easy for us to know what is really going on on the inside.
This is because we are all different and our mixture of traits, preferences, personality characteristics and abilities differs wildly to the next person. It doesn’t matter that much that we cannot explain everything about though.
What is important is that we are aware of its existence. People need their self-view so that they can form their own perceptions of the world and feel comfortable in their environment. Without it we would always be asking others how we stack up (which a lot of people do anyway but this is usually due to low self-esteem rather than not having a self-view).
In the very early days of research into it, Descartes formed the conclusion that the very existence of an individual was totally dependent on how they perceived the world around them.
The well known psychologist, Simund Freud, believed that the self-view comprised of three elements which are:
- Your ID which is pleasure based
- Your ego which is a state of balance between your ID and your superego
- Your superego which is driven by your conscience
Important Aspects about the Self-View
There are a lot of different assumptions held to make sense about it. Here are some of the most important ones:
You Learn your Self-View
The assumption here is that you are not born with it. You will develop it as you grow and become an adult. In fact, it will change many times during your life. Many experts believe that you can change it if you need to and this is a good thing.
It is important because how we think about ourselves affects how we feel about ourselves and how we interact with others and the world around us. A positive self-image can boost our physical, mental, social, emotional, and spiritual well-being. On the other hand, a negative self-view can decrease our satisfaction and ability to function in these areas.
Your Self-View has Structure
Over the years you are likely to develop many different views about yourself. The assumption here is that all of these different opinions are organized into a single self-view. This structure helps you to instantly challenge anything that doesn’t conform to your self-view.
Every day an individual is likely to be subjected to many different messages and a number of these can challenge their self-view. Even though these different challenges are about different aspects of a person’s life the reaction is automatic.
Your Self-View can Change
It is not easy to change it because you have built it up over a long period of time. But you can change it. Sometimes different environmental changes can force you to change it. Other times you may want to change it yourself because it is not supporting what you want to do.