What is Concept of Self and self Identity ? - Understanding the Self - Who I AM ?

 Overview – Self Concept Meaning and Definition, Self Identity meaning and definition, Exact meaning of self concept/self identity, Various aspects of self concept, components of Self Concept, Domains related to self concept, Forces influencing self concept

Who we are? ( Who I Am ?)
understanding the self
who I am ?

An introduction to Self or Concept of Self or Self Identity (Self Concept):
Self Concept is also known as self-identity. Self concept is the sum total of a being’s knowledge and understanding of his or her self.

Meaning of Self-Concept or self identity:
The term self Concept is a general term which is used to refer to how someone thinks about, evaluates or perceives themselves.

Definition of Self Concept/self identity:
Baumeister (1999) Definition of Self Concept: According to Baumeister “Self Concept is “the Individuals belief about himself or herself, including the person’s attributes and who and what the self is.”

What exactly is the meaning of Self – Concept or self identity?
A self concept is an understanding of ourselves which is based on our personal experiences, body images and the thoughts we have about ourselves, and also how we tend to label ourselves in different situation.


Aspects of Self Concept:
There are two aspects of self concept or self identity
1.      The Existential Self
2.      The Categorical Self

1.      The Existential Self Concept:
Meaning of Existential Self Concept: The Existential self is the most basic part of self-schema or self-concept. It is the sense of being separate and distinct from others and the awareness of the constancy of the self.

2.      The Categorical Self Concept:
Meaning of Categorical Self: The categorical self is having realized that he or she exists as a separate experiencing being. In this concept the child becomes aware that he or she is also an object in the world.

Components or types of Self Concept/ self identity:
There are three components of Self Concept or self identity

1.      Self – Image (The view we have of our self)
2.      Self – Esteem ( How much value we place on our self)
3.      Ideal Self ( What we wish we were really like)

1.      Self Image: Meaning of Self Image: Self Image is the essence what we see in our self. Self Image is all about how  we see our self in the present movement
2.      Self Esteem: Meaning of Self Esteem: Self esteem encompasses our current emotional experiences. Self esteem also refers to the extent to which we like or approve of our self or the extent to which we value our self.
3.      Self Ideal: Meaning of Ideal self: Ideal self is how we wish we could be in future time. This is our ideal self, or the ideal person we envision of being and becoming.



Domains related to self Concept or Self Identity:
The domains which are related to self concept are

1.      Social Domain: It is the ability to interact with others.
2.      Competence : It is the ability to meet basic needs
3.      Affect Domain: It is the awareness of emotional states.
4.      Physical Domain: It is the feeling about looks, health, physical condition and overall appearance.
5.      Academic Domain: It is the success and failure in school.
6.      Family:  It is how well one functions within the family unit.

Importance / Significance or Role and Influence of Healthy Self Concept or self Identity:

Self concept or self identity plays a very significant role and has a great importance in making healthy self concept of a person. It influences the personality of a person. Importance of Self Concept are:

1.      Self concept influences our ability to manage our emotions in different situations
2.      Self concept helps in determining that how far we will step outside our comfort zone to solve a problem and to achieve the goal of our life.
3.      Self concept also influences how we utilize our physiology.
4.      Self concept has a great impact on the questions we ask to ourselves on daily basis.
5.      Self concept affects how we interact with people, how we think about ourselves, others and circumstances.
6.      Self concept also help in determining what we will attempt or avoid doing at any moment in time.
7.      Self concept influences our inherent potential.


Forces that influences Self Concept or Self Identity:

There are many forces and sources which influence the concept of self or self identity of a person. Mainly there are two sources which influence the Self Concept. These Sources are

1.      Internal Sources
2.      External Sources

1.      Internal Sources ( which influence self concept are) :
-        What we think about ourselves or others
-        What we pay attention to
-        How we interpret the events and circumstances of our life
-        How we reframe both failure and success
All the above mentioned internal forces influence our self Concept

2.      External Sources ( which influence our self concept are):
-        The environment where we spend our most of the time
-        Our interactions with others
-        How other people tend to label us
All these external forces have a significant impact on our self Concept.

Concept of self images
self concept


Self concept is a very important concept is we want to know about ourself then we should have to know what exactly is self. For a teacher it is also very useful to know the mentality and behavior of all the students so this subject Understanding the self is also taught in B.ed (Bachelor of Education) course or program in all the universities in India as well as in all over the world. Pupil teachers has to prepare file for Understanding the self and this article is very helpful to all the b.ed students who are looking for practical file study material and short exam notes and main points of understanding the self subject.

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