Self concept is a crucial theory in psychology that focuses on your self image. It means the image of yourself that you create in your mind. This image is developed in several different ways. For example, the way different people treat you and how you interact with others shape your self concept.
In a broader term, self concept is defined as how we perceive our behavior, characteristics, and attitude. Self image is a deciding factor in anyone’s life as it impacts the motivation levels, attitudes, and behaviors. The self concept can be divided into three categories, namely:
- Ideal self
It is the ideal image that you want to create of yourself. You try to better yourself to fit into these criteria. It’s who you envision yourself to be. Also, you want other people to like this image of yours.
- Self image
Self image means how you see and feel about yourself at this point in time. This image is impacted by various factors like physical characteristics, personality traits, and social roles.
- Self esteem
How much you value yourself and your work determines your self esteem. You can build your self esteem over time. However, it depends on factors like how others see you, how you contribute to society, and how you think of yourself as compared to others.
Self-concept may or may not be aligned with reality. If it is related to reality, it is called congruent. But if there is a mismatch between your real and ideal self, it is called incongruent.