”How you perceive yourself determines what you think you are able to do and that determines in turn what you will try. So the self-concept has a tremendous effect upon the intelligence of the individual.” -Dr. Arthur W. Combs
There are many factors that create our self-concept and they begin at birth. Factors including gender, race, age, family, culture, social standing, etc. These factors become so ingrained in us that we believe that they make up who we are. When in fact, they only make up who we think we should be. It’s through this lens that we begin to see and judge ourselves.
Every wonder why you don’t do those things you say you really want to do? What’s holding you back?
It’s entirely possible that you don’t really want to do it in the first place. Not only can our self-concept hold us back from trying things, it can also give us false information about what’s really important to us and what we want from life.
We have this crazy battle going on inside our heads. It’s a war between our social self and our essential or true self. The social self is governed by the totally whacked out Ego – that lunatic voice in the back of our head that says we have to be “cool”, we can’t fail, we can’t let anyone see that we’re anything less than fabulous.
Meanwhile our authentic self if miserable because we’re not following our true path. The ego is a powerful force and is not easily taken down. But there are some tricks you can employ to keep it under control. Here are just a couple.
1. Listen to your body. It won’t ever – can’t – lie to you. If something gives you strength and joy, it’s the right thing for you. Pay attention to how your body physically reacts to a situation or thought. Take your queues from your body not your mind, that’s where your Ego lives.
2. Question your thoughts. We tell ourselves a lot of crazy things that are not at all true. Yet, we believe these thoughts and they drive our actions. If you really stop and take a minute to ask yourself – is it true? – you’ll find that in most cases it’s not.
As renowned thought work leader Byron Katie says, “don’t believe everything you think”. All thoughts are not true and it’s when we attach ourselves to these thoughts and believe them that we get in trouble.
So, pay attention to what really lights you up and gives you strength. Let go of the self concept that has been created by untrue thoughts and outside influences. Live at your best and scrap the rest.