Which of these demons are you hiding?

Which of these demons are you hiding?

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The 7 Self Judgements we must overcome


Self-concept is the umbrella term, the overarching term for who we think we actually are and all the ideas we have about ourselves.  We are not born with this. At approximately 18 months old, we develop a concept of who we are which comes from a combination of feedback from others and our experiences.


Concept is open to the influence of others. If people always tell you that you’re bad or your naughty, then you will believe it.  If you are only told a few times, you’re more likely to question it and mediate those comments against the other experiences you have had so that you can assess its validity.


1. How do you describe yourself and your attributes?


2. How much is this description based on pure evidential fact?


Self-image is your idea, concept, or mental picture you have of yourself.


Internally, we can often turn these conceptions into factual and descriptive beliefs about our physical attributes, what kind of person we are, and what skills and qualities we have. It’s really important that we help ourselves and other people have an accurate self-image.  We have all heard about people having bad self-image, which is when reality and their thoughts about their physical attributes become distorted. Conversely, children who have spent their lives being told they’re amazing, clever, and beautiful by their primary care-givers and then go to school to find out they’re pretty average, can have a very distorted self-image also. It can be very upsetting for people when they find out that they are not who they thought they were in terms of image.


1. Close your eyes and imagine you are a total stranger looking at yourself for the first time.  What does the stranger see?


2. How realistic is your self-image?


Self-esteem is how you rate or value yourself and how you feel about that i.e. How much you care about it. For instance, it means nothing if you are an amazing Artist but you don’t believe you are, or you don’t value art. Even if you were technically the best artist in the world, your self-esteem wouldn’t necessarily be high.  It’s all about our judgments about ourselves and importantly, how we feel about those judgments. A high self-esteem in itself is not a good thing. Having healthy self-esteem depends on what it is that we have self-esteem in and what we value. If we value beauty, but consider ourselves ugly, we will have very low self-esteem.  If we value beauty and believe we have it, we will have high self-esteem. If we are truly beautiful but don’t value beauty, we may not have high self-esteem.


Self-Efficacy is your judgment beforehand on how well you think you will do in a task. These thoughts are not necessarily facts. They are beliefs about your capability or your confidence in your ability to achieve something. If you have high efficacy you believe that you can achieve desired results, that you’ll find a way to achieve and as a result, usually do succeed in attaining goals because your belief of success is a high motivator, even when things get hard.  I would describe these people as being ‘Efficacious’ which basically means ‘achieves desired results’. If you believe that you can succeed in a given task, you have a much higher success rate even if you are not very good at the task you are trying to undertake, as your belief in your ability to achieve it is actually more what gets you to the successful result as opposed to your ability to do it.


Perceived-self vs Ideal Self:
Perceived self is who you think you are.
The ideal self is who you think you should be.


These perception comes from others and what they say to you about what you should and shouldn’t do and what you should and shouldn’t be. If we know that we have a bad writing for instance and we know that we should have good writing, we will feel bad about it.


If we were told that we ‘should’ get a particular type of job and live a certain type of life, but we end up doing something different, we may feel bad about it, as there is a separation between what we think we are and what we think we should be.


1. What do you think is the difference between your perceived and ideal self?


2. What elements need changing to become more realistic?




This is when someone has a set idea of who and what they are they try hard to protect that.


For instance, somebody may say ‘I’m no good at writing’ and therefore they don’t write anything, and they will be unlikely to ever write. This is not a personality, although it looks like it is. So saying that ‘I am not good at writing’ is not actually a fact.  What would be a fact is ‘I haven’t learnt how to write well yet’. That would be the fact.


A lot of people resist change and therefore can miss out on changing for the better due to the fear of approaching something unknown, or something they think they are not good at.


So if a person’s self-consistency is not aligned to what they want to achieve, they are unlikely to commence that activity.


1. What ‘I can’t’ or ‘I don’t do that’ do you say to yourself?


2. How are these stopping you from being a better version of yourself?


All of the things we have just mentioned; Self-Concept, Self-Image, Self-Esteem, Self-Efficacy, perceived self, Ideal Self and Self-Consistency cannot actually be measured – at least not like we can measure height, weight, or the symmetry of our face.


They are self-reported. We self-assess them. We self-disclose to others how we feel we are measuring in these different areas. They cannot be assessed and nobody can see or feel inside of us; they can only get ideas about all of these concepts.


How to change your demonic self-judgements


Pip Wilson uses a visual technique to help apply ideas via images. One of these is known as the Blob Tree.


View Blob Tree here
Image from www.blobtree.com


Metaphors and stories in our teaching and training allow for all sorts of development and healthy self-analysis. Using the tree allows you to understand or uncover current levels of Esteem, Efficacy, Self-Concept, and Self-Image.


You can also use it for goal setting (which can lead to Efficacy) and therefore success when people do achieve goals.


For Example when using the Bob Tree we ask people to choose 3 blobs.


1. We choose the one that they feel they currently are at the moment. This is the Perceived Self.


2. We then ask them to choose a 2nd blob in the tree to ask them where they want to be in the short term future or at the end of a current project or task this would be described as the Ideal-Self.


3. Finally, we ask them to choose the one that they don’t want to be and ask why not.  These are blockages to Self-Efficacy and blockages to Self-Consistency.


4. We can also use a 4th blob for who we want to be in the long-term future and why.  This gives us more clues about our ideal self as well as allows us to set goals and plan how we will achieve them (every branch is an obstacle – discuss); which again enables opportunities for us to grow in all of the above-mentioned areas.


Another great exercise for building your own Self-Efficacy, Self-Esteem, Self-concept as well as that of your students is to do a story or a piece of reflective writing as if you are an inanimate object.  This gets you talking and thinking about yourself in a very different way.


For instance, you may say “I am a car and I feel… “, “I am a window and… “


This will reveal expressions of who you are, what your blockages are, and how you can increase Self-Efficacy.


 There are thousands of other techniques you can use to increase your own, or others’ efficacy and self-concept, which I will share with you in future posts.


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