Mental Representation of Who You Are as a Human

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Self concept is commonly regarded as our internal interpretations of our attitudes, skills and special characteristics — a mental representation of who you are as a human. Self esteem is used to describe how a person feels about their self worth or how much they appreciate themselves. Both of these can affect a person’s life both positively and negatively depending on the situation they are in for example, if they feel like they not good to someone’s standards then it can cause their self esteem to go down.

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Self-actualization is the highest level of Maslow’s hierarchy, relating to understanding the potential of an individual, self-fulfillment, looking for personal development and peak experiences. This is followed by the theories of two scientists called Maslow and Erikson. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs are essential in order of an organism to survive and develop their own self esteem. The five important rules are 1.Physiological needs – foods, sleep and air 2.Safety- security and protection, 3.Belonging and love including – intimate relationships, friends, 4.Needs for self esteem or respect and 5.Self growth – fulfilment of life, achieving to fullest potential.

In order for someone to pursue their self actualization, their self esteem has to be fulfilled so it’s important that a person values themselves and accepts the way they are in order for them to meet the needs of maslow’s hierarchy. These needs are viewed as one of the most critical steps in achieving contentment or self-actualisation. Also self concept is a major factor too as it’s an powerful influence in an person’s life from the the way we think, feel and act in our lives. If a person doesn’t realise their self actualization, then it can hinder both their self concept and esteem because they won’t be able to develop as an overall person and become comfortable to accept themselves as the way they are. 

In healthcare, at an victim support services, someone may have been a victim of assault or a crime such as sexual assault, this means that they may feel embarrassed to discuss their experiences or later on when in relationships they may feel anxious to be intimate due to what happened to them, As a result, failure to  address the trauma can lead to self harm, suicide etc and they won’t be able to meet each needs of maslow’s hierarchy in order to reach self actualization for both of their self esteem and self concept to be at its highest so they can reach their full potential.

Another invention by Rogers and Maslow, the Growth Encouraging Climate concept is an ecosystem that encourages people to achieve their potential. There are three requirements necessary to meet potential which are Empathy-where people appreciate each other profoundly, Unconditional constructive treatment-embraced for who you are, regardless of whether and Congruence-being honest and free of doubt, trusting in people.

The philosophy of Carl Rogers suggests that consumers should rely on the present and the future to get better, though, if a person’s issue stem from personal stress that may have an effect on their philosophy of self-esteem. This is the stage that many people go through to find their self esteem and themselves, whilst going through this stage many can develop their self esteem and it could go a positive or negative way. Both two ways could mean they have grown as a person and have finally found a concept that’s suitable for them and it helps them to boosts their self esteem. This factor affects self esteem and concept because whilst trying to achieve their potentials, the environment they are in helps to develop their concept and esteem of themselves. 

In the victim support services, if a patient isn’t being honest about their feelings and instead are being reluctant and are not accepting of others despite their shortcomings then they won’t be able to achieve their potential and will rather bring their self esteem and concept of themselves down as they cant be understanding of other people around them. They won’t be able to grow as a person until they first find their ideal concept and are happy with their ideal self in order to be compassionate to people around them.

This was the philosophy of Albert Cooley’s. He figured the way we think about ourselves wasn’t based on who we truly are. Rather, it is our experiences with others that form the way we look at ourselves. The looking-glass itself has three main components: first of all, we can imagine how we have to show up to others. second, we imagine that seeming judgement. and finally, through the judgments of others we develop our own self.

The theory of looking glass shelf notes that we change our view of ourselves depending on how we think people interpret us, not on how they really interpret us. When you rethink how you think of yourself, then you change your mind on the idea about yourself. This affects self esteem and a person’s self concept because an individual may think it’s important to look a certain way to please others and at the end the person won’t feel happy with the concept they are portraying. They will also not be able to realise their self actualisation and this will hinder their progress of finding their overall opinion of themselves and the self-looking glass theory can cause feelings of inadequate self-esteem and mental health problems.

In an victim support service, a patient may feel like they are being judged differently to the other patients there because of their sexual assault that they have spoken about, this causes misunderstanding as the individual may feel like its a bad judgement from how they perceive themselves and as a result their self concept is being changed as they are thinking constantly about the judgement and their self esteem is affected and may feel miserable. This way they are portraying a concept that they are not, just to please others. 

Ego identity is the concept of identification that allows people the freedom to feel their concept of who they are, and to behave in that sense as well, in a manner that provides consistency and harmony.  It allows people to value themselves and this factor is useful as it helps the person to experience being themselves and allows them to develop a personal opinion about themselves. It is the conscious sense of self that we develop through social interaction, which is constantly changing in our daily interactions with others due to new experiences and information that we gain. A strong ego identity will include continuity and bringing together of different aspects of your self-view. It covered 8 areas: Trust vs Mistrust, Autonomy vs Doubt, Initiative vs Guilt, Industry vs Inferiority, Identity vs Role Confusion, Intimacy vs Isolation, Generativity vs Stagnation and Ego Identity vs Despair. 

Many individuals go through these 8 areas throughout their lifetime and it helps to shape their ego identity through the events of their lives whilst growing up. The Ego identity factor may affect the development of self esteem because whilst developing an opinion about themselves, they may go through numerous personality changes whilst trying to value themselves, this means they may have low self esteem because of the judgement they are receiving or they can’t handle criticism well enough, their attitude to opinions and compliments may be viewed differently by them . 

For example, at the victim support services, an patient that is a victim of a crime may socialise with others and find a group that thinks they are better than the rest, this will eventually make them feel bitter and may feel empty because of the way they are acting, they will have low self esteem because they are going through a change whilst trying to find an personal opinion about themselves whilst valuing oneself.

The theory suggests that for our self-esteem and sense of identity, the community we associate with (such as family, football club, nation) matters. Via a social categorization mechanism we determine which people belong to social group: ‘us’ or ‘them’. Social identity is when an individual has a certain level of socialisation like if a person who is talkative will more likely have a higher self esteem because they may think that people like them. 

If they have a low self esteem then they may not be able to accept their social identity and this could affect both their mental health and social lives as they may be worried about interaction or accepting the way they see themselves. This can cause their self esteem and concept to be downgraded because they feel like there social identity is not up to other people standards, as a result, their concept of how they see themselves is not a good enough standard for their liking so it makes them feel undervalued and they will struggle with fitting into the right crowd.

A victim at the support services can severely be affected  by social identity because they may be scared to open up to others about their assault or what happened to them. They have low self esteem due to the fact that they may hear other peoples stories and may feel like their own story is too horrific and they may feel like people will see them in a disgusting way. This causes the individual to concept themselves as a person who’s been misused and will eventually not socialise or interact with others and it can cause depression and guilty thoughts such as ‘’i am not worthy enough or good enough in another persons eyes’’.

This theory is all about one self construction is one’s cognitive and emotional representation of one’s own identity. One’s self-concept can also be referred to as self-construction, self-identity, self-perspective or self-structure, it is a collection of self-belief that includes elements such as gender roles and sexuality in academic performance, as well as racial identity. The term self-concept is a general term used to refer to how someone is thinking, assessing, or perceiving themselves. 

This theory affects the development of self esteem in an person because if a person thinks of themselves as a bad person then they may feel degraded and not good enough for their liking for example, if an victim at the support services was attacked on the way back from work, they may feel like it was their fault and will constantly blame themselves for the event that occurred. The patient needs to first ensure they reassure themselves it wasn’t their fault in order for their self esteem to improve and for them to thrive to find their real identity and what type of concept they are comfortable in.

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