Build Your Self Concept and Improve Your Mental Health – Collaboration
Improve your mental health as you focus on building your socio-emotional wellbeing, which includes developing your self-concept. Self-esteem and self-efficacy are just the foundations. You can actively improve your mental health by growing in a ‘learning community’.
Self-esteem + self-efficacy = Accurate self-concept
What is your self concept?
~ A combo of self-esteem and self-efficacy.
~ Belief about yourself.
~ A factual description of how you perceive yourself, whether it may be true or not.
~ If your perception is distorted, this description may not be an accurate depiction of you, but it IS an accurate statement of what you believe about yourself.
REFLECT… Write down your perceptions of yourself.
REFLECT… Now write down a factual description of yourself.
Grow in your ‘learning community’.
What you can do to build your self-concept
To grow in a ‘learning community’ work on 2 major skills…
~ Reflective practice.
To develop your self concept, COLLABORATE!
Build and grow in a ‘learning community’.
You can’t grow alone, so gather people around you to learn from and who can pour into your life. They also need your wisdom and life experiences, and so you can fill them up.
REFLECT… Who will you include in your ‘community’? Who will you exclude from your ‘community?
Building a ‘learning community’ includes 4 ingredients…
1. Encouraging, supporting and being there for each other.
To be there for your family includes encouraging, supporting and being there for one another to help each other learn, develop, and grow. To be there for your ‘community’, who is also learning and growing with you also entails encouraging, supporting, and being present for each other.
REFLECT… As I asked before, who will you exclude from your ‘learning community’? This is an important question that you need to clarify so you can learn more, develop wider and grow further.
2. Engaging in honest and constructive feedback.
You need people in your life to be honest with you. To tell you what you don’t want to hear to help you grow. To give you reflective insights about your life to help you self-reflect, and change things in your life.
REFLECT… What honest feedback can you give yourself?
REFLECT… What feedback can you give someone in your ‘learning community’ to help them develop in their skills – to grow in some area of their life?
As you do this, you will help each other develop accurate beliefs about yourselves (ie. your self-concept).
3. Celebrating success in its many forms – small and big wins, stepping stones and just each other.
Just as we celebrate children’s birthdays, performances or participation in concerts, when they win a competition, when they get the award for being the best helper and the award for the highest marks, we need to celebrate the people in our ‘community’ and celebrate together with them.
We need to celebrate the people in our ‘learning community’ and celebrate with them. Don’t forget to celebrate each other… just because!
Do you really need to have a reason?
But, if you do need a reason, then celebrate…
~ The successful performance, engagement and participation on that last outing or work meeting.
~ The routine that you got through without screaming, crying, getting angry.
~ Being on time. Getting things done on time.
~ The new promotion, job, home.
Whatever is worth being celebrated, big or small… share it with your ‘community’. Let them share in your joy.
REFLECT… When was the last time you celebrated someone or something with your ‘community’? Isn’t it about time you celebrated yourself and/or others for the big and small things you have achieved? When will you start?
REFLECT… Remember, your ‘community of learners’ does not include your children. It is your ‘learning community’ where you and others learn from, support and help each other; and grow and CELEBRATE one another… together.
4. Avoiding comparisons.
Each person comes with their own gifts, talents and character traits that bring with it amazing results and influence, whether big or small, and leaves short and long term effects. You don’t need to compare yourself to others because you were made for different plans and purposes in life.
REFLECT… The last point in building your ‘learning community’. Comparison can be a killer. A killer of joy, perspective, reality. Make sure, you stay joyful, maintain the right and correct perspective and reality, not a distorted perception of yourself or your achievements.
You may look the same, do the same things, have the same goals. BUT… each of you have been made for different plans and purposes. Run your own race and run it with all your heart! Remember, it’s not how much, how high, how long… it’s the heart and how much of your heart you have put into what you do.
REFLECT… Don’t get side tracked from your goals, plans and purposes by looking left and right at what others are doing, have achieved or are pursuing. Keep looking ahead and continue to work towards your goals, plans and purposes.
“Comparison is the thief of joy and the stretcher of truth. Comparison says, “I am ill-equipped for the task at hand.” The truth is God has given me everything I need for the plans he has set before me”. (Unknown source/author).
REFLECT… Keep your joy and peace by minding your own business. What I mean is, looking after and ‘minding’/taking care of your own life, goals, plans.
Don’t mind the ‘business’ of what another person is doing, has done, looks like etc. Avoid comparing yourself.
As we find our confidence in other people’s approval rather than finding it in God, we are comparing ourselves. “God created us all for a distinct purpose. When we have confidence in our God-given purpose we don’t feel the need to compare ourselves to others or seek their approval”. (Unknown source/author).
REFLECT… Do I need to add anymore? Except to say, remember, don’t compare yourself to others. When you don’t compare then you are building an accurate self concept that will lead to a better, more positive mental health.
Remember, to develop your self concept grow in your ‘learning community’.
To do this, work on 2 major skills…
~ Collaboration: Is about building and growing in your ‘learning community’.
~ Reflective practice: Is about maintaining the growth of the ‘community’ and growing further through reflection.
To read about this second major skill, click here.
© TIRZAH LIM 2017