(This is the seventh post in continuation of previous six posts on the topic "self-concept". You will be able to appreciate this post more if you read previous six posts aw well).
Self-concept Is Three Dimensional
You can work out your self-concept mainly in two ways: first, by introspecting within your self. Peep into your own psyche and try to answer many questions about yourself. Like, who are you? What is it that is good in you? What is it that is not so good or bad in you? Where do you shine and where you are dull? etc. You may also introspect the events that took place in which you were a predominant player. Analyze as to how well or how bad the event took place. What did you do right for the success of the event or what did you not do that resulted in failure of the event. You can also take recourse to a number of psychological or similar questionnaires that are designed to explore such aspects of yours (a partial list of such more popular questionnaires is given later in this article). These questionnaires are called instruments. However, answers to only one instrument can not measure all the dimensions of your personality. For example, as you need a foot scale to measure length and thermometer to measure the temperature, similarly, you may need many different instruments or questionnaires to measure different characteristics of yours.
Second way of knowing yourself or creating self awareness is to seek the feedback of others about you on different aspects of your personality and behavior. Again, this can also be done in unstructured as well as structured manner or in explicit way or in implicit way. You can design a questionnaire and give it to many people who know you and get their feedback on it or you can interview them face to face. Or you can collect the data about yourself by observing the way people deal with you, their reactions and responses towards you, their body language and gestures when they relate to you etc.
Having created your own self-concept by introspecting and by collecting the feedback of others, your knowledge about yourself becomes better and better. At this juncture, then, you are ready to decide your further course of action as to what you will like to become really, ideally? You have to decide upon your new image of yourself, your ideal personality.
Therefore, self-concept is three dimensional in nature. These three dimensions are:
- Self part: How I think I am based on my judgment and experience. In this exploration, in addition to the self introspection on many aspects, also I get the answers for those certain things that I alone know about myself and no one else knows about them.
- Social part: How I think I am based on others’ thinking or perceptions about me. This comes by way of implicit or explicit feedback from others about me. In this kind of feedback, in addition to the feedback on many aspects, also I get the answers for those certain things that the others alone know about me and I am just not aware of them.
- Ideal part: How I wish to become (and so, wish to be seen) and also, what I don’t want to become. This is done by understanding the other two parts, the self part and the social part and then working out the future plan of actions. It is a serious exercise and also needs good amount of my time and attention. It envelops opportunities and threats, hopes and fears, goals and time lines etc.