Self concept and University applications
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- Category: Admission Application
- Published on 21 Nov 2018
The concept of self-knowledge has been prevalent in the old Eastern philosophy as an integral part of higher education.
Expertise in any domain at the highest levels was complete only when self-knowledge was attained. So many karate movies showed the “master” engaged in constant meditation in a bid to understand better both nature and self. And now psychology has also come to accept this through the self-concept model. As per Carl Rogers, founder of the humanistic approach to psychology, self-concept is composed of three components: self-image, self-esteem, and the ideal self. This self-concept is dynamic and malleable depending on a host of social and personal factors.
- Self-image is the way one sees himself/herself – physical attributes (e.g. height, weight, color of hair, eyes etc.), social roles (e.g. son/daughter, husband/wife, parent, student/professional etc.), personality traits (e.g. optimistic/pessimistic, introvert/extrovert, patient/short-tempered, outdoorsy/indoors etc.)
- Self-esteem is the value one places upon himself/herself –evaluation against one’s own ideals as well as social norms.
- Ideal self is the maximum one would like to be – the ultimate standard of achievement of the potential one thinks (s)he has.
This model is flexible in terms of allowing multiple versions (self-schemas) of each of these components to exist and then explaining most of the psychological troubles one faces, as being the result of conflict between these versions. For example, one may value certain physical attributes more than others, and therefore feel good or bad about oneself or others based on individual yardsticks. Therefore, you have people who are called “vain” or “under-confident/over-confident”.
Similarly, in the case of self-esteem, one might value oneself very highly on certain parameters, but others might not think the same. As these yardsticks vary from person to person, there is an inherent conflict in applying these, leading to some people being called “conceited” or “full of himself/herself” and “out of touch with reality”.
However, there would always be inherently a conflict between self-image and ideal self. The ideal self by its very definition is idealistic – the ultimate standard to be achieved. It is like the proverbial butterfly – you keep chasing it, never catch it as the charm lies in the chase, not the achievement of the goal.
In our work with students, our target is to enhance their self-concept. We help our young adults to identify elements of their self-concept that need to be worked upon, build out those skills necessary to enhance the positive aspects through the EXP methodology, and then project the most relevant self-schema through the relevant channels – job applications, University applications, public presentations etc. After all, any successful application is only a projection of our self-schema congruent with the perceptions of the authorities.
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