Who Am I? Tips For Developing Self Concept

1 min read

In his body of poetry Song of Myself, Walt Whitman famously said “I exist as I am, and that is enough.” Those words should ring true for everyone. The struggle to be truly and unashamedly oneself has existed as long as mankind has lived on our planet. Although these words may be accurate, they may also elicit a question in the mind. “Who am I?” The development of self-concept, how we view ourselves, can be a tricky process with films, social media images, and even friends and family all telling us who we should be. How do we determine who we are? I have three tips for you to develop your own self-concept.

First, the development of self requires healthy boundaries with external influences in our lives. The aforementioned movie, social media, and even friends and family influences cram themselves into our minds. They have opinions we must agree with, products we must buy, goals we must meet, and much more. If we want to look inside and learn who we are, healthy boundaries with those things are essential. That may look like setting time limits on social media or limiting contact with a family member who treats you poorly if you do not meet their expectations. Whatever just popped into your mind that influences you and prevents you from focusing on yourself, consider setting a healthy boundary.

Second, explore!! Try new hobbies. Wear new colors. Go to new places. Let loose from some of the expectations that have been forced upon you or that you have taken on in the past. Get out of your typical routine and do new things. Allow yourself to honestly review these new things and see if they fit into your self-concept. Do they bring you joy? Do you feel more alive? 

And finally, practice mindfulness. As you live with these boundaries and try these new, amazing things, take stock of how you feel in your mind, but also in your body. Be fully engaged and present in the moment. Listen to what your body is telling you. Do you notice tension or release? What emotions and sensations do you notice? 

What you find may surprise you. The you that you find on this journey may be far greater than you ever would have anticipated. But whatever you find, remember that in the words of Walt Whitman, you exist and that is enough.

About Alyssa King

Alyssa works to create a safe space for individuals, couples, and families to grow and be empowered to make desired changes in their lives. As a preschool teacher for 5+ years, her passion to help struggling children and families coping with difficult situations ignited.

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