The Effects of Self-image
It Matters More Than You Think
Thinking- the process of considering or reasoning about something; the action of using one’s mind to produce thoughts, opinions, judgments and decisions. The science of psychology includes theories and research that allow us to describe, predict, and understand relationships between the variables of thinking, motivation, attitudes and observable behaviors. Complex relationships exist between these variables. The link between our beliefs and our behaviors are extremely powerful. Whatever you think about thinking, you can’t do anything without it. Which begs the question: Where does our thinking come from?
As stated earlier, our thinking does not stream into our minds from a land far, far away. Our thinking is formulated by and comes from our own minds. We choose what we think about, and more importantly we choose how to think about it. According to Mountain State Centers for Independent Living, how we think about information is significantly impacted by how we think about ourselves… our self-image. One’s assessment of one’s personal traits (self-esteem) impacts the way we think about information, and how we act or behave when challenges arise.
- I am intelligent … therefore I can
- I am capable …therefore I will
- I am worthy…therefore I deserve
Stanford University professor of psychology, Carol Dweck, stressed that paying attention to the way you think about your abilities (self-image, self-esteem) can be a game-changer. She describes two default mindsets: fixed and growth. Those who think using a fixed mindset believe their basic abilities their intelligence and their talents, are fixed traits. Those who think using a growth mindset understand that their talents and abilities can be developed and improved through persistence, effort, and good instruction.
Self-efficacy is a person’s belief that he or she can achieve a meaningful goal. Self-efficacy affects our evaluation of our traits and characteristics- Our self-esteem. Together self-efficacy and self-esteem direct our thinking and our behavior. We are motivated to act in our best interests when we believe we can succeed.
The Brain Waving System by Dr. Kim, presents several strategies to build youth’s positive self-images. The system is presented in Dr. Kim’s book Lets Build ExtraOrdinary Youth Together.