Developing A Strong Self-Concept is the Foundation of Success

By Edna Figueroa - July 30, 2018


A strong sense of self, or self-concept, can help keep you focused on what really matters to you, making it easier to weather any criticism or misstep. It’s a difficult process but it is important to help you uncover indisputable strengths.

“Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, “This is the real me”, and when you have found that attitude, follow it. love it..”

William James (1842-1910) American Philosopher and Psychologist

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about what makes us who we are after completing an important certification training under the auspices of the great John Mattone.  What I’ve learned has reinforced my notion that a strong sense of self, or self-concept, is key to our success and happiness.

For example, negative feedback received during a performance review could be devastating to an employee who has not developed a strong self-concept. We all have received negative feedback at some point, or had positive feedback withheld. And we know the impact such criticism can have in our assessment of our true talents, if we don’t proactively have a way or system to develop and nurture our definition of self. Isolating or cutting short the journey of developing a strong concept of self can harm and often sabotage our most important opportunities in life and business.

Look Within to Discover Your Self-Concept

To awaken the powerful self-concept within you, focus on your successes and positive attributes. You need to intentionally create success stories that give you a reservoir of positive references. Of course, you also must know your weaknesses and have a plan in place to work on them. This is not an option, but an essential goal. In my own experience, this is the formula to create a strong concept of self, which can ignite the discovery of gifts that may have been hidden or suppressed. As a coach, I love inspiring people to discover their true gifts and capacity to do their best work. If you do the work, your self-concept becomes nearly unshakeable, even when missteps or negative events occur. In short, if you develop a positive self-concept, you will be happier.

Therefore, it is imperative that you do the hard work to learn how to develop and maintain a strong concept of yourself. There are no shortcuts here; getting an understanding of who you really are, and what you really want, takes hard work.  This is one of the areas where having an effective coach is essential. A coach can suggest questions that help you define and understand what is fundamental to your concept of self. Isolating or cutting short the journey of developing a strong concept of self can harm or even sabotage our most important opportunities in life and business.

Knowing and owning a positive view of ourselves gives us a strong foundation that provides us the courage and confidence to continue during the moments that matter — for example, when things aren’t going well. Like a job search, landing a promotion, or receiving the leadership recognition from your manager.

It’s important to use these techniques to continually nurture your definition of self:

  • Challenge yourself to be better
  • Embrace the passions that drive you
  • Accept that change is constant
  • Learn from mistakes – yours and others’
  • Complete self-assessments that measure gaps or weaknesses in self-concept.

Take the Hard Steps Required to Strengthen Your Self-concept.

Quiet your inner critic and take some time to practice ways to strengthen your concept of self.

  1. Make a ranked inventory of your values. Creating a ranking lets you know what you value the most and compare that to how each item is serving you in life. Surprisingly, these may change over time, as you move through different phases in life.
  2. Develop a deep understanding of the key elements of your character. Assess how those key elements of character are playing out in your life. Are they inspiring people, bringing your work to a new level, creating abundance for everyone around you?  You will find out that these values will affect the decisions you make as leader.
  3. Don’t give permanent power to a negative experience that might have occurred early in your career. Instead, create stories of success that support your belief system and disrupt any negative references that may stand in the way of developing a strong self-concept. Then you’ll appreciate the words below from Helen Keller:

“What I am looking for is not out there. It is in me.”

About Me

I work with those genuinely motivated to identify, understand and address the challenges that stand in the way of meaningful individual and organizational performance. Elevate Leadership Coaching offers authentic, caring, entrepreneurial and impactful coaching programs and training services that help clients fully engage in discovering their true gifts and capacity so they can

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