1. Describe a time when you tried to bring about a change in your self-concept and were not successful in doing so.
A time when I tried to bring about a change in my self-concept and was not successful in doing so is actually to be totally honest is something that I am still struggling with today. My ex-boyfriend broke up just a few months ago. To understand why this has such a big impact on me and my life you must first see the dynamics of our relationship and how close we were not only as a couple but as friends as well. Eric and I met in the 6th grade in our band class; he played the bongo drums and me the violin. We automatically connected with each other and he always looked past my disability and my limitations and said he saw me for the person I was and not as the girl in the wheelchair. As our friendship grew stronger we started dating. He was 12 and I was 11. I know a lot of people would just consider that to be puppy love because we were both so young and some people might argue we didn’t know what true love was. Although we in all reality did really truly love each other.
He would wait with me until my mom showed up to take me home, or sometimes he’d drop me of at the office on the days he had to go work with his father after school. He owned his own appliance repair company and Eric regularly helped him on service calls. Due to my disability I was made fun of a lot at school. Eric did not take that well at all; he was always very protective of me and often even got suspended from school for fights with the people who made fun of me. He never let anyone get away with making fun of me or even looking at me the wrong way. His father however did not support his son dating a girl who was in a wheelchair and that couldn’t walk. Despite this we did all that we could to maintain our relationship. Sadly his dad eventually forced us to break up by cutting off any way to contact or seeing each other. We went about 6 years without any contact.
One day after I logged in to my MySpace account I saw that I had a private message. At first glance I had no idea who it was, that was until I looked at some of the pictures on his profile I knew it was indeed Eric. After all those years we made plans to see each other and our friendship rekindled. Honestly from the moment I opened the door to see him standing on the other side my first thought was how he was really hot. We started hanging out a lot and had many late night phone calls. After a few more my months went by we began dating again until one of my close friends that I have known since childhood started to flirt and even hit on him. Nevertheless we continued a pattern of dating on and off. What stopped us from taking that next step when we were finally ready to enter into a committed relationship with each other I had moved out of the state to Michigan to get custody of my little brother. We had only intended on being there for six months and then home again but due to Shawn going into foster care twice and it took us 3 years to be able to legally adopt him and move back to Florida.
A week after being home a week I woke up in horrible pain and three days later I started my first admission to the hospital. Not long after Eric left me. He was my first love and losing him has changed me in the way that in all of my future relationships it will be much harder for me to trust another person. On top of that having to live with this degree of pain for months on end has taught me never to take the little things in life for granted. Don’t sweat the small stuff as they say. If you do you will be missing out on your life. You might not always be able to spend time with the ones you love and who love you. You don’t know what you got until it’s gone. I am only 22 and the pain I experience is so bad I can’t even get out of bed and even with all of the strong pain medication I’m on it still doesn’t relieve the pain. So always live your life to the fullest. Enjoy things as much as you can, travel see the world just make the most out of every day because you only have one life and one day you might not be able to do the things you can now.
Don’t waste the time you do have you might regret it later on in life. Both my illness and losing my first true love taught me some though life lessons and made my way of thinking and my self concept change. The thing I was trying to change about my self concept is I forgive people to easily and after being hurt so much because of everything that I experienced for Shawn’s whole life and most of mine as well especially when Shawn was put into foster care twice I always told myself I would cut off contact with our birth mother Theresa but I love her so she was always able to convince me to forgive her. I wanted to be able to gain the strength to not give in to her manipulations to continue contact and to finally be able to move on and leave her in the past despite my attempt I was unable to do so once again. 2. Summarize the guidelines for improving self-concept in our textbook and explain how each might apply to a change in self-concept. The self is a process that evolves over the course of our lives get (Woods, 2007).
Changing one’s self-concept is a difficult process, but it is possible. This essay focuses on the four guidelines for improving your self-concept. They are: make a firm commitment to personal growth, gain and use knowledge to support personal growth, set goals that are realistic and fair, and seek context that support personal change. The first principle for improving your self-concept is the most difficult; however it is the most important. Making a commitment to change is more than just saying “I want to be better at communicating my feelings.” It involves changing how you think of yourself, and investing the time and energy to create the change you seek. We must realize that there will be setbacks, but we cannot let them derail our resolution to change (Woods, 2007). According to Morris Rosenberg (1979), a psychologist who has studied self-concept extensively, says that most humans tend to resist change, and that we also seek esteem or a positive view of ourselves.
If you realize that you may struggle with change, and accept it, then you will be more prepared for the tension that may accompany personal growth. Commitment alone is not enough to bring about the changes you may seek. First, you need to understand how your self-concept was formed by reflecting on the generalized others’ views of society. It’s up to you to decide whether you want to accept these views as your own or not. Second, you need to find information about yourself through a process called self-disclosure. Self-disclosure means revealing information about yourself that others are unlikely to discover on their own (Woods, 2007). As you begin to reveal your secrets, hopes, fears and dreams to others, you will begin to get responses that give you a new perspective of who you really are. The third guideline for improving your self-concept is setting goals that are realistic and fair. This guideline is very simple to follow. Basically, it means to start with small goals that you know you can reach, and work your way up the latter.
If you set a goal, of say, starting your own business, and expect it to happen overnight, then you are setting yourself up for failure. The last guideline to follow is to seek support for your personal change. It will be much easier to change yourself when you are surrounded by positive encouragement. I remember going through a jealousy stage with my boyfriend a couple of years ago. It was really beginning to tear us apart, so I took a vow to change that about myself. All I ever heard from my boyfriend were negative comments like, “you will never change” or “this is pointless.” This hurt my self-concept even more and I began to give up on myself. Our relationship continued to get worse, so we finally decided to go our separate ways.
If I were to attempt that same change today, I would definitely make sure to surround myself with positive influence. And, if I happened to come across any negative comments, I would not let them bring me down because we are all bound to have obstacles in our way no matter what we choose to do. The most important thing I have learned is to be fair to yourself, and accept yourself for who you are. The self that you are results from all the interactions, reflected appraisals, and social comparisons you have made during your life. You cannot change your past, but you cannot let it define your future (Woods, 2007).
3. If you applied these guidelines, how might you be more effective if you attempted to create the same change in your self-concept today?
If I applied these guidelines I might have been more effective if I attempted to creates the same change in my self concept today is by being fair to myself and remember that despite any mistakes or slip ups I may have had I can’t change the past it doesn’t have to define my future either. If I had simply asked for more support from my family and friends who understand who I am as a person and who know me they might have been successful in stopping me from allowing the things that my birth mother does to push my buttons and to pull at my heart strings in just the right way to get me to do whatever it is she wants to get to me and to have helped me to avoid reading those text messages or voicemails she sent me and to me to remember all the reasons why I didn’t want her in my life anymore so I would think using logic and not emotion.
Keeping myself distracted and focused on the more important things in my life, to make and reach each small and eventually the final goal that I made for myself continuing to move forward with my life and not backwards celebrating all of the obstacles that I had overcome I truly believe I would succeed in the same change in self-concept today. I read that to effectively change your self-concept, you must set goals for yourself. I feel that if I was able to set a goal for myself I would be more likely to succeed in this process. Self-discloser would be a good start for me. If I was able to see and understand how people perceive me maybe I would have a better understanding of what needed to change. This has its benefits. I could gain a lot, more trust, self-esteem, and most of all self-growth.
4. What is the most significant thing you have learned from this assignment?
The most significant thing that I have learned from this assignment is that to achieve any change in your self concept is not easy nor quick it is an ever evolving process and if we remain focused and committed to our goals and have the support of family and friends to help us not to falter in our rough patches that we are all are bound to experience at one point or another despite our mis-steps if we keep at it we are likely to succeed. If we put our minds to it we can do anything. If you fail try try again.