Category: Self concept

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Unrecognized Giftedness and Identity

Unrecognized Giftedness and Identity

Embracing our identity as gifted and talented is not easy for many of us to do. Why is this so tough? What beliefs about giftedness get in our way? What leads to unrecognized giftedness for so many people? In his article “How to Charm Gifted Adults into Admitting Giftedness: Their Own and Somebody Else’s,” excerpted below, […]

Self-esteem: what's so good about it?

Self-esteem: what’s so good about it?

Gene Simmons, asked about joining the new Donald Trump program “The Apprentice: Celebrity Edition” (starting this evening), gave one of his typical tongue in cheek responses: “I’m the next apprentice because I’m the best of the best” – adding with a big grin: “Look how sincere I am.” He also commented, “You can’t get really […]

Gods and prodigies, freaks and geeks: building identity

Gods and prodigies, freaks and geeks: building identity

Wunderkind, genius, prodigy. Freak, geek, nerd. How we label exceptional people and ourselves affects our identity and what we think about the reality and value of our talents, and the possibilities of expressing them in the world. One of the most positive experiences for me in high school was my friendship with an artist (painter, […]

Srikumar Rao on our mental chatter

Srikumar Rao on our mental chatter

Srikumar Rao, PhD conceived the course “Creativity and Personal Mastery” – the only business school course that has its own alumni association and it has been extensively covered in the media. He writes: “You have a companion. One that never, ever leaves you. It sticks with you, staying even closer than your shadow. It is […]

Brief quote: Alfre Woodard

Brief quote: Alfre Woodard

“I didn’t discover I was an artist until I was 17… “It was very hard to be an artist and a child… it was like having sand up your butt when you go to the beach.” Alfre Woodard More quotes on page: Identity See more articles on Self Concept ~~~~ Related articles Toxic Criticism and […]

Robert Anthony on The Disease of Self-Improvement - When Self Growth Runs Amok

Robert Anthony on The Disease of Self-Improvement – When Self Growth Runs Amok

Personal growth, personal development, self-improvement – these are topics that many of us explore. Maybe most of us. But can we be overdoing it sometimes? [From my earlier post Can we do self-improvement too much?] Robert Anthony, author of Rich Mind Life Strategy program, has some provocative ideas on the subject, and writes: “So how […]

Feeling like an impostor, a fraud

Feeling like an impostor, a fraud

“Sometimes I wake up in the morning before going off to a shoot, and I think, I can’t do this; I’m a fraud. They’re going to fire me — all these things. I’m fat; I’m ugly…” Those admissions by Kate Winslet were made after her Academy Award nominations for Titanic (1997) and Sense and Sensibility […]

Jack Canfield on how thinking can sabotage us

Jack Canfield on how thinking can sabotage us

“Sometimes you’ve got to let everything go… purge yourself. If you are unhappy with anything… whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you’ll find that when you’re free, your true creativity, your true self comes out.” That quote by Tina Turner is from the article Who You Are, by Jack Canfield, who […]

Lady Gaga: Honor Your Unique Identity

Lady Gaga: Honor Your Unique Identity

One of the themes Lady Gaga keeps advancing in her work, and in interviews, is to respect your unique self. “Through honoring your identity and really fighting for who you are every single day of your life, down to your core, you can have more faith and more hope in life and in the future.” […]

Why bother being authentic?

Why bother being authentic?

Two of the key elements in personal growth writings and programs are self-knowledge and self-acceptance. Personal development seems to depend on knowing who we really are. But what does that mean, and what “practical” value is there? People visited the Oracle of Delphi in ancient Greece seeking answers about the future, from matters of public […]

Ego and Spirituality and Personal Growth

Ego and Spirituality and Personal Growth

Does our ego serve us, or can it hinder our personal development? Eckhart Tolle says “one of the jobs of the ego is to blame others. Another job of the ego is to make yourself feel guilty. Both of these things strengthen your sense of identity, they are negative senses of identity. And the ego […]

If it's hard to do that proves I'm stupid. Beliefs and personal development

If it’s hard to do that proves I’m stupid. Beliefs and personal development

In his article Changing Beliefs, Douglas Cartwright writes about “a biggie – changing toxic and unhealthy beliefs we may have about ourselves.” He notes that in the book Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, “Avy Joseph talks about unhealthy beliefs often being constructed with terms such as ‘must, should’ and ‘have to’. “[Joseph] gives an example of a […]

Building self confidence - reducing our need for approval

Building self confidence – reducing our need for approval

“Part of me suspects that I’m a loser, and the other part of me thinks I’m God Almighty.” John Lennon In his article Would you like to stop worrying about what others think?, Morty Lefkoe explains some of the psychodynamics of low self regard, our need for approval, and how his program can eliminate “I’m […]

Who Do You Think You Are?

Who Do You Think You Are?

Responding to the question: “What kills creativity?”, actor Gillian Anderson once replied succinctly, “Ego.” One sense of this word “ego” is a distorted self-regard, what psychologist Carl Jung referred to as “inflated consciousness… hypnotized by itself.” Many people recognize the need to modulate this kind of ego in order to facilitate the creative process. But […]

Letting Go of Perfectionism

Letting Go of Perfectionism

“We are constantly bombarded with perfection.” This is a poster for the movie “Closer” (2004) with Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman and Clive Owen, directed by Mike Nichols. Flawless faces – probably airbrushed. Owen has been a powerful image and personality to me in all his films I’ve seen – a mensch, someone of strong […]

On androgyny and identity and creativity

On androgyny and identity and creativity

“The other day, I was going through the airport security and I was searched by a male security guard. I’m very often referred to as ‘Sir’ in elevators and such. I think it has to do with being this tall and not wearing much lipstick. I think people just can’t imagine I’d be a woman […]

Getting Beyond Impostor Feelings

Getting Beyond Impostor Feelings

Many talented and creative people experience impostor or fraud feelings and beliefs about themselves, despite their accomplishments. How can we change, to be more confident and creative? ~ ~ Some impostor feelings and beliefs: “I don’t know how to act anyway, so why am I doing this?” (Meryl Streep) / “I convince myself I’m fooling […]

Nurturing Our Self-Esteem - Part 2

Nurturing Our Self-Esteem – Part 2

 {Continued from Nurturing Our Self-Esteem – Part 1} Here is a video overview. (At the end it says “See related article” – that is the article below.) ~ ~ Why be concerned about self-esteem? At the beginning of Part 1, psychologist Nathaniel Branden was quoted about it being “the single most important factor for a […]

Some saw me as a person with rare insight, others thought I was crazy.

Some saw me as a person with rare insight, others thought I was crazy.

Those kinds of mixed reactions [in the title] are not so unusual for exceptional, gifted and talented children and adults. “I got that whole precocious thing [as a child]. I had no reason to doubt my own abilities or not share my opinion. The adults were offended, and the kids were resentful. I was persona […]

Ian McKellen on being authentic

Ian McKellen on being authentic

Our personal identity – and how confident we are with it – can have a huge impact on our esteem and how fully we express our talents. Ian McKellen has commented, “The proposition from Mephistopheles as you sign the agreement that you will become a Hollywood star is that you will lie about yourself. That’s […]

Feeling like an impostor

Feeling like an impostor

Charlie Rose introduced Tilda Swinton as an interview guest on his show: “With her magnetic, ethereal charisma and striking androgynous looks, she has perhaps become most famous for her screen interpretations of cold and enigmatic characters. “Her performances are subtle, varied, and unique.” But, she admitted, “I certainly never set out to be an actor, […]

Nurturing Our Self-Esteem - Part 1

Nurturing Our Self-Esteem – Part 1

Comparing ourselves to others may erode how we appreciate our own qualities. Do you talk about yourself to others, and privately in your mind, in ways that discount your abilities and positive qualities? I certainly do. How important is self concept? One of the primary authors and coaches on it is psychologist Nathaniel Branden, who says: “The reputation you […]

Self esteem and actors - low self confidence

Self esteem and actors – low self confidence

Many creative people report feeling incompetent, inadequate and having low self esteem at times. But there are ways to shift those feelings. A number of film actors report they don’t watch their own movies. When you can be seen in close-ups on twenty foot high theater screens, it may be especially hard not to criticize […]

Perfectionism and Depression: What to Do When Being a Perfectionist Drags You Down

Perfectionism and Depression: What to Do When Being a Perfectionist Drags You Down

Here is an excerpt from an article by Sedona Training Associates staff and Hale Dwoskin: Do you ever think the following self-limiting beliefs? * It’s not OK to make a mistake * People will not like me if I’m not perfect * I’ll avoid anything I can’t do well * I’m a failure because I […]

Shamed and Unashamed - Overcoming Low Self Esteem

Shamed and Unashamed – Overcoming Low Self Esteem

Bad to the bone Psychiatrist Michael Lewis, author of the book Shame: The Exposed Self, considers shame to be so powerful because it’s about the perception of having a “defective self.. rotten and no good.” But, he notes, “We don’t want to live in a world in which there is no shame or guilt. We […]

Helen Mirren on miserable self obsession

Helen Mirren on miserable self obsession

Much of this site is about how self-awareness impacts our creativity and personal development. But self-exploration can also get obsessive, or we may not find the right people to help, as Helen Mirren notes in her memoir. Here is an excerpt: Part of my job as an actress is to do interviews, but while I […]

Living authentically takes guts

Living authentically takes guts

“The most courageous thing a person can do is to live an authentic life.” Terri Amos, a spiritual coach, also thinks “We are all worthy of living fully with overflowing abundance. If you don’t believe this for yourself, then I ask that you look at your limiting beliefs… and let me tell you, we all […]

Einstein, Elijah Wood and Other Non-conformists

Einstein, Elijah Wood and Other Non-conformists

Lauren Bacall and her husband ‘Bogie’ often entertained their show-business friends at their home. Bacall was voted “den mother” of what became known as the Holmby Hills Rat Pack. She wrote in her autobiography: “In order to qualify, one had to be addicted to nonconformity, staying up late, drinking, laughing, and not caring what anyone […]

Arianna Huffington on taking control of our negative self-talk

Arianna Huffington on taking control of our negative self-talk

In an article of hers, Arianna Huffington comments about how destructive and self-limiting our inner critic can be. Here are some excerpts: “If we can’t completely stop playing the comparison game, we can at least start changing whom we compare ourselves to… When we do this, we are sure to tap into our reserves of […]

Growing a false self

Growing a false self

In his article How We Become Who We Are Not [from his book The Mandala of Being], Richard Moss, MD outlines the dynamics we may experience in learning to be someone who is not our authentic self. “How do children come to believe that they are indispensable to their parents’ well-being,” he writes, “and that […]

Everyone is the Hero of Their Own Story

Everyone is the Hero of Their Own Story

Rachel Weisz: Everyone walking around the planet is the hero of their own story. Mike Myers: And they can justify to themselves every action that they make. Sidney Lumet said in his book [Making Movies], “Freaks are not the freaks we think they are. We are much more connected to the most outrageous behavior than […]

That cheap slut: We still point fingers

That cheap slut: We still point fingers

Marcy (Amanda Bearse): “That cheap slut of a roommate stole all my boyfriends. I’ve never forgiven Mom for that.”  ["Married with Children" 1987] Calling a girl or woman names like slut or tramp may be flip and comic in a movie or on tv, but in real life it may be hurtful bullying, damaging to […]

Can self-esteem distort our personal development?

Can self-esteem distort our personal development?

Our self-concept, positive self-regard and simply confidence, are key influences on how fully we realize our talents. We do need to feel good about who we are to passionately pursue – or even have – worthwhile ambitions for our lives. But a study led by San Diego State University psychologist Jean Twenge [titled “Egos Inflating […]