Category: Self concept

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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 […]

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 […]

The King's Speech, identity and personal growth

The King’s Speech, identity and personal growth

Who we think we are – or are not – so often impacts what we consider possible for us and what we actually do with our talents and creative passions. Director  Jane Campion earlier in her life commented, “I never have had the confidence to approach filmmaking straight on. I just thought it was something […]

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 […]

Jamie Lee Curtis on the power of self-acceptance to build identity

Jamie Lee Curtis on the power of self-acceptance to build identity

Jamie Lee Curtis on self esteem, building self confidence, self-acceptance, authentic happiness elf acceptance and realistic esteem are crucial to how well we relate to others and express our talents. Being comfortable in our own skins is part of being happy, authentic and free to be creative. The current Success magazine includes a profile of […]

Unrecognized Giftedness and Identity

Unrecognized Giftedness and Identity

By Cat Robson 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 […]

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 […]

Queen Latifah on being authentic

Queen Latifah on being authentic

“I really don’t know how to be anyone else, and whenever I try to be anyone else, I fail miserably. Or I disappoint myself. It doesn’t build my self-esteem, and it doesn’t help me grow me at all.” ~ ~ “It was a very vulnerable time going from being insecure about my body and who […]

Carol Dweck on the growth mindset

Carol Dweck on the growth mindset

“In this mindset, the hand you’re dealt is just the starting point for development. This growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts.” In her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, psychologist Carol Dweck considers two basic attitudes and paradigms about human ability […]

Making good use of your quarter-life crisis

Making good use of your quarter-life crisis

“At twenty-five, I was a television literary agent.. I had an office with a view, an assistant, an expense account, power lunches, clients, and business cards… From the outside, my life looked great… There was just one problem: I was absolutely miserable.” Christine Hassler The big questions of vocation, identity, relationships, how we use our […]

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 […]

Impostor phenomenon: Gerard Butler - "Have I ever thought I was a fraud? Maybe 18 hours a day."

Impostor phenomenon: Gerard Butler – “Have I ever thought I was a fraud? Maybe 18 hours a day.”

These quotes by Gerard Butler are from Erik Hedegaard’s profile, Gerry the Sinner / Gerry the Saint, Men’s Journal, April 2010. That I got through all that I got through to be where I am, it doesn’t make sense — this kind of lost soul studying law in Scotland and then moving to London with […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

Michael Chabon: Entertainment has a bad name

Michael Chabon: Entertainment has a bad name

Writer Michael Chabon comments on the value of not defining creative work – and ourselves as creators – too narrowly: “Entertainment has come to mean junk. But its definition also should include everything pleasurable that arises from an encounter with literature. “Entertainment has a bad name. Serious people learn to mistrust and even to revile […]

Identity and Being Creative

Identity and Being Creative

How does identity impact our lives as creative people, and our creative work? Psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman comments: “Creative expression equals self-expression… So anything we can do to firm up our identity, figure out who we are, separate from others, and what it is we really want to express – that influences our information processing […]

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, […]

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 […]

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.” […]

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 […]

Creative expression and identity

Creative expression and identity

Creative expression is based on both our inner selves and our abilities, so maybe it is not surprising if we question both our self concept and talents. But our insecurities and doubts may not be just a matter of objective competence. For example, two actors noted for being able to create distinctive and powerful characters […]

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 […]

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 […]

Alan Arkin: Stop looking outside yourself for validation

Alan Arkin: Stop looking outside yourself for validation

Tavis Smiley : Trying to get to that place of peace, for lack of a better word, where you are with the purpose and the reason for your existence… People struggle with that every day. Alan Arkin : Well, the only thing I can say, it sounds like a cliche, but I mean it from […]

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 […]

Playing stupid isn't cute

Playing stupid isn’t cute

Jessica Simpson infamously asked in a video clip whether the Chicken of the Sea tuna she was eating was really chicken or fish. She also reportedly indicated she thinks buffalo wings are made from actual buffalo. “Growing up I was always the blonde that everybody made fun of, and I just played into that, because […]

Orna Ross on Developing the Creative Personality

Orna Ross on Developing the Creative Personality

By Cat Robson – In an article of hers, Orna Ross invites us to rid ourselves of self-blame and criticism stemming from misunderstanding our creative abilities. With the help of an insightful self-test, we can revision our past and present experiences, and recognize, nurture and protect our gifts that may otherwise seem disruptive and chaotic. […]

Eckhart Tolle on Self-esteem and Ego

Eckhart Tolle on Self-esteem and Ego

“Well, first there is the ego self-esteem. Which is really, even if you have high ego self-esteem.. there’s always hidden fear underneath it. “It’s always there to compensate for the fear you feel of not being good enough or perhaps failing. So you need to play a role of being big to compensate for fear […]

Getting through adolescence is challenging for many creative people

Getting through adolescence is challenging for many creative people

Many talented and creative people have felt like outsiders, finding their teen years to be socially difficult and emotionally challenging. “I did not perform well socially in junior high. I was a strange girl and I was in a lot of pain because of that, like most teenagers.” Claire Danes Many highly talented people like […]

Limiting ourselves with self-judgment

Limiting ourselves with self-judgment

“American Idol” finalist Katharine McPhee has acknowledged that she fought a five-year battle with bulimia, and had childhood reading problems that sabotaged her self-esteem and made her turn to food for comfort. “Low self-esteem was huge for me,” McPhee said. “I was always the pretty little girl who was stupid. That was really difficult… I […]

Be More Creative: What Is Your Self Concept?

Be More Creative: What Is Your Self Concept?

One reason for discounting our creative abilities is comparing ourselves to other people, especially well-known and successful artists [such as Dean Koontz and Lady Gaga]. And myths about artists being “crazy” or “starving” may also influence how much we may be motivated to live a creative life. View “Be More Creative: What Is Your Self […]

Building self esteem and identity - what we tell ourselves about ourselves

Building self esteem and identity – what we tell ourselves about ourselves

“Who do you think you are?” – That question can be thrown at someone as an aggressive or angry challenge. But the variation can be a useful question to ask: “Who do I think I am?” How we identify and classify ourselves can have a profound impact on what we think we can be and […]