Category: Self concept

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Can being unrealistic about ourselves be good?

Can being unrealistic about ourselves be good?

Brain/mind researcher Jill Ammon-Wexler comments about self-concept: “It’s commonly assumed that normal, well-adjusted people have realistic views of their own potential. “And it is also commonly assumed that those who do not have realistic self-concepts are very possibly neurotic or unbalanced. “Are these assumptions true? I’ll have to say absolutely not. “As a psychologist, the […]

Self-esteem and expressing our talents

Self-esteem and expressing our talents

Our concepts about identity and self-worth, and how we regard and value ourselves, may have more impact than anything else on being able to fully explore and realize our unique abilities. Wally “Famous” Amos says his personal mission statement “is simply to help people feel better about themselves. I think that self-esteem is at the […]

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 […]

Lady Gaga on identity and creative expression

Lady Gaga on identity and creative expression

Lady Gaga identifies herself as a feminist, and says, “I find that men get away with saying a lot in this business, and that women get away with saying very little. “In my opinion, women need and want someone to look up to that they feel have the full sense of who they are, and […]

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 […]

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 […]

Building Self-confidence and Changing Limiting Beliefs

Building Self-confidence and Changing Limiting Beliefs

Playing most of his screen characters, Will Smith exudes assurance and confidence. But he admits: “I still doubt myself every single day. What people believe is my self-confidence is actually my reaction to fear.” [From my article Talented, But Insecure.] In his article I work to build self-confidence in myself and others, entrepreneur Stephen Pierce […]

Don't you have to be an artist to be creative?

Don’t you have to be an artist to be creative?

Years ago, I interviewed a producer who was certain she was not creative, even though she was helping solve many problems associated with making movies. Maybe one reason people think they are not creative is that we are given so many examples in school and the media of eminent, big name artists and creators who […]

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 […]

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 […]

Improve Your Self Esteem and Reduce Your Fears

Improve Your Self Esteem and Reduce Your Fears

By Bertil Hjert. It is important to examine that which you fear… We are so consumed by the physical manifestations of our anxiety or panic attack that we don’t take the time to analyze what this sudden surge is all about. Building up your self esteem is a process, but it is something that can […]

Embracing Our Creative Abilities and Inspirations as Gifts - Part 2

Embracing Our Creative Abilities and Inspirations as Gifts – Part 2

[Also see Embracing Our Creative Abilities and Inspirations as Gifts - Part 1] This idea of viewing our talents as gifts reminds me of the book “Enjoying the Gift of Being Uncommon,” by Willem Kuipers. In a section of the book titled “Is it a Gift to be Uncommon?” he writes, “Giftedness refers literally to […]

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 […]

Hiding Behind a Mask

Hiding Behind a Mask

Who we seem to be as a public persona may be a useful fiction, helping us fit in with other people, and be more accepted. But a mask may also compromise our authenticity. Hale Dwoskin, CEO of Sedona Training Associates, thinks “Most of us live behind masks all the time based on the false assumption […]

Eliminate negative beliefs: Morty Lefkoe on self-esteem beliefs

Eliminate negative beliefs: Morty Lefkoe on self-esteem beliefs

From post: “It’s Not Your Parents’ Fault” by Morty Lefkoe on his blog. One of the most common questions we get from people who use our free belief-elimination site is, “I don’t think I got my beliefs from my parents. “Can’t negative self-esteem beliefs be formed from interactions with siblings or later in life from […]

Dealing With Our Critical Inner Voice

Dealing With Our Critical Inner Voice

Our self-critical thinking can hinder personal growth and creative work. One form it can take is fraud and impostor feelings. Actor Emma Watson has commented about its impact for her: “It’s almost like the better I do, the more my feeling of inadequacy actually increases, because I’m just going, Any moment, someone’s going to find […]

Nerds. Is it OK to have a beautiful mind?

Nerds. Is it OK to have a beautiful mind?

A review by The Week magazine of the book “Nerds” notes the term was used by Dr. Seuss in one of his books in 1950. “Its actual definition has had shifting boundaries, says book author child psychologist David Anderegg. “Today it connotes ’some combination of school success, interest in precision, un-self-consciousness, closeness to adults, and […]

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 […]

Is a rare and special ‘artistic’ talent required?

Is a rare and special ‘artistic’ talent required?

Author Betty Edwards asks, “Why do we assume that a rare and special ‘artistic’ talent is required for drawing? We don’t make that assumption about other kinds of abilities. “If you can catch a baseball, thread a needle, or hold a pencil and write your name, you can learn to draw skillfully, artistically, and creatively.” […]

How To Stop Being So Hard On Yourself - Jenna Avery on the high sensitivity personality

How To Stop Being So Hard On Yourself – Jenna Avery on the high sensitivity personality

In her article, How To Stop Being So Hard On Yourself, excerpted below, expert on highly sensitive living Jenna Avery explains why sensitive people are so self-critical, and how we can stop: Every time I work with a fellow sensitive soul, it seems like we always bump into some kind of fear or limiting belief […]

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 […]

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 […]

Valerie Young on the Expert Trap

Valerie Young on the Expert Trap

In her article How Much Do You Need to Know Before You’re an Expert?, career mentor Valerie Young of Changing Course describes a number of self-limiting beliefs about qualification and competence. Here are some quotes: ‘You’re especially prone to the Expert Trap if you mistakenly believe that competence and expertise are one and the same. […]

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 […]

Admit your gifts: Willem Kuipers on unrecognized giftedness and identity

Admit your gifts: Willem Kuipers on 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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 new study led by San Diego State University psychologist Jean Twenge [titled "Egos […]

Tony Hsieh: Be smart and talented, not egotistical

Tony Hsieh: Be smart and talented, not egotistical

“What the world needs is more geniuses with humility; there are so few of us left.” Pianist Oscar Levant [1906-1972] The photo is Tony Hsieh – CEO of Zappos.com, an online shoe and clothing store. Hsieh (pronounced ‘shay’) comments: “There are a lot of smart, talented people out there who are also egotistical. We won’t […]

Feeling like an impostor

Feeling like an impostor

Charlie Rose introduced Tilda Swinton, 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.” Yet, she admitted, “I certainly never set out to be an actor, and […]

Where are the teen role models?

Where are the teen role models?

In the movie “Nancy Drew,” the heroine (played with style and grace by Emma Roberts) engages and celebrates her intuitive and intellectual abilities as a teen sleuth, and comes to accept the fact she is exceptional, and does not fit in with her high school peers concerned with cliques, clothes and crushes. Yes, it is […]

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 […]

Getting beyond impostor feelings

Getting beyond impostor feelings

Many talented and creative people experience impostor feelings and beliefs about themselves, despite their accomplishments. Valerie Young, Ed.D. is an expert on impostor syndrome and commented in an Entrepreneur magazine article: “Millions of people, from entrepreneurs to celebrities, have a hard time internalizing their accomplishments.” The article author notes “the impostor syndrome is especially common […]

Masi Oka on intelligence and expectations and stereotyping

Masi Oka on intelligence and expectations and stereotyping

Masi Oka has an improv background and computer science degree, and worked for George Lucas’ visual effects studio, ILM, before acting. His first leading role is ‘Hiro Nakamura’ in the TV series Heroes [dvd]. [The image is from Wired magazine - The 2007 Rave Awards.] On the Tavis Smiley Show April 27, 2007, he addressed […]

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 […]

Self-esteem and self-limiting

Self-esteem and self-limiting

For a few decades, it’s been noted that a large percentage of all gifted students severely underestimate their own abilities. They adopt lower standards for success and expect less of themselves. They underrate the importance of effort, and they overrate how much help they need from a parent. When parents praise their children’s intelligence, they […]

Embracing our positive abnormality

Embracing our positive abnormality

“Several people warned me about Tim Burton. He is decidedly eccentric, they whispered, totally wrapped up in his wild imagination, and consequently, very difficult to interview.” Writer Michael Dwyer. For people like director Tim Burton, who are highly talented and willing to be eccentric and follow unique visions, their creative work may be enhanced, along […]

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 […]