Have you ever asked yourself the question “What am I?” or “Who am I?”. These two questions are very simple questions yet, range of the answers to these questions is very wide and very subjective. The answers pertain to the need to know you and the concept of yourself. Google provided a definition of self as a “person's essential being that distinguishes them from others, esp. considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action”. (Google.com, 2013) This may be as simple as this, but the word “self” is far more complicated than the things that make an individual different from other people.
Basically, when we say self or me, we are talking about how we see ourselves, or how we perceived ourselves or how we evaluate ourselves. It is our opinion of ourselves. This includes both physical and psychosocial way of seeing ourselves. We can divide that way we see ourselves in two aspects, that of our existential self and our categorical self. First, we try to develop our existential self, and this includes the awareness that we are separate individuals and different from other people around us and this will always be the case. We can never be united with other people thus we are responsible of how we react with people around us. Our existential self is already evolving as early as our infancy stage. On the other hand, we realize our categorical self when we become aware that we are just one object in a world full of other objects. You realize that you have all the physical properties that all other people have. So you can now categorize yourself. For example, you can categorized you self through your gender or your age. Our categorical description of ourselves does not only include our concrete traits but likewise begin to bend towards defining ourselves based on our psychological traits, evaluations of other and their opinion of us.
In defining ourselves, we can divide this into three aspects: our self-image, our self-esteem and the ideal-self. Self image pertains to what we see in ourselves. It is how we view ourselves. It is like looking at the mirror and describing what we see in that mirror and beyond. This is the image we portray of ourselves. It usually answers the question “Who am I?”. In coming-up with our self image, we can start by giving out the physical description of ourselves. But this is not enough. We can describe ourselves based on our social roles, our personal trait and by giving abstract existential statements that can further enhance our definition of ourselves.
The second aspect of defining ourselves has something to do with how we value ourselves (self worth or self esteem). This aspect is very important as it has immense effect of how we carry ourselves and how we live our life as a whole. It affects the decisions we make in life and it shapes us. It is how we approve or disapprove ourselves. If we have high self esteem, then we see ourselves in a positive way which bring out our confidence and the strength to face the challenges in our lives, otherwise we tend to have the attitude of “come what may”. Our self worth can be influence by the reactions of people around us, comparison with others, our social roles and our identifications.
The last aspect is that we can define ourselves by determining our ideal self. It is like comparing our self-image to what ideal characteristics that we have. By doing this, we tend to achieve the ideal self and therefore we come with a new definition of ourself.
Goggle.com (2013). Definition of “self”. Web. n.d. 10 Dec 2013. <https://www.google.com.ph/search?q=What+is+%22Self%22&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&gws_rd=cr&ei=TkumUtXaHMyYkgX0nIDIBA#q=%22Self%22+definition&rls=org.mozilla:en-US%3Aofficial>