Sense of Self
“A lot of people say there is no happiness in life and certainly there is no permanent happiness. But self-sufficiency creates happiness”
At Umbrella Connections Pty Ltd we consider that, like a snowflake, we are all different, possessing different strengths, fragilities and patterns of behaviour, thoughts and especially feelings.
Understanding ourselves, through understanding our responses (feelings, thoughts and actions) in respect to the environment in which we live and our own history provides us with a sense of self that is core to us ‘being’ in this world.
By reflecting upon and understanding our thoughts, feelings and actions is very important for us to gain a strong idea of self-worth and should be a constantly evolving process. Our sense of self can develop and mature as we gather insights into ourselves. The acceptance and understanding of ourselves can lead to us also realising that we can change fundamentally who we are by questioning our history, knowing our emotional and physical responses and forming well-considered strategies.
Life has a way of getting in the way of living the way we want to! But, how we deal with mistakes, failures, mishaps and sometimes just bad luck can depend on how we hold to our sense of self. A strong sense of self allows us to accept that we all have strengths and weaknesses that through experiencing the world we will and can learn from both.
Our sense of self includes:
- Acknowledging our Personality Traits such as, extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, neuroticism.
- Patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviours. (What drives you?)
- Recognising our Abilities, such as Strengths, capacity, determination, persistence, flexibility.
- Accepting our fragilities/ inadequacies, can go along way to stopping us fall into self-loathing that can start self-defeating or reclusive actions.
- Our Likes: what draws us to one thing or another, excitement, engagement, skill. (Do something you like and you will be good at it.)
- Our Dislikes present the opposite, disinterest turns to low retention and poor performance. Acknowledging this and being resilient can be very character building.
People who can easily describe these aspects of their identity typically have a fairly strong sense of who they are. Struggling to name more than a few of these characteristics might point to a less defined sense of self.
You may not spend much time consciously thinking about your identity, but it still affects your life. Knowing who you are allows you to live with purpose and develop satisfying relationships, both of which can contribute to overall good emotional health.
Your self-image can also fuel recognition of your own worth. You aren’t perfect (who is?), but you still have great value.
Self-knowledge makes it easier to accept your entire self, both the traits you’re proud of and those you’d like to improve. If you do feel dissatisfied with certain aspects of yourself, you’ll have an easier time addressing those areas when you have a strong sense of your nature and abilities.
Lacking a clearly defined sense of self, on the other hand, often makes it tough to know exactly what you want. If you feel uncertain or indecisive when it comes time to make important choices, you may end up struggling to make any choice at all.
If we reflect on the words of Bob Dylan, we can acknowledge the profound difference positive feelings, believing that we are in control of our own responses, and inner self-worth can have on the rest of our lives. We can also let things go – recognising that this can also be a choice. That you have a choice and are therefore self-sufficient is the important concept.
Above all we feel Bob points towards self-nurturing as an under-pinning given. Give yourself some flexibility to try things and to make mistakes. We weren’t made to pat ourselves on the back or kick ourselves in the behind.