Your self-concept is the overall view you have of yourself. In other words, it’s your overall impression of who you are. Your self-concept is made up of several different parts:

The first part is your self-esteem. This is the general belief that you have about yourself. It’s how you feel about yourself as a person. It can be affected by things like good grades, bad grades, or even just how much friends like you.

The second part is your self-perception. This is how others perceive you, either positively or negatively. For example, if someone thinks highly of you, they’ll see this as a good thing, while if they think poorly of you, they’ll see this as a bad thing.

The third part is your self-image. This is how you see yourself in relation to the rest of society and the culture at large (e.g., what’s considered attractive). Your self-image may also include some elements from your self-concept (e.g., I’m an intelligent person)!

Self-concept examples include:

  • How you view yourself as a person—your personality traits, strengths, and weaknesses
  • Your physical appearance (body image, height, weight, skin tone, hair color, and style)
  • Your social skills—how well you interact with other people (e.g., shyness)
  • How you feel about your achievements—how well you perform in school or at work

Your self-concept is also influenced by characters in books, TV shows, movies, and other media. Over time, these examples blend together to become your sense of self.

Self-Concept Examples

So let’s see what your self-concept can be. These examples show how we define ourselves based on our personality traits, our interests, our values, and our affiliations.

1. Your values and beliefs

Your values and beliefs
Your values and beliefs

Your values and beliefs shape how you see yourself and the world around you. They influence the choices you make and the direction you take in life. Some examples of values and beliefs that shape your self-concept:

  • Your religion or spiritual views The principles you believe in can significantly impact your identity and self-worth. For example, believing in karma or an afterlife may influence how you treat others.
  • Your political stance Whether you see yourself as liberal, conservative, or somewhere in between shapes your opinions and the causes you support. Your political values often tie closely to your moral values.
  • Your priorities and interests What you choose to spend your time and money on reflect what you value. For instance, if you highly value travel, adventure, and new experiences, you likely see yourself as open-minded and curious. If you value financial security, you may describe yourself as practical and responsible.
  • Your morals and ethics How you define right and wrong, good and bad, shapes your self-image and how you judge yourself and others. If honesty, kindness, and fairness are important to you, you likely see yourself as a moral and trustworthy person.

Your values and beliefs provide a filter through which you interpret your experiences and interactions. They influence the choices that shape your identity and future path. Understanding your core values and beliefs provides insight into your self-concept and motivations. They form the foundation for your growth into your best self.

2. Your strengths and weaknesses

Your strengths and weaknesses
Your strengths and weaknesses

Knowing your strengths and weaknesses gives you insight into your self-concept. Think about what you’re good at and what you struggle with.

  • Your strengths are the things you excel at, like creative thinking, organizing, communicating, or problem-solving. Identify 3–5 of your top strengths and look for ways to apply them in your daily life. For example, if you’re a good communicator, consider joining a local Toastmasters group to improve your public speaking skills.
  • Your weaknesses are the areas you need to improve, such as procrastination, impatience, or poor time management. Don’t be too hard on yourself; we all have things we can get better at! Pick one or two weaknesses to focus on and make a plan to strengthen them. For instance, if you procrastinate, try breaking large tasks into smaller steps and rewarding yourself for milestones achieved along the way.

The key is using your self-awareness to build on your strengths and compassionately improve your weaknesses. Make the most of your talents, but don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone to expand your abilities. With regular practice, those weaknesses will start to feel more like second nature.

Remember, your self-concept is always evolving. Learn to accept yourself as you are, imperfections and all, while striving to grow into your best self.

With self-awareness and patience, you can achieve amazing things
With self-awareness and patience, you can achieve amazing things.

3. Your appearance and style

Your appearance and style
Your appearance and style

The way you choose to present yourself to the world says a lot about your self-concept. Your style and appearance are outward expressions of how you see yourself.

Your personal style

The colors, cuts, and brands of clothing you prefer reflect your tastes and interests. If you like to follow the latest fashion trends, you probably see yourself as stylish and contemporary. If you have a signature style like boho chic or preppy, that points to a self-concept that values individuality or tradition. Your hairstyle and accessories also communicate aspects of your self-image.

Grooming and hygiene

How much time and effort you put into your grooming routine demonstrates how much you value self-care and presenting your best self. Someone who frequently changes up their hairstyle or always has a fresh manicure sees themselves as put-together and confident. On the other hand, a more low-key routine could indicate a self-concept that prioritizes comfort and practicality over appearance.

Body modifications

Body modifications like tattoos, piercings, and scarification are a way for some to express their values, interests, or affiliations. If you have many visible tattoos, that may signify a rebellious self-concept or a strong sense of individuality. Multiple ear piercings could reflect an artistic self-image.

The symbols and images you choose also provide insight into how you view yourself
The symbols and images you choose also provide insight into how you view yourself.

Your style and appearance provide a window into your self-concept but keep in mind that there are many possible interpretations. How you see yourself is complex and multifaceted. Focus on developing a self-concept based on your character, values, and relationships rather than just your outward image. Your true self is more than skin deep.

4. Your interests and hobbies

Your interests and hobbies
Your interests and hobbies

Your interests and hobbies say a lot about who you are as a person. The activities you choose to do in your free time shape your self-concept and identity in many ways.

The topics or subjects you feel passionate about, such as arts and crafts, gaming, travel, cooking, sports, music, movies, books, etc. Your passions are the interests you feel most enthusiastic about and energized by. They stimulate your creativity and motivation. Your passions often align closely with your values and priorities in life.

5. Your skills and talents

Your skills and talents
Your skills and talents

The hobbies and interests you pursue often utilize certain skills and talents you have developed over time. For example, if you enjoy photography, you likely have an eye for composition and lighting. If you play an instrument, you have cultivated musical skills. Your skills and talents contribute to your self-confidence and self-esteem.

6. Your Escapes

Your Escapes
Your Escapes

Some interests serve as a means of escape from everyday stresses and routines. For example, outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, or gardening can be a reprieve from technology and work demands. Creative hobbies like painting or woodworking require focused attention that shifts your mind from every day worries. Your escapes recharge and rejuvenate you.

7. Your social connections

Your social connections
Your social connections

Many hobbies and interests are social and connect you with like-minded people. Team sports, book clubs, volunteering, and gaming communities are examples. Your social connections fulfill your needs for belonging and relationships. They expose you to new ideas and perspectives through interactions with others.

In summary, your interests and hobbies are instrumental in developing your self-concept. They ignite your passions, utilize your skills, provide an escape, and connect you socially, all of which shape your identity and sense of self. What are your interests, and what do they say about you?

8. Your roles and relationships

Your roles and relationships
Your roles and relationships

The roles you play and the relationships you have in your life significantly impact your self-concept. Think about the following:

Family Member – Are you a parent, child, sibling, or spouse? The dynamics within your family unit shape your sense of identity in profound ways. For example, if you’re a parent, you may see yourself as a caretaker or role model. As a child, your self-concept may be closely tied to seeking your parents’ approval or rebelling against their values.

Friends – Your friendships also help define who you are. If you have a tight-knit group of friends, you likely see yourself as loyal, social, and part of a community. If you struggle to make or maintain friendships, you may view yourself as more independent or self-sufficient. The qualities you admire in your friends also say a lot about your own values and self-image.

Employee or student -The roles you occupy at work or school are central to your self-concept. If you’re a teacher, you may see yourself as knowledgeable, responsible, and shaping young minds. As an entrepreneur, you likely view yourself as a risk-taker and innovator. How you perform in these roles, your work ethic, skills, and achievements—significantly impacts your self-esteem and identity.

Final Thought

Your self-concept is a complex interweaving of all the roles and relationships in your life. Each one shapes your identity in both positive and challenging ways. Looking at how these roles influence your self-image can provide powerful insight into understanding yourself better.The activities you choose to spend your time on reflect your passions, priorities, and sense of purpose. If you’re an athlete, artist, or hobbyist, that role probably shapes your self-concept in a meaningful way.


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Think about the attributes and skills required for your interests—they are a mirror of your strengths, values, and personality.

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