The concept of ‘self’ is wide and diverse depending on one’s perception. To a layman, ‘self’’ could mean innate ability, while some other people may view it as the natural gift ordained by God. Some people might take it further on the semantic and view it as traits of arrogance or self aggrandizement. It is pertinent therefore, to look at this concept of ‘’self’’ deeply and juxtapose it with our contemporary world to know how it can be of help or otherwise to us as individuals and society at large. With this background about ‘self’ talk, we can conveniently ask the question-what is self? Your ‘self’ Is what people call ‘I’ or ‘Me’. Your ‘self’ is the centre of your personal world. Let’s look at the components:
BASIC COMPONENTS OF SELF: (1) THE NATURAL SELF- The first component is your natural self. Everybody has a fundamental inner nature or inner core of genetics, drives, instincts and human potentials-this is your animal nature (human beings are higher animals).Your animal nature is the same among living beings. For example: needs for food, shelter, physical safety, belonging and love. Some of these traits are unique to individuals to realize his good ‘self’. This is the natural self.
2.’ LEARNED SELF’- The next one is’ learned self’-This ‘self’ is a product of your social learning history.
This may be the way you have been groomed in your vocation to see or view yourself and skills in constraints of reality. Most of us have diverse ways of thinking about ourselves that prevent us from attaining our human potentials. Therefore, your learned self can be good or bad but usually admixture of both.
- CHOOSING’ SELF’: Another form of ‘self’ is choosing ‘self’. Your natural self represent your endowed gift, while your learned self reflects your reminiscences. Your ‘choosing self’ represents your capacity to make your life through your choices now and in the future. Thus, you are in the constant process of creating yourself. This provides you with the capacity to choose to throw away the ugly habits of thinking and’ self’ talk of your ‘learned self’ that block your fulfilling the inner core of your nature or ‘natural self’. You can also use this principle to choose the aspect of your natural ‘self’ that you wish to develop. This will help particularly for the development of social interest and concern for others that goes beyond ‘self’ interest.
- SELF SUPPORT: Finally, is the self support. You can realize your human potential when you employ the self support. What it thus portends is that you can choose to either be your own best friend or your worst enemy as the saying goes. If you can win this conflict or make progress in it, you may likely lead a freer, happier and more fulfilled life. The cost however, for those in the other negative struggle side can be too high or costly. Those cost may include regular strife, alienation, escape into alcohol, hard drugs, promiscuity, violence and even suicide since they are unable to master their inner self cognitively. This weakness has brought down kingdoms/empires and rulers inconsequential. In a nutshell, avoid putting yourself or society down with the way you apply negative ‘self’ or ‘I’ talk. Avoid unnecessary rigid self perception. Accept your mistakes and enter the mood to put things rightly using the right word that will endear you and the society you live for positive development-By:IDOWU JULIUS