Take a look at yourself. Look into the mirror. What do you see?
What do you see on the outside? By the word ‘outside’, I do not mean your physical looks. Not your skin color or the shape of your eyes.
Certainly, Allah has created man in the best form, as stated in the noble Quran.
“We have certainly created man in the best of stature.”[Ah-Tin: 5]
Rather, by this word, what I mean to ask you is,
“Do you look like a happy person, full of energy and radiating a glow of happiness and love? Or is it a depressed, gloomy face that you are looking at? A face drained of all energy and hope? Messed-up hair that hasn’t been taken care of in ages?”
What do you see when you look into your own eyes in that mirror?
Do you see eyes shining with hope and love, or with a faint glimmer of hope flickering on and off? Or is it dreary, sleep-deprived, depressed eyes that you see?
Observe yourself truthfully and carefully, and answer these questions for yourself.
You might have been wondering why I’m asking you to observe this yourself.
You might be clueless about what I’m trying to talk about here. It’s all about us. Not being selfish, but being our own ‘self’ is a crucial part of our lives.
It is the one thing we have to change if we want to change those around us.
The one thing you have to understand if you want to understand concepts such as self-concept, self-esteem, and self-love. Let us first take a look at what these concepts are.
According to Baumeister (1999), self-concept is
“the individual’s belief about himself or herself, including the person’s attributes and who and what the self is.”
Put simply, self-concept is the way you think about yourself, whether positively or negatively.
It is what you see in yourself and what you believe yourself to be.
Take a notebook and jot down the first things that come to mind about yourself.
Are you happy, sad, energetic, kind, empathetic, or what else? You see, that is your self-concept, roughly jotted down on a piece of paper.
Now think deeply. What does your self-concept look like? Is it positive or negative?
It’s in your hands to change that, all by Allah’s will, of course.
It’s up to us to love ourselves and to change ourselves for the betterment of ourselves and those around us.
Self-esteem is the extent to which we like, accept, or approve of ourselves.
It is the degree of our evaluation of ourselves.
A person with high self-esteem is bound to have a positive view of themselves, whereas a person with low self-esteem thinks negatively of themselves.
Self-esteem plays a great role in building a successful self or building self-love.
As mentioned before, a person with high self-esteem will be more optimistic and, hence, love himself more deeply.
A positive consequence would be boosting one’s self-confidence levels as well as their self-image.
On the other hand, low self-esteem will result in a lack of self-confidence and a great deal of pessimism.
Self-esteem is also related to self-concept. As you can see, a person with a positive self-concept will, in most cases, have high self-esteem.
Finally, we come to the concept of self-love.
Closely related to self-esteem and self-concept, self-love is how much we love ourselves.
A person with a positive self-concept and high self-esteem is going to love themselves to a much greater extent than a person with low self-esteem.
It is imperative to learn how to love ourselves. In order to love others, we need to love ourselves first. This isn’t being selfish.
How can you let yourself go into ruins while trying to love and please others?Pages: 1 2