Who Am I? The Many Selves of Self

Who Am I

What are the components of self — mind, thoughts, emotions, perceptions, dreams, fears, personality, and brain — and the purpose of each element? This article will look at the 'self' by looking at all the different 'selves' and how they work together.

The psychology of self is the study of either the cognitive, evaluative or perceived quality of one's identity or the subject of experience. The distinction between the self as I, the subjective knower, and the self as Me, the known entity, was the earliest form of self in modern psychology.

"The self is not only the center but also the whole circumference which embraces both conscious and unconscious; it is the center of this totality." Carl Jung.

The self has many facets that help make up integral parts of it, such as self-awareness, self-esteem, self-knowledge, and self-perception. All aspects of the self permit people to alter, incorporate, or adjust themselves to achieve social acceptance.

Your sense of self which encompasses all of the selves refers to how you see yourself and the qualities that make you who you are. Everyone has a sense of self or a sense of personal identity, whether they are aware of it or not.

Personal identity consists of the things that make you, you. According to psychologist Buss, the personal identity comprises a public self and a private self, each with its components.

The Public Self

Three crucial aspects make up the public self:

Appearance: Being aware of your appearance is very much a part of your identity. This is not a purely Western viewpoint. Extensive and sophisticated attempts are made by cultures worldwide to improve looks and enhance personal attractiveness, as described by each culture. According to some philosophers, a sense of aesthetics is essential for living a good life and is fundamental to a person's self-concept.

Style: Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Johnny Depp, and Jay Z have style. The way they talk, their body language, and their facial expressions are undeniable "them." Everyone has a peculiar way of speaking and moving. These things make up a person's style. Your style is unique to you, whether it's cool or not.

Personality: Personality theories aim to explain individuality by examining personality variations. Personalities last a long time and are difficult to modify.

The Private Self

The private self consists of characteristics that are difficult for others to see and observe— thoughts, feelings, daydreams, and fantasies.

Thoughts: Knowing what someone is thinking is hard unless they tell you. Some people are better than others at figuring out what people are thinking, but it's nothing more than a sophisticated guessing process.

Feelings: Mental health providers use the mental status assessment method to assess new patients in psychiatric hospitals. The professional observes the patient, partly to figure out how the patient feels. This visual aspect of how someone feels is the effect.

Daydreams/Fantasies: Who would you be without your daydreams and fantasies? Again, fantasies are typically private, especially sexual ones. Yours are unique to you, and they define you.

Your Social Identity

What's your name? Where are you from? What's your religion? Each of these questions is a component of one aspect of your social identity — those things that identify you with a particular societal category.

Your vocations and social clubs are examples of group affiliation. Many people define themselves by the job they do. Another critical aspect of a person's social identity is the types of social clubs and cliques they associate with. Your social identity is made up of various identity factors that, when combined, make up the social "you." Kinship, race and ethnicity, and religious views are among these influences.


The perception of one's personality or individuality is known as self-awareness. While consciousness is being aware of one's environment and body, and lifestyle, self-awareness recognizes that awareness. Self-awareness is when individuals are aware of and identify their personality, emotions, feelings, motivations, and desires. There are two broad categories of self-awareness: internal self-awareness and external self-awareness.

Self-Esteem or Self-Worth

Self-esteem is an individual's subjective evaluation of their worth. Self-esteem refers to one's self-perceptions (such as "I am unloved" or "I am worthy") as well as emotional states such as victory, despair, pride, and shame. Self-esteem can refer to a particular trait (for example, "I believe I am a good writer and I am pleased with that") or to a broad concept (for example, "I believe I am a bad person, and I feel bad about myself in general").


Self-perception asserts that people develop their attitudes by observing their behavior and concluding what attitudes must have caused it.

Self-Knowledge and Self-Concept

Self-knowledge is a term used in psychology to describe the information that an individual draws upon when finding an answer to the question "What am I like?".

Self-knowledge necessitates ongoing self-awareness and self-consciousness (which is not to be confused with being self-conscious). Self-knowledge is a part of the self, or more precisely, the self-concept. The creation of the self-concept is driven by knowledge of oneself and one's characteristics and the ability to seek such knowledge, even if the concept is flawed. Self-knowledge provides us with information about our mental images of ourselves.

The self-concept is thought to have three primary aspects:

• The cognitive self

• The affective self

• The executive self

The affective and executive selves are also known as the felt and active selves, respectively, as they refer to the emotional and behavioral components of the self-concept. The cognitive self is connected to self-knowledge in that our quest for greater clarity is driven by the motive to confirm that our self-concept is a correct reflection of our true self. The cognitive self is also referred to as the known self. The mental self is made up of everything we know (or think we know about ourselves). This implies physiological properties such as hair color, race, and height, etc., and psychological properties like beliefs, values, and dislikes, to name but a few.

Why Is This Important?

People who can easily describe these aspects of their identity typically have a reasonably strong sense of who they are.

Even if you don't spend much time thinking about your identity, it affects your life. Knowing who you are helps you live a purposeful life and form fulfilling relationships, all of which will help you maintain good mental health.

Does a strong sense of self make a difference?

Yes, it does.

Erika Myers, a licensed professional counselor in Bend, Oregon, explains:

"Having a well-developed sense of self is hugely beneficial in helping us make choices in life. From something as small as favorite foods to larger concerns like personal values, knowing what comes from our self versus what comes from others allows us to live authentically."

Self-awareness makes it easier to embrace your whole self, with both your strengths and your weaknesses. If you have a good understanding of your personality and skills, you will have an easier time resolving certain areas if you are unhappy with them.

Lacking a clearly defined sense of self, on the other hand, often makes it challenging to know precisely what you want. If you feel uncertain or indecisive when it comes time to make crucial decisions, you may end up struggling to make any choice at all.

As a result, you will find yourself drifting through life, propelled by others and events rather than your impetus. This sometimes contributes to dissatisfaction, even though nothing seems to be wrong, and you are unable to pinpoint the root of your dissatisfaction.

A better understanding of the factors that play a part in the formation of self can help you begin redefining your identity and sense of self.

Do you have a strong sense of self or a weak sense of self? Let me know in the comments below.


Recent Posts

See All