Self-Concept can be a positive and a negative thing. When someone has a positive perception of themself, they have a confidence that can be undone by nothing. On the flip side however, when one has a negative perception of who they are, what they look like, what they can do, what worth they have, and of their ability - life won't look to bright for them.
If you look at what "self-concept" is...
self-concept: "the idea or mental image one has of oneself and one's strengths, weaknesses, and status,etc.; self-image." [def. found here]
It correlates well with what perception we have of ourselves.
I went to run the 5k race course yesterday and while I was running I met an older guy doing the same thing. We briefly chatted about the course and I took off again. He had already finished two miles [the course comes back on itself] and I was just 1 mile into it. For some reason - I started thinking about my self-concept. I thought about how I viewed myself and also what he thought of me as a runner. He was a veteran runner.
When I was first starting out with my weight loss, was I really 'just another fat guy trying to be skinny' -- or was I more?!
I'll admit that what I ate and how much of it did define my eating habits, my self-esteem, my self-discipline and control, but it did not define who I was. I am fearfully and wonderfully made and when I forget that...my self-concept goes down the toilet.
I kept thinking about how others see me now and how my self-image lacks. I still think of me as being fat and slow, but know that my body reflects a different image. There were times that I didn't want to look in the mirror knowing that my belly was going to be sticking way out. I still criticize my body because it isn't where I want it to be. I'll be honest. This is probably the stuff that people don't want to talk about in the blogosphere, but it's truth.
I'll tell you now though, I don't mind looking in the mirror. I like what I see - I should have liked what I saw last year, but I was blinded my a negative self-concept. Yes, I was fat, but that did not make me inferior, ugly, or unworthy of happiness.
Today - I challenge you to go in front of the mirror - take a picture - and be proud of who you are [not defined by a number, not defined by the world, not defined by a negative self-concept] knowing that you are taking the steps in becoming a healthier YOU.
Go take and post your UNAFRAID picture!