Self Image — A Paradigm

In psychology, the real self and the ideal self are terms used to describe personality. The real self is who you actually are. It is how you think, how you feel, look, and act. The real self can be seen by others, but because we have no way of truly knowing how others view us, the real self is our self-image. The ideal self, on the other hand, is how we want to be. It is an idealized image that we have developed over time, based on what we have learned and experienced. The ideal self could include components of what our parents have taught us, what we admire in others, what our society promotes, and what we think is in our best interest. If the real self is aligned with the ideal self, then you will feel a sense of mental well-being or peace of mind. If the way that you are is not aligned with how you want to be, the separation, or lack of alignment, will result in mental distress or anxiety. We are most comfortable with ourselves when there is sufficient overlap of the “real self“ and “ideal self“ as shown in this example.

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