Personal Reflection essay

A person’s essential being

A person’s essential being, which distinguishes them from others, can be defined as the object of reflexive action or introspection. According to Higgins (2015), the self consists of one domain (actual, ideal, and ought) and one perspective (own, significant other), which are self-state representations. The self has remained an important topic not only for psychologists but also for social scientists (Mark, 2012). The self is asserted as an explanatory factor in situations where anything is empirically changed or appraised and described as some aspect of self. According to self and identity researchers (Mark, 2012), the self is both a shaper of behaviour in situations and a product of conditions. Constructing a sense of oneself, who one was, is, and may become and thus the direction one should take in the world is a core self-project (Higgins, 2015). Self-theories carry the assumption that people would care about themselves, have the desire to unleash who they are, and use this knowledge in making sense of the world. Therefore, self can influence people’s motivation in life, their thinking of themselves and others, the actions taken, their ability and feelings that regulate or controls themselves (Oyserman, Fryberg, & Yoder, 2007).

Applying concepts of the self to my life

A broad collection of social science findings and theories assert that the self is critical in determining life choices and behaviour (Mark, 2012). It is this self that has guided me into what I am today. It has directed me to the field of psychology due to my passion to learn the behavior of others and patterns that determine the way people relate, do things and pursue what they feel they deserve. The self has enabled me to learn the game of life about what was there for me, what is there in the present and what I want to become in the future. In this case, I had experienced a transformation as my current self gives me a more clear identity as compared to the past when I had little cognitive understanding of who I was. Thus, I have been taking the self as an explanatory factor, which has supported me in defining my career path precisely. Also, I have been able to fit in other’s shoes and understand their position and stance when it comes to life matters. Conversely, taking self as an explanatory factor has not entirely given me a deeper understanding of its application given that it is assumed as a mental construct and a force for action. Equally, self-concept has enabled me over the years to develop certain values, beliefs, and interests. In this case, self-concept is an idea concerning self-constructions from values, beliefs that I hold of myself, what others take of me or say about me (Mark, 2012). I have been able to understand myself as an honest, confident hardworking, focused, problem solver, and more specifically an introvert, which also comes from others comments on me. The self-awareness has shaped my behaviour and has often helped me understand others and have good relations with my colleagues, friends, and family members.

When I attempt to judge myself

When I attempt to judge myself, I often feel a change in my self-esteem or self-efficacy. In his work, Schwarz (2010) says that self-judgement can be operationalized as self-efficacy or self-esteem, and which is often a distilled assessment of an individual’s sense of competence and worth in the world. This had the same impact in my life. For instance, in my teenage age, I had so many worries about my looks, my communication abilities, and I had problems socialising with others as compared to today. I had so many self-incriminating thoughts that impaired my productivity in life and performance in school. In this moments, my esteem level went low, and I would find myself staying alone in most of the time. However, as time moved, the environment changed, and my adulthood approached, self-judgements instilled in me the sense of the world and who I was. I became more aware that I was unique and that what I held in me could not be the same to that in others. This defined every move that I have taken so far in how I perform in school and my reserved nature, which helps me concentrate on whatever I am doing. Consequent to this I have become more creative, inventive and consistent. Also, how is structure the self-concept is different to others. My beliefs, values and interests will never match with those of others and that describes the difference. According to Mark (2012), people often structure and organise their concepts of self around individual domains, which other people ordinarily utilise in establishing a sense of the world (their race, gender, ethnicity, age, weight, and the academic stands). When this social information is applied in organising self-concept, individuals are said to be schematic for the domain that implies they would process information relevant to it more efficiently and quickly and remember it easily compared to irrelevant information. About this, is a particular instance when doing exams when one student brought false information that we had failed the first paper. This information greatly influenced our self-esteem and in turn influenced how we responded to the remaining papers. Therefore, impacts of context on self-concept on the behaviour in the prediction of context impair behaviour by affecting the content of self-concept. Self-esteem and self-efficacy are equally affected in the same way (Mark, 2012).

Social experiences that have impacted my personal development

A Psychology Seminar in my College

It was on January 21st during my first year when a compulsory seminar was organised in our college to help students understand psychology clearly and better relationships with each other. Before this workshop, I was a scared kid, timid, worrisome and all that I wanted was to be alone and do my things alone. This behaviour made me the topic of many of my colleague students. Some branded me names that I hate to recall. During one of the sessions of the seminar, a mentor noted my peculiar silent nature at the back of the hall and asked me to step forward. At first, I resisted, but something told me just to obey. When in front of everybody, I felt weak, trembled inside and energy to speak or even face the congregation faded away. Then the most dreaded moment came. “Kindly tell us what you think about this audience.” The mentor asked. I said nothing as I stared at the mentor with a grim face, confusion and embarrassment written all over my face. Suddenly, something hit my mind, ‘what am I?’, ‘what is the difference between the person standing right beside me?’ These questions and much more swept through my head so fast that the next moment I found myself facing the audience most confidently and eloquently ever. “When I look at you, I see people; I see an assortment of professionals aspiring to hit big goals. I think of you as factories processing information in the most sophisticated natural ways. It is this realisation that inspires me every day.” When I finished these words, I was amazed. It was my first time to be in such a state, the inner judgement had changed, and now I realised I was more than I ever thought of myself. Since then, I have spoken in many forums, and the scrutiny of my self has become clearer than I had previously perceived. Thus, I feel more personally developed regarding how I see and make sense of things in the world.

Ministering at Church

Going to church was not an ordinary thing to me especially during my teenage years. However, when I made up my mind to be attending every service in the day of worship, I have noted a significant change in my confidence, persistence, devotion, commitment, honesty and transparency. The self in me has become more outstanding, and I am more aware of my physical, emotional, spiritual, and psychological needs than before. Previously, even a simple task was overwhelming to me. However, after long hours of religious activities in church, crusades and visiting others in orphanages, prison and rehabilitation centres, I have developed the ability to handle any task that is placed on me without the feeling of being overwhelmed. My values, interests, and aspirations have become bolder, developed and expressed in me every time I am in church.


Higgins, E. T. (2015). Self-discrepancy: A theory relating self and affect. Psychological Review, 94(3), 319-340. Retrieved from

Mark, R. L. (2012). Handbook of Self and Identity. New York: The Guilford Press.

Oyserman, D., Fryberg, S., & Yoder, N. (2007). Identity-based motivation and health. journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93, 1011-1027.

Schwarz, N. (2010). Meaning in context: Metacognitive. In L. .. B. Mesquita, The mind in context (pp. 105-125). New York: Guilford Press.

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