Self-image

Definitions: (1) a positive concept of oneself; (2) a realistic understanding of one’s capacity

Observation: It is ironic how often those with a poor self-image usually have a sensitive perception of the values of others: “I’m no good but look at how wonderful so-and-so is.”

Subjective reality is folded in such a way that the person with a poor self-image cannot see or accept his or her own positive qualities. Consider Marilyn Monroe; her beauty was certainly obvious to an adoring public, and she surely must have been aware of it, but it was not enough. Those who study theatrical art say she was a talented actor, but her lack of self-esteem helped to destroy her.

Structure: The following are from “Anxiety—Recognition and Intervention” The American Journal of Nursing, Barbara C. Schutt R.N., Editor.

Components of a Good Self-Image

• An ability to understand and be understood

• Satisfaction of personal expectations

Reasonable control of environment

• Satisfaction of personal wants

• Satisfaction of personal goals

Reasonable control of self

• A sense of productivity

• A sense of usefulness

• A sense of belonging

Threats to a Good Self-Image

• A sense of isolation, alienation, or loneliness

• A sense of insecurity (a threat to identity)

• A sense of helplessness

• Fear