Self perception is (obviously) how one perceives oneself. This perception is a result of external factors coupled with internal interpretations of those factors. The first external factors one will ever receive is from parents or caregivers. Observation of one's caregivers will instill the personal values the child interprets as "rewarding" behavior. The child is very malleable at a young age and will conform to the ideals of his or her parents.
This can be a positive or negative thing, depending on the values the parents of caregivers were once instilled with. It is a parent's moral obligation to prepare the child to be the best person they can be. To teach values of love and kindness and respect for your fellow living creatures. However this is not always the case. For example, take an individual raised in a racist environment. That person will live his or her life in an ethnocentric fashion with no basis for the beliefs other than the absorption of the parent's ideals. (The burden is then placed upon the child to end the cycle of ignorance by refusing to adhere and pass the hate onto his or her children).
Not only will a child absorb the caregivers' behavior, but will also develop a sense of self worth based on the feedback given to them. A child constantly praised and supported will fair far better in life than a child put down and made to feel inferior.
This absorption/self worth process begins to mold the child's own self perception. The child will either become confident and positive, or doubtful and negative. Whichever path the child is put on usually becomes reinforced in a school setting. A collection of different individuals with different upbringings and instilled values merge together. The absorption of rewarding behaviors continues as peers interact with eachother. It is usually the values with the most supporters that are viewed as the most positive. Failure to comply with the group norm will ultimately result in a lowered sense of self worth.
The individual will carry whatever strengths or insecurities they gathered throughout the gauntlet of the education system. He or She will most likely maintain the original concept of their self worth they originally received from the caregivers. They will continue upon this path until they stumble upon knowledge such as this article.
Based on the Law of Attraction, the world will act as a mirror to your self perception. If you perceive things to be bleak and dismal, that is how they will be. Likewise if you perceive them as positive and optimistic. It is for this reason that depressed people are likely to remain depressed. In reality all they need to do is understand how to create a happy life.
The key is to understand that YOU are ultimately in control of the way you see yourself. No matter what anyone tells you, you must remember this. The ego can be a tremendous ally, or a terrible enemy. Never underestimate the strength of positive thinking.
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