Throughout many fields not one field has defined self. They have offered a range of viewpoints and have struggled to identify the essence of the self. The concepts of self are self as a soul, an unfolding of innate potentials, an organizing activity, a cognitive structure, a process of shared symbolic activity or a flow of experience (Hutchison, 2015). Some professionals think there is an independent self that comes out of these perspectives. Many cultures all over the world see the self is interdependent which means that self cannot be removed from the framework of human relationships. The three concepts of self that I decided to analysis throughout this paper is: self as organizing activity, self as a cognitive structure, and self of flow experience.
The first concept of self I chose to define, and research is the self as organizing activity. This concept of self includes the thoughts of action, initiative, and organization. Everyone can experience the sense of being capable of initiating an action, and the sense of organization that develops within our lives through experiences and events. Two theories that agree with some of the same ideas of this self is Psychoanalytic theory and ego psychology. They focus on the ego which is where peoples drive is organized and the center where conflicts are at wither they be internal or external. A person’s ego is known to have cognitive and emotional elements and is responsible for who you are. Ego is the one part of your personality that is accountable for a person needs of daily life are and where negotiating for internal needs. While unconscious mental progressions influence conscious thinking, at same time cognition occurs. The ego puts a person drive and make a response for external issues on a person’s happiness and is responsible for defensive mechanisms, judgment, normal thinking and awareness of the surrounding reality (Hutchison, 2015).
Next, the concept I focused on is self as cognitive structure. In many different concepts of self, self as cognitive structure is accepted in a majority of them. People are more willing to accept their conscious thinking process which everyone is in touch with to see their thinking be represented as our core. Included in this self is to represent yourself, which develops overtime within yourself. This self state that through our thoughts action and emotions are created. There are no expectations that push us to behave in certain ways which come from drives or motivation is seen in cognitive theory. In this self, when we learn new information we acquire habits, behavior changes and patterns of certain thinking. There is some necessary bias in the way we view the world which is based from earlier life experiences. With this self, we see human construction as a view of reality. As we participate in our daily lives, our sense of self will grow and develop.
Finally, the last self I chose, is the self as a flow of experience. Within this concept, is the continuing process of experience with the philosophy and practice of theory of existentialism.
Within this self we are defined by the process of becoming there is never anything at a single moment in our life, this process is where there is no endpoint. Everyone’s essence is described as their need to discover or create meaning for themselves, and the freedom to make their own choices in their life. Throughout our life, as we make obligations to ideas outside ourselves this is when our true self is unfolding. A relatively new approach for social work practices would be a self as flow of experience because it has many similarities to narrative theory.
As we develop our own self concept, we filter in or out our new experiences depending whether they are constant with our current life story.
Taking in all this information about these different concepts of self, makes you think about your own sense of self. When thinking about my sense of self compared to the concept of self as organizing activity, I feel this is within my life. The organization throughout my life has increased and improved throughout my life experiences. I also think that my initiative has grown and increased through all the experiences I have had. It is obvious that having organization with your life is almost essential. In my life, I feel a great need to be organized and know what I must do for future experiences and current ones. My organization has improved and increased as I have grown and increased due to other life experiences. I could say this for about everyone’s life. Just growing up and learning new things as a child, you don’t realize the organization to your life until when you are older.
Next when thinking about my sense of self as cognitive structure, I think it is part of my self. I agree that I see myself as a thinker and that implies that my actions and emotions develop within my thought. I agree that I have made patterns of thinking and behaviors making habits. I’ve had seen this through my school years, experiences with my teams, and now in my working experience. For myself, I can see this concept has changed and improved my sense of self. I feel that this concept has made me more responsible and driven me to make better decisions that will impact my life in the future.
Lastly thinking about my self in the concept of self as a flow of experience. When I first read about this self, I realized I wanted to have more of this self incorporated into my life. The idea of that your self is an ongoing process of experiences, to me is true, that every day our self can be changed or influenced. For myself, I feel this concept could help strengthen and influence my future actions and behaviors. I feel this concept will help you to not stress too much on every decision you make, to just trust that every day there is a chance that your self will be influenced to change and make yourself better.