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Self-Perception: Does It Matter at All?

A small girl with a good self-perception jumping on a wood bridge in the middle of a forest

Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
Frank Outlaw.

Our mind is a powerful tool we can use for or against us. Indeed, what we think about ourselves will determine whether we are capable of doing something. Can you do it? Both answers will be right. In one instance, you are giving yourself a chance to succeed. It all depends on your self-perception.

What is that by the way? According to the APA Dictionary of Psychology, self-perception is 

“a person’s view of his or her self or of any of the mental or physical attributes that constitute the self. Such a view may involve genuine self-knowledge or varying degrees of distortion”.

In other words, it is the mental image you have of yourself. Are you enough? Is there something you are missing to be worthy? Before we answer those questions, let’s have a look at Cyrano de Bergerac’s anecdote.

The world is a reflection of ourselves

It is 1897 when Edmond Rostand decides to write a play based on Cyrano de Bergerac’s life. In this play, Cyrano is a famous duelist and a great poet. He fell in love with his distant cousin Roxane.

But there is an issue: Bergerac sees himself as unable to receive love from a woman because he thinks he is ugly. His long nose contributes to that conception. Determined by that, he can’t find enough courage to express his love.

Why would he express his feelings when he already knows she will reject him? He is not giving himself a chance because he already decided he is not enough. To make things worst, he finds himself in a funny situation: he promises to write love letters to Roxane on Christian’s behalf, a handsome new cadet in the French Army. 

That’s because Christian also feels unworthy of Roxanne’s love. Even though he is handsome, he sees himself as not that great at communicating via letters. As tragic as it seems, the truth is situations like these, people feeling not enough, are pretty common.

In any case, Roxane is delighted with such letters and now she thinks she is in love with Christian. She even tells him that she is attached to his soul and that she wouldn’t mind if he were ugly. He tells this to Cyrano, but he can’t believe it as he is convinced no woman will love him because of his ugliness.

And then?

From this point on, many things happen between them. In the end, Cyrano sacrifices himself not to destroy Christian’s image in Roxane’s eyes.  Fifteen years have passed since Christian died, and now Cyrano is mortally wounded.

On his deathbed, he asks Roxane if he can read “Christian’s” farewell letter. He does, and Roxane, then, finds out he was the one who wrote all those letters. So, she tells him he loves him. Moments later Cyrano dies.

This play brings us a great example of how our inner world determines our outside reality. Things would have been distinct if Cyrano have had a different self-perception.

Self-perception, a key ingredient to success

Define success as achieving something you are craving and you will find yourself concluding Cyrano was successful even though he couldn’t spend time with Roxane as lovers.

So, was Cyrano enough? He was. The truth is we all are. Human beings are capable of doing amazing things when they are determined to do it. You are a human being… which means… you are awesome too!

Perhaps, you don’t believe it just like Cyrano won’t believe his loved one would love him back. On the other hand, it may happen you do have a positive self-perception, but there is room to know yourself even more.

Also, there is a part of Roxanne falling in love with Cyrano, for his gifts… His gifts of poetry…self-expression… heart.

Whatever the case, going within will help you find reasons to perceive yourself as worthy. This is not about getting external validation or telling yourself how great you are. It’s more about accepting yourself with virtues and defects. Knowing your gifts and valuing yourself as well.

With this knowledge, you can set realistic goals you can achieve while building the necessary confidence to go forward with your project. This is why having a positive self-perception will tell whether you succeed.

How to get there?

Spending time to explore yourself is a good start. Ask questions that invite you to think deeply about yourself. Make a list of things you are proud of and those that aren’t so great. Accept the good, the bad, and the ugly about you.

Knowing yourself, accepting who you are, and having a clear idea of your gifts and talents will help you endure the most challenging obstacles you will find when working on your vision, and your project.

In Your Gift Journey School, you can find a structured program with tools to discover and accept your gifts. Once you receive and use them, you will realize how many resources you have inside: gifts, talents, and so on. 

Besides, you will transform your self-perception from thinking you are not enough to see yourself as a human being with great potential. Remember, you are an amazing human being with unique gifts to share with everyone. 

Celebrate and enjoy yourself by doing something that fulfills your soul. You don’t have to be like Cyrano or Christian. Be brave and confident enough to claim now your chance to do what you are passionate about.