Tag Archives: subconscious

730 — Self-esteem, -image, and -interest: Self-image IV

I deviated from my own self-image for explaining this subject. I’ll try to recover by summarizing the basics about these often-confused terms: self-esteem and self-image.

·        Self-esteem means how one likes oneself as a person. It’s also used to compare one’s apparent value to that of others. Self-image is the picture one has of oneself and their place and importance in the world around them.

·        The infant’s brain wires itself with self-esteem according to parental, family, and caregiver treatment. With actions, self-talk, and dreams, we continually program and reprogram our self-image throughout life.

·        Development of self-esteem begins and ends in roughly the first three years of life. Self-image blooms after a child’s conscious mind opens and the child can make decisions about himself. The toddler’s picture of Self builds under the influence of personal accomplishments, real and imagined, good and bad, failed and successful.

·        As a child ages beyond toddlerhood, self-image blossoms in the tweens and teens. Development accelerates and grows from conclusions about successes and failures. Also, a child’s dreams and imagination foster gigantic expansions of beliefs and convictions for the years to come.   

·        When your self-esteem takes a hit, you’re limited to temporary pick-me-ups. When you deviate from or violate your self-image, your attitude and outlook on life can change permanently.

·        Three things develop self-image the most: (1) Accomplishments enlarge and improve it. (2) Imaginative dreams of the future stimulate expansion. (3) Self-talk explains, compensates, rationalizes, and otherwise makes everything all fit together in one acceptable picture of Self.

There remains one question that probably lingers in readers’ minds. When one’s self-image makes one like oneself, why isn’t that self-esteem? The question introduces tomorrow’s post.


Filed under The mind

541. Wonder What Would Happen — Movie Call

We all use what enters our mind, because it programs our subconscious while we do something else. Consequently, I wonder:

Old movies are filled with endearing females highly admired by men. Men made admirable simply because they honor women generally and one female particularly.

For example, in bio-pics of songwriters such as Three Little Words, men write many ballads such as Nevertheless, Thinking of You, and the title song. Each aimed to express love from man to woman or the reverse. Love epitomized on screen and modeled as females wish it were displayed by boyfriends, lovers, and husbands.

What happens to modern men, when they sit through scenes and music so enchanting for women and so distant from male-centered pop values? Of course they moan, complain, and rebel. The pop culture strongly endorses male dominance and masculine independence, and men are so set in their ways anyway.

Even if they don’t listen, however, their subconscious absorbs words, ideas, and values in tempos that soothe instead of strain, promote instead of demote femininity, warm hearts instead of loins.

The question is whether men would stay around. The answer is yes if out to conquer, no unless essential for regular sex, and maybe if they want to please her. 


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536. Wonder What Would Happen—Mirror Time

Many differences depend on what enters our mind, what programs our subconscious. Consequently, I wonder:

How much would a woman’s self-esteem go up and her self-image awaken and brighten if she habitually brushed her hair 100 strokes daily before a mirror? A priority made so important that she always planned ahead and never missed a turn. (Habit and regularity reinforce the importance of her and solitude to Self.)

It provides structured time for mental reflection about Self and mirror reflection about appearance, appeal, and attractiveness. Recent research shows no benefit accrues to hair, but that’s not where the value lies. Researchers didn’t look for the right benefit.

Women need and thrive on self-love, and mirror time builds, reinforces, and improves it. So, I wonder what would happen if women returned to the practice.

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483. What Moms Never Hear —K: Self-image

Self-image (aka self-concept) buds in infancy, blossoms in toddlerhood, explodes in the tweens, blooms again in the teens, and tends to settle down in adulthood.

·        Definition—Self-image is the mental and spiritual ‘picture’ a person has of Self. Who he is in life and how he fits in his world.

·        It identifies us to us. From it, we know who we are, how we mix with our world, what we can and can’t do. When fully developed, it tends to restrict us to doing what’s ‘normal’ for Self.

·        The roots lie in cooing, crying, smiling, and whatever else produces feedback to the infant. Added to genetic hardwiring, loving care and encouragement program the subconscious mind about its ability to affect its world, to influence its surroundings.

·        Toddlerhood opens the door to testing the world, examining realities, and programming the subconscious with a steady stream of new abilities—new ways to view Self. The greater the exploratory and adventurist nature of a toddler, the broader and deeper spreads his self-image.

·        Development of self-image explodes in the tweens. Kids face new pressures, social structures, and experiences outside the home. Greater accomplishments and varied experiences morph into a much enlarged self-image.

·        Puberty inflicts temporary damage that may turn permanent. Self-image undergoes doubts and confirmations to make Self fit into a world rocked with hormonal hurricanes. But, it didn’t come to stay, it came to pass.

·        Self-image blooms again in adolescence. It’s a growth period. Boys expand their search for independence and significance. Girls expand their search for involvement and meaning. Self-image grows with successes, narrows with failures, and steadies out with acceptance of Self as the third decade of life arrives.

As with adults, self-image sets boundaries on our behavior, which we usually observe. When we don’t, we take corrective action or rationalize to explain or excuse it to ourselves and others. Our self-image keeps us on the track we imagine as right for our life.


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477. What Moms Never Hear—G: Attitude

Some of what follows may be familiar, but it helps to summarize what makes teens tick.

Like the rest of us, teens are of two minds. The subconscious works in background and governs and guides the conscious mind.

Teen behavior reflects the attitude hidden inside the subconscious. These factors describe much of what’s behind the attitude of typical girl or boy:

Self-esteem is how well the teen likes, loves, respects, and appreciates Self. It formed mostly in infancy and very soon thereafter. Later, it plays a major role in interacting, accepting, and appreciating other people.

Self-image is the teen’s mental and spiritual ‘picture’ of Self. It sets boundaries on behavior, which are usually observed. (If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you’re right.) It forms after the conscious mind comes online, and then explodes in the tweens.

Self-interest is what the teen needs, wants, and/or values. It motivates and prompts action. It opens as guesswork after the conscious mind opens, then slowly progresses, but doesn’t refine itself until the teens or early adulthood.

Self-talk is what teens tell Self about Self. It’s a continual infusion that keeps self-image and self-interest up-to-date and self-esteem out of the dumps.

Self-fulfilling prophecy has two facets that induce subtle change into the subconscious. The impacts are much the same as that of self-talk:

       SFP is the phenomenon of how teens tend to become what others expect. As mother warned, more ‘like those with whom you associate’.

       SFP also works when teens predict or believe something will happen and then quite unconsciously go about making it come true. This includes living up to their own particular expectations, such as with goal setting and accomplishment.

The teen’s subconscious leaks and sometimes broadcasts the resident attitude that these ingredients produce. Attitude helps to figure out what makes a teen tick.

Future posts provide greater details, and Babyhood follows.

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239. Weans, tweens, and teens #9 — Selfishness

Selfishness is the most junior of three subsets of self-interest. It predominantly appears in the wean years. (Post # 223)

Selfishness insists on getting one’s way at the expense of others. It’s natural to the human condition.

The need for and delivery of food and care teaches infants that being selfish pays off. Thus, long before an infant’s conscious mind comes alive, his subconscious mind gets ‘wired’ that putting self first is essential for living.

To the nurturer and observers, selfishness is unfairness. At first an infant puts too much pressure on caregivers, who quickly learn to handle or squelch the pressure. Later, it’s about sharing, especially with siblings.

Unfairness makes it an equality issue. Women, not men, favor and strive for equality. This better prepares mothers to ‘cure’ selfishness in a child. This makes it the province of nurturing, which means it’s more easily ‘corrected’ in the weans.

Later, as tweens and teens, selfishness becomes minor to the degree a child is led into making more mature decisions. By puberty selfish tendencies have been submerged behind other more beneficial habits in a child’s self-interest.

Selfishness provides one of the measuring sticks to forecast the adult from the child at puberty. The less selfish, the more mature. And vice versa.

Weaning a child from selfishness is minor compared to two other subsets of self-interest. The next, self-centeredness, follows at post 268.

[More about childhood mental growth appears in posts 223, 208, 197, 193, 192, 187, 178, and 177. Scroll down or search by the number with a dot and space following it.]

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223. Weans, tweens, and teens #8 — Self-interest

Self-interest motivates adults. It flows out of three sequential stages in childhood. However, I ignore those subsets here to address the bigger, broader, and more vital self-interest itself. The subsetts come later.

☺ Self-interest is the totality of what’s important to each person as they define and weigh everything in life against their inner self. The following process lasts for life or until accident, drugs, or dementia kill it.

·        Our subconscious mind merges and integrates our instincts, self-worth, and self-image with our consciously derived hopes, aspirations, and fears.

·        This programs the subconscious mind with self-interest that motivates its owner. (Research shows that over 99% of human behavior is generated out of the subconscious mind. See more at post 193.)   

☺ Self-interest motivates each individual constantly and throughout life. It drives the bus of a person’s behavior. It’s the subconscious and conscious power behind our efforts.

☺ Life is filled with tradeoffs to do what we want and don’t want, need and don’t need, fear and don’t fear. Self-interest guides us through the maze.

☺ If something’s not in our self-interest, our subconscious turns us away from it. If in our self-interest, our subconscious moves us toward it.

☺ No one reveals their complete or true self to others. That’s why everyone has hidden agendas.

☺ People make mistakes not in their best interests.  Correction or recovery then becomes a new ingredient in self-interest. Childhood marvelously demonstrates the process.

Raising kids is all about guiding a child through programming of self-interest. This post introduces the subject, The subsets show up in posts 239, 268, and 273.

[More about childhood mental growth appears in posts 208, 197, 193, 192, 187, 178, and 177. Scroll down or search by the number with a dot and space following it.]

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