Excerpt About Self Image

Self-image Determines Experience
After consolidation, the self image not only gives the individual his sense of personal identity, but it determines more than anything else his subsequent experience of himself, his life, and his environment. It determines his sense of being, his inner experience, and everything else about him. The self-image is constituted, as Mahler says, of self-boundaries: not only spatial boundaries, but all the boundaries that determine the range of the individual's experience, perception, and actions. For example, if an individual has a self-image of being weak, he will tend not to do things that he believes require strength. Likewise, a self-image of being stupid will inhibit a person from learning things that he believes require intelligence, so that he will actually not understand and will behave in a stupid way when confronted with such things.

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