Self-Concept: Yes, How You Feel About Yourself and Your Ability Does Effect Your Success


Well, since we need to accept that there is a link between how we see ourselves and our ability to realize our goals, we really should pay a little attention to us and be nice ūüôā

Good Self-Concept = Success

If you are confident in your ability to tackle what comes into your life and you have compassion for yourself (realistic view of yourself), why wouldn’t you take on the risks associated with goal achievement?

Now, I must admit, there are days where I feel pretty good about my abilities and then there are days where I have almost zero confidence and want to avoid everything. My advice is to continually work on building a positive self-concept by collecting experiences (noticing) when you do well. We are all pretty awesome at collecting all the negative experiences, why not collect the good? Also, acknowledge that you will “feel” great somedays, and maybe not so great other days. ENJOY the good days, lean in and get things done when confidence is high! Use your positive experience collections to help you through the bad days by creating a realistic and compassionate view of yourself.

Collect, take notice,

of the great things that you do.

Oh You Know it! 

It’s PsychNerd Time Again!

Brain Nerd

A Social Psychology research team, led by Dr. Juliana Breines, at the University of California, Berkeley found some pretty awesome things about self-concept and motivation. Over four different experiments, they¬†explored self-criticism vs. self-compassion and the effect on motivation.¬†All four experiments asked participants to think about something that would typically elicit self-criticism. Some participants were put in the experimental group (the ones who were taught self-compassion strategies) and the control group (no self-compassion training…so sad).

Here is what they did: 

  • Experiment 1 and 2: participants were asked to identify what they considered to be their biggest weakness or shortcoming. Super fun! ūüėČ
  • Experiment 3:¬†participants recalled a recent time when they did something they felt was wrong and experienced guilt, remorse, and regret. Ugh…
  • Experiment 4: participants took a very difficult test,¬†designed to create a sense of struggle and frustration. no fun at all…sigh…

*In each experiment, researchers then gave some participants a self-compassion¬†training. For the first three studies, participants wrote for 3 minutes in response to the instructions: “Imagine that you are talking to yourself about this [weakness/action] from a compassionate and understanding¬†perspective. What would you say?”

*For the 4th experiment, the researchers¬†shared a self-compassion message after participants struggled with the test: “If you had difficulty with the test you just took, you‚Äôre not alone. It‚Äôs common for students to have difficulty with tests like this. If you feel bad about how you did, try not to be too hard on yourself.”

Here is what they found:

  • Participants who practised a self-compassionate mindset showed greater willingness to learn from, and improve on, their self-perceived weakness, mistake or failure.
  • Participants, trained in self-compassion, were more interested in studying to improve performance on the difficult test, and they were more likely to want to take action to reduce the harm of their previous mistakes. They also had greater optimism¬†that their personal weakness could be changed.

Good News!

Self-compassion Supports Self-improvement

Whether you think you can

You have a choice…

Work on shifting from a self-critical mindset to a self-compassionate mindset.


Write for 3 minutes each day. Take a self-criticism and re-write it. Imagine that you are talking to someone else. What advice would you give them?

All of us can take 3 minutes per day to improve our motivation with a little encouragement ūüôā

Take 20 Minutes and Learn More About Self-Compassion!


We can choose a self-compassionate point of view, and this will help to recover from setbacks and pursue positive change.

Happy Self-Compassionate Friday!!!


Dr. Heather Drummond,  C.Psych.

Psychologist * Passionate Advocate for Flourishing * Human Muddling Through


References & Resources:

Breines J.G., Chen S.  (2012)  Self-Compassion Increases Self-Improvement Motivation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,  38  (9) , pp. 1133-1143. 

The Centre for Mindful Self-Compassion: 

Test How Self-Compassionate You Are:

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