Self -Concept

“One of the most common forms in which people confront contradictions in everyday life is when their official view of themselves (their self-concept) clashes with some aspect of their behavior. In such a situation, they have three alternatives:

They can revise their self-concept.

They can change their behavior.

Or they can evade the contradiction.

The third option seems the most popular, perhaps because options one and two can be difficult.

In such cases, the motive is to protect the evaders’ self-esteem, or their pretense of it. But in fact they undermine self-esteem, because at a deeper level they know what they are doing. Evasion may deceive the subconscious mind. Somewhere there is knowledge: I am at odds with reality; I hold myself together by avoidance and denial.”

~ Nathaniel Branden   from The Art of Living Consciously

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