Your self-concept is commonly referred to as your 'master program' of your subconscious mind. Think of it as your 'mental' operating system. Throughout your life all your thoughts, feelings, decisions and experiences are permanently recorded in you subconscious mind. From this point forward, once recorded, these impressions will influence the way you think, feel and conduct yourself.
Now, you have a self-concept for every area of your life. For example you have a self-concept for your athletic ability, your financial stability, your relationships, etc. And once your self-concept is formed for that area of your life, you will always act in a manner consistent with it. In most cases we all perform below our true potential because our self-concept may be poor for that particular area.
So how does one reach their full potential in any area of their life? You must raise your self-concept for that area of your life. This can be accomplished by understanding, both emotionally and intellectually, that we become what we think about most of the time. It is up to each individual to acquire new habits of thinking about what is truly possible for them. In other words, if you want to change your results on the outside you must first change your thoughts and feelings about your potential on the inside.
Now there are 3 parts to your self-concept. The first part of your self-concept is your self-ideal. Your self-ideal can be defined as the ideal image you have of yourself. In other words, the very best person you can be. It's a picture perfect life which is made up of your wishes, goals, dreams, fantasies along with the qualities and characteristics of the people you admire. Further more, with the Law of Attraction, you will move in the direction of becoming the person you most admire. The greater the clarity you have about your future life and the person you admire to be, the faster you will move towards becoming that person. And the great thing about this is more opportunities will appear for you to make your ideal future a reality.
The most important part of creating your self-ideal is you must take the time to think through and develop with absolute clarity about the key values and qualities that you admire the most to incorporate into yourself. When this is complete, you then begin to shape and direct your whole personality.
The second part of your self-concept is referred to as your self-image. Your self-image is defined as how you see yourself on the inside. And the way you see yourself on the inside has a great impact on how you will perform on the outside. For example, if you're ready to give a presentation and if you see yourself as confident and successful, then this is how you will perform in the actual situation. However, if you have a poor self-image of yourself, this will cause you to feel unattractive, not confident in future situations.
An important habit when developing your self-image is to feed your mind with positive pictures and images of yourself performing at your very best. Hold these pictures and images in your mind for as long as you can. And when you come across a situation where you need to perform, your subconscious mind will remember these images and will direct you with the words, actions and gestures that correspond to the images that you've created for yourself.
The third part of your self image is your self-esteem. This is how you feel about yourself. Your level of self-esteem impacts the vitality and energy of your personality and ultimately controls your performance. Whatever happens to you will have an effect on your self-esteem. It either increases or decreases it. The key to high performance, happiness and success is determined through the preservation and development of your self-esteem. When ever you feel that your current performance is inline with the best person you can be your self-esteem will go up. You'll have more energy with increase enthusiasm. However, whenever your current performance seems to be inconsistent with the person you would most like to be your self-esteem will go down.
Remember your mind is like a garden. If you don't take care of it, weeds will grow automatically, with no encouragement or support. In other words, your mind will fill up with your fears, worries and concerns if you do not deliberately fill your mind with positive words and images. Furthermore, develop the habit of talking to yourself positively most of the time.