The Toll of a Negative self-concept

Your self-evaluations are important because they influence most areas of your behavior, defining the limits of what you will attempt. You avoid an activity if you self-concept predicts you will perform so badly as to humiliate yourself. For instance, if your self-concept includes the belief that you would be a poor ice skater, you might never try it, and will indeed remain a poor ice skater. Often people excuse themselves with “That’s just the way I am.” By using this excuse, they deny themselves opportunities for personal growth.

Sharon and Gordon Bower, Asserting Yourself