Where we want to get to in our work together is a confident Ideal Self with high self-esteem who is inner-directed, and a strong utilisation of emotional intelligence.
To become your ideal self, there is a framework that I like to use with my clients, which utilises the Self-Concept Model.
As my coachee, you and I begin by taking into consideration your social identity, then we define who you perceive yourself to be and finally, we define all the attributes that would make you who you want to be in the future, checking at every stage for self-esteem alignment.
Let’s break it down:
Alignment with your self-esteem
This is the evaluative, dynamic, and ever-changing aspect of the Self-Concept Model that functions to determine from high esteem to low esteem the measurement of alignment between your assessment of your perceived self and your ideal self. For example, if there is alignment, you experience high esteem. If there is considerable disparity, you will experience low self-esteem.
It is my responsibility as your coach to work with you to bring the two different types of self into alignment.
We begin the process of becoming your ideal self by listing who your Social Self is.
Your Social Self
This is the classification of yourself into different social categories that you believe you belong to. The development of the Social Self is established via interaction with reference groups in social situations with the functions to determine the profile of traits, competencies, and values; establish and communicate the relative value and status of these social roles; and form the basis of feedback from these groups about who you are.
There are two types of social identities:
This is the identity that you portray (or wish to portray) across all situations, roles, and to various groups. E.g., To be authentically ourselves, it asks us to be the same person irrespective of the situation or group.
This is the identity that you portray for or to a specific group, role, or situation, and may differ from the global identity. E.g., Who we are at home versus who we are at work may differ.
With enough validation from the role-specific identity reference group, it may inform or change our global identity.
We see this often with sports professionals, their sports identity becomes a strong part of their primary/ global identity so when they stop playing the sport, it can be very difficult to dissassociate yourself from that role-specific identity.
Now that we know your Socal Self, we can define all the attributes that go into who you perceive yourself to be.
The Perceived Self
This is an analysis of your own perception of your innate personality traits, competencies (skills, abilities, talents, and knowledge), and values (beliefs ordered by relative importance).
Perception is determined in two dimensions:
Level is an evaluative frame of reference comprised of two measurables:
Ordinal: a rate given by comparison, e.g. How good you are, the best, better today than last week, world-first, best in class.
Fixed: a rate given by a predetermined metric or criterion, e.g. A date, or fixed number. For example, the achievement of my MBA by February 2024 is an evaluative frame of reference for a competency I have.
Strength is how strong or weak you hold the perception of yourself. E.g., How sure, or clear are you of this attribute? Is it based on consistent and clear or conflicting and ambiguous feedback? Feedback may be experienced in the form of social feedback (what is said and by whom) or task-orientated feedback (what is done).
A strong perception of myself is that I have well-defined, strict boundaries yet I’m fair, kind, and loving. This is strong because I have received this feedback consistently from multiple different sources (reference groups) over the course of my life.
A weak perception of myself is that because of my Libra star sign I am indecisive and fussy. This is weak because the feedback came from one person a long time ago, it relates to zodiac star signs which aren’t based in any substantiative science, and they couldn’t provide me with examples of things I’ve done to prove it to be true.
Now we know your Social Self and who you perceive yourself to be, it’s time to draw a line down the notepad and define the ideal version of yourself that you’ll work with me (your coach) to achieve.
Your Ideal Self
This is an evaluation of your desired traits, competencies, and values. It’s not necessarily a replacement for what you’ve listed on your Perceived Self list, rather consider it like a list that improves upon what you perceive or things that could be in addition to what you’ve listed.
For example, I have the perception of myself that I’m already a qualified coach. And yet, I want to also be ICF accredited, so I’m also studying a Positive Psychology coaching course.
My ideal self will be a qualified coach who is certified in positive psychology, emotional intelligence, NLP, Hypnotherapy, Time Line Therapy, and ICF.
It’s important to recognise that the development of your Ideal Self has already commenced; it stems from early stages of interaction with a group. These groups could be, for example, your family as your grew up, or your friends in school, or the first few weeks/months at a new job.
In these first stages, you’ll unconsciously develop an inner or other-directed style for the development of your Ideal Self.
We need to know how you develop so we can work with that style. To not do so will result in changes we try to establish not sticking long-term.
Inner-directed development comes from positive and unconditional feedback from the group which leads to an internalisation of the traits, competencies, and values that are important to that group. You will use this information to measure your success/failure.
Other-directed development comes from negative feedback, or feedback that is positive but conditional, and leads you to not internalise or only partially internalise the traits, competencies, and values of the group. You will either withdraw from the group or you will continuously seek feedback from the group in order to measure up to their success (or fail in your attempts) in the hope of receiving validation.
It is common to be a mix of the two types of development. The ideal self of the other-directed individual is developed through the norms and role expectations of the group, whereas in a different group (family versus at work), that same individual may operate with an inner-directed self because the group has enabled them to possess accepted attributes. In this instance, you will become your own audience and won’t require continuous validation from the group.
The goal is for you to shift from other-directed to inner-directed irrespective of the group. It happens unconsciously, but you can direct it consciously if you’re aware of it and that’s what we’ll do together.
Ready to become your Ideal Self?
Good, let’s get going! Send me a DM right this very second! The best version of yourself is waiting!
The Self-Concept Model is based on the work of Nancy Leonard, Laura Beauvais and Richard Scholl, in their research for the Academy of Management paper (2017), A Self Concept-based Model of Work Motivation.