This is a vision of ourselves, that is the way we perceive ourselves at the level of who we are for ourselves. An identity is created by making generalisations in the way we see ourselves. The client creates a map of who he is according to himself, and after a while he behaves according to the this map. This means, that he first creates an image of himself from selected elements, and then – in order to maintain Integrity – he acts so as to sustain this image. A more precise description of identity, which can be defined in many ways in social science, is the term self-notion.
The concept of oneself contains additional elements of self-definition – apart from identity, those are social roles, traits of character or Metaphors which are used to characterise oneself. In other words – everything that makes up the perception and description of oneself.
This is also one of the higher/deeper Neurological levels, where introducing change causes reactions at other levels.
The concept of oneself is not something permanent (although this is how it is seen by an individual and it’s Environment ) – it is an ongoing process of describing oneself. Change is possibile, although it requires quite some time. Of course, immediate change is also possible, however only in certain situations. Most often it happens when new information of great importance, strong emotions or significant achievements are involved. For example, the way we see ourselves may change after having received an unfavourable medical diagnosis.
We often use a set of different concepts of oneself, for example at home and at work. This means, that depending on the Environment and current needs, a different way of defining oneself becomes dominant, and what goes with it – a different way of thinking and acting.
There is an important issue: to what extent does this concept of oneself match reality in terms of competences. This in turn influences how both The client and the Coach use their potential. There are four basic options:
High competences – high self confidence. In this situation there is a full use of one’s potential.
High competences – low self confidence. Here we have the potential, but it is used only in a small degree.
Low competences – high self confidence. This is quite a dangerous situation, because the Coachee may believe that he is more competent than he actually is. This may cause a lot of frustration and even generate failure.
Low competences – low self confidence. In such a situation the client is aware of the level of his competences, and most probably (as long as he reaches this decision) he will aim at developing them.