What is Ideal Self and Real Self?

What is the meaning of a Self? What is the Significance of the Self? What will your Ideal Self  be like? What is the Ideal self vs Real self Comparison? What is the Connection between Ideal Self and Self-Esteem?
What is Ideal Self and Real Self?

Human beings are gifted with the power to engage their body with their mind. Every human thinks and processes information through their self-thoughts. Self is the individual in you. The person who encourages you to work, the person who smiles at you, the person who appreciates you, and the person who cares for you are all individuals who affirm their presence through themself. There are many terms related to the self like self-discipline, self-confidence, and self-concept, however, everyone has their way of describing what is ideal self and real shelf. The most common areas of study involve the real and the ideal self. Then, what is ideal self and real self? Let’s find out!

1. What is Self?

The integration of your personal, social and professional identity is called self. The definition of self is also termed self-concept. The self is not a tangible specimen. However, it is the psychological element that is a combined result of the body and mental functions in an individual. An individual self is unique and significant for each and every person. It reflects the nature of the standards and behavior of a person. It determines the core of an individual’s identity that is present in the consciousness of the individual. To know what is ideal self and real self along with their examples, read the next segments. Also, check out why is Philosophy important Today?

2. What are the Types of Self?

The complex nature of the self is seen in different ways.

  • Self can be categorized as real or actual self and ideal self. This classification about what is ideal self and real self was given by Carl Rogers. The nature of understanding your physical and mental attributes can be termed as a real self. Whereas the self that you desire to build in your life is the ideal self.
  • In psychological philosophy, the self is seen as the subject and the existential self and the object as the categorical self. This is derived from the idea of the child understanding his ability to acknowledge the presence of a self. Moreover, the self that is different and independent of the outer world is defined as the existential self. On the other hand, the categorical self identifies itself as a category in the world of different selves as it stands for distinctive physical attributes.
  • In terms of personality, the self can be categorized as public and private self. The public self includes the self that interacts with people and forms an identity through this collective interaction. The private self is the self that interacts with itself and is not revealed to the outer world. (See What are the 7 Laws of Attraction?)

3. What is Ideal Self?

How will you view what is ideal self in the most practical way? Well, the ideal self is the self that remains ideal and everyone wants to inherit its characteristics. However, its impact is so big that some individuals might be unable to accept their real self or wants to change their real self for growth and development. It is determined by the outer world and its influence on the individual. (See What is a Positive Mindset?)

4. Ideal Self Meaning and Example

The self that is influenced by the aspirations and expectations of an individual is an ideal self. When you stand in front of a mirror to define yourself, what distinguishes you from your real self might determine what is ideal self. This self is questioning the value system of your real self. This is not a natural tendency of your individual self. It is a manifestation of your inner mind that is shaped by the outer world. For example, if you want to become a topper in your school or college, you will have to be diligent and hardworking. Instead of that, if you are always lazy and do not attempt to learn, the diligent and hardworking self is your ideal self. However, you should not get confused about what is ideal self and real self are as both have their separate pros and cons. (See How to Stay in the Present?)

5. What will your Ideal Self be like?

Your ideal self can look like,

  • A new self that is designed to accomplish something.
  • A complete make-believe self that is forced to believe in the belief and values of others.
  • A self that forgets your actual likes and dislikes.
  • A parental self that tells you to behave in a certain way so that you can be like the other person whom you compare yourself with.
  • A self that develops itself by placing a model self that gives you inspiration.
  • An imaginary self in an imaginary world created by you. Also, check out what do you want in your Life?

6. What is Real Self?

A real self provides the truth of an individual’s desires and ambitions. This self is not formed but is present in a person from the moment he or she is born. This self is not affected by the outer world. It continues to grow and maintain itself inside the individual. This self-determines the willpower and determination of a being. (See What is Narcissistic Rage Silent Treatment?)

7. Real Self Meaning and Example

The reality of an individual’s nature is present in the real self. This individual will be honest in his attitude and behavior. This self allows you to love yourself and choose the right path to grow. It includes the true characteristics and traits of your individuality. It is not driven by any cultural or social demands to change yourself. This self defines your potential. This self allows you to express your identity without any consideration for others. For example, if you want to become a scientist, you have to be practical and ready to face challenges. If your self can identify with these abilities and have a desire to enhance these abilities, then this is your real self. (See 10 Golden Rules of Life)

8. Ideal Self vs Real Self comparison

What is Ideal Self and Real Self?

what is ideal self and real self can be understood when you compare them. In the following points, the real and ideal shelves are distinguished in different ways.

  • The real self does not require a specific time or duration to develop. It is the inner being. But an ideal self requires time to develop and establish itself in an individual’s life.
  • The real self can stimulate happiness and satisfaction in the mind of a person. An ideal life can lead to disappointment, doubt, and dissatisfaction. Must read about the anxious attachment in adults.
  • The real self can also become the ideal self or can be similar to it. On the other hand, the ideal self cannot be always real. It is filtered by social and cultural backgrounds.
  • The authenticity of the real self is completely assured. But the ideal self can be fictional and to some extent practically impossible. (See 14 Reasons Why I Like To Be Alone)

9. Ideal Self vs Real Self examples

When you want to explore the truth of your ability and characteristics, you can identify it through the definition and comparison of what is ideal self and real self. Here are a few examples to depict their differentiation.

  • A person who wants to build muscles to become fit goes to the gym. At the moment, he is fat and obese. This is an attribute of his real self. It will take time to build muscles and transform himself. This change is a characteristic of his ideal self.
  • Someone who aspires to be brave and courageous when faced with an accident becomes unfaithful and depressed. The brave and courageous self is the ideal self here. The person is unable to fight against his condition which tells us about his real self.
  • An individual who wants to be successful thinks about everything that he can be after being successful. His real self is still desiring to be successful. But his ideal self is projecting his aspirations after being successful.
  • A man who does not like academics wants to study and become a lecturer. The person cannot achieve what he desires because his real self does not like it. The ideal self is practically impossible in this case. (See Internal Vs External Locus of Control)

10. What is the Difference between Self-Image and Self-Ideal?

Besides what is ideal self and real self, you must note that self-image is the image of yourself that is defined and accepted by you. This allows you to be certain about your idea of the self. Unlike the real self, this is the self that is formed and cannot be changed so easily. This includes emotions, character traits, ambitions, actions, manners, etc. Self-image is crucial for the upliftment of yourself. However, an adamant decision to accept a self-image can also inhibit growth and elevate pride and ego.

Self-ideal is an uncertain image formed from the idea of an ideal self. This way, you start imagining yourself as the ideal person you want to create in yourself. This can affect your personality as you are creating an image of a false self that does not exist. However, in some cases, self-ideal can also inspire the individual to believe in the created image and strive to attain his desire. (See What is Personalization Cognitive Distortion?)

11. Does Ideal Self affect Self -Image?

Ideal self and self-image are two different aspects of a person. If a person accepts the self-image after creating his ideal self, then there are fewer chances of him rejecting his self-image. Because the ideal self and the real self are all accepted in this case. On the other hand, if the ideal self and the self-image are completely different, then the person shall be confused and drained by negative thoughts. It can also lead to severe mental disorders like depression. This person would be unable to distinguish between what is ideal self and real self. This would make it difficult for the individual to attain inner peace. Must read what is Parentification?

12. What is the Connection between Ideal Self and Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem refers to the sense of value that you attach to yourself. The essence of your identity depends on your belief in yourself. This belief cherished love and kindness which would then lead to higher self-esteem. The ideal self can be a growth-stimulating tool for the individual who finds it difficult to value the real self and thus have low self-esteem. The image of the ideal self would help them to understand that they can improve and develop their capabilities and abilities to manage their life. It would also help them to dream bigger and value themselves which will lead to high self-esteem.

13. What is Ideal Social Self?

The social self can be defined as the identity of an individual in social relationships. The perception of your social relations, friendships, and familial relations in an effective and flexible manner enhances the well-being of your social self. An ideal social self represents the ideal way in which you want to depict yourself in front of the public or society. This self is created by the mind when it perceives the self of others who are known among social groups or are popular among your close groups. The ideal social self creates the need for being the best and perfect image of the social self. However, a positive social self can be helpful in embracing your social self and allowing it to learn from mistakes of its own. (See How to Deal with Emotionally Manipulative Parents?)

14. How to be your Ideal Self?

To get a complete idea about what is ideal self and real self and to become your ideal self, you need to first sit somewhere comfortably and follow these steps.

  • First, allow yourself to understand your real self.
  • Accept your real self with its strengths and weaknesses.
  • Write down your priorities on a sheet of paper.
  • Reflect on these priorities and identify the strengths and weaknesses.
  • Understand the significance of a change that could uplift your real-life tremendously.
  • Accept the image of this ideal self which is created by your priorities.
  • Write down steps and plans that could help you achieve this ideal self.
  • Embrace yourself to the fullest and believe in your potential to accomplish this new self.
  • Love the human being in you in a way you love your friends and family. Also, check out how do I learn to love myself?
  • Always be sure about the difference between what is ideal self and real self so that you can work towards attaining your ideal self in a better way. (See Benefits of The Elevation Experience)

Self-concept is a valuable and expensive treasure. It can be clearly identified only with a clear sense of understanding. The value of your identity and acceptance of your identity is the key to this treasure. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you have to be the perfect ideal self on the earth. This idea of self is only related to the individual in you who can identify what is ideal self and real self. What you can only do is embrace your potential with the beautiful image of a smiling you who knows your worth and values. (Also read 12 Friends for Benefits Meaning and Rules)

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