A Self-Ideal is essentially an ideal future version of “you” that encompasses your personality, beliefs, values, and behavior under various conditions. It is who you are ideally seeking to become and how you intend to behave under various conditions. In other words, it’s the best version of yourself in every situation.
The “ideal you” is therefore “you”, however it is not the person you are today, but rather the person you are striving to become tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, and so forth. And yet this ideal self is not a state of perfection; it is not a fixed destination or a finished product. In fact, it’s far from it. This ideal self is constantly evolving and changing, and as such it has somewhat of an elusive nature.
Your self-ideal also encompasses the many roles you play. For instance you might be a mother, a father, a sister or brother. Or you might be a parent, teacher, coach, leader, employee or employer. Within every one of these roles there exists an “ideal you” that tries to live up to a specific set of standards. You might for instance be striving to become a better father. As a result you are working towards this ideal version of the father that you would like to one day become, and this helps keep you growing and developing yourself in the role of a father. And the same is true for any other role you play.
Your growth and development in each role is the fuel that keeps pushing you forward through every decision you make and action you take. And as long as these ideal versions of you are somewhat out of reach, you will keep striving and pushing forward. Therefore this ideal version of you is what effectively fuels your motivation.
- Read More: Pursuing the Ideal Self