Both the terms contain the word “Self” and hence it would be best to start by understanding the concept of ‘Self’ or ‘I’. The quest for finding the meaning of Self or I is as old as mankind or at least since the time records about man are available. For more than three millennia, "knowledge of the self has been considered to be at the very core of human behavior" (Whetten and Cameron, 2007, p. 58). Over time, almost all texts, religious or philosophical, record such a quest and provide some possible answers of “what is the meaning of Self or I”.
Personal identity and awareness of oneself are critical elements of effectiveness in creating relationships with others. There is a story about a young person who approached a religious leader asking, ‘‘who am I?’’ The guru replied simply, ‘‘And who is asking the question?’’ In modern times this quest has been documented by noted philosophers.
Self is the “I” as experienced by an individual. In modern psychology this notion of self has replaced the earlier conceptions of the soul. The concept of ‘self’ has been a central feature of personality theories propounded by philosophers including Carl Jung, Carl Rogers, Rollo May, and Abraham H. Maslow, among others.
According to Carl Jung, the ‘self’ is a totality, and consists of conscious and unconscious contents which dwarf the ego in scope as well as intensity. The maturation of the self is the individuation process, which is the goal of a healthy personality. Rogers, on his part theorized that a person’s self-concept determines his behaviour and his relation to the world, and that true therapeutic improvement occurs only when the individual changes his own self-concept. May’s approach was similarly existential; he conceived the self as a dynamic entity, alive with potentiality. Maslow’s theory of self-actualization was based on a hierarchy of needs and emphasized the highest capacities or gratifications of a person and he propounded that man’s behaviour is shaped by his needs in a particular order of importance.
Identity and Self. One's identity defines how an individual presents oneself to others as well as how others perceive that person. Ashforth and Johnson in their article “ Which Hat to Wear” say that an individual’s identity affirms his/ her worth to others and to self, in a corporate or organisational setting. Josselson in his 1994 article ‘Identity and Relatedness in life cycle’ says that identity is at its core psychosocial, as an "expression of self, for, with, against, or despite; but certainly in response to others”.
The concept of ‘self’ for an individual is incomplete without one being aware of it. The aim of all religions is to become aware of oneself. As Swami Yagananda Paramahansa said “Self-realization is, in fact, the only religion. For it is the true purpose of religion, no matter how people define their beliefs”.
There are three forms of awareness
Identity and Self
Flanagan in 1991, while describing varieties of moral personalities, wrote “Identity is who we believe we are”, self-awareness includes the degree to which we are sensitive to how we are perceived by others as per Fletcher and Bailey while assessing self awareness in 2003. In fact, Self awareness theory suggests that people who are more aware of how they are perceived by others perform better in self-appraisals and improve more. Own identity is heavily dependent on an ongoing comparison with an ideal standard of behavior, Burke in 1991 provided the model of Identity Control Theory. As per this, when an identity is established, a feedback loop with four components is created. The identity cycle begins with the actions and meaningful behaviors, which make up the output of an identity. This output is an attempt to adjust individual behaviors to match the ideal internal standard which makes up how we view ourselves. Our behavior occurs within the context of a social situation. Typically, we use self- categorization and social comparisons from the feedback we receive from others to anticipate how to act. From the reflected appraisals of others, we perceive evaluated input, or our interpretation of how our actions and behaviors fit within the situation in which we have been engaged. Our interpretation of these appraisals is heavily influenced by the roles we play in groups. The identity standard is the ideal or comparator which makes up our expectations that are associated with self- defined roles which incorporate how we have defined ourselves and who we believe we ultimately are.
“The core of an identity is the categorization of the self as an occupant of a role, and the incorporation, into the self, of the meanings and expectations associated with that role and its performance” as per Burke. We compare ourselves to others who are both like us and different from us in determining our self-image and identities. Our social and personal identities integrate both our self-perceptions and the attributes of these identities.
“The deeper the Self-realization of a man, the more he influences the whole universe by his subtle spiritual vibrations, and the less he himself is affected by the phenomenal flux” : Paramahansa Yogananda.
Self-awareness involves having a “deep under- standing of one's emotions, as well as one's strengths and limitations and one’s values and motives” It incorporates the self-reflection capacity and thoughtfulness which are necessary to discover one’s voice as well as the ability to understand one’s true nature and the freedom to choose how one responds to situations in life. A high value is ascribed to the ability "to think things over rather than react impulsively”.
Stress among other factors, reduces self awareness and miss signs which enable them to be effective in managing themselves and their relationships. Even skilled leaders who usually recognize the importance of tuning into the nuances of interpersonal relationships fall prey to the compelling problems, uncertainty, and often uncontrollable situations that hijack our physiological responses. This in turn, exponentially increases stress, and cause inevitable self-awareness dysfunction in a vicious circle. Sankar in 2003 suggested that self-awareness and effective leadership require character in carefully examining the consistency of one's personal attributes and behaviors in relationships with others.
This tendency to believe in faulty preconceptions is consistent with several types of self-deception identified by Siegler in 1962. He identified eight rationalizations that frequently occur as part of self-deception. Those eight perceptions and their respective meanings are briefly summarized below:
Benefits of Self Awareness
It would be correct, therefore to summarise that “Self-awareness is wasted if it does not result in self-acceptance”.
The greatest pursuits in life should be to become more self-aware and realize these benefits. “The Goal of Self-Awareness Is Self-Acceptance”. Being “self-aware” is not an all-or-nothing trait and has degrees. Some actions that help boost self awareness are as follows:
Chocolate smells delicious and makes mouth water. Yet we may resist the urge to eat because of a goal of cutting back on calories. We all face moments in life where self-control comes into focus. This is self control and allows us to inhibit ourselves from impulsive responses in behavior, favoring more appropriate, context-specific behavior. Self-control is the capacity to override an impulse in order to respond appropriately.
Self-control is not a stable trait and tends to wax and wane over the course of a day, suggesting that self-control is less like a mental capacity such as intelligence and more a fluctuating resource along the lines of physical energy.
Self-control has three main parts:
IMPROVING SELF CONTROL
Benefits of Better Self Control
Self-control improves life in three ways: