In Search of the Optimal Self

September 18th, 2010 by Sarah Green Leave a reply »

Dr Richard Ryan spoke about self-determination theory in his BPS keynote lecture, Zircon link this to their Coaching offering

Self determination theory identifies three basic needs that allow our optimal selves to flourish, the absence of which can increase vulnerability and lead to passivity and a lack of motivation.

According to Ryan, three key needs are innate and universal, they are also crucial for an individual’s well-being. They are:

• autonomy
• competence
• relatedness

When a person acts with autonomy, they are not necessarily ‘in control’ or independent of external influences, the key to being truly autonomous lies in internalising external influences and assimilating them with their own values.

When a person acts with competence, they are operating appropriately, efficiently and effectively. Competence leads to feelings of self-efficacy, i.e. the belief that one is capable of performing in a certain manner to attain certain goals

When a person demonstrates relatedness, they have a sense of belonging and feel that they are part of something.

Balancing these three basic needs with the pressures of everyday life with its varied and constant external demands is often a challenge. However many clients often find that our coaches provide clear support and guidance for how to achieve such a balance within both their work and home life. For further information, please contact Amanda Potter on 01737 555 862.

Adapted from source: The Psychologist, Volume 22 no 6 June 2009

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