Information from Future Talent Conference Video by Dr. Alan Watson
1. The Physical Self. At about one year a baby sees himself in the mirror and knows it's him. He moves his arm and knows it's his arm, he bites his toe and it hurts so he knows it's his. He now has his own identity. But what if we were neglected and/or abused physically? Arrested development
2. The Emotional Self develops around 2 or 3 years. The child thinks if they are hungry you are too. So when it sees candy in the store it can't understand why it doesn't get it and cries. They look at you baffled. But what if our emotions are denied ("that didn't hurt!") or taken advantage of, such as by teasing ("only babies and sissies cry!")
3. The Conceptual Self starting at 9 months but really between 3 and 6 years. Language is the driver as it introduces us to conceptual thinking, this means that. A child learns approximately 6 new words a day that's 180 words every month. But what if we are taught to have a poor self concept? ("I am bad, unworthy, useless garbage")
4. The Concrete Self approximately between 6 and 9 years. You start to learn the social rules and roles-discovering the concepts. Cat goes meow, dog goes woof. We play rules to learn social roles. Doctor, Cowboy, Etc. Most people don't get beyond this stage. I'll be the CEO, and you be the accountant, "This is how we play the game at this company, these are the rules". We're living stereotypes! But what if there are no rules, or roles are vague (your best friend today, your worst abuser tomorrow).
5. The Transpersonal Self around 9 to 14 years arises and allows us to think, understand, and live in the abstract. Now we question the rules, roles, and authority figures. The teenager says to his parents ”You say be honest but you aren't honest!" A battle breaks out, but it's just a stage so don't try to repress it, try and manage it. We're living in the matrix as drones, slaves, and employees living out the rules and roles unless...
It often takes a great challenge or tragedy (hitting bottom) as we are forced to deeply question unfair or unrealistic roles and rules to break out of them. We are forced out of our comfort zone. This is the heroes journey. We now wonder where is our purpose and meaning in life. The main thing is to take ownership of our lives. No more victim! No more buts! This is the real game-changer and where real and substantial development can occur.