As you wake up each morning, hazy and disoriented, you gradually become aware of the rustling of the sheets, sense their texture and squint at the light. One aspect of your self has reassembled: the first-person observer of reality, inhabiting a human body.
As wakefulness grows, so does your sense of having a past, a personality and motivations. Your self is complete, as both witness of the world and bearer of your consciousness and identity. You.
This intuitive sense of self is an effortless and fundamental human experience. But it is nothing more than an elaborate illusion. Under scrutiny, many common-sense beliefs about selfhood begin to unravel. Some thinkers even go as far as claiming that there is no such thing as the self. (via The great illusion of the self - New Scientist)
There’s a fundamental problem with the claim that there is no self. It assumes that the subjective viewpoint doesn’t exist objectively.
The distinction must be made for the phenomenal self and the self-reported components of each individual self. Self is both a subjective experience and a construct. Whether or not the constructed self represents reality well or not says nothing of the phenomenal experience of self.
In other words, just because a person thinks all manner of incorrect things about themselves, doesn’t mean that their subjective experience of themselves isn’t how they think it is. A person can think they’re “a very deep person” and regardless of evidence to the contrary, they experience themselves as if they were their idea of “a very deep person.”
The takeaway lesson from all this is that our subjective self allows us to adapt until our objective self can catch up. If you start believing you’re a hard worker, then begin to work hard (because you’re a hard worker), you may eventually be someone that an objective observer would describe as “hard working.”