What is Mindset?

Every so often a truly groundbreaking idea comes along. This is one. Mindset explains:

  • Why brains and talent don’t bring success
  • How they can stand in the way of it
  • Why praising brains and talent doesn’t foster self-esteem and accomplishment, but jeopardizes them
  • How teaching a simple idea about the brain raises grades and productivity
  • What all great CEOs, parents, teachers, athletes know

Mindset is a simple idea discovered by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck in decades of research on achievement and success—a simple idea that makes all the difference.

In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong.

In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.

Teaching a growth mindset creates motivation and productivity in the worlds of business, education, and sports. It enhances relationships. When you read Mindset, you’ll see how.

The Mindsets:

Mindsets are beliefs—beliefs about yourself and your most basic qualities. Think about your intelligence, your talents, your personality. Are these qualities simply fixed traits, carved in stone and that’s that? Or are they things you can cultivate throughout your life?

People with a fixed mindset believe that their traits are just givens. They have a certain amount of brains and talent and nothing can change that. If they have a lot, they’re all set, but if they don’t... So people in this mindset worry about their traits and how adequate they are. They have something to prove to themselves and others.

People with a growth mindset, on the other hand, see their qualities as things that can be developed through their dedication and effort. Sure they’re happy if they’re brainy or talented, but that’s just the starting point. They understand that no one has ever accomplished great things—not Mozart, Darwin, or Michael Jordan—without years of passionate practice and learning.

Why do people DIFFER?

Since the dawn of time, people have thought differently, acted differently, and fared differently from each other. It was guaranteed that someone would ask the question of why people differed why some people are smarter or more moral – and whether there was something that made them permanently different. Experts lined up on both sides. Some claimed that there was a strong physical basis for these differences, making them unavoidable and unalterable. Through the ages these alleged physical differences have included bumps on the skull (phrenology), the size and shape of the skull (craniology), and, today, genes.

Others pointed to the strong differences in people’s backgrounds, experiences, training, or ways of learning. It may surprise you to know that a big champion of this view was Alfred Binet, the inventor of the IQ test. Wasn’t the IQ test meant to summarize children’s unchangeable intelligence? In fact, no. Binet, a Frenchman working in Paris in the early 20th century, designed this test to identify children who were not profiting from the Paris public schools, so that new educational programs could be designed to get them back on track. Without denying individual differences in children’s intellects, he believed that education and practice could bring about fundamental changes in intelligence. Here is a quote from one of his major books, Modern Ideas About Children, in which he summarizes his work with hundreds of children with learning difficulties:

“A few modern philosopher’s assert that an individual's intelligence is a fixed quantity, a quantity which cannot be increased. We must protest and react against this brutal pessimism.... With practice, training, and above all, method, we manage to increase our attention, our memory, our judgment and literally to become more intelligent than we were before.”

Who’s right? Today most experts agree that it’s not either/or. It’s not nature or nurture, genes or environment. From conception on, there’s a constant give and take between the two. In fact, as Gilbert Gottlieb, an eminent neuroscientist put it, not only do genes and environment cooperate as we develop, but genes require input from the environment to work properly.

At the same time, scientists are learning that people have more capacity for life-long learning and brain development than they ever thought. Of course, each person has a unique genetic endowment. People may start with different temperaments and different aptitudes, but it is clear that experience, training, and personal effort take them the rest of the way. Robert Sternberg, the present-day guru of intelligence writes that the major factor in whether people achieve expertise “is not some fixed prior ability, but purposeful engagement.” Or, as his forerunner, Binet, recognized, it’s not always the people who start out the smartest who end up the smartest.

What does this mean for ME?

It’s one thing to have pundits spouting their opinions about scientific issues. It’s another thing to understand how these views apply to you. For twenty years, my research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you commit to and accomplish the things you value. How does this happen? How can a simple belief have the power to transform your psychology and, as a result, your life?

Believing that your qualities are carved in stone—the fixed mindset—creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over. If you have only a certain amount of intelligence, a certain personality, and a certain moral character, well then you’d better prove that you have a healthy dose of them. It simply wouldn’t do to look or feel deficient in these most basic characteristics…I’ve seen so many people with this one consuming goal of proving themselves—in the classroom, in their careers, and in their relationships. Every situation calls for a confirmation of their intelligence, personality, or character. Every situation is evaluated: Will I succeed or fail? Will I look smart or dumb? Will I be accepted or rejected? Will I feel like a winner or a loser? But doesn’t our society value intelligence, personality and character? Isn’t it normal to want these traits? Yes, but...

There’s another mindset in which these traits are not simply a hand you’re dealt and have to live with, always trying to convince yourself and others that you have a royal flush when you’re secretly worried it’s a pair of tens. In this mindset, the hand you’re dealt is just the starting point for development. This growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. Although people may differ in every which way—in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments – everyone can change and grow through application and experience.

Do people with this mindset believe that anyone can be anything, that anyone with proper motivation or education can become Einstein or Beethoven? No, but they believe that a person’s true potential is unknown (and unknowable), that it’s impossible to foresee what can be accomplished with years of passion, toil, and training.

Did you know that Darwin and Tolstoy were considered ordinary children? That Ben Hogan, one of the greatest golfers of all time, was completely uncoordinated and graceless as a child? That the photographer Cindy Sherman, who has been on virtually every list of the most important artists of the 20th century, failed her first photography course? That Geraldine Page, one of our greatest actresses, was advised to give it up for lack of talent?

You can see how the belief that cherished qualities can be developed creates a passion for learning. Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better? Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them? Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow? And why seek out the tried and true, instead of experiences that will stretch you? The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.

Mindset for Achievement:

What is Talent—and How Important Is It? What Lies Behind Great Achievement? What Stops People From Pursuing Their Dreams? How To Boost Achievement (and Fulfillment) Through Mindset

Benjamin Barber, an eminent sociologist, once said, “I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures... I divide the world into the learners and nonlearners.”

What on earth would make someone a nonlearner? Everyone is born with an intense drive to learn. Infants stretch their skills daily. Not just ordinary skills, but the most difficult tasks of a lifetime, like learning to walk and talk. They never decide it’s too hard or not worth the effort. Babies don’t worry about making mistakes or humiliating themselves. They walk, they fall, they get up. They just barge forward. What could put an end to this exuberant learning? The fixed mindset...

In the fixed mindset it’s not enough just to succeed. It’s not enough just to look smart and talented. You have to be pretty much flawless. And you have to be flawless right away... After all, if you have it you have it, and if you don’t you don’t...

This desire to think of yourself as perfect is often called CEO disease. In Mindset, I explore several CEO who had bad, even fatal, cases of this disease.

Beyond how traumatic a setback can be in the fixed mindset, this mindset gives you no good recipe for overcoming it. If failure means you lack competence or potential—that you are a failure – where do you go from there? Are you like Bernard Loiseau or Jim Marshall? Both of them had big setbacks, but only one of them survived. In Mindset, you’ll find out why.

The Truth About Ability and Achievement

Try to picture Thomas Edison as vividly as you can. Think about where he is and what he’s doing. Is he alone? I asked people and they always said things like this:

“He’s in New Jersey. He’s standing in a white coat in a lab-type room. He’s leaning over a light bulb. Suddenly, it works! [Is he alone?] Yes. He’s kind of a reclusive guy who likes to tinker on his own.”

In truth, the record shows quite a different fellow, working in quite a different way.

Edison was not a loner. For the invention of the light bulb, he had 30 assistants, including well-trained scientists, often working around the clock in a corporate funded state-of-the-art laboratory!

It did not happen suddenly. The light bulb has become the symbol for that single moment when the brilliant solution strikes, but there was no single moment of invention. In fact, the light bulb was not one invention, but a whole network of time-consuming inventions each requiring one or more chemists, mathematicians, physicists, engineers, and glass blowers.

Yes, Edison was a genius. But he was not always one. His biographer, Paul Israel, sifting through all the available information, thinks he was more or less a regular boy of his time and place. ...What eventually set him apart was his mindset and drive... There are many myths about ability and achievement, especially about the lone, brilliant person suddenly producing amazing things. Chapter 3 dispels those myths.

The Nature of Change:

Whether they’re aware of it or not, all people keep a running account of what’s happening to them, what it means, and what they should do. In other words, our minds are constantly monitoring and interpreting. That’s just how we stay on track. But sometimes the interpretation process goes awry. Some people put more extreme interpretations on things that happen—and then react with exaggerated feelings of anxiety, depression, or anger. Or superiority.

Mindsets frame the running account that’s taking place in people’s heads. They guide the whole interpretation process. The fixed mindset creates an internal monologue that is focused on judging: “This means I’m a loser.” “This means I’m a better person than they are.” “This means I’m a bad husband.” “This means my partner is selfish.”

People with a growth mindset are also constantly monitoring what’s going on, but their internal monologue is not about judging themselves and others in this way. Certainly they’re sensitive to positive and negative information, but they’re attuned to its implications for learning and constructive action: What can I learn from this? How can I improve? How can I help my partner do this better?

Chapter 8 is about changing the internal monologue from a judging one to a growth-oriented one. It shows how mindset change has enabled people to pursue their goals more effectively and it shows how a mindset workshop boosted students’ motivation and grades.

How can you change from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset?

Step1. Learn to hear your fixed mindset “voice.”

As you approach a challenge, that voice might say to you “Are you sure you can do it? Maybe you don’t have the talent.” “What if you fail—you’ll be a failure” “People will laugh at you for thinking you had talent.” “If you don’t try, you can protect yourself and keep your dignity.”

As you hit a setback, the voice might say, “This would have been a snap if you really had talent.” “You see, I told you it was a risk. Now you’ve gone and shown the world how limited you are.” “ It’s not too late to back out, make excuses, and try to regain your dignity.”

As you face criticism, you might hear yourself say, “It’s not my fault. It was something or someone else’s fault.” You might feel yourself getting angry at the person who is giving you feedback. “Who do they think they are? I’ll put them in their place.” The other person might be giving you specific, constructive feedback, but you might be hearing them say “I’m really disappointed in you. I thought you were capable but now I see you’re not.”

Step 2. Recognize that you have a choice.

How you interpret challenges, setbacks, and criticism is your choice. You can interpret them in a fixed mindset as signs that your fixed talents or abilities are lacking. Or you can interpret them in a growth mindset as signs that you need to ramp up your strategies and effort, stretch yourself, and expand your abilities. It’s up to you.

So as you face challenges, setbacks, and criticism, listen to the fixed mindset voice and...

Step 3. Talk back to it with a growth mindset voice.

As you approach a challenge:

THE FIXED-MINDSET says “Are you sure you can do it? Maybe you don’t have the talent.”

THE GROWTH-MINDSET answers, “I’m not sure I can do it now, but I think I can learn to with time and effort.”

FIXED MINDSET: “What if you fail—you’ll be a failure”

GROWTH MINDSET: “Most successful people had failures along the way.”

FIXED MINDSET: “If you don’t try, you can protect yourself and keep your dignity.”

GROWTH MINDSET: “If I don’t try, I automatically fail. Where’s the dignity in that?”

As you hit a setback:

FIXED MINDSET: “This would have been a snap if you really had talent.”

GROWTH MINDSET: “That is so wrong. Basketball wasn’t easy for Michael Jordan and science wasn’t easy for Thomas Edison. They had a passion and put in tons of effort.

As you face criticism:

FIXED MINDSET: “It’s not my fault. It was something or someone else’s fault.”

GROWTH MINDSET: “If I don’t take responsibility, I can’t fix it. Let me listen—however painful it is– and learn whatever I can.”


Step 4. Take the growth mindset action.

Over time, which voice you heed becomes pretty much your choice. Whether you

  • take on the challenge wholeheartedly,
  • learn from your setbacks and try again
  • hear the criticism and act on it is now in your hands.

Practice hearing both voices, and practice acting on the growth mindset. See how you can make it work for you.



20 Profound Quotes by Carl Jung That Will Help You to “Better Understand Yourself”


1.” One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious.”


2. “Don’t hold on to someone who’s leaving, otherwise you won’t meet the one who’s coming.”


3. “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”


4. “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”


5. “The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”


6. “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”


7. “Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darkness’s of other people.”


8. “If you are a gifted person, it doesn’t mean that you gained something. It means you have something to give back.”


9. “Mistakes are, after all, the foundations of truth, and if a man does not know what a thing is, it is at least an increase in knowledge if he knows what it is not.”


10. “Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”


11. “People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own souls.”


12. “Loneliness does not come from having no people around, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible.”


13. “Depression is like a woman in black. If she turns up, don’t shoo her away. Invite her in, offer her a seat, treat her like a guest and listen to what she wants to say.”


14. “A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them.”


15. “Your perception will become clear only when you can look into your soul.”


16. “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”


17. “What you resist, persists.”


18. “A dream is a small hidden door in the deepest and most intimate sanctum of the soul, which opens up to that primeval cosmic night that was the soul, long before there was the conscious ego.”


19. “We may think that we fully control ourselves. However, a friend can easily reveal something about us that we have absolutely no idea about.”



20. “Everything about other people that doesn’t satisfy us helps us to better understand ourselves.”

“You can change your tomorrow if you do something today. Few people understand how the way you live today impacts your tomorrow. Today is the only time we have within our grasp, yet many people let it slip through their fingers, recognizing neither its value nor potential. If we want to do something with our lives, then we must make today matter, because that’s where tomorrow’s success lies.” ~ John C. Maxwell


“DISCERNMENT, or intuition, is a kind of 'knowing' without any conscious or intentional thought. It lives deep within us and is most keen when it comes to our area of giftedness. When people say to me...John, I would like to have that intuitive discerning edge where I can sort of sense things, maybe even before others do. I always answer...go to your strengths’ zone, the things you intuitively do well. That’s where you will find and experience the discernment that will put you a step ahead.” ~ John C. Maxwell


“FOCUS means that we can concentrate, think about something long enough and deep enough that we can maximize the subject of our attention. Nobody has ever gotten the best out of anything by being scattered in their thoughts and actions. My father used to say, “Find the one thing that you are good at, John, and stay right there. Focus on it and do it well.” I think that those who have the ability to focus on what is important get the best return out of what they are concentrating on – and they get the best out of themselves.” ~ John C. Maxwell


“GENEROSITY has its source in abundance, which is not about wealth as most people think, but is first and foremost an attitude about life. It is an attitude of giving, pouring your life into others, adding value, making a positive difference. Whether you are eleven, forty-two, or sixty-five, your attitude about life is still under construction. It’s never too late for a person to change his attitude. So resolve today to embrace an attitude of generosity, and discover the power of an abundance mindset.” ~ John C. Maxwell




“INITIATIVE is all about getting started. You’ve got to start – in fact, I’ve said that the two bookends of success are starting and finishing. Just do it. The whole idea of motivation is a trap. Forget motivation. Just do it. Exercise, lose weight, test your blood sugar, or whatever. And then, guess what? After you start doing the thing, that’s when the motivation comes and makes it easy for you to keep on doing it. But if you don’t get started, then you’re not motivated, you don’t get going, you don’t initiate – and nothing ever happens.” ~ John C. Maxwell


Growth is the great separator between those who succeed and those who do not. When I see a person beginning to separate themselves from the pack, it's almost always due to personal growth. ~ John C. Maxwell


"A POSITIVE ATTITUDE is a difference maker: It makes a difference in your approach to life, in your relationships with people, and how you face challenges. When you possess a positive attitude, you look for and anticipate the best possible outcome in every situation. Charles Swindoll wrote, 'I am convinced that life is 10 percent of what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it, and so it is with you… We are in charge of our attitudes.'” ~ John C. Maxwell


“PASSION is the great energizer for your purpose in life. It’s what fuels that journey and serves as the driving force to help you grow and reach your potential. Think about what invigorates you and what excites you when you think about doing it. This is your passion. And it is just impossible to be successful without it!” ~ John C. Maxwell


“Fear is interest paid on a debt you may not owe.” – John Maxwell


"You'll never experience the joy that comes only from relationships unless you're willing to give trust a try." - John Maxwell


“Taking RESPONSIBILITY for your life is a choice. Make sure, though, that you seek out the right balance wherein you take responsibility for the things you can control and let go of the things you cannot. One thing you can control in life is your self-growth through learning. I encourage you to take responsibility for investing in your own personal development. When you choose to embark on a journey of continuous learning, you are on the right path to reaching your potential.” ~ John C. Maxwell


“If you don't have peace, it isn't because someone took it from you; you gave it away. You cannot always control what happens to you, but you can control what happens in you.”― John C. Maxwell


“Seven Steps to Success

1) Make a commitment to grow daily.

2) Value the process more than events.

3) Don't wait for inspiration.

4) Be willing to sacrifice pleasure for opportunity.

5) Dream big.

6) Plan your priorities.

7) Give up to go up.”

― John C. Maxwell


“SELF-DISCIPLINE, more than any other personal quality I can think of, is the one thing that separates successful people from the unsuccessful. Think of all it encompasses: honoring commitments, promises and deadlines, keeping your life on schedule, being willing to go the extra mile… Self-discipline is essential to success. The alternative is a life ruled by emotions, and none of us can afford that if we’re going to fulfill our purpose and realize our potential.” ~ John C. Maxwell.


“TEACHABILITY, the pathway of learning, is an indispensable quality of a leader. But what few people realize is that teachability is also an attitude. It’s a way of thinking and always being open to new experiences, ideas and changes. It is the desire to listen, learn and apply, the hunger to discover and grow. Unless we are teachable, we will continue to live within boundaries that hold us back from becoming a leader of great influence.” ~ John C. Maxwell


“Successful people do the things that unsuccessful people are unwilling to do. —JOHN C. MAXWELL”



“No, none of these things are the key. When it comes right down to it, I know of only one factor that separates those who consistently shine from those who don't: The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure. Nothing else has the same kind of impact on people's ability to achieve and to accomplish whatever their minds and hearts desire.” ~ John C. Maxwell


"Life is not a gift, it is an investment. And like any investment, we must first pay for it before we can expect a profitable return. The currency that life demands is to become character-driven rather than emotion driven; that we choose the discipline of self-growth over compelling personal desires. The more character-driven deposits we invest, the greater the rate of return in success and fulfillment.” ~John C. Maxwell


“I am the recipient of many benefits that I do not deserve and did not earn. Someone else paid for them. I am grateful! How do I show my gratitude? By daily pouring into others and passing on to them the things that will allow them to run far and achieve beyond what I have done.” ~John C. Maxwell


'As long as a person doesn't know what he doesn't know, he doesn't grow' - John C Maxwell


“Advice is what we ask for when we already knew the answer but wish we didn't.” ― John C. Maxwell


"People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude." ~ John C. Maxwell


“Questions unlock and open doors that otherwise remain closed.” ~ John C. Maxwell


The greatest mistake we make is living in constant fear that we will make one.   ~ JOHN C. MAXWELL


“Contributors take the stuff they own and use it as an asset to make this world a better place to live. And they do this regardless of how much or how little they have.” ~John C. Maxwell


If you don’t change the direction you are going, then you’re likely to end up where you’re heading. ~ JOHN C. MAXWELL


"The whole idea of motivation is a trap. Forget motivation. Just do it." -John C. Maxwell


“Small disciplines repeated with consistency every day lead to great achievements gained slowly over time.” ― John C. Maxwell


“A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them. This sequence is something that all achievers have in common. They do not see a mistake is as their failure; rather it is simply a learning experience. Achievers view a mistake as an opportunity to do something over again and do it right the second time. A mistake is simply the price they pay to achieve success.” – John C. Maxwell


“Connecting always requires energy. You have to interact with people, conversing, collaborating and sharing ideas. You have to communicate on a level that everyone understands, listening and processing what others are saying. You have to be willing to say things and do things that add value to people. All of this takes energy. You can’t sit back and coast and expect to connect.” ~ John C. Maxwell


“You cannot enjoy others until you enjoy yourself, because you cannot give to others what you do not have.” ― John C. Maxwell


“If we are growing we are always going to be outside our comfort zone.” ― John C. Maxwell


"The most important quality of a well-grounded person is humility." ~John Maxwell


"There is definitely a connection between finding your passion and reaching your potential. People ask me all the time, ‘John, how do I know what I am meant to do in life?’ The answer is really simple: Energy and Excellence. When you experience unbounded energy in what you are doing, when you are driven to excellence in your work and love what you do - then you can rest assured that you have found your passion and are definitely in pursuit of your full potential. “– John C. Maxwell   


” Facing difficulties is inevitable. Learning from them is optional. I have known people who, despite knowing they made a mistake, simply cannot learn from it and as a result make that same mistake again! Here is what I know: When you face a difficulty, in order to get past it, you must strive to grow from it. And the way you grow is to learn by asking questions. Good leaders ask great questions – of their team, of those closest to them, and especially of themselves. I believe that questions are the key to growth and personal breakthroughs.” ~ John C. Maxwell


“Today Matters. People create success in their lives by focusing on today. It may sound trite, but today is the only time you have. It’s too late for yesterday. And you can’t depend on tomorrow. That’s why today matters.” ― John C. Maxwell


“Though you cannot go back and make a brand-new start, my friend, you can start now, and make a brand-new end.” ― John C. Maxwell


Once our minds are 'tattooed' with negative thinking, our chances for long-term success diminish. ~ John Maxwell


“To be a more effective communicator try the following steps: simplify your message, see the person, show the truth and seek a response.” ~ John C. Maxwell



"Value transparency. If you're honest with people and admit your weaknesses, they appreciate your honesty." ~ John C Maxwell


As complex human beings, we all can benefit from self-refection and self-awareness. They are both important parts of who we are and who we aim to become.


Being self-aware means having the ability look within ourselves to get a clear snapshot of our thoughts, beliefs, emotions, motivations and our personality in general. Becoming self-aware is harder than one may think. It is not just simply being aware, but experiencing a heightened sense of awareness. Though this heightened awareness you can more easily interpret your thoughts and emotions and figure out what your true feelings and motivations are. Self-awareness is important because once you are able to figure out these things about yourself, you can make the changes you need to make your life better. Emotional intelligence (being able to identify and control your emotions) is directly connected to becoming self-aware and plays an important role in becoming a successful human being.

Why Be Self-Aware?

By becoming self-aware, you are creating the things you need to become in control of, your emotions and behaviors. When you reach a high level of self-awareness, it is almost as if your thoughts are speaking to you directly, helping you to figure out what paths to take in your life. You will be able to control how you react to things and how to focus your attentions to the most beneficial areas. These things are what help you to make positive changes in your life. Without self-awareness, it can be very difficult to steer your thoughts and emotions in a healthy direction and you may find it hard to make good decisions in your life. In essence, becoming self-aware is the first step on the journey to finding the best you are and how to direct that energy into positive directions.

Self-awareness is also a vital part in having good and healthy relationships. This goes for romantic relationships, friendships, family relationships and relationships with co-workers. By changing the way your mind interprets what you think, you are able to also change your emotions which in turn helps to enhance the quality of the relationships in your life. Being self-aware also allows you to understand others better, and be able to empathize with them which also helps build better relationships.

How to Become Self Aware

The most basic way to begin your development of self-awareness is to practice putting your focus on all the details of your personality and behaviors, even the smallest details as they can prove to be the most important things that effect who we are. You cannot learn how to become self-aware by reading a book. A book can indeed teach you things and put you on the right path to self-awareness, but you have to remember that when reading a book, what you are focusing your attention on is the concepts it is teaching you. With reflection, these concepts become more meaningful. What you must focus on to become self-aware are the concepts in your own mind that deal with you, your emotions and your behaviors. In a way, learning how to become self-aware is like learning a new dance step. You are conscious of each step you are making and to the beat of the music. Think of yourself as the dancer who has to pay attention to the beat of the music. The dance is you and the beat is your mind and the consciousness of what it contains. When you are a dancer and you make a misstep, you have to rethink what caused it. It is the same way when you are becoming self-aware. When you experience a stressful or emotional situation or moment we must stop and take it all in. By doing this you are looking for the triggers of your emotion or behavior. If you can figure this out, you can avoid the triggers or find a way to confront them, changing how your react to them. According to many mental health professionals, there are five specific ways for a person to become happier in their lives through self-awareness.

  • Ø  Change your core beliefs
  • Ø  Hush the voices in your head telling you to react
  • Ø  Put a stop to having purely emotional reactions
  • Ø  Put communication and respect at the top of your relationship priority list
  • Ø  Do whatever you can to create a life filled with happiness and love (self love especially) in your life.


 Self-reflection is not much different than self-awareness and they are very much connected to each other. The definition of self-reflection is the exercising of introspection, coupled with the willingness to learn about yourself, in order to help achieve self-awareness.

Self-reflection is something that has been practiced from the early days of man and is deeply rooted in philosophy. Self-reflection in the world of philosophy refers to the understanding of your mentality, beliefs, and life desires. According to philosophical beliefs on self-reflection, all of our thoughts and sensations come with beliefs that have an effect the fact that we are having those thoughts and beliefs (Locke, 1689). That may sound complicated but honestly, it is a very simple concept. Simply put, our thoughts and beliefs are directly impacted by the emotions and sensations that come with those beliefs. This is why it is important to self-reflect and become self-aware.


 Again, a book cannot teach you how to do these things. However, a book coupled with reflection, can help you to figure out how to get there yourself. There are also many self-help programs to guide you on your journey. The importance of learning self-awareness and self-refection cannot be stressed enough as they will help you to be a better person for yourself and those whom you love.