Find your inner bird.
— Caroll Spinney, The Wisdom of Big Bird

Self Awareness: the state of being, or ability to be, “consciously” aware of oneself. There is considerable debate over which species have this capacity. One line of argument is that it is restricted to the humans and other “great apes.” (Cardwell, 219) The ability to view oneself as a unique person distinct from one’s surrounding environment and reflect on one’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. (McCornack, 40)

One critical tool patients are given for increasing self awareness is the instruction to notice and change the use of the word "I" within speech. By simply rephrasing "I can't do that" to "I won't do that," it becomes clear that I am making a choice. Establishes (my) ownership of feeling. I cannot blame someone or something else for my feelings. Another example is replacing the word "should" with "want." For example, changing "I should leave now" to "I want to leave now." (Collin, 116)


Body Image: one’s perception of and beliefs about one’s own body’s appearance. (Blakeslee, 212) The internal image and “memory” of one’s body in space and time. Lord Russell Brain and Henry Head coined phrase. To create and maintain this body image at any given instant, your “parietal lobes” combine information from many sources: "muscles," "joints," eyes, and “motor” command centers. (Ramachandran, 44) An individual’s internal picture of his or her exterior form. It is based not so much on fact as on emotion. The opinions of family and peers, as well as cultural ideals, can dramatically alter its dimensions. (SAM April/May 2007, 32)

Ego Boundaries: an individual’s perception of where he or she stops and the rest of the world begins. (Wood, 332)

Ego Depletion:  if one has had to force oneself to do something, one is less willing or less able to assert self-control when the next challenge comes around. Situations and tasks known to deplete self-control involve conflict and the need to suppress a natural tendency. Indications of depletion include: deviating from one’s diet; overspending on impulsive purchases; reacting aggressively to provocation, and performing poorly in “cognitive” tasks and logical “decision making.” (Kahneman, 42)

Ego Integrity: the feeling that one’s life has been meaningful. Term coined by Erik Erikson. (Hockenbury, 387) 

Face: a person’s desired public image. (Floyd, G2)  The self we allow others to see; the aspects of ourselves we choose to present publicly. For instance, you dress up and speak carefully for an important social occasion, though in private you’re very casual. (McCornack, 53)

Idiosyncratic: characteristic of an individual. (Oxford)

Introspection: a procedure developed by Edward Titchener in which subjects would view a simple stimulus, such as a book, and then try to reconstruct their sensations and feelings immediately after viewing it. (Hockenbury, 4) The oldest psychological method; it consists of self-observation: ‘looking within’ one’s own mind to examine and report on one’s own inner state. (Collin, 342)

Looking Glass Self: how our self-concepts are strongly influenced by our beliefs about how others see and evaluate us. For example, a young girl who believes others consider her poor in sports, formulates an image of herself as uncoordinated even though she is a good dancer. (McCornack, 41)

Mask: the public self designed to strategically veil your private self—for example, putting on a happy face when you are sad or pretending to be confident while inside you feel shy or anxious. (McCornack, 53) Hiding things from view. (Koch2, 2011) Verb - 'masking.'

Self: the evolving composite of who one is, including self-awareness, "self-concept," and "self-esteem." (McCornack, 40) A sense of personal identity and an experience of a person's uniqueness. (Cardwell, 218) A constantly evolving ... understanding of oneself that grows out of the processes of interacting with others and society and internalizing values and views of our (self-concept) that others reflect to us. (Wood, 336) An individual’s unique sense of 'identity' that has been influenced by social, cultural, and psychological experiences; your sense of who you are in relation to other people. (Hockenbury, 458)

Self-Concept: the set of perceptions a person has about who he or she is. (Floyd, G5) A person’s sense of self, an idea of ourself as a unique being, developed out of various roles and associations of childhood. In “psychosocial theory” the development of a stable identity is seen as the major task of adolescence. (Cardwell, 125) One’s overall idea of who one is based on the beliefs, attitudes, and values you have about yourself. (McCornack, 41) The set of perceptions and beliefs the one holds about himself. (Hockenbury, 412) The way we view ourselves. We may experience a sense of ‘individuality’ (being different from others) as well as a sense of ‘interdependence’ (belonging and association with others). (Cardwell, 219) Also referred to as ‘identity.'

Self-Control: control of one’s self, self desires, reactions. (Oxford) The ability to modulate and control one's own actions in age-appropriate ways; a sense of inner control. (Goleman2, 194) Requires “attention” and effort. (Kahneman, 41) Requires ‘mental energy.’ When one is engaged in a task that requires self-control, one’s blood “glucose” level drops. (Kahneman, 43)

Self-Disclosure: the act of revealing personal information about ourselves that others are unlikely to discover in other ways. (Wood, 336) Giving others information about oneself that one believes they do not already have. (Floyd, G5) Revealing private information about oneself to others. (McCornack, 65) The tendency to disclose increasingly intimate information about ourselves as we get to know someone better. At the beginning of a relationship, self-disclosure tends to be about superficial details such as hobbies or taste in music. As the relationship becomes more intimate, so does the nature of the disclosure, and we disclose details of our fears (and) things that are important to us. Self-disclosure is more likely when we trust someone else not to laugh at our revelations, or to reject us because of them. We must also trust the other person not to pass on these details to a third party. Mutual self-disclosure is seen as an important ingredient in interpersonal attraction. (Cardwell, 219)

Self-Discrepancy Theory: the idea that your self-esteem results from comparing two mental standards: your ideal self (the characteristics you want to possess based on your desires) and your ought self (the person others wish and expect you to be). (McCornack, 43)

Self-Efficacy: the belief that one can control one’s life. (Johnson, 224) The beliefs that people have about their ability to meet the demands of a specific situation; feelings of self-confidence or self-doubt. (Hockenbury, 416) The belief that one has mastery over the events in one's life and can meet challenges as they come up. Developing a "competency" of any kind strengthens the sense of self-efficacy. (Goleman2, 89) The belief that we can perform adequately in a given situation. When applied to health, self-efficacy beliefs are important in shaping unhealthy behaviors into more healthy ones. For example, we may choose not to diet because we believe that for us, dieting will not work or we will not be able to keep in the strict regime. Self-efficacy may also be based on our observations of others’ performance, or on our observations of our own emotional states (“I wouldn’t be very good company, I’m a bit down at the moment”). (Cardwell, 219)

Optimistic Explanatory Style: the use of external, unstable, and specific explanations for negative events. The optimist blames other people (external) for his lack of success in a certain situation. Uses a temporary (unstable) explanation, for example, ‘I didn’t get enough sleep last night.’ Uses a specific explanation, for example, ‘the competition outspent me.’ (Hockenbury, 489) Explanatory style is related to health consequences. One study showed that those with an optimistic explanatory style were significantly healthier than those with a pessimistic explanatory style. (Hockenbury, 489) Another study showed optimistic students had significantly higher immune system measures. (Hockenbury, 490)

Pessimistic Explanatory Style: the use of internal, stable, and ‘global’ explanations for negative events. The pessimist blames herself (internal) (for her lack of success in a certain situation.) Uses a permanent (stable) explanation, for example, ‘I’m a boring person.’ Uses a global explanation, for example, ‘men never call me.’ (Hockenbury, 489)

Self-Esteem: one's subjective evaluation of one's value and worth as a person. (Floyd, G5) The overall value you assign to yourself. (McCornack, 43) The value we place upon ourselves. As children explore their abilities they may come to think highly or not so highly of themselves depending on their success and the success of others around them. In early childhood, children tend to judge themselves in four areas of “competence” - cognitive competence, social competence, physical competence, and behavioral competence. With age, we form judgments of our attractiveness to the opposite sex, our humor, our adequacy as a partner and so on. (Cardwell, 219)

Self-Fulfilling Prophecies: acting in a way that embodies expectations or judgements about us. (Wood, 336) Predictions about future encounters that lead us to behave in ways that ensure the interaction unfolds as we predicted. (McCornack, 42) An expectation that gives rise to behaviors that cause the expectation to come true. (Floyd, G5)

Self-Recognition: the ability of an animal to recognize that a reflection is, in fact, an image of itself. With human beings, some experience with a mirror is necessary before they realize that they are looking at an image of themselves. This appears to also be the case with chimpanzees who, after a few days of getting used to a mirror will use it for the same sort of things as do young children. There are also reports of similar self-recognition behavior with orangutans, gorillas, and dolphins. Other species such as monkeys and gibbons, fail to recognize themselves in a mirror, and domestic cats, dogs, and parrots all react to their image as if it were another animal. The reason why some species appear able to recognize themselves in mirrors and others not, remains a mystery. (Cardwell, 220)

Thy: (prefix) of you; of yourself; which belongs or pertains to you. (Oxford)