An animal is anesthetized and then marked (either painted with a red dot or with a sticker) on an area of the body they normally can’t see. Under the shin, or in the back, or above the shoulder. When the animal recuperates from that black-out - no doubt looking for who spiked their orange juice - they are given access to a mirror. If the animal touches or investigates the mark, then it is an indication that it recognizes itself in the mirror and is aware of its existence.

If you’ve woken up, after a wild night - insert your own Las Vegas experience here - gone to the bathroom mirror and managed to identify that the reflection looking back at you is YOU, then you’re self-aware. That’s it. You deserve a treat. So, when people say, “so and so is successful because they’re self-aware,” they either mean something completely different or they are simply equating prosperity to our innate ability as Homo Sapiens to identify ourselves in a piece of mirror.

We, as a society, due to countless and ad-nauseam ads and quotes misinterpret the concept as their ability to be self-aware. We are wrong. “Self-awareness in a person’s psyche comes quite early. The moment a baby understands its needs and can voice them and comprehends that the world around them is creating physical pressure on their body is the very moment self-awareness starts to congeal.

When a toddler understands that they have a body, that they can differentiate themselves from others that’s when self-awareness occurs.” Self-concepts are a collection of beliefs about oneself. It is the building blocks on which we create our identity. The more grounded in reality the greater the fortitude of our palace.

Self-concepts are those stones and brick. It is a mismatch of definitions and practices, popularized by psychologists. Self-Schemas are essential because they help us become members of society. We band under a collective narrative and this, in turn, drives us and helps us define how we view ourselves.

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