21 Self-Determination Skills and Activities to Utilize Today (2023)

21 Self-Determination Skills and Activities to Utilize Today (1)How do we move ourselves and others to act? It all hinges on motivation.

People are often motivated to act by external influences, be they financial reward, prestige, advancement, or the opinions of others. Just as often, people are motivated from within, by their beliefs and personal values.

While extrinsic motivation is not necessarily a bad thing, it is intrinsic motivation that most effectively encourages and sustains action. We need to feel autonomous – that we are the authors and agents of our behavior – rather than feeling that external forces control our behavior.

Self-determination is primarily concerned with intrinsically driven motivation and shines a light on the interplay between the external factors and internal motives inherent in human nature.

The following article will examine the concept of self-determination, answer common questions on the subject, and take a look at some activities, assessments, and worksheets to develop and improve self-determination skills.

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Goal Achievement Exercises for free. These detailed, science-based exercises will help you or your clients create actionable goals and master techniques to create lasting behavior change.

This Article Contains:

  • What Is Self-Determination?
  • A Look at the Concept in Psychology
  • Common Questions on Self-Determination
  • 8 Self-Determination Skills to Utilize Today
  • 7 Useful Activities and Worksheets (incl. PDF)
  • 5 Assessments, Tests, and Questionnaires
  • 6 Books Worth Reading
  • A Take-Home Message
  • References

What Is Self-Determination?

Self-determination began as a political concept whereby a group of people could form their own state and choose their own government (Unrepresented Nations & Peoples Organization, 2017). After World War II, the promotion and support of self-determination became one of the primary goals of the United Nations. In psychology, self-determination refers to an individual’s ability to make choices and manage their own life.

Self-determination theory (SDT) is an approach to human motivation that emphasizes the importance of our evolved inner resources for personality development and behavioral self-regulation (Ryan, Kuhl, & Deci, 1997). Deci (1992) recognized the motivational dynamics that determine the activities an individual chooses freely and those activities they feel coerced or compelled to partake in.

Similarly, Wehmeyer (2007) defined self-determination as the primary causal agent that encourages decision making that is free from external influence. According to Field, Martin, Miller, Ward, and Wehmeyer (1998), an understanding of our strengths and limitations and a belief in ourselves as capable and competent are essential to self-determination.

When acting on the basis of these skills and attitudes, individuals have a greater ability to take control of their lives and engage in goal-directed, self-regulated, autonomous behavior.

In essence, self-determination is a combination of skills, knowledge, and beliefs that allow the individual to choose and act in accordance with those choices rather than reinforcement contingencies, drives, or other external pressures.

A Look at the Concept in Psychology

As a psychological construct, self-determination is a theory of motivation and personality that addresses issues of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation concerning universal, innate psychological needs. These needs are thought to be essential for growth and integration, constructive social development, and personal wellbeing (Ryan & Deci, 2000).

SDT postulates that humans have three innate psychological needs (Ryan & Deci, 2000):

  • Competence (feeling effective)
  • Autonomy (the feeling of being the origin of our behavior)
  • Psychological relatedness (feeling cared for and understood by other people)

The satisfaction and fulfillment of these three needs are considered necessary and essential to vital, healthy human functioning, regardless of culture or stage of development (Silva, Marques, & Teixeira, 2014).

When these three needs are met, individuals experience more vitality, self-motivation, and wellbeing. Conversely, circumvention of these basic needs may lead to declining self-motivation and a heightened sense of ill-being (Ryan, Deci, Grolnick, & La Guardia, 2006).

Self-determination theory developed through a set of six ‘mini-theories,’ which represent a broad framework for the study of human motivation and personality:

  1. Cognitive evaluation theory is concerned with intrinsic motivation and how factors such as rewards, deadlines, feedback, and pressure affect feelings of autonomy and competence.
  2. Organismic integration theory is concerned with extrinsic motivation in its various forms and addresses the process of internalization of various extrinsic motives.
  3. Causality orientations theory is concerned with individual differences in tendencies to orient toward environments and regulate behavior in various ways.
  4. Basic psychological needs theory elaborates on the concept of the three basic psychological needs by connecting them directly with wellness.
  5. Goal contents theory is concerned with the distinctions between intrinsic and extrinsic goals and their impact on motivation and wellness.
  6. Relationships motivation theory is concerned with the development and maintenance of close personal relationships and encompasses one of the three basic psychological needs: relatedness.

Common Questions on Self-Determination

Several questions are asked regularly about self-determination, and some of the more common ones are answered below.

(Video) Skills Every Child Will Need to Succeed in 21st century | Dr. Laura A. Jana | TEDxChandigarh

Why is self-determination so important?

The promotion and procurement of self-determination skills can help individuals of all ages, with or without disabilities, to assert personal control over their choices in life.

Self-determination plays a vital role in several contexts. It has been shown to increase life satisfaction in later life (Ekelund, Dahlin-Ivanoff, & Eklund, 2014), promote physical activity and weight loss (Silva et al., 2010; Teixeira, Silva, Mata, Palmeira, & Markland, 2012), moderate occupational burnout (Fernet, Guay, & Senecal, 2004), and affect motivation (Gagné & Deci, 2005).

Within an educational setting, the integration of self-determination skills such as self-regulation, decision making, and action planning has been shown to help students evaluate and set personal goals; become more autonomous, self-determined learners; and increase the sense of control over their learning (Eisenman, 2007).

When young adults develop the ability to consider and implement solutions to their problems, they become intrinsically motivated and actively engaged in the learning process (Ryan & Deci, 2000).

Wehmeyer (2005) discussed a common misconception that people with severe disabilities lack the requisite skills to exert control in their lives. While it is true that individuals with severe disabilities may be limited in the degree to which they can become more self-determined, by encouraging the expression of preferences and promoting self-advocacy, there are opportunities for them to become causal agents in their own lives.

Wehmeyer and Palmer (2003) found that students with disabilities who took part in a self-determination program were more likely to live independently and move out of the family home, hold a job, and have greater financial independence.

Is self-determined behavior always ‘successful’ behavior?

Self-determination has been linked to myriad positive outcomes, and perhaps unsurprisingly, there is a tendency to equate self-determined behavior with successful behaviors. However, even self-determined people experience failure. According to Wehmeyer (2005), the emphasis should be on the attempt to exercise control and not on the specific outcome of actions.

Self-determination should not be equated only with successful outcomes. Not every decision an individual makes turns out to be an optimal decision, nor is every goal the right goal.

What are the primary assumptions of self-determination?

According to Deci and Ryan (1985), self-determination consists of two key assumptions. The first is that the innate human need for growth drives behavior. Put simply, people are actively directed toward growth, gaining mastery over challenges, and taking on new experiences to develop a cohesive sense of self.

The second assumption focuses on the importance of autonomous motivation that has been linked to greater psychological health and more effective performance (Deci & Ryan, 2008). While individuals can be motivated by external factors such as money and acclaim, self-determination theory focuses primarily on internal sources of motivation, such as a need to gain knowledge or independence (Silva et al., 2014).

What techniques are used in self-determination interventions?

Interventions based on self-determination theory comprise many behavioral and communicative techniques that focus on the satisfaction of needs and autonomy. Reeve and Jang (2006) emphasized the importance of autonomy-based interventions within education, healthcare, parenting, and the workplace.

This focus on personal autonomy can include taking the client’s perspective, creating opportunities for client input and initiative, and providing explanatory rationales for requests made by the practitioner.

Additionally, many self-determination interventions are concerned with the support of competence and psychological relatedness needs. Many of the techniques used to support competence focus on promoting a sense of satisfaction by making progress toward self-referenced goals, attaining mastery, and developing self-determination skills (Sierens, Vansteenkiste, Goossens, Soenens, & Dochy, 2009).

Are self-determination and self-efficacy the same?

According to Sugarman and Sokol (2012), self-determination and self-efficacy are both based on the ideology that people are agents of their actions and possess complex internal structures that allow them to make choices regarding their actions. While the two theories work from a similar ideology, they also view the concept of agency from very different perspectives.

Self-efficacy reflects the capacity of individuals to take measures to achieve targeted goals (Bandura, 1997). In terms of self-efficacy, enhanced perceptions of competency lead to perceived controllability. It is an individual’s self-efficacy that drives their agency. Put simply, people act when they feel able to achieve the goals they have set.

While self-determination theory recognizes that feelings of competence are important, autonomy plays a more central role. When an individual perceives their actions as autonomous, then self-determined motivation is the main element of agency (Sweet, Fortier, Strachan, & Blanchard, 2012).

8 Self-Determination Skills to Utilize Today

While self-determination is a complex construct that includes a combination of skills and knowledge, these skills are teachable, measurable, and most effectively developed through regular practice. According to Wehmeyer, Agran, and Hughes (2000), the component skills of self-determined behavior include the following:

1. Choice-making skills

Choice making is an individual’s ability to express their preference between two or more options (Wehmeyer, 2005) and exert control over their actions and environment.

2. Decision-making skills

Similar to choice making, decision making requires effective judgments about what choices or solutions are right at any given moment. According to Wehmeyer (2007), effective decision making requires individuals to identify possible alternatives for action, the potential consequences of each action, assess the probability of each result occurring, select the best alternative, and implement the alternative decision.

3. Problem-solving skills

Problem solving requires the identification of a problem, possible solutions, and an understanding of the potential pros and cons of each solution.

4. Goal-setting and attainment skills

Goal setting and attainment skills are a critical component in the development of abilities that lead to agentic action and self-determination.

5. Self-regulation skills (including self-observation, evaluation, and reinforcement)

Self-regulation is the process by which people incorporate behavioral change into their everyday lives (Kapp, 2001). Self-regulation involves setting goals, developing a plan to achieve goals, implementing and following the action plan, evaluating the outcomes of the action plan, and adjusting accordingly. Find more self-regulation tools here.

(Video) Self Determination Theory in Sport - Stay MOTIVATED as an Athlete

6. Self-advocacy skills

Self-advocacy refers to an individual’s ability to express their needs and wants assertively and take action on their own behalf. More on this topic in How to Foster Self-Expression.

7. Positive self-efficacy (including an internal locus of control)

Self-efficacy with an internal locus of control encourages individuals to believe in their ability to perform and achieve goals.

8. Self-awareness skills

Self-awareness skills allow individuals to identify and understand their needs, strengths, and limitations.

21 Self-Determination Skills and Activities to Utilize Today (2)

Download 3 Free Goals Exercises (PDF)

These detailed, science-based exercises will help you or your clients create actionable goals and master techniques for lasting behavior change.

Download PDF

21 Self-Determination Skills and Activities to Utilize Today (3)

Download 3 Free Goals Pack (PDF)

By filling out your name and email address below.

7 Useful Activities and Worksheets (incl. PDF)

The following worksheets are designed to assist in the development of the component skills of self-determined behavior.

1. Self-Awareness Worksheet for Young Children

2. Self-Awareness Worksheet for Older Children

3. Self-Awareness Worksheet for Adults

(Video) Fighters: Even More To Motivation Than You Think – Part 2

4. Decision-Making Worksheet for Adults

5. Problem-Solving Worksheet for Adults

6. Emotion Regulation Worksheet

7. Self-Awareness Test

5 Assessments, Tests, and Questionnaires

Several scientific scales and assessments are available to evaluate self-determination. Below is a sampling of five of these.

1. The Basic Needs Satisfaction in General Scale (BNSG-S; Gagné, 2003)

This 21-item scale measures the three distinct needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness with the emphasis that all three needs must be individually met for wellness. The BNSG-S was developed to assess the satisfaction of basic psychological needs in general.

Respondents are invited to indicate how true each statement is for them personally and respond on a scale from 1 (not at all true) to 7 (very true). Higher scores are indicative of a higher level of satisfaction of needs.

Basic Needs Satisfaction in General Scale

2. AIR Self-Determination Assessments

The American Institutes for Research developed the AIR Self-Determination Assessments in conjunction with Columbia University. Designed for use with adolescents, these assessments can be used to measure two broad components of self-determination:

  • The knowledge, abilities, and perceptions that enable self-determination
  • The opportunity to use the relevant knowledge and abilities

The AIR Self-Determination Scale produces a profile of the student’s level of self-determination, identifies areas of strength and areas needing improvement, and identifies specific educational goals.

  1. AIR Self-Determination Student Form
  2. AIR Self-Determination Parent Form
  3. AIR Self-Determination Educator Form

You can find guidance on how to use and interpret the results of the AIR Assessments here.

3. The ARC Self-Determination Scale (Wehmeyer & Kelchner, 1995)

The ARC Self-Determination Scale was developed to assess the self-determination strengths and weaknesses of adolescents with disabilities and to facilitate client involvement in determining goals. The assessment scores for autonomy, self-regulation, psychological empowerment, self-realization, and finally, an overall rating for self-determination.

You can find the scale, procedural guidelines, and guidance on scoring and interpretation here.

6 Books Worth Reading

The following selection of books will enhance your understanding of self-determination.

1. Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination in Human Behavior (Deci & Ryan, 1985)

21 Self-Determination Skills and Activities to Utilize Today (4)With a focus on self-determination and competence, this comprehensive publication by Deci and Ryan explores the six mini-theories in greater detail.

It also looks at the processes and structures related to the three innate psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and interpersonal relatedness.

Available on Amazon.

2. Self-Determination Theory in the Clinic (Sheldon, Williams, & Joiner, 2003)

21 Self-Determination Skills and Activities to Utilize Today (5)Self-Determination Theory in the Clinic provides an in-depth historical background to SDT based on three decades of empirical research.

The authors also include numerous specific clinical and case examples to describe the theory’s application.

They show the ways it can be used to motivate patients undergoing treatment for physiological and psychological issues such as diabetes management, smoking cessation, post-traumatic stress, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and depression.

Available on Amazon.

3. Self-Determination Theory: Basic Psychological Needs in Motivation, Development, and Wellness (Ryan & Deci, 2018)

21 Self-Determination Skills and Activities to Utilize Today (6)Ryan and Deci examine the philosophical and historical considerations related to intrinsic motivation and self-determination in addition to the six mini-theories on which the framework of SDT was built.

(Video) How To Win Friends And Influence People Audiobook

Additionally, the authors discuss the application of self-determination theory in multiple domains, including healthcare, education, sports, virtual environments, and organizations.

Available on Amazon.

4. Self-Determination Theory (SDT): Perspective, Applications, and Impact (Wade, 2017)

21 Self-Determination Skills and Activities to Utilize Today (7)This book provides a comprehensive rundown of research in the study of SDT, including perspectives on gender differences in pro-environmental behaviors and professional athletes from an SDT perspective.

Wade discusses the motivational typology in self-determination theory and explores the egoistic side of public service motivation.

Available on Amazon.

5. The Handbook of Self-Determination Research (Deci & Ryan, 2004)

21 Self-Determination Skills and Activities to Utilize Today (8)The Handbook of Self-Determination Research summarizes over 20 years of self-determination research findings from social, personality, clinical, developmental, and applied psychologists.

With an emphasis on the importance of self-determination for understanding basic motivational processes and solving pressing real-world problems, this handbook provides a detailed overview of self-determination theory and explores the current state of self-determination research in relation to other areas of inquiry such as coping, self-esteem, and interest.

Available on Amazon.

6. The Oxford Handbook of Work Motivation, Engagement, and Self-Determination Theory (Gagné, 2014)

21 Self-Determination Skills and Activities to Utilize Today (9)The Oxford Handbook of Work Motivation, Engagement, and Self-Determination Theory brings together self-determination theory experts and organizational psychology experts to discuss a wide range of topics.

The book provides suggestions for practitioners on how to adjust their programs and practices using self-determination theory principles.

Topics in the handbook include self-determination research and practice, the application of self-determination theory to the field of organizational psychology, suggestions for future research in organizational psychology, and a range of topics related to motivation in the workplace.

The book is available here.

If you like book lists, be sure to read this entry on self-esteem books.

A Take-Home Message

We need to feel autonomous and that we are the authors and agents of our own behavior rather than believe that external forces control our behavior.

Being self-determined and having the autonomy to make choices that shape your future is essential. It means knowing what you want, making choices that are right for you in the moment, and actively making things happen in your own life. When we pursue activities and behaviors that are intrinsically motivated and aligned with our personal goals, we feel happier, more in control, and capable.

I hope you have enjoyed this piece on self-determination. What are your thoughts on the subject? Let us know in the comments.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Goal Achievement Exercises for free.


  • Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. W. H. Freeman.
  • Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. Plenum.
  • Deci, E. L. (1992). The relation of interest to the motivation of behavior: A self-determination theory perspective. In K. A. Renninger, S. Hidi, & A. Krapp (Eds.), The role of interest in learning and development (pp. 43–70). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  • Deci, E. L. & Ryan, R. M. (2004). The handbook of self-determination research. University Rochester Press.
  • Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2008). Facilitating optimal motivation and psychological well-being across life’s domains. Canadian Psychology, 49, 14–23.
  • Eisenman, L. Y. (2007). Self-determination interventions: Building a foundation for school completion. Remedial and Special Education, 28, 2–8.
  • Ekelund, C., Dahlin-Ivanoff, S., & Eklund, K. (2014). Self-determination and older people – A concept analysis.Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy,21(2), 116–124.
  • Fernet, C., Guay, F., & Senecal, C. (2004). Adjusting to job demands: The role of work self-determination and job control in predicting burnout. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 65, 39–56.
  • Field, S. S., Martin, J. E., Miller, R. J., Ward, M., & Wehmeyer, M. L. (1998). Self-determination for persons with disabilities: A position statement of the Division on Career Development and Transition. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 21, 113–128.
  • Gagné, M. (2003). The role of autonomy support and autonomy orientation in prosocial behavior engagement. Motivation and Emotion, 27, 199–223.
  • Gagné, M. (2014). The Oxford handbook of work motivation, engagement, and self-determination theory. Oxford University Press.
  • Gagné, M., & Deci, E. L. (2005). Self-determination theory and work motivation.Journal of Organizational Behavior,26(4), 331–362.
  • Kapp, C. B. (2001). Self-regulation in childhood. In N. J. Smelser & P. B. Baltes, International encyclopedia of social and behavioral sciences (pp. 13862–13866). Elsevier.
  • Reeve, J., & Jang, H. (2006). What teachers say and do to support students’ autonomy during a learning activity. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98, 209–218.
  • Ryan, R. M., Kuhl, J., & Deci, E. L. (1997). Nature and autonomy: Organizational view of social and neurobiological aspects of self-regulation in behavior and development. Development and Psychopathology, 9, 701–728.
  • Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American psychologist, 55, 68.
  • Ryan, R. M. & Deci, E. L. (2018). Self-determination theory: Basic psychological needs in motivation, development, and wellness. Guilford Press.
  • Ryan, R. M., Deci, E. L., Grolnick, W. S., & La Guardia, J. G. (2006). The significance of autonomy and autonomy support in psychological development and psychopathology. In D. Cicchetti & D. J. Cohen (Eds.), Developmental psychopathology: Theory and method (2nd ed.) (pp. 795–849). John Wiley & Sons.
  • Sheldon, K. M., Williams, G., & Joiner, T. (2003). Self-determination theory in the clinic: Motivating physical and mental health. Yale University Press.
  • Sierens, E., Vansteenkiste, M., Goossens, L., Soenens, B., & Dochy, F. (2009). The synergistic relationship of perceived autonomy support and structure in the prediction of self-regulated learning.British Journal of Educational Psychology,79(1), 57–68.
  • Silva, M. N., Marques, M. M., & Teixeira, P. J. (2014). Testing theory in practice: The example of self-determination theory-based interventions. European Health Psychologist, 16(5), 171–180.
  • Silva, M. N., Vieira, P. N., Coutinho, S. R., Minderico, C. S., Matos, M. G., Sardinha, L. B., & Teixeira, P. J. (2010). Using self-determination theory to promote physical activity and weight control: a randomized controlled trial in women. Journal of Behavior & Medicine, 33, 110–122.
  • Sugarman, J., & Sokol, B. (2012). Human agency and development: An introduction and theoretical sketch. New Ideas in Psychology, 30, 1–14.
  • Sweet, S. N., Fortier, M. S., Strachan, S. M., & Blanchard, C. M. (2012). Testing and integrating self-determination theory and self-efficacy theory in a physical activity context. Canadian Psychology, 53, 319–327.
  • Teixeira, P. J., Silva, M. N., Mata, J., Palmeira, A. L., & Markland, D. (2012). Motivation, self-determination, and long-term weight control. The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 9, 22.
  • Unrepresented Nations & Peoples Organization. (2017, September 21). Self-determination. Retrieved August 20, 2021, from https://unpo.org/article/4957
  • Wade, S. L. (2017). Self-determination theory (SDT): Perspective, applications, and impact. Nova.
  • Wehmeyer, M. L. (2005). Self-determination and individuals with severe disabilities: Re-examining meanings and misinterpretations. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 30, 113–120.
  • Wehmeyer, M. L. (2007). Promoting self-determination in students with developmental disabilities. Guildford Press.
  • Wehmeyer, M. L., & Kelchner, K. (1995). The ARC’s Self-Determination Scale. The ARC of the United States.
  • Wehmeyer, M. L., Agran, M., & Hughes, C. (2000). A national survey of teachers’ promotion of self-determination and student-directed learning. Journal of Special Education, 34, 58–68.
  • Wehmeyer, M. L. & Palmer, S. B. (2003). Adult outcomes for students with cognitive disabilities three years after high school: The impact of self-determination. Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 38, 131–144.


What are self-determination activities? ›

The Developmental Disabilities Act describes “self-determination activities” as “activities that result in individuals with developmental disabilities, with appropriate assistance, having: the ability and opportunity to communicate and make personal decisions; the ability and opportunity to communicate choices and ...

What is an example of self-determination in everyday life? ›

Exercising because you value the health benefits. Quitting smoking because you value living a longer life with your children. A child completing their chores because they understand the value of responsibility. Creating art for the inherent joy of it.

What are three examples of self-determination skills? ›

Skills typically include: choice/decision making, goal setting, problem solving, self-advocacy, and self-awareness.

What are 4 self-determination skills? ›

Self-determination involves many attitudes and abilities including: self-awareness, assertiveness, creativity, and pride, and problem solving and self-advocacy skills.

What is an example of determination? ›

It is a fixed intention or resolution to overcome obstacles. For example, a person may be determined to graduate from college and get a degree despite financial hardships. Or a baseball player may be determined to catch a ball that seems hit too far away. He tries his best to catch that ball instead of giving up on it.

What are some examples of determination in people? ›

Main traits of a determined person
  • Consistent. You recognize the importance of sustaining your efforts because change won't happen overnight.
  • Focused. ...
  • Confident. ...
  • Unafraid to step outside your comfort zone. ...
  • Present. ...
  • Welcomes challenges. ...
  • Passionate. ...
  • Positive.
Nov 25, 2022

What are some examples of self-determination as a student? ›

As was said earlier, some of the main self determination examples of skills include self-awareness, decision making, self-advocacy, problem-solving, and goal setting. Apart from this, there is also pride, assertiveness, and creativity.

How do you show self-determination? ›

  1. Define success for yourself.
  2. Set personal, academic, and career goals.
  3. Keep your expectations high.
  4. Understand your abilities and disabilities.
  5. Play to your strengths.
  6. Develop strategies to meet your goals.
  7. Use technology as an empowering tool.
  8. Work hard. Persevere. Be flexible.

What are the kinds of self-determination? ›

Self-determination has two dimensions: internal and external. Internal refers to the exercise of self-determination within an existing state; external refers to the right of peoples to define their place within the international community.

What are some examples of self-determination social? ›

An example of respecting self-determination is when a social worker convinces a client to limit alcohol consumption to cultural festivities and important events, although the social worker would prefer that alcohol consumption would stop completely.

What is an example of determination skill? ›

It often includes being decisive and demonstrating resoluteness. People who express determination continue to work to achieve their goals, regardless of other factors. For example, an athlete might show determination when completing a marathon by continuing to run despite the weather or the difficulty of the terrain.

What is self-determination and example? ›

It is about taking action in your life to get the things you want and need. For example, if someone says: "If you do this I'll give you a soda" even if you decide to do it you are not the person who took the action in the first place. Self determination is when you set things up to get what you want.

What is self-determination or life skill? ›

Self-determination is a mix of skills you will use throughout your life which include your personal beliefs and values and skills that empower you to make choices and take control of your life according to your own interests, needs, and abilities.

What is the five step model of self-determination? ›

The individual knowledge, skills, and beliefs that lead to self-determination are delineated according to five components: know yourself, value yourself, plan, act and experience outcomes, and learn.

What are the three types of determination? ›

A being, in the most general sense, is comprised of three different types of determinations: essentials, attributes, and modes.

What is an example of determined in the workplace? ›

Determined people understand that the actions and decisions of others affect them, but they also believe that they can control their future. For example, they might believe that they can secure a job by applying for many roles, preparing for job interviews, and acting professionally.

What is an example of determination in personal development? ›

Example of Self-Determination

If this person is high in self-determination, they will admit their fault, believe that they can do something to fix the problem, and take action to correct the mistake. If that same person was low in self-determination, they might instead look for other things that they can blame.

How can I be determined and focused? ›

Need Help Staying Focused? Try These 10 Tips
  1. Remove distractions.
  2. Drink coffee.
  3. Take breaks.
  4. Avoid social media.
  5. Stay fueled.
  6. Prioritize sleep.
  7. Set goals.
  8. Be mindful.
Oct 16, 2019

What is personal self-determination? ›

Self-determination theory suggests that all humans have three basic psychological needs—autonomy, competence, and relatedness—that underlie growth and development. Autonomy refers to feeling one has choice and is willingly endorsing one's behavior.

How do you show determination in school? ›

Teach the skills and knowledge students need to become self-determined.
  1. Set personal goals.
  2. Solve problems that act as barriers to achieving these goals.
  3. Make appropriate choices based on personal preferences and interests.
  4. Participate in decisions that impact the quality of their lives.
  5. Advocate for themselves.

What are the qualities of a determined person? ›

12 Characteristics of a Determined Person
  • BRAVE: To be a determined person one must be brave. ...
  • CONFIDENT: Doubt creeps into the mind of even the most confident person. ...
  • DECISIVE: Determined people are decision makers. ...
  • FOCUSED: The focus is the goal. ...
  • HARDWORKING: Goals cannot be met unless you do the work.
May 30, 2021

What is an example of determination for kids? ›

Determination is “overcoming obstacles in order to reach my goal.” Determination is like climbing a mountain. You have to know what you want to achieve, then put one foot in front of the other until you reach the top. Climbing a mountain takes a lot of effort.

What are the main principles of self-determination? ›

Self determination means that all people have the right to direct their futures; have control over how they live their lives, where, and with whom; and have authority over the resources that support them.

What are determination skills examples? ›

It often includes being decisive and demonstrating resoluteness. People who express determination continue to work to achieve their goals, regardless of other factors. For example, an athlete might show determination when completing a marathon by continuing to run despite the weather or the difficulty of the terrain.

How do you practice self-determination? ›

  1. Define success for yourself.
  2. Set personal, academic, and career goals.
  3. Keep your expectations high.
  4. Understand your abilities and disabilities.
  5. Play to your strengths.
  6. Develop strategies to meet your goals.
  7. Use technology as an empowering tool.
  8. Work hard. Persevere. Be flexible.

What is an example of self-determination in students? ›

Give Choices

Making choices and asserting preferences is a key component to self-determination. In learning to make choices, students take control over learning and actions. Students often lack choice in the classroom, with specific assignments that follow strict guidelines.

How can self-determination be exercised? ›

Participants in the survey identified the following examples of how self-determination can be exercised:
  1. through our own representative bodies.
  2. through our own schools, justice systems, health systems.
  3. by having control over our lives.
  4. by being able to participate in decisions that affect us.

What are strong determination skills? ›

Traits of self-determination include setting small, achievable goals, optimism, and focusing on personal goals. Skills for successful self-determination include decision-making, problem-solving, and self-awareness. Journaling and meditation also help improve self-determination.

What are the 5 steps to build determination? ›

5 Steps to Self-Determination Success
  • Discover what you want.
  • Tell people what you want and desire—then tell some more.
  • Attempt to make your wants and desires real. You are almost there!
  • Observe the process. Watch, listen and reflect on your experiences.
  • Make necessary changes and repeat the above steps.
Oct 1, 2013

How would you describe a self-determined person? ›

But what are some of the characteristics of self-determined people? If you have a high level of self-determination, you are likely to: know your needs, desires, interests, strengths, and limitations and use this information to make choices. be self-confident and have healthy self-esteem. be creative.

What is the first step in self-determination? ›

The first step is accepting that choices and decision-making opportunities are within your grasp. Then, you must create an environment that nurtures autonomy, competence, and relatedness.

What is a simple sentence for self-determination? ›

1 It also undermined staff's attempts to encourage users' self-determination. 2 We all like self-determination and flexibility. 3 No one can substitute our right to self-determination.

What are the 3 key features of self-determination? ›

Self-determination theory suggests that all humans have three basic psychological needs—autonomy, competence, and relatedness—that underlie growth and development.

What is the goal of self-determination? ›

Self-determination involves personal goal setting through the acquisition of specific life skills and self-awareness. Skills typically include: choice/decision making, goal setting, problem-solving, self-awareness, and self-advocacy.


1. Yuval Noah Harari | 21 Lessons for the 21st Century | Talks at Google
(Talks at Google)
2. Extrinsic vs Intrinsic Motivation
3. I am interesting | An Activity based on Self-Awareness | EdCaptain
(EdCaptain - Life Skills Education for Children)
4. Self Determination: Tips for Including Students in their Education and Transition Planning
(Organization for Autism Research)
5. The End of Spy Ninjas...
(Chad Wild Clay)
6. DEI Community Chat on Self determination
(Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Reed Wilderman

Last Updated: 09/04/2023

Views: 6629

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (52 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Reed Wilderman

Birthday: 1992-06-14

Address: 998 Estell Village, Lake Oscarberg, SD 48713-6877

Phone: +21813267449721

Job: Technology Engineer

Hobby: Swimming, Do it yourself, Beekeeping, Lapidary, Cosplaying, Hiking, Graffiti

Introduction: My name is Reed Wilderman, I am a faithful, bright, lucky, adventurous, lively, rich, vast person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.