know one's own mind

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know one's own mind (third-person singular simple present knows one's own mind, present participle knowing one's own mind, simple past knew one's own mind, past participle known one's own mind)

  1. (idiomatic) To clearly understand one's own feelings, intentions, preferences, etc; to know precisely what one wants; to be decisive or determined.
    • 1886, Louisa M[ay] Alcott, chapter 1, in Jo's Boys [] [1], Boston: Roberts Brothers:
      Demi knew his own mind, however, and tranquilly carried out his plans, unmoved by the tongues of the anxious mammas or the jokes of his mates.
    • 1889, Wilkie Collins, chapter 54, in The Legacy of Cain:
      He sadly wants strength of purpose; and, like weak men in general, he only knows his own mind when a resolute friend takes him in hand and guides him.
    • 1892, W. H. Hudson, chapter 18, in Fan: The Story of a Young Girl's Life:
      "Wise girl—strong-minded girl, knows her own mind," muttered Mr. Churton.
    • 1920, P. G. Wodehouse, chapter 3, in The Coming of Bill:
      He was the strong man who knew his own mind and could not be shaken.
    • 1973 August 13, “The Law: The Little American”, in Time:
      "I'm a conservative Republican who hasn't approved of any conservative Republican in years because most conservative Republicans aren't conservative enough for me." So says John J. Wilson, 72, who knows his own mind and does not hesitate to speak it.
    • 2004 June 11, Margaret Thatcher, “Remarks by Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher”, in New York Times, retrieved 26 December 2011:
      Ronald Reagan knew his own mind. He had firm principles - and, I believe, right ones. He expounded them clearly, he acted upon them decisively.