Realization is the fulfillment or achievement of something desired or anticipated. It is also an act of becoming fully aware of something as a fact. Mental realization is an certain kind of living cognition, in thought rising as far as intuition, the vivid mental feeling and reproduction of what is thus known in the substance of mind.

              Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. – Earl Nightingale.

Self-realization: This is Bertrand Russell's term for the general process which allows us each of us to achieve our due importance and value within the world, a term then popularized by the psychoanalyst Anthony Storr. Here is how the latter sets out his ideas:

            "To be oneself, to realize one's own personality to its fullest extent and every psychotherapeutic system is concerned with this development. The end-result is the same in every system, namely the picture of the man who is free, who has reached maturity. It is the way of achieving the end, the means, and the details which are in dispute, not the final achievement. I propose to call this final achievement self-realization, by which I mean the fullest possible expression in life of the innate potentialities of the individual, the realization of his own uniqueness as a personality: and I also put forward the hypothesis that, consciously or unconsciously, every man is seeking this goal".

Storr believed that the psychiatrist's fundamental task was to steer patients towards ever greater self-realization

In yoga, self-realization is knowledge of one's true self. This true self is also referred to as the atma. The term "self-realization" is a translation of the Sanskrit expression atma jnana (knowledge of the self or atma). The reason the term "realization" is used instead of "knowledge" is that jnana refers to knowledge based on experience, not mere intellectual knowledge.

As taught by Ramana Maharshi, awareness or consciousness of "I am," plays a key role in achieving self-realization; tracing back to the source of awareness by asking oneself the question "Who am I?", the true self becomes obvious. Focusing attention on the qualified "I am" is a powerful means to achieving the end which is being one with the completely unqualified "I," the True Self which is experienced as Silence. Replacing the confused duality of Self and ego with the pristine non-dual experience of Self is the essence of Ramana's teaching.