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Why Self-Awareness Is Key to Innovation To be truly innovative, learn to harness your enthusiasm. But first you have have to overcome the mental challenges.

By Aytekin Tank Edited by Jessica Thomas

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Fifteen years ago, I had an idea that took hold. Over the course of several sleepless nights, this seedling blossomed into a fully-fledged concept for a product I wanted to build. As an experienced software engineer, I'd never considered myself a creative — much less an entrepreneur. But for some mysterious reason, the energy and confidence I had in my idea let me see possibilities rather than dead ends.

That's the power of innovating.

Of course, this is not one of those stories where the stars aligned and everything came together perfectly from the get-go. Even though my company, Jotform, has garnered millions of users worldwide, there were plenty of hurdles in the process of growing. One of the things I tell my mentees is that coming up with a powerful idea is only half of the equation; the other involves harnessing all of your unbridled passion and developing your critical thinking skills.

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