We had observing/ inferring motives in others. How about our own motives?
There is no way of observing them directly. We can only infer them from observation of ourselves.
Consider the possibility of self observation though. It’s very limited. We never see our own eyes, face, manners, attitude of the body etc.; we must go on feelings and sensations, and not those we have, but those we have had, i.e. we can only observe them from memory.
So we have two disadvantages here: 1) We have a limited field of observation, and 2) We have to observe from memory – but we have a knack for forgetting unpleasant circumstances!
Observing from memory is most difficult in emotional states. Remember: We must detach our mind from that emotion and direct our attention to the fact that emotion + to the circumstances where we are having it. This needs a large amount of self-control.
In short: It is very difficult to detect our real motives by examining the content of our thoughts, relation of feeling etc.