BY ZAINAB JADA
MENTAL AND WELLNESS COACH
Are you an honest person?
Are you highly creative?
Do you have strong moral/ethical standards?
If so, you may be on your way towards achieving self-actualisation.
The complete realisation of one’s potential, and the full development of one’s abilities and appreciation for life
The need for personal growth and development exists throughout your life. If you are self-actualised, you work hard to grow and become who you want to be in life and reach your full potential
The realisation or fulfilment of one’s talents and potentialities
The ability to become the best version of yourself/everything you are capable of becoming
When a person can take full advantage of their abilities while still being mindful of their limitations
An enlightened maturity is characterised by achieving goals, accepting oneself, and assessing oneself realistically and positively.
THE HIERARCHY OF NEEDS THAT LEAD TOWARDS SELF ACTUALISATION
The hierarchy of needs addresses both the basic and esoteric needs of man. Its stages include physiological needs, safety needs, love and belonging, the need for esteem and, finally, self-actualisation.
Once the most basic needs for an individual to remain alive have been met, desires that concern safety and affection follow, then esteem needs. Once esteem needs such as self-confidence and self-respect have been met, a person might begin to self-actualise.
The needs associated with self-actualisation include:
- Acceptance of facts
- Lack of prejudice
- Ability to solve problems
- Sense of morality
When these needs are met, a person may be more open to the process of self-actualisation.
- Physiological needs: These are necessary to maintain life: oxygen, food, and water. These basic needs are required by all and ———————-are the primary focus of infants.
- Safety needs: When an individual’s physiological needs are met, the focus typically shifts to safety needs, including health, freedom from war, and financial security.
- Community and belonging: If safety and physiological needs are met, a person will focus on the need for a community and love. Friends, family, and spouses typically meet these needs.
- Esteem: Esteem is necessary for self-actualisation, and a person may work to achieve esteem once needs for love and a sense of belonging are met. Self-confidence and acceptance from others are important components of this need.
- Cognitive needs: a person’s cognitive needs may be fulfilled by pursuing knowledge and meaning.
- Aesthetic needs: the search for beauty, balance and form. The needs of academics and artists, respectively.
- Self-actualisation: is the ability to meet one’s true potential. A scientist may be self-actualised when completing research in a chosen field, and a father might be self-actualised when able to care for his children competently.
- Accept themselves and others
- Have a well-developed sense of creativity
- Maintain deep and meaningful relationships
- Can live independently, standing behind their actions and their values, and they don’t conform to other people’s ideas of happiness or contentment.
- Have a sense of humour, particularly an ability to find humour in their own mistakes, but they don’t ridicule or joke at the expense of another person’s feelings.
- Have a sense of purpose and perform regular tasks geared toward that purpose
- Experience frequent moments of profound happiness/peak experiences
- Demonstrate empathy and compassion for others
- Have an ongoing appreciation of the goodness of life
- They enjoy solitude and privacy from time to time to grow/personal discovery to achieve full potential
- They fully enjoy the journey, not just the destination
EXAMPLES OF SELF-ACTUALISATION
Self-actualisation may manifest in many forms, and some of how a self-actualised person may appear can depend on their age, culture, and other factors. A few examples of behaviour a self-actualised person might exhibit include:
- Finding humour in a given situation
- Getting enjoyment and satisfaction out of the present moment
- Understanding what they need to gain a sense of fulfilment
- Tendency to feel secure and unashamed in who they are
- Becoming self-actualised is not always a straightforward process, and it can take years for some people to reach self-actualisation.
IN A NUTSHELL
Self-actualisation isn’t a one-size-fits-all goal. No two people are alike, so everyone will probably have a slightly different path.
It’s also not something you can accomplish at the weekend, and it is a constant work in progress.
It doesn’t involve perfection or things always going smoothly, and you can become self-actualised and still face difficulties. In fact, a huge part of self-actualisation is recognising your limits in addition to focusing on your unique strengths, whether those involve practical skills, parenting, artistic talents, or emotional insights.
Once we realise that self-actualisation is not about making the most money or achieving the highest status, that it is a desirable state achieved through reaching one’s full personal potential, we open the door of possibility in our own lives.
Self-actualisation is about achieving your dreams, which means that it is within your grasp, whether that means becoming a painter, a politician, a teacher, or anything else that sparks your passion.
True self-actualisation may be more of a long-term (even lifetime) goal than a quick road to self-improvement. That said, working to maximise your potential and become your best self is a great way to lead a more fulfilling life.
So, while self-actualisation might seem somewhat overwhelming, don’t let that stop you. Take each day as it comes and keep an open mind.