<span class='p-name'>Becoming Self-Actualized</span>

Becoming Self-Actualized

Do you seek bondage or liberty in your daily interactions?

In a recent podcast, one of the hosts was discussing the challenge of identifying long term goals and objectives in our lives. The host indicated that the main challenge is that many individuals, including most adults, do not know what they “want to be when they grow up.” The key word in this statement is want.

This led me to think a bit about the realization or fulfillment of one’s talents and potentialities and how to get there. This is especially important as this is considered to be a drive or need present in everyone.

Do you know what you want to be when you grow up? Are you making that your reality?

Moving from self-confidence to self-reliance

A self-confident personality is not possible until we build a solid foundation of self-reliance.

The main deterrent to self-reliance is the mistaken certainty that others are smarter, wiser, or more intelligent than we are. This causes us to look to others for our happiness and welfare. The person who is dependent in this sense must always reach out to something external.

Self-reliance is not only the belief that you can handle things and become successful, it is something more than that. It is having the courage to listen to your inner prompting for a hint of the kind of success you truly desire. It means taking your cue from yourself – not listening to something or someone outside yourself to get an idea of what you should be, do or have. When we learn to read the “signs” correctly and follow our intuition we can begin to trust ourselves and not follow the beat of someone else’s drum.

The habit of leaning and depending is so ingrained in certain individuals that they abdicate all personal authority in favor of another person, philosophy, or religion. They feel that they will be secure if they can find a person, organization, or religion that they can cling to with blind devotion. They allow this person, organization, or religion to be responsible for their happiness.

Becoming Self-Actualized

Self-actualization is the summit of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a model of human motivation developed in the mid-twentieth century.

Actualization is the state where the full personal potential is achieved. This is only after basic bodily and ego needs have been fulfilled.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, shown above, is typically depicted as a pyramid showing more basic needs on the bottom and more sophisticated needs on the top. Please note, there is some reason to believe that Maslow didn’t necessarily present the hierarchy as a pyramid.

As one need is fulfilled at the bottom of the pyramid, people begin to feel the next need on the pyramid, and so on. As a human being interacts each day, they first feel the need for food most severely, then the need for safety, then love, then self-esteem, and finally, self-actualization.

Ten Characteristics of Self-Actualization

Scott Barry Kaufman studied Maslow’s writings and created a scale to test for these characteristics in individuals. The ten characteristics are listed below and unpacked in this post:

  • Continued Freshness of Appreciation (“I can appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder, and even ecstasy, however stale these experiences may have become to others.”)
  • Acceptance (“I accept all of my quirks and desires without shame or apology.”)
  • Authenticity (“I can maintain my dignity and integrity even in environments and situations that are undignified.”)
  • Equanimity (“I tend to take life’s inevitable ups and downs with grace, acceptance, and equanimity.”)
  • Purpose (“I feel a great responsibility and duty to accomplish a particular mission in life.”)
  • Efficient Perception of Reality (“I am always trying to get at the real truth about people and nature.”)
  • Humanitarianism (“I have a genuine desire to help the human race.”)
  • Peak Experiences (“I often have experiences in which I feel new horizons and possibilities opening up for myself and others.”)
  • Good Moral Intuition (“I can tell ‘deep down’ right away when I’ve done something wrong.”)
  • Creative Spirit (“I have a generally creative spirit that touches everything I do.”)

This post is Day 46 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Want to get involved? Find out more at 100daystooffload.com.

Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

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