How to Reach Self-Actualization

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How to Reach Self-Actualization

When a person reaches the stage of self-actualization, they'll be able to fully use their strength and aware of their limits. / Photo by: Anastasia Vish via 123rf


At the very top of Maslow's hierarchy of needs and also the final phase of human development is self-actualization. Goodtherapy says that it is sometimes called an enlightened maturity. When a person reaches this stage of their life, they are able to fully use their strengths while being aware of their limits. His model of the hierarchy of needs consist of physiological needs, the need for safety, love and belonging, esteem and lastly self-actualization.


Traits of Self-Actualized People

According to Verywell Mind, self-actualized people are characterized by:

Having frequent peak experiences

People who have reached the peak of their existence may feel that various opportunities are being presented to them. They feel both more powerful and vulnerable than they have ever been, and often have feelings of amazement and wonder. They also feel that something significant has happened in their life, and in some way, they have become transformed and strengthened.

Have  self-acceptance and a democratic worldview

They are also able to fully accept themselves and others. They are often unrestrained and are able to live their lives without guilt. They treat other people from different backgrounds, current status, socio-economic status, and other cultural factors equally and are able to embrace their differences.


They have a logical and rational perspective on life. They are no longer afraid of things they are unfamiliar with or things that are different.


They are driven by a great sense of responsibility and ethics. They find pleasure in being able to use their problem-solving skills in real-world situations. They also enjoy being able to help others enhance their lives.


They are often independent. They do not feel the need to adhere to other people’s concept of being happy and content. This view enables them to live in the moment and savor everything they experience.



Enjoy Solitude and privacy

Although they may be happy to be in the company of others, they give importance to privacy and solitude. They know that being able to spend time by themselves is vital for making new personal discoveries and developing their potential.

Have a philosophical sense of humor

Usually, they have a thoughtful sense of humor. They are able to find humor in their own circumstances and are able to laugh at themselves. They do not make jokes that will put down or offend other people.


They are often described as being open, unique and spontaneous. Although they are often able to meet most social standards, they do not feel that these norms restrict their thoughts or actions.

Enjoy the journey, not just the destination

They do not merely see things as a way to achieve their goals. They value the steps they need to take in reaching the goal as much as being able to accomplish it.


Steps to Develop Self-Actualization

Conscious Life News states that for a person to be able to attain self-actualization, they must:

1. Not compare themselves to others

Most people have the tendency to measure their achievements against their peers. They may often mull over whether they should do the same things others are doing such as going back to school or getting married. They may use these comparisons to identify where they actually want to be in life.

They should learn not to keep comparing themselves to other people. These comparisons may only cause them to be harder on themselves and worry about things that they are unable to control.

2. Accept their  entire self

They should be able to accept themselves entirely, both the good parts of them and the bad. They should be able to cherish themselves despite their flaws and be able to acknowledge their strengths.

They should be able to have a full awareness of their identity. They must also learn to able to use their strengths and weaknesses to help them reach their full potential. They are also advised to be able to learn to find humor in all situations and not take themselves too seriously. At the same time, they must be kind to others and be understanding of their differences.


A person who accepts themselves entirely acknowleges their strengths and cherishes themselves despite of the flaws. / Photo by: ferli via 123rf


3. Realize  they are in control

They must be able to recognize that they are the ones in charge of their destiny. There may be external factors that will affect their behaviors and plans, but they must be able to have self-awareness. They must be able to see that they still need to keep developing themselves both personally and professionally.

Even though everything may go wrong, if they in a self-actualized state, they will remain true to themselves and get through the situation using their strengths and their weaknesses. In those moments, they may feel confused about themselves. It is suggested that during those times they must learn more about themselves and where they want to be when a similar circumstance arises.

4. Continual development

As they gain expertise in one section of their life, they must find the next area they need to work on. The effort they put into this is a cycle. They may find that there is one area in their life that they need to improve more than just a few times. Being able to internally know themselves will lead them to a higher consciousness and understanding.

Those who pursue self-actualization will get the chance to be able to attain total fulfillment and happiness in their life.


When a person gains expertise in one part of their life, they will find another area where they can work on to improve themselves. / Photo by: langstrup via 123rf




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