Ten Characteristics of a Self-Actualized Person
On a previous blog post I posed the question… Are you self-actualized? And we reviewed Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs leading to Self-Actualization.
When I researched Maslow’s Characteristics of a Self-Actualized Person, I found many iterations from countless people so this is my take on what I discovered. The exciting part for me was realizing that I am moving closer and closer to that elusive state even though I'm certain it is a life-long journey. Also, I'm more convinced than ever that taking a strengths approach to life and work is fundamentally important, along with the other empowerment and leadership skills I’ve learned, personally practice and share with others. Check out the ten characteristics below to see how you are doing on your journey ;)
- Acceptance of themselves and others. Self-actualized people have a comfortable acceptance of self, others and nature The shortcomings and contradictions of the human condition are accepted with humor and tolerance. As a result they are able to enjoy their lives more fully.
- Efficient perceptions of reality. Self-actualizers are able to judge situations correctly and honestly. They are not fearful as they are able to view life as it is and as it unfolds without layering negative meanings.
- Continued freshness of appreciation. The self-actualizer seems to constantly renew their appreciation of life's basic goods. A sunset or a flower will be experienced as intensely time after time as it was at first — they can appreciate, enjoy and be present to the moment.
- Reliant on own experiences and judgement. They don't rely on or conform to culture, environment or others to form their opinions and views. While they are able to follow generally accepted social expectations, they are true to themselves.
- Strong sense of personal ethics and responsibility. They tend to have something beyond themselves to pursue - some call that a mission — that allows them to apply their strengths to making something better in the world.
- Socially compassionate. A hallmark of a self-actualized person is someone who has a concern for helping to improve the welfare and happiness of people – they possess humanity.
- Profound interpersonal relationships. The interpersonal relationships of self-actualizers are marked by deep, loving bonds.
- Comfort with solitude. Despite their satisfying relationships with others, self-actualizers find taking time to themselves is essential for their personal discovery and cultivating their individual potential.
- Non-hostile sense of humor. This refers to the ability to laugh at oneself. Self-actualized individuals generally have a thoughtful sense of humor. They're able to enjoy the humor in situations and laugh at themselves, but they don't ridicule or joke at the expense of another person's feelings
- Peak experiences. All of Maslow's subjects reported the frequent occurrence of peak experiences (temporary moments of self-actualization). These occasions were marked by feelings of ecstasy, harmony, and deep meaning. Self-actualizers reported feeling at one with the universe, stronger and calmer than ever before, filled with light, beauty, goodness, and so forth.
How are you doing on your journey? Just remember this one is life-long so I encourage you to…
Spread the word,