Culture Insights Blog

Being Self-Actualised

Published on 16 Mar 2018


As human beings, we are capable of re-directing our lives simply by altering the way we think. It is this fact that makes change possible – If you first take the time to understand yourself, and then make a serious effort to use what you learn. Ultimately, the choice is yours; you can become complacent with yourself as you are, or explore your potential and make the most of your abilities. This is true by Self-actualised people.

Self-actualised people are able to live in, and enjoy the present moment. Freed from the belief that self-worth is related to being approved or recognised by others, these individuals actively take a higher degree of responsibility for themselves and are motivated by their own values and beliefs. They lead satisfying lives, and their behaviour is an effective insulator against stress.

Individualistic by nature, self-actualised people have a strong interest in working to become everything they are capable of being. They have a healthy sense of self-worth, a strong curiosity about people and things, and an acute awareness of both their own and others’ feelings. Their insights and directness add fresh perspective to situations. 

So, what are some of the characteristics of Self-actualised people?

  • Receptive to change and an ability to make things better, with an openness to new experiences
  • Creative problem solver, imaginative, and has a unique approach to life
  • Tend to have a great deal of confidence in oneself, is self-respecting and has high acceptance of self, others and situations “as they are”
  • A healthy outlook, improved perspective and judgement
  • Non-defensive, with greater flexibility and adaptive-ness

Becoming self-actualised is the final step in one’s growth and maturation process. Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology, that the most basic level of needs must be met before the individual will strongly desire (or focus motivation) upon the secondary or higher level needs eg. Self-actualisation.


Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Maslow used the terms "physiological", "safety", "belonging and love", "esteem", "self-actualisation" to describe the pattern that human motivations generally move through. The goal of Maslow's Theory is to attain the sixth level or stage

Physiological Needs
This includes the basic physiological needs which are vital to our survival; Food, Water, Air, Sleep and Shelter.

The second level is the need for security and safety; Health and wellness, Financial security, Employment and Personal security.

The third level looks at the social needs and need for emotional relationships; Family, Friends, Romantic attachments and a sense of connection.

At the fourth level, this is the need for appreciation and respect. While the first three levels focus on satisfaction, the esteem level plays a more prominent role in motivating behavior; Selt-esteem, Valued, Strength and Freedom

At the very peak of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs is self-actualisation, the final building block and the desire to become the most that one can be.

According to Maslow’s definition of self-actualization:

"It may be loosely described as the full use and exploitation of talents, capabilities, potentialities, etc. Such people seem to be fulfilling themselves and to be doing the best that they are capable of doing... They are people who have developed or are developing to the full stature of which they capable."

Learning to value what you want from life and allowing your feelings, thoughts and goals to guide you more often will help you on your way to becoming Self-actualised.