12 Charactertistics of a Self-Actualized Person

Even though we aren’t all in the army, most of us are trying to ‘be all you can be” in life. This pursuit is called self-actualization.

Abraham Maslow, the psychologist who defined self-actualization and the hierarchy of needs, believed that self-actualization can be achieved once all other needs are met. For those of us how have a stable food supply, safe shelter, and friends/family, the inner journey becomes imperative.

It is a constant striving to reach your full potential. People reach their personal mountaintop on different paths, but Maslow believed that the view was the same once at the summit. A realized self. He detailed them in the 12 characteristics of a self-actualized person:

1) Self-actualized people embrace the unknown and the ambiguous.
2) They accept themselves, together with all their flaws.
3) They prioritize and enjoy the journey, not just the destination.
 4) While they are inherently unconventional, they do not seek to shock or disturb.
5) They are motivated by growth, not by the satisfaction of needs.
6) Self-actualized people have purpose.
7) They are not troubled by the small things.
8) Self-actualized people are grateful.
9) They share deep relationships with a few, but also feel identification and affection towards the entire human race.
10) Self-actualized people are humble.
11) Self-actualized people do not allow themselves to be passively molded by culture.
12) Despite all this, self-actualized people are not perfect. 

How many of these characteristics do you embody? How do you strive to embody all of them? What must you do? What must you be?

Become a leader of your own life to find purpose and meaning. We all want greatness for our lives, but many obstacles can present themselves, and we are often the ones that put them there. Challenge yourself to always lead your life, not just robotically go along with old life scripts. It is easy to fall into routine and habit, and fall away from new and unknown.

It requires trust. Trust in yourself. A belief that you are capable of creating great change, that you are worth it, and that you deserve it.

So what do you need to remake yourself to be happy? How do you self-actualize? How do you rewrite the scripts of your life? Or just improvise instead?

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Dr. Mike Klaybor

Dr. Mike Klaybor

Dr. Mike Klaybor brings thirty years of experience in practicing counseling psychology with individuals and couples. His approach is cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. Specific specialties include; anxiety and stress management, chronic pain & chronic illness management, depression, substance abuse evaluations, employee assistance and executive coaching for workplace performance and leadership.