What is Self Actualization? And why do Self actualized people make better leaders?

The concept of self-actualization

Although the concept of self-actualization was originally discussed by Gestalt psychologist Kurt Goldstein, it is most often associated with humanistic psychology, and psychologist Abraham Maslow, who used self-actualization as the pinnacle of his hierarchy of needs. 

Self-actualisation is at the top of the pyramid. It represents the full realisation of each human’s potential and is much less about happiness or achievement and much more about health and growth.

In my work I am most interested in helping leaders; misfits, innovators, alchemists and creatives, to know themselves, trust themselves and express themselves; living to their fullest potential - without dysregulating their nervous systems and/or burning out.

Reaching self-actualisation involves being true to yourself, achieving inner peace and real-ising your dreams sustainably and enjoyably.

Reaching your unique potential is the ultimate human need and is a core part of being human. This occurs when you are able to take full advantage of your talents while still being mindful of your limitations. It's much more about actualising who you BE, rather than what you DO. 

This is why in order to Self Actualise, you get to understand your purpose, your unique gifts and talents and your values. There are many ways to unlock and realise these; when you work with me, we use Numerology, Human Design, Value elicitation, Embodiment techniques, nervous system regulation and good old-fashioned mindset work in the facilitation of you finding your wisest, truest self and then expressing your purpose for the greatest highest good and expansion of humanity and the planet.

 Self-actualising and helping others to self-actualise, are intrinsic components of good leadership.

self-leadership is one of the most important skills that we can awaken and demonstrate in business or entrepreneurship, AND also within teaching, parenting and the creative sectors.

Self-actualised Leadership is not about one person at the top taking charge, but all humans being sovereign, making good choices, realising their unique potential and self-actualising.

Self Actualisation in this sense is also used to refer to an enlightened maturity characterised by the achievement of the desired experience, acceptance of oneself, and an ability to self-assess in a realistic and self-assured way. 

I help my clients to understand the path of Self-actualisation and explore their own through coaching, facilitation, immersive 1:1 and small group experiences, books and self-study courses.

What I know to be true is that Self-actualised folk are better leaders because of the journey they have been on, the shadow work required to meet the conditioned, rejected, shamed and traumatised parts of themselves, AND the top ten traits that self-actualised people exhibit.

The top 10 traits of Self-actualized people:

1. Awe and appreciation: Some might refer to this trait as childlike wonder. They don't think they have everything figured out, or that there is only one way to do things, they continue to appreciate everyday experiences as if it were the first time, they were experiencing them. With awe, pleasure, gratitude and joy. 

2. Acceptance: Rather than attempting to do and be whatever they feel they must to be approved, by themselves and others, they have an unconditional love for, and an unapologetic attitude towards themselves and others.

3. Integrity and authenticity: In situations that might see others bent or swayed self-actualised people remain true to their values and sense of self.  They have a clear sense of who they are and they behave in ways that are consistent with their values. They are not afraid to stand their ground and stand up for what they believe in.

4. Equanimity: When the external world is chaotic or stressful, they maintain inner peace and deal with the ups and downs of life with grace, poise and calm.

5. Purpose: They are connected to their particular and unique Dharma or mission in life. They spend time honing their commitment to their mission. They do not get pulled off path by easy or comfortable distractions.

6. Good grasp of reality: They have a keen sense of discernment and don’t take things at face value. They understand and look for the subtext and context. They don’t let their ego or the surface facts colour their judgement.

7. Humanitarianism: They have high self and collective awareness and contribute to the greater good of humanity in a way that is fulfilling to themselves and others. They are able to maintain a sense of impartiality and no matter what, act to relieve the suffering of all people.

8. Peak experiences: They often lead themselves and others across new thresholds, innovating, being ahead of their time and exploring new possibilities. They find enjoyment and satisfaction in the challenge and in the present moment. They attract deep and meaningful relationships. They find humour in their own mistakes and experience frequent moments of profound happiness. 

9. High MQ (moral quotient): They can tell right away when they or another has done something ‘wrong.’ They demonstrate and promote empathy, integrity, responsibility, forgiveness, compassion and patience. They do ‘the right thing’ even if it is uncomfortable to do so.

10. Creative Spirit: They have a well-developed sense of creativity, and bring it to everything they do. Their creativity, imagination and essence are present in everything they do.


How many of these traits do you relate to?

How does your experience of self-actualisation compare to what is described here?

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