Self-Actualization is part of the self-perception group of competencies of emotional intelligence, along with self-awareness and self-regard.
What is Self-Actualization?
Are you where you want to be in life, in your career, and in the various aspects of your personal, family and social life? Do you have a clear sense of who you are and of what you want?
Self-actualization is the ability to realize your potential. This means a life long effort towards developing your abilities and talents and constantly working on improving yourself. It involves spending your time in a way that is most meaningful for you and being engaged in activities that are most satisfying for you.
What It Is Not
Self-actualization is not being a workaholic nor it is having a frenzied schedule. We sometimes throw ourselves in activity creating the illusion – for ourselves and for others – that we have a very full life. A hectic schedule may make us very busy but it will not be satisfying unless it fits into a bigger picture goal that is meaningful for us.
If You Have It
If you have a healthy level of self-actualization you have a general sense of fulfillment and satisfaction with your life. You enjoy what you’re doing and you set goals for yourself as you strive to improve. Your life is well rounded with a good balance between all its aspects.
If You Don’t
If your self-actualization is low you may feel that your life is lacking meaning, or that you’re lacking motivation. You may also be unsure about where to go in life.
What does self-actualization has to do with success and happiness? Well, a lot! Successful people are engaged in activities that they find exciting. Happy people enjoy what they do.
To develop your self-actualization one key step is to identify how you want to spend your time. Here is an exercise you can easily do for this purpose.
For seven days make a list at the end of each day of the most enjoyable activities that you had during that day, both at work and in your personal life. How long did each activity last? What is it about them that you liked? Who were the people involved? After a few days, you’ll start getting a clearer picture of what’s most satisfying and meaningful for you.
Next, ask yourself what can you do to make these enjoyable activities last longer? How can you make them happen more frequently? Some times small changes can go a long way. At other times, the changes involved are major and will require some planning. It is certainly worth its while to take a few minutes a day to reflect on how to make your life more enjoyable and more meaningful!