Self-Actualization: What does it mean?

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Noah Frame, Author

Self-actualization is part of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. This theory is based on psychological health and focuses on fulfilling natural human needs in an attempt to improve our self-worth.  There are five levels to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that consist of physiological, safety, love and belongings, and self-actualization needs, but we will be looking at just self-actualization. Self-actualization is not selfish needs, but instead self-fulfillment needs and is the ability to protect your highest level of  goals. “What a man can be, he must be. This need we call self-actualization.”-Abraham Maslow 

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You might be asking yourself, what really is self-actualization?  Some examples are acceptance, authenticity, humanitarianism, and good moral intuition. These are some of the many characteristics of self-actualization. I think it is important to be self-actualized as it is a way to accept yourself and others around you. I believe it is important to do this because accepting who you are as a person is good for your mental health. It improves the self and allows one to be more independent. This is important because as people, we should live life the way we want and not allow other opinions to control who we are.  “One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.” -Abraham Maslow 

Overall, I feel people tend to shy away from their goals because others tear them down and prevent them from living their lives. Being self-actualized about your goals is good and all, but the journey towards achieving the goal is just as important and enjoyable as it is when you reach or complete your goal. This also leads to being more spontaneous. It helps release people from social expectations they might not agree with.,  I am not here to tell you how to live, I’m just trying to explain how being self-actualized is a good thing and that it would be good habit to practice more often.

Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski