The journey towards Self-Actualization


Paridhi Laddha

Psychology Associate

Have you ever heard of the term self-actualization? As someone who has been a personal development junkie for a few years now, I was surprised to learn about the term ‘self-actualization’ recently.

Maybe you’re in the same boat. Perhaps you’ve read up on various topics like how to be more self-confident, self-limiting beliefs, how to gain more self-awareness, but you’ve never heard of self-actualization. Don’t fret! I’m going to give you a crash course on what self-actualization is and the 9 traits most commonly found in a self-actualized person.

The concept of self-actualization came from Abraham Maslow. Maslow is best known for his hierarchy of innate human needs. At the bottom of his hierarchy are physiological needs, such as food and water. Up from there is safety and then belongingness, which would include intimate relationships and friends. Above belongingness is esteem or things like prestige and the feeling of accomplishment. On the very top of Maslow’s hierarchy rests self-actualization.

Self-actualization is a state in which people have reached their fullest potential. The real journey of human life begins with the pursuit of self-esteem and self-actualization.

A self-actualized is a person who has become everything they're capable of becoming. This stage occurs when a person is able to take full advantage of their talents and capacities while still being mindful of their limitations and flaws. In other words, it refers to maturity characterized by the achievement of goals, acceptance of oneself, and an ability to self-assess in a realistic and positive way.

Self-Actualization is when a person is completely satisfied with their lives in terms of love, security, capability, etc. A person reaches this point after competing from self, overcoming all the hustles and reaching their goals and dreams. It should be out paramount goal in life to reach this point to completely utilize all our capabilities.

By accomplishing self-actualization, you are able to find meaning and purpose in your life, and you are able to say you truly 'lived.'

Self-actualization characteristics and traits

1. Acceptance

Self-actualized people accept themselves and other people as they are, and they have no expectations for how people should be and otherwise. They understand that no one is perfect, and they accept their own flaws as well as those of others and embrace them. While a lot of people wish they were different in some way, self-actualized people do not. They love themselves for who they are, despite realizing their flaws.


Another major characteristic of self-actualized people is a sense of realism. Rather than being fearful of things that are different or unknown, the self-actualized individual is able to view life as it unfolds both logically and rationally. They are realistic about their goals and vulnerabilities. They are aware of the thin line between over-optimism and practicality.

3. Autonomous

Self-actualized people also tend to be very ​independent. They don't conform to other people's ideas of happiness or contentment. They do not rely on people, the world, or any external factors for their happiness. Instead, they draw satisfaction from their own development and personal growth.

They are comfortable being alone because they are very independent. Self-actualized people are not bothered by others opinions of them. Self-actualized individuals value their privacy and enjoy solitude. While they also love the company of others, taking time to themselves is paramount for their personal growth, insight, and nourishment.


Another characteristic of self-actualized people is a tendency to be open, unconventional, and spontaneous. They work on their goals spontaneously without procrastinating and giving excuses.

5. Continued freshness of appreciation

‘Self-actualizing people have the wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder and even ecstasy, however stale these experiences may have become to others for such a person, any sunset may be as beautiful as the first one’. They have an ongoing appreciation of the goodness of life. Some might refer to this trait as childlike wonder. They are truly grateful to all the joys of life.

6. Compassion and empathy

Self-actualized people have a deep feeling of sympathy, benevolence, and affection for humankind. They develop meaning relationships with people and spread a lot of love in the universe. They give a lot in relationships without expecting anything in return.

7. Clarity and purpose

They have a purpose in life and they constantly work towards the attainment of that purpose. They have the utmost clarity about their goals, what they want from life, why they want it, how can they get it. They also practice the trial and error method until they accomplish their true purpose.

8. They live in the here and now

They believe in living in the here and now. Self-actualized people have complete acceptance and sense of realism which makes them realize the value of the present which they cherish and live completely.

9. Authenticity

Self-actualized individuals have a strong sense of who they are. They have a deep understanding of their beliefs and values.

Because they accept and understand themselves, they are authentic and true to themselves. They do not pretend to be anything they are not. Being authentic is very important as you are honest to yourself for the fulfillment of goals and accomplishment of your desires while having clarity and by staying true to yourself and others.

You should learn to be more present in your life, accept yourself and those around you, and to be more spontaneous and unconventional. You can work towards finding your purpose in life, to becoming more humanitarian, and embracing the unknown. Self-actualization enhances the psychological well-being of the individual.

Remember, becoming self-actualized is not a destination; it’s a journey. We should all thrive for the accomplishment of the same to achieve a great sense of fulfillment in life.

View more content by Paridhi Laddha

Umang Chhatrola
Really loved this article! 👍
This is incredible !! Loved it. Thanks for sharing this article with all the readers 😀
Surbhi Sharda
Amazing article!! Loved it💯