Self-actualization is an emotional intelligence element, it is one of the self-perception skills. Emotional intelligence (EQ) is a key underlying factor in our success in life and at work. And, self-actualization is one of the more important yet often overlooked EQ subscales. It involves your ability to want to learn and grow, it’s your motivation to stretch yourself to become all you can be.
Self-actualization is also the highest of our needs as evidenced by Maslow’s research on what motivates us. The idea is, you need to have the lower level needs met before you can work on the higher levels. If you are having difficulty breathing (a physiological need), you aren’t going to be worrying about who loves you and who doesn’t. See his triangle below:
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Take a quick look to rate yourself, and see where you are in terms of self-actualization
Low Moderate High Too Much (over-used)
| Not ambitious
| Set goals
Open to learning
Want to advance
| Joyous pursuit of goals
Passion for improvement
Work toward well-being
| Too intense – driven
Dissatisfied – not enough
Why is it important to develop your self-actualization skills? Living with a sense of purpose, having goals and striving to achieve them, is a healthy way to live your life. As we end this year and start a new one, this is a great time to work on your life plan. What are you going to accomplish in 2019? Set some stretch but attainable goals for yourself, and write them down.