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Self Actualization - Essay Example

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Self-actualization can be described as paraphrasing the concept of self-fulfillment. Self-actualization is the human need to seek fulfillment of their potential; the concept is examined and expanded on in the literature review. Various author cited below have examined self-actualization as it pertains to different aspects of human identity, including religious beliefs, sexual identity, and marriage…
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Self Actualization

Self-actualization is a psychological concept accredited to Kurt Goldstein, defined as an instinctive human need to make the most of their abilities and to strive for fulfillment of their potential. In Maslow's expansion of Goldstein's concept, an individual reaches self-actualization when they feel assured of their physiological security, affiliations and affections, and their respect. In Maslow's terms, "What a man can be, he must be (Maslow, 1943)."
Self-actualization can be described in layspeech as self-fulfillment. Though the term carries various implications and nuances depending upon the academic, its essence is of happiness and fulfillment. Paxton and Turner paraphrase Shostrom:
Overall, Shostrom's theory of self-actualization is one that emphasizes positive mental health and psychological adjustmentActualizing persons are viewed by Shostrom as individuals who are willing to take the risk of being themselves and to respond according to how they feel in the present, rather than adhering to rigid patterns of the past or to inflexible goals of the future. Two concepts that are central to Shostrom's theory of actualizing are inner-direction and time competence. Shostrom describes actualizing persons as being inner-directed, meaning that the motivation for their behavior comes from within, not from external influences. The importance of the concept of inner-direction to Shostrom's theory is illustrated by the fact that he describes inner-direction as a goal of self-actualizing and a central tenet Time competence, another characteristic of actualizing individuals, refers to the ability to live in the here-and-now rather than predominantly living in the past and/or in the future (66).

Self-actualization is intimately related to identity-the concept of fulfillment grows from one's perception of self. "The reflected self is composed of three elements: The self-concept (SC)-a person's perception of himself or herself; the Perceived Self-Concept (PSC)-a person's perception of others' evaluations of him or her; and the Social Self-Concept (SSC)-others' actual evaluations of a person (Schafer et al, 168)."
The well-known Chilean sociologist Max-Neef has inextricably nine components of fulfillment and actualization in his matrix of needs-satisfactions. According to Max-Neef, people and communities reach fulfillment when they have access to the following: Basic subsistence (food, shelter, work), Protection (rights, family, security), Affect (friends, family, partners or spouses), Understanding (education, policy, and communications which orient one in their social context), Participation (rights, responsibilities, and obligations), Recreation (games, shows, parties, leisure), Creation (abilities, talents, methods, and skills), Identity (symbols, language, customs, sexuality, values, and roles), and Freedom (civil rights and equality) (Max-Neef, 1986).
Fundamental
Human Needs
Being
(qualities)
Having
(things)
Doing
(actions)
Interacting
(settings)
subsistence
physical and
mental health
food, shelter
work
feed, clothe,
rest, work
living environment,
social setting
protection
care,
adaptability
autonomy
social security,
health systems,
work
co-operate,
plan, take care
of, help
social ... Read More
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