Self actualization can be defined as a process towards achieving one's full potential this involves the full use and exploitation of talents and potential. Self-actualized people see life more clearly, are less emotional and more objective. They don’t allow hopes, fears, or self-image resistance to distort their observations. According to Maslow all self-actualized people are committed to a profession or purpose. The necessities for growth are commitment to something greater than oneself and achievement at one's chosen tasks. Major characteristics of self-actualized people include creativity, spontaneity, courage, ability to think in your own and hard work
According to Facione P. (2007) Critical thinking is the mentally disciplined process of vigorously analyzing, applying and evaluating information gathered from observation, experience, reflection, way of thinking, or communication as a guide to belief and action. It involves the assessment of the elements of thought inherent in all reasoning. Critical thinking calls for the aptitude to recognize problems and to find workable means for solving them, comprehend the importance of prioritization and order of priority in problem solving, recognize assumed assumptions and values recognize the existence or non-existence of logical relationships between propositions and make accurate judgments about specific things and qualities in everyday life. Using critical thinking we can assess an argument as creditable of approval because it is valid and founded on true premises.
Personal autonomy is the spontaneous action of a mind molding experience and choosing goals. The actions of a self-actualizing person are not determined exclusively by the physical and social environment, because such a person makes contact with personal resources that promote growth. The degree to which a person is able to be self-accepting allows for a high degree of liberty in interpersonal interactions. Self-actualized individuals do not match to other people's ideas of happiness or contentment and in return this viewpoint allows the individual to live in the moment and appreciate the beauty of each experience.
This refers to the process creating a new solution to a predicament. It has been found out that in creativity quantity matches quality the higher the list of ideas, the superior the quality of the final solution thus it requires much passion and commitment. This is characterized by tendency to be open, original and spontaneous. While self actualizing people are able to follow the commonly accepted social expectations, they don’t feel confined by these rules in their thoughts or behaviors. Creativity therefore requires a balance among synthetic, analytic, and practical thinking abilities. An individual who is only synthetic may come up with inventive ideas, but cannot identify them. The person who is only analytic may be an exceptional reviewer of other people's ideas but is not able to come up with creative ideas. A person who is only practical may sell ideas or products of little or no value as to sell genuinely creative ideas.
Ability to think on your own
Self awareness plays a major role to achieve self realization. When you are aware of what you want to achieve and understand that you are the only one who holds the future in your hands then you are responsible for your own destiny. Self-actualized individuals have a tendency to accept themselves and others as they are. They tend to lack self-consciousness and are able to enjoy themselves and their lives without a charge of guilt.
Thoughts have immense impact on the emotions and states of mind at any given time. For instance the person who thinks that he/she is not happy naturally feels unhappy. Therefore how often one uses destructive reasoning determines a big way the step towards being self actualized. Few people acknowledge that they talk to themselves or understand the significant nature of this internal dialogue in the mind.
Identity formation includes a sense of personal growth and uniqueness from other people. In addition to this individuals also obtain a social identity based on their membership in family groups, ethnic or occupation groups. In addition to satisfying the need for association these groups also help people to identify themselves in the eyes of others and themselves. As described by Erik Erikson in his theory of developmental stages identity formation, which commence from birth all the way to adulthood, successful resolution of ones predicament depends on one's progress through previous developmental stages, centering on fundamental issues of trust, independence, and inventiveness. At the age of 21 almost half of all adolescents are contemplated to have resolved their identity crises and are ready to move on to the adult challenges of love and work. However, not all are able to achieve an incorporated adult identity, because they failed to resolve the identity predicament or because they have experienced no crisis yet. Those who fail in identity formation shrink from making essential choices about their futures and remain arrested, powerless of making sincere commitments to careers or values.
A further step to self-actualization is to distinguish our ego defenses drop them when appropriate. To achieve this we must become more aware of the ways in which we alter images of ourselves or of the external world through suppression, projection and other defenses. The little things in life can activate an Ego defense mechanism for instance a frown from a superior or criticism from the spouse. Once these means are occupied the mind does not process the information it receives properly and therefore need be dropped in order to achieve self actualization.
On the top of Maslow's hierarchy of needs self actualization is founded on reaching one's full potential. Unlike the lower level needs, this need is never fully content because as one grows psychologically there are always new chances to continue to grow.