Psychology and Psychiatry


Self-actualization - this is the absolute disclosure by the individual of personal potential, inclinations and inclinations. It is expressed in the personal desire for the most complete identification of personal capabilities and their further education. True self-actualization depends on the presence of favorable social and historical conditions, but it cannot be determined by society or culture from the outside.

Self-actualization does not contain an external goal. It comes from within the individual, expressing its positive nature. Self-actualization is considered a key concept in the humanistic concept in psychology. Its core values ​​are: personal freedom, aspiration for development, the realization of the potential and desires of the subject.

Self-actualization of personality

The problem of self-actualization of the personality was most vividly represented by two leading psychologists, the founders of the humanistic approach to psychological science - C. Rogers and A. Maslow. Therefore, the theory of self-actualization is rooted in the humanistic direction of psychology. It was first bred in the middle of the 20th century in the United States and became the core component of humanistic psychology, which proclaimed itself the third germ of psychology, along with behaviorism and psychoanalysis. Humanistic psychology got its name due to the recognition of the dominant aspect of the personality as a single unique system, which is not something that was given in advance, but an open opportunity for self-actualization. It is based on the belief in the likelihood of each individual to flourish if he is given the opportunity to independently choose his own destiny and give it the right direction.

The emergence of the concept of self-actualization of personality and the allocation of its main positions is associated with the name of A. Maslow. The key point is the notion of the formation of the individual, the doctrine of the need for the ultimate creative self-realization, which leads to true mental health.

According to the study conducted by A. Maslow, self-actualization is given a different definition, but all scientists agree on the main point:

- the need to reconcile the individual with the inner “I” as the “core” of the personality and its expression, in other words “ideal functioning”, the development by the subject of all personal and specific characteristics;

- in minimization of diseases, neurosis, psychosis, which reduce the fundamental personal and all-common propensities of the individual.

Some researchers believe that it is the self-actualization and self-realization of the subject that is the most powerful of the needs of the individual, which can overshadow even the need for food or sleep.

In accordance with the concept of K. Rogers can be divided into two areas in the psyche of the individual, provided by birth. The first is the self-actualizing direction, which includes the makings of, future personality traits. And the second direction is the mechanism of control over the formation of personality or the organismic tracking process. It is on these two trends that the formation of a unique personality, including the real and the ideal I, is based, between which a completely different relationship can be observed - from disharmony to maximum harmony.

In this concept, self-actualization and self-realization of the subject are closely related. Self-actualization of a person is represented as a process of discovery of an individual potential, allowing to become a person who uses absolutely all possibilities. In the course of realization of the goals, the individual lives a fantastically rich, fascinating life, filled with work on oneself and amazing results. Such a person lives, enjoying every moment of existence "here and now."

You can highlight the typical features of self-actualization of personality. The individual engaged in self-actualization and has achieved great success in it, can be characterized as follows:

  • doing his favorite thing;
  • does not obey someone else's influence;
  • committed to development;
  • loves to read;
  • it can be called a creative person;
  • applies a positive mindset;
  • self-assured;
  • open emotionally;
  • forgives himself for the periodic incontinence, irritability inherent in all.

Such individuals are in complete harmony with themselves, so that it can be said with conviction that personal growth contributes to a happier life.

Unfortunately today, the problem of self-actualization is considered one of the most undeveloped aspects in psychology.

Maslow's self-actualization

Maslow is considered the founder of the humanistic approach to psychology. The American psychologist, unlike his fellow scientists, studied mentally healthy individuals, creatively developed individuals, in other words, those subjects who achieved self-actualization. And directly by the term self-actualization, he meant the full use by individuals of their abilities, potential, inclinations.

Maslow's theory of self-actualization is a perfect, selfless experience, alive, with full concentration, absorption and immersion, in other words, an experience without the shyness inherent in adolescence. He also developed the characteristic features of self-actualizing personalities:

- more productive perception of reality and more favorable relations with it;

- acceptance of oneself, others, of nature;

- spontaneity, ingenuousness, immediacy;

- centeredness on the goal;

- non-hostile sense of humor;

- the need for isolation and privacy;

- independence from cultural and environmental autonomy;

- the constant novelty of the assessment;

- experience of higher states;

- deeper and more perfect interpersonal relations;

- separation of means and tasks, concepts of good from evil;

- a sense of ownership, alliance with the rest;

- self-actualizing creativity.

Maslow’s theory of self-actualization is that in order to achieve the goal of evading disappointment in human nature, individuals must first give up their illusions about it. Maslow proposed eight principles of self-actualization.
The first principle is based on complete selfless living experience with absolute concentration and absorption. Often, individuals do not realize what is happening in themselves and around.

The second principle lies in the choice of solutions in the direction of growth in any situation. Choosing growth means opening oneself to a new, unforeseen experience, in which there is a risk of remaining in the unknown.

Principle three teaches individuals to actually exist, not potentially. This principle means that you need to decide on things that are fun, and which are not, regardless of the opinions and positions of others.

Principle Four covers acceptance of responsibility and honesty, which are moments of self-actualization.

The fifth principle is to trust your own instincts, attitudes and following them, and not to trust what is accepted in society. Only in this case, the individual will be able to make the right choice of profession, diet, companion of life, creativity, etc.

The principle of the sixth stands for the regular development of their inclinations, talents, inclinations, their use in order to do perfectly what they want to do.

The principle of the seventh covers a transitional stage in self-actualization, which Maslow referred to as the "peak of experience." In moments of "peaks" people reflect, act and feel as clearly and clearly as possible. They love and accept others more, are freer from personal conflict and unrest, can use their energy more constructively.

Principle eight symbolizes the next step of self-actualization, aimed at finding the "protection" and its destruction. The concept of "protection" in Maslow implies projection, rationalization, repression, identification, etc., in other words, all that is used in psychoanalytic practices.

Maslow outlined several levels of fundamental need, presented below. At the lowest level, he placed the physiological needs, for example, the need for food or intimate relationships. They are followed by the need for security. To satisfy this need, the subject will acquire an apartment, clothes, observe a certain regime, etc. At the third level there is a need for belonging and love, i.e. the individual acquires family, friends. The next level covers the need for respect, i.e. the subject moves up the career ladder, is involved in politics, etc. The fifth level contains the need for self-actualization. It is the highest level in the presented hierarchy of needs.

Maslow singled out common signs for higher needs. He argued that higher needs later emerged. The specificity of the higher needs lies in their uselessness for survival, i.e. the higher the level of hierarchy the need is, the less it will be necessary for survival, the longer its satisfaction will be delayed.

Higher biological efficiency depends on the level of needs satisfied, i.e. the higher the level, the greater will be efficiency, life expectancy, fewer diseases, etc. All higher needs of individuals are perceived as less relevant. After all, a person is not up to reading books when there is nothing or there is no place to live. Satisfying higher needs often leads to personal development, a happier life and enrichment of the inner world.

Only after satisfying the need for self-actualization does the subject actually become full.

The need for self-actualization

One of the internal manifestations of the desire for personal development is the need for self-actualization.

According to the concept of C. Rogers, in human nature, there is a quality or phenomenon that encourages him to move in the direction of progress, towards maturity, to the greater adequacy of their own self, potential and inclinations, to the integrity of the individual. Rogers was convinced that personal growth is peculiar to each individual. He argued that even if the desire for self-actualization would be tightly locked under layers of rusted psychological defenses, hidden behind tricky aspects that reject the very fact of its reality, it still exists in every individual and only waits for the moment of favorable conditions to emerge. Rogers’s theory of self-actualization is based on his conviction in the birth-rate desire to become a whole person, capable and competent as much as the potential allows.

According to Maslow, the need for self-actualization represents the need for self-development, the need for self-expression, the need for self-realization, the desire for identity. He was convinced that the process of self-actualization is a full-fledged development of the personality, which meets the biological predetermination of the individual.

K. Goldstein argued that it is the abilities of the individual that determine his needs. Developing the doctrine of self-actualization, Maslow argued that the abilities of the individual persistently demand their use and stop making their demands only on condition that they are fully used.

In accordance with Maslow's theory, the main motivating force that predetermines the behavior of an individual is the strength of a person who feels it is felt in her personal experience of experience. The process of self-actualization is also reflected in hedonism - the enjoyment of the highest goods inherent in human nature. It is embodied in a feeling of deep satisfaction in life, expressed in a sense of wholeness and enlightenment. Maslow called such feelings peak experiences.

The value significance and intensity of experiences that are associated with satisfying lower needs, for example, in food or sleep, has a predisposition to decrease with each subsequent action to satisfy this need. Along with this, the peak experiences experienced by a person in the course of self-actualization are the most intense, stable, and have greater value for the subject in comparison with the experiences arising from the satisfaction of lower needs. This builds on Maslow’s whole concept of hierarchy of needs. The main postulate of his concept can be considered the assertion that the desire for self-actualization will always prevail in the ranking of motives.

Goldstein also argued that a healthy subject may temporarily postpone the satisfaction of such needs as food, sex, to satisfy curiosity or other motives.

Maslow believed that in order to satisfy the higher needs, the subject could endure hardships and hardships, he would make sacrifices. Often, for the sake of the views and principles, the individual agrees to lead an ascetic lifestyle. In doing so, Maslow emphasized the fundamental difference between deficient and existential motivation. An individual who does not satisfy his basic needs, feels deficit, for example, in safety or food, will perceive the world as a hostile reality, which requires him to mobilize all efforts for survival. In such a world, he becomes accustomed to being defeated, as a result of which his entire moral and value system is subordinated only to his lowest needs. At the same time, the self-actualizing individual no longer cares about the problems of survival, he is striving for development and is governed by the inner potencies that were originally laid in him by nature and require their realization and development.

According to Maslow, self-actualization of a person means moving upward from the need to eliminate the deficit. He emphasized that the self-actualization of a person cannot be considered as a state of nirvana, in which there are no problems at all. On the contrary, in the process of self-actualization, a person is faced with real problems of being, which can carry frustration and pain. Going beyond the boundaries of their own capabilities in the process of creative being, a self-actualizing individual has to fight with himself in order to force himself to make efforts for the next step in his own being.

Along with this, Maslow was convinced that self-actualization cannot be the ultimate goal in itself. He said that the process of self-actualization is hard and painstaking work, leading to a gradual increase in achievements. Maslow also pointed to the possibility of "pseudo-development" due to evasion of unmet need. This happens when the person convinces himself that the unmet highest need for self-actualization is actually satisfied or does not exist at all. However, this need is necessarily present as an unconscious force that calls on the individual to develop his own potential, to fulfill his life predestination, becoming himself.

Self-actualization as the goal of the individual, will simultaneously be an intermediate and ultimate goal. Maslow was convinced that self-actualization does not constitute just the final state, it is directly the process of translating the potential of an individual into reality.

The development of self-actualization

Today, in an era of rapid social transformations, forcing an individual to consistently transform their own established and established life relationships, to rebuild themselves, the problem of applying and developing personal potential arises in a more acute and qualitatively new way. Therefore, the issue of the importance of creating conditions for personal self-actualization, the need for incentives for personal growth and the development of the creative potential of those individuals whose professional and work activities include training, nurturing and helping is of particular relevance.

For individuals whose profession is closely connected with communicative interaction with people, a high degree of personal maturity, mental health and degree of self-actualization are not only professionally significant characteristics, but also key factors determining the effectiveness of work.

Self-actualization is a mental neoplasm, which is directly related to the formation of the highest abilities, the need to achieve success, overcome obstacles and rush to the unknown heights of growth, both personal and professional.

The development of self-actualization is an eternal value for any modern subject. Способствуя процессу освоения внешних элементов позитивного отношения к реализации деятельности, вследствие чего формируется позитивное отношение к собственной личности, восприятие себя в качестве субъекта такой деятельности, самоактуализация играет роль движущего фактора развития личности.It contributes to the maximum manifestation of personal potential, the disclosure of the most hidden opportunities of the individual, and leads to self-organization and personal self-improvement. Also, self-actualization is a key factor in the development of internal integrity, the inseparability of all aspects of personality. For example, self-actualization determines the purposeful nature of the subject’s activities, gives promises to further professional and personal growth, promotes interactive processes of personal formation, being such an organizing moment that leads to the natural state of self-organization.

A necessary condition and foundation for the development of self-actualization will be the harmony of the psychological organization of the individual. The harmony of the psychological organization of personal self-actualization is determined by the formation of the spheres of the individual’s life activity (behavioral, intellectual and emotional), the balanced development of these spheres and their integration.