By Tope Babatope
The first part of self-actualization is accepting your true self, but the second part is understanding that the journey has no end point. To self-actualize, you must always strive to expand your horizons as a human being. To achieve success, you must always seek it. The potential to self-actualize is something that lies within us all. You must only make yourselves willing to progress and then take the steps necessary to unlock that self-actualization. Let us look at these .four important steps to consider on your path to self-actualization:
- Stop measuring yourself against others
Most of us have the tendency to measure our self-worth by comparing our accomplishments and abilities to those of the people around us. If you want to see how you’re doing, the easiest way is to see how you measure up with your counterparts. It’s the surest way to demonstrate how far along are you on the path to achieving success. If you’re farther than others, you deem yourselves achievers. If you’re not, you tend to stress and work on ways to improve.
The problem is that self-actualization doesn’t have anything to do with the people around you. Notice the “self” part of the term. The only thing that matters is your progress, not the progress of others. If you hope to self-actualize — or at least get on the path to self-actualization — you must stop gauging yourselves against other people’s accomplishments. Whether it’s education or material things or even beauty standards, you cannot consider this as your standard. You must not work from a standpoint of how you compare; rather, you must work from a standpoint of where you are personally and independently of everyone else.
To achieve this step, you must be able to look in the mirror and say, “This is my portrait. This is who I am. This is my canvas.” With that canvas in mind, do everything in your power to not let your perception of others color that canvass. Only you can paint the picture of who you want to be. No one else is in control of your destiny.
- Learn to accept yourself holistically
It’s so easy to become dissatisfied with who you are and what you have accomplished. Oftentimes, when you look in the mirror, it actually serves to increase the negativity with which you think about yourself. You cannot fall into that trap. In order to self-actualize, you must accept your whole self — your strengths and weaknesses — and you must embrace them all. You cannot downplay your weaknesses or exaggerate your strengths if you hope to get anywhere in life. If progress is to be made, you must operate first from truth.
- Understand that you are in control
No matter how much influence an external factor might have on the people around you, the self-actualized remain unaffected. This is because they know exactly who they are, and can therefore always adapt (and adapt quickly). Because they do not lie to themselves about their own identities, strengths, and weaknesses, they have an immediate and clear picture of the adjustments they need to make to render the external factor irrelevant. Understand that the power you possess in terms of your outlook is absolutely astonishing. If you are realistic, honest, and above all, authentic, there is nothing you can’t achieve.
- Don’t stop growing
Those who self-actualize understand that the journey is never over. To self-actualize requires self-awareness, and self-awareness requires an understanding that there is no such thing as a finished product. There is no such thing as perfection and no such thing as an endgame. To be self-actualized means to understand that you must never stop growing as a person and learning as a professional.