The term “self-actualization” is well known in both academic and popular psychology, and it refers to a sense of personal identity and power. My own use of Actualization in the Integrated Paradigm includes these, and a bit more.
Building upon Authenticity (see previous post), Actualization can be thought of a dynamic/stage where one reaches a point of personal development where s/he develops the motivation and determination to become a “force to be reckoned with.” From this place of balanced power one is able to step out into their lives with a “bring it on” kind of attitude.
Where Authenticity assists us with knowing and being who we really are, Actualization describes how we operationalize ourselves within our life dynamics and spaces. We know who we are, we are no longer afraid to be who we are, and we take who we are into the world in order to “be all that we can be” in a manner that honors self and others.
Always seeking balance and integration, we do not cultivate Actualization in order to believe ourselves to be superior to and/or dominate others. Instead, we learn how to also encourage others towards their own Actualization. Where self-aggrandized people utilize power AGAINST others in order to rise, self-actualized people apply power FOR self and others so that we might all share in the abundance of success that is available to each and every one.
Very well. I hope that this post will encourage you to take your Authenticity and channel it into greater Actualization that will carry you forward in strength and humility. Strength that drives you through challenges, and humility that reminds you that it is not just about you, but about all.
In closing, I invite you to imagine a world where everyone has reached the dynamic/stage of Actualization within the context I have described above – a world where everyone is invited and encouraged to discover and live with Authenticity, and where all are free to go where their personal Actualization takes them. What a wonderful world that WILL be, and it will indeed be, because we will one day make it so – one body, mind, and Soul at a time.