Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Self-actualization Examples

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There are five stages of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and one of them is Self-actualization. It refers to the realization of someone’s potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences. Talking about self-actualization, there are some examples of it as you can read below.

Examples of Self-Actualization

There are a lot of forms of self-actualization. And how a self-actualization of an employee appears can depend on some factors such as culture, age and other factors.

According to the Good Therapy, here are some examples of Self-Actualization

  • In a given situation, they find humor.
  • They will be able to get enjoyment and satisfaction out of the present moment.
  • They understand what they need to be able to get a sense of fulfillment.
  • They tend to feel secure and unashamed in who they are.

According to the Berkeley Well Being Institute, here are the examples of Self-Actualization.

  • They have a desire to make bad situations better.
  • They have a desire to reward and praise others.
  • They have belief in fairness and equal opportunity for all.

According to the FM Link site, here is a list of rewards, practices and programs that supervisors and the organizations may use to fulfil the self-actualization needs of employees.

  • They are able to provide for participation in the processes of setting goals and making decisions.
  • They can provide opportunities and support for a plan of career-development.
  • They are able to provide job rotation where it is aimed to broaden experience and exposure.
  • They are able to offer optimal innovative and risk-taking chances.
  • They are able to encourage communication which is direct-access with customers, clients, vendors and suppliers.
  • Challenging internal and external professional development opportunities can be provided by them.
  • Supportive leadership that can encourage a high degree of self-control can be provided by them.
  • For exceptional performance, they are able to compensate as a reward.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Self-actualization Examples

Some Examples of Self-Actualization Needs in Real Life

According to the Studious Guy site, here are some real-life examples of self-actualization needs.

  • Famous People
    Cited from the Studious Guy site, famous people such as Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and many more are some real examples who had anticipated self-actualization by living for the betterment of the society. As we know that Nelson Mandela had served his life for racial equality in a very unstable environment of violence, racism and political instability. He knew his potential and he used it to create a society without any racism. How about Mahatma Gandhi? He was an Indian freedom fighter. He fought for the nation through non-violence and he had given an example to be a great leader in the world. At the risk of his own life, he stood up for freedom.
  • Employees’ Growth and Development
    Employees who have Self-actualization needs are more concerned about their development and growth in the workplace. They search for tasks which are more challenging, work which is more independent with less supervision, leadership roles, participation in making decisions in main issues and a chance to improve their skills and education and more. So, to be able to fulfill the self-actualization needs of employees, managers have to promote an environment where employees can obtain the opportunities that they want.
  • Artists and Creative People
    Since art can increase the psychological wellness of people, it is considered that art is a great platform for self-actualization. Artists and audiences have an interpretation about art that moves toward self-realization where it is a form of self-actualization, for example, painters who should paint, musicians to play or compose music and many more.
  • Exhibitions of Art
    There are a lot of different exhibitions which are organized. Those are done to show the creative work or creativity of different artists like writers, painters and many more. In the exhibitions, books of writers are displayed, paintings of painters are displayed as well and it fulfills the self-actualization needs of artists.
  • Social Workers
    There are a lot of people who work as volunteers. They do that for the society to be better without hoping to get any personal benefit in return for the fulfilment of their self-actualization needs. Volunteers or social workers serve people independently or by associating themselves with NGOs or trusts which are aimed to provide basic facilities to poor and needy people in a society. Let’s take an example. Mrs. Sudha is a popular person and a social worker and she is Mr. Narayna Murthy’s wife and also the chairperson of Infosys Foundation. She did self-actualization by involving in different social work activities such as healthcare, education, art and culture, women empowerment, poverty issues, public hygiene-related work, and many more. She has established 70,000 libraries in different schools and it is her vision to be able to open a library for each school. Besides, she also gave a contribution to make public toilets in Bangalore for public hygiene.

Characters of Self-Actualization

According to the Studious Guy site, here are the characteristics of self-actualized people.

  • They can accept themselves and others and their sense of acceptance is strong.
  • They are creative and they have a great creative sense.
  • They can make and sustain deep relationships.
  • They have great humor and they can find humor in their own problem areas or mistakes.
  • They work to a purpose and the activities that they do are directed to fulfil the purpose.
  • They can show empathy for others naturally.

In addition to these characteristics, there are other characteristics of self-actualized people.

  • They are able to exist autonomously.
  • They are able to perceive reality accurately as it relates to themselves and others.
  • They often experience moments of profound happiness. Maslow called it peak experiences.
  • They have an ongoing appreciation of the goodness of life. Some people call this trait a childlike wonder.

About Self-Actualization

In Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-actualization is the last stage of development. This stage will be able to happen if a person can take full advantage of their talents and they are still mindful of their limitations.

As explained on the Good Therapy site, the process of self-actualization is different for every person. It is also important for you to note that not all people can achieve all levels of the hierarchy throughout their lives.

On the Good Therapy site, it is also explained that the Maslow believed getting self-actualization is rather rare and stated that only about 1% of the adult population has self-actualized. However, current research shows that the number may be higher.

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