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To Live a Much More Fulfilling Life, Aim at Self Actualization

To Live a Much More Fulfilling Life, Aim at Self Actualization

What makes it so difficult for people to accept who they really are? In a simple word, let me say pressure. There is so much pressure in this 21st Century of ours especially in today’s hyper-competitive and hyper-informed society for people to call themselves something they’re not.

As Abraham Maslow highlighted, we all follow our own paths, it matters only how completely we dedicate ourselves to reaching the personal and psychological greatness that is placed at the top. For the top of the self-acceptance pyramid lies the concept of self-actualization.

With self-actualization, you achieve expert control of your imagination, spontaneity, and problem-solving skills. You have assumed a comfortable and sensible values. You operate with the ability to separate truth from fiction, while reducing prejudice. It is, in its own way, the clearest definition of what it takes to be enlightened as a person and as a business owner.

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 should always make an effort to expand your dream as a human being. To achieve success, you must always seek it. The dream to self-actualize is something that lies within all of us[1]. You must only make her willing to progress and then take the steps necessary to unlock that self-actualization. Having explained this, here are four important steps to consider on your path to self-actualization:

Avoid measuring yourself with others.

Many people have the tendency to measure our self-worth by comparing our accomplishments and skills to those of the people around all of us. If you want to observe how you’re doing, the easiest way is to see how you measure with your alternatives. It is the definite way to demonstrate how long along are you in relation to reaching success.

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Also, self-actualization doesn’t have everything to do with the people who are around you. Notice the word “self” part of the term. The only thing that matters is your progress, not the improvement of others. If you hope to self-actualize or at least get on the way to self-actualization you must stop gauging yourselves against other people’s accomplishments.

Figure out how to agree to yourself holistically.

It’s so easy to become disappointed with who you are and what you have accomplished. Oftentimes, when you look in the reflection, it actually serves to raise the negativity with which you think about yourself. You can not fall into that trap. To access self-actualization, you must accept your personality, your strengths and weaknesses, then you must embrace them all. You cannot downplay your weaknesses or exaggerate your strengths if you wish to get anywhere in life.

Don’t stop, just keep growing.

Those who self-actualize realize that the journey is never over. To self-actualize requires self-awareness and self-awareness requires a comprehension that there is no such thing as a finished product. Generally, there is no such thing as perfection with no such thing as an endgame. To be self-actualized methods to understand that you must never stop growing as a person and learning as a professional.

To obtain self-actualization, when you get over one thing, you must begin the next. Self-actualization does not require any tricks or tools. To reach this level, you will need only to accept who you are and then take those steps necessary to becoming the best version of you that you can be.

If perhaps you would like to do this highest level of personal development, Maslow has trained us that you have some effective methods that will permit you to reach self-actualization:

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Experience life vividly to the maximum

Maslow taught us that the process of self-actualization commences when we learn to become completely immersed in our experience – living totally, vividly and selflessly.

Make your life choices with honesty

Think of life as a series of choices, one after another. If you are being truthful with yourself as you make the options, then you are on the right way to being self-actualized.

Know who you are without others shaping your own self

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As you realize that you are unique and get started to learn how to express yourself along with your feelings truthfully, alternatively than reflect what you believe others want you to do or say, then you are recorded the right path.

Be accountable with your own actions

If you have a choice, take action in a way that is honest and true to your nature. As you may take responsibility for your own actions you will be working on the way to self-actualization.

Have the courage to speak up in all situations

Figure out how to have the courage to exhibit your likes and disfavors and speak up if someone’s actions are certainly not desirable to you.

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Understand that it is a journey to reach your goals.

Becoming self-actualized is rather than an end-state, rather it is a process. Maslow spoken about it being the process by which you ‘are working to do well the thing that one wants to do’.

Engage in activities that make you feel completely peaceful and satisfied

Maslow talked a lot about ‘peak experiences’, describing them as ‘transient occasions of self-actualization’. These activities are times that you feel truly at peace and in harmony with your environment and the universe and are marked with a feeling of euphoria and deep joy.

Get rid of those ego defense mechanisms

Learning to let go of troublesome defense mechanisms that you may use to protect yourself is a necessary part of the process. For example, if you have a tendency to blame your partner for your frustrations or to become angry when things do not go your way, then learning to react in another type of manner is part to become self-actualized.

Reference

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Saminu Abass

Content Writer and Blogger

Don’t Let Social Media Control Your Body and Mind. It’s Killing Your Productivity. To Live a Much More Fulfilling Life, Aim at Self Actualization What Is A Serial Dater And Why Can’t They Stand Loneliness? Will Your Own Business Be a Huge Success? These 8 Predictors Can Tell the Answer Don’t Be Fooled by Social Media. Most People Feel Lonely Too.

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Last Updated on October 30, 2019

How the Stages of Change Model Helps You Change Your Habits

How the Stages of Change Model Helps You Change Your Habits

Change is tough, there’s no doubt about it. Old habits are hard to shift, and adopting a new lifestyle can feel like an uphill battle!

In this article, you will learn about a simple yet powerful model:

Stages of change model, that explains the science behind personal transformation.

You’ll discover how and why some changes stick whereas others don’t last, and how long it takes to build new habits.

What is the Stages of Change Model?

Developed by researchers J.O. Prochaska and Carlo C. DiClemente over 30 years ago[1] and outlined in their book Changing For Good, the Stages of Change Model, also known as the Transtheoretical Model, was formed as a result of the authors’ research with smokers.

Prochaska and DiClemente were originally interested in the question of why some smokers were able to quit on their own, whereas others required professional help. Their key conclusion was that smokers (or anyone else with a bad habit) quits only when they are ready to do so.

Here’s an illustration done by cartoonist and illustrator Simon Kneebone about the different stages a smoker experiences when they try to quit smoking:

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    The Stages of Change Model looks at how these conscious decisions are made. It emphasizes that change isn’t easy. People can spend a long time stuck in a stage, and some may never reach their goals.[2]

    The model has been applied in the treatment of smoking, alcoholism, and drugs. It is also a useful way of thinking about any bad habit. Social workers, therapists, and psychologists draw on the model to understand their patients’ behaviors, and to explain the change process to the patients themselves.

    The key advantages to the model is that it is simple to understand, is backed by extensive research, and can be applied in many situations.

    The Stages of Change Model is a well-established psychological model that outlines six stages of personal change:

    1. Precontemplation
    2. Contemplation
    3. Determination
    4. Action
    5. Maintenance
    6. Termination

    How are these stages relevant to changing habits?

    To help you visualize the stages of change and how each progresses to the next one, please take a look at this wheel:[3]

      Let’s look at the six stages of change,[4] together with an example that will show you how the model works in practice:

      Stage 1: Precontemplation

      At this stage, an individual does not plan to make any positive changes in the next six months. This may because they are in denial about their problem, feel too overwhelmed to deal with it, or are too discouraged after multiple failed attempts to change.

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      For example, someone may be aware that they need to start exercising, but cannot find the motivation to do so. They might keep thinking about the last time they tried (and failed) to work out regularly. Only when they start to realize the advantages of making a change will they progress to the next stage.

      Stage 2: Contemplation

      At this stage, the individual starts to consider the advantages of changing. They start to acknowledge that altering their habits would probably benefit them, but they spend a lot of time thinking about the downside of doing so. This stage can last for a long time – possibly a year or more.

      You can think of this as the procrastinating stage. For example, an individual begins to seriously consider the benefits of regular exercise, but feels resistant when they think about the time and effort involved. When the person starts putting together a concrete plan for change, they move to the next stage.

      The key to moving from this stage to the next is the transformation of an abstract idea to a belief (e.g. from “Exercise is a good, sensible thing to do” to “I personally value exercise and need to do it.)[5]

      Stage 3: Preparation

      At this point, the person starts to put a plan in place. This stage is brief, lasting a few weeks. For example, they may book a session with a personal trainer and enrol on a nutrition course.

      Someone who drinks to excess may make an appointment with a drug and alcohol counsellor; someone with a tendency to overwork themselves might start planning ways to devise a more realistic schedule.

      Stage 4: Action

      When they have decided on a plan, the individual must then put it into action. This stage typically lasts for several months. In our example, the person would begin attending the gym regularly and overhauling their diet.

      Stage 4 is the stage at which the person’s desire for change becomes noticeable to family and friends. However, in truth, the change process began a long time ago. If someone you know seems to have suddenly changed their habits, it’s probably not so sudden after all! They will have progressed through Stages 1-3 first – you probably just didn’t know about it.

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      Stage 5: Maintenance

      After a few months in the Action stage, the individual will start to think about how they can maintain their changes, and make lifestyle adjustments accordingly. For instance, someone who has adopted the habit of regular workouts and a better diet will be vigilant against old triggers (such as eating junk food during a stressful time at work) and make a conscious decision to protect their new habits.

      Unless someone actively engages with Stage 5, their new habits are liable to come unstuck. Someone who has stuck to their new habits for many months – perhaps a year or longer – may enter Stage 6.

      Maintenance can be challenging because it entails coming up with a new set of habits to lock change in place. For instance, someone who is maintaining their new gym-going habit may have to start improving their budgeting skills in order to continue to afford their gym membership.

      Stage 6: Termination

      Not many people reach this stage, which is characterized by a complete commitment to the new habit and a certainty that they will never go back to their old ways. For example, someone may find it hard to imagine giving up their gym routine, and feel ill at the thought of eating junk food on a regular basis.

      However, for the majority of people, it’s normal to stay in the Maintenance period indefinitely. This is because it takes a long time for a new habit to become so automatic and natural that it sticks forever, with little effort. To use another example, an ex-smoker will often find it hard to resist the temptation to have “just one” cigarette even a year or so after quitting. It can take years for them to truly reach the Termination stage, at which point they are no more likely to smoke than a lifelong non-smoker.

      How long does each stage take?

      You should be aware that some people remain in the same stage for months or even years at a time. Understanding this model will help you be more patient with yourself when making a change. If you try to force yourself to jump from Contemplation to Maintenance, you’ll just end up frustrated. On the other hand, if you take a moment to assess where you are in the change process, you can adapt your approach.

      So if you need to make changes quickly and you are finding it hard to progress to the next stage, it’s probably time to get some professional help or adopt a new approach to forming habits.

      The limitations of this model

      The model is best applied when you decide in advance precisely what you want to achieve, and know exactly how you will measure it (e.g. number of times per week you go to the gym, or number of cigarettes smoked per day). Although the model has proven useful for many people, it does have limitations.

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      Require the ability to set a realistic goal

      For a start, there are no surefire ways of assessing whereabouts in the process you are – you just have to be honest with yourself and use your own judgement. Second, it assumes that you are physically capable of making a change, whereas in fact you might either need to adjust your goals or seek professional help.

      If your goal isn’t realistic, it doesn’t matter whether you follow the stages – you still won’t get results. You need to decide for yourself whether your aims are reasonable.[6]

      Difficult to judge your progress

      The model also assumes that you are able to objectively measure your own successes and failures, which may not always be the case.[7] For instance, let’s suppose that you are trying to get into the habit of counting calories as part of your weight-loss efforts. However, even though you may think that you are recording your intake properly, you might be over or under-estimating.

      Research shows that most people think they are getting enough exercise and eating well, but in actual fact aren’t as healthy as they believe. The model doesn’t take this possibility into account, meaning that you could believe yourself to be in the Action stage yet aren’t seeing results. Therefore, if you are serious about making changes, it may be best to get some expert advice so that you can be sure the changes you are making really will make a positive difference.

      Conclusion

      The Stages Of Change Model can be a wonderful way to understand change in both yourself and others.

      While there’re some limitations in it, the Stages of Change Model helps to visualize how you go through changes so you know what to expect when you’re trying to change a habit or make some great changes in life.

      Start by identifying one of your bad habits. Where are you in the process? What could you do next to move forwards?

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Psych Central: Stages Of Change
      [2] Boston University School Of Public Health: The Transtheoretical Model (Stages Of Change)
      [3] Empowering Change: Stages of Change
      [4] Boston University School Of Public Health: The Transtheoretical Model (Stages Of Change)
      [5] Psychology Today: 5 Steps To Changing Any Behavior
      [6] The Transtheoretical Model: Limitations Of The Transtheoretical Model
      [7] Health Education Research: Transtheoretical Model & Stages Of Change: A Critique

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