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Self Actualisation Characteristics

Self-actualisation is the ultimate stage of development in The Coaching Centre human development courses. It represents the point where individuals can fully utilise their talents while being aware of their human fallibilities. Self actualising is commonly used to describe a state of enlightened maturation, characterised by the strategic achievement of goals, self-acceptance, and the ability to self-assess in a realistic and positive manner while working with and through others. Self-actualisation can also be explored with generative methodology to strive for a higher living for one’s purpose, through the distinctions we provide in our courses.

The Coaching Centre Holarchy of Needs

To understand self-actualisation, it’s important to first grasp Maslow’s basic hierarchy of needs. This concept was initially introduced by Abraham Maslow and has become closely associated with humanistic psychology. Maslow’s hierarchy was an initial outline and collection of ideas. The holarchy of needs expands the basic hierarchy and outlines the various needs and characteristics that individuals must gratify in order to reach self-actualisation. Holarchies emphasise the idea that entities or systems have both autonomous and interdependent qualities, and they are organised in nested levels where each level influences and is influenced by the others. This concept helps in understanding complex systems and their interconnected nature for humanity and our environment. To evolve to the more complex holarchy, first we need to recognise the hierarchical methodology.

The hierarchy is structured as follows:

Physiological needs: The most basic needs for survival, such as food, water, and shelter.

Safety needs: The desire for security, stability, and protection from harm.

Love and belonging needs: The need for social connections, friendship, and love.

Esteem needs: The desire for self-esteem, respect from others, and a sense of accomplishment.

Self-actualisation: The highest level of the hierarchy, representing the realization of one’s full potential.

Characteristics of Self-Actualisation

Self-actualisation is a unique and individual process. Not all individuals achieve all levels of the hierarchy, and according to Maslow, only about 1% of the adult population reaches self-actualisation. However, more recent research suggests that this number may be higher and through The Coaching Centre our goal is for you to transcend from a higher level of performance through challenge and rewarding journey, yet its an achievable adventure. It’s also important to note that self-actualisation is not correlated with age, gender, income level, or race.

Self-actualisation is best understood as the sum of its parts rather than isolated traits. For example, a person who possesses a creative spirit, which is one characteristic of self-actualisation, may not necessarily be fully self-actualised. Some experts argue that self-actualization is more about being open to growth and health rather than striving for ideals like perfection, success, or constant happiness.

It’s worth mentioning that achieving self-actualisation does not guarantee a permanent state. Individuals may move between different levels of the hierarchy throughout their lives based on various factors such as life circumstances, personal choices, and mental health.

Examples of Self-Actualisation

Self-actualisation can manifest in various ways with learned coping mechanisms and can be influenced by factors such as age, culture, and personal experiences. While the process of self-actualisation is different for everyone, there are common behaviors and expressions that self-actualised individuals often exhibit.

Some examples of self-actualised behavior include:

Finding humor in different situations: Self-actualised individuals have the ability to find humor in everyday life and appreciate the lighter side of things.

Living in the present moment: They derive enjoyment and satisfaction from the present rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.

Understanding personal needs: Self-actualised individuals have a deep understanding of their own needs and take deliberate actions to fulfill them.

Feeling secure and unashamed of who they are: They have a strong sense of self and are comfortable with their own identity.

Maintaining deep and meaningful relationships: Self-actualised individuals are capable of forming and maintaining authentic connections with others.

Having a well-developed sense of creativity: They possess a creative spirit and use it to express themselves and explore new ideas.

Perceiving reality accurately: Self-actualised people have a clear and objective view of themselves and others.

Demonstrating empathy and compassion: They show genuine care and understanding for others.

Having a sense of purpose: Self-actualised individuals have a clear sense of purpose and engage in activities aligned with their goals.

Experiencing profound moments of happiness: They often have peak experiences, moments of profound happiness and fulfillment.

Appreciating the goodness of life: Self-actualised individuals maintain an ongoing appreciation for the beauty and wonder of life, often described as childlike wonder.

Becoming self-actualised is not an easy journey, and it can take years for some individuals to reach this state. However, The Coaching Centre programs accelerate your learning for a deeply rewarding and fulfilling life. Those who do achieve self-actualisation often possess the necessary skills and mindset to sustain their fulfilment.

It’s worth noting that not all individuals aspire to self-actualisation as a goal, and different cultures and individuals may have varying ideas about what it means to be self-actualized.


Self-actualisation is the pinnacle of The Coaching Centre holarchy of needs, representing the realisation of one’s full potential. It is a unique and individual process that involves accepting oneself, having deep and meaningful relationships, and pursuing a sense of purpose. Self-actualised individuals exhibit expressions such as creativity, empathy, humour, and a profound appreciation for life. While self-actualisation may not be the goal for everyone, understanding its characteristics can help individuals strive for personal growth and fulfillment.
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