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Perfectly Imperfect

Self-Acceptance
By Veronica Emilia Nuzzolo, Ph.D.,CADCperfect

The humanistic perspective of psychology is the work of Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow and focuses on the relationship of the individual to society (social), considers the ways in which people view themselves in relation to others (interpersonal), and considers how one see’s his or her place in the world (growth potential).

Humanistic theory grew from a reaction to psychoanalysis and behaviorism and emphasizes the responsibility people have for his or her own behavior, even when the behavior is seen as abnormal. Rogers concentrated on what is uniquely human, viewing people as basically rational, oriented toward a social world, and motivated to seek self-actualization. Humanistic psychology focuses on free will, viewing people as having an awareness of life and of their inner selves that leads them to search for meaning and self-worth. Because of this “individual personalization” perspectives consist of and are based on one’s perception of contentment.

Maslow studied the healthy personality and described the characteristics of the self-actualizing personality. Maslow proposed that needs are arranged in a hierarchy, after meeting our more basic needs, we experience need progression and focus on needs at the next level, and if a need at a lower level is no longer satisfied, we experience need regression and focus once again on meeting that lower-level need.  People search for this level of contentment throughout the lifespan and the major factor of humanistic psychology is that humans possess an inner drive to grow, improve, and use their potential to the fullest, this is what Maslow called the ultimate in completed growth, self-actualization. According to Maslow, the self-actualizing person is the person that reaches the highest level of personal development and has fully realized his or her potential as a human being.

Roger’s theory of unconditional positive regard, communicates that a person is inherently worthy of love, regardless of behavior or achievement. But, if the person does not believe this to be true within his or her self, they will never move forward, never feel contentment, and will never achieve self-actualization.

Maslow and Rogers agreed that the acceptance of one’s self is a central component of positive regard, self-concept, the “perception of who we are and who we want to be.” Rogers indicated that the concept of self is learned from our social interactions with others. Rogers distinguishes between two concepts of self —“there is the self–the person I think I am, and the ideal self–the person I wish I was.”

Our motivation to progress toward self-actualization is our constant inner desire to always be the person I wish I was, however, I am not. Self-acceptance how perfectly imperfect, I am the person I know I am, and that’s o.k., because it is good to be me.

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How to cite this article:
Nuzzolo, V. E., (2016).  Self-Acceptance, Perfectly Imperfect.  Retrieved from https://risetoshinetoday.org/2016/06/14/perfectly-imperfect/


70 Comments

  1. Fernando L Sousa says:

    I feel as though I can take a little from every theory. Humanistic theory makes sense to me isn’t there a quote about someone showing me their closest friends and you can find out who they truly are. I can see us as people striving and comping socially to those around us and that would definitely affect how we see ourselves in the world. Also, with Humanistic theory I do believe we are all responsible for our behaviors for the most part except people with handicaps or an untreated illness. Maslow definitely hit it on the head with his personality theory of self-actualizing. We all do need our physical needs met first above every other need and I will also assume we all try to reach our best true self , which I don’t think 99% of us will ever reach but I can see our human drive always wanting to push us there and how different life events can move us up and down the ladder. I like Rogers theory because without receiving or giving love I find people to more coldish and just unaware of their non contentment mindset.

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  2. JingRen says:

    After reading the article, I have gotten a deeper understanding of the differences between self-actualization and self-acceptance. Self-actualization occurs when one is okay with everything they have, regardless of done or not done. In other words, it occurs when one accepts everything in their life. In my opinion, it is hard to reach self-actualization because regardless of who you are, human beings are naturally selfish. In order to reach that level, everything one does is for other people, and completely selfless. This reminds me of Walt’s sacrifice at the end of the movie. It is hard to tell whether or not his sacrifice is altruistic. I think his sacrifice kills two birds with one stone: dies in a heroic way instead of suffering from his cancer and laying in bed, and the Hmong family and the other people in the neighborhood are protected. However, self-acceptance means one is happy with who they are and has high self-esteem. It is important and the initial step towards self-improvement.

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  3. Lydia Li says:

    I think the humanistic perspective of psychology of both Rogers and Maslow are equally as important and plays a major role in everyone’s lives because the desire of wanting to become the ‘dream version’ or ‘perfect version’ of yourself should be the motivation that fuels everyone to better themselves and be successful. Without this desire to improve as a person, people will start to become hopeless, causing them to lose interest in things and begin to accept and look forward to death. For example, if someone doesn’t have the drive to move up Maslow’s pyramid, they will eventually become depressed since they don’t have anything to look forward to in life. However, I find it ironic that in order for people to reach the top of Maslow’s pyramid (self-actualization), they have to accept the fact that it is ok to not be the perfect version of yourself and that “it is good to be [youself].’” This sounds odd to me because you have to keep striving to be a better version of yourself in order to go up the pyramid but when you’re finally almost at the top, you then have to come into terms with yourself that it is ok to not be perfect in order to reach the top of the pyramid.

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  4. Navy says:

    I feel like people only recognize themselves when someone walk into their lives for good or for worst. Is like saying when someone has strong feelings for you and they may tell you that you’re perfect for them. Some can walk into your life and put you down for the worst. For instance, drugs, make you feel you ain’t worth it and saying you won’t be nothing without me. Perfectly imperfect is saying that they can accept your flaws and they like you or not enough that they see your insecurities. Like saying your perfect to them or not perfect. This thought is true and people can recognize self acceptance.

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  5. svasquez01 says:

    I agree with the humanistic perspective of psychology of Rogers and Maslow, they give you a better understanding of the difference between Self-Actualization and Self-Acceptance. Growing up we are pressure by our family to be the person they see us being and we forget about who WE want to be and what makes us happy. In my opinion self-actualization will be the starting process of growth, soul searching. And Self-Acceptance is when you have been through a lot of life experiences and understanding that you have to love yourself in order to be happy and being confident of achieving goals or anything else this life has in stored for you.

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  6. cindyv85 says:

    I couldn’t agree more with both theory

    Rogers is clear, we all have vision for ourselves and dreams and have ambitions to become the better version of ourselves. we work hard, go to school to further more our education. Socialize with a specific group of people. All those example is to explain my point on we are trying to become that person we imagine of becoming and wish we were. some people even will do bad things and take bad decisions to achieve it. but eat the end of there day we need to be content with the person that we are now and with those same ambitions then try to push towards better and greater things n life.

    Malsow described it even better with the pyramid. The more you work to better the person that you are well you get to move a set forward toward the top. and if you regressed foe whatever reason it might be well we start over and try harder next time. You never give up.

    Some people do care and worry about other people perception of you they see when they look at you. well to me you opinion is yours and please keep it to yourself because at the end of the day, you opinion of me will not phase me in any way. we need to accept who we are. Do not become another human being just to please and conform to society.

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  7. Carole Saintil says:

    I think article gave me new insight on how people view themselves and their purpose in the world. I never thought that self actualization would be so intertwined with how a person behaves or perceives the world. Maslow’s theory was interesting to read about but I found that it does not apply to everyone. While everyone wants to achieve their basic needs in order to survive, not everyone pursues needs in the same manner. In addition, not everyone’s needs are the same.

    I found Roger’s theory to be intriguing and more valid as self actualization should start with self acceptance. Everyone is deserving of love and positivity, no matter what their course of behavior is. Building this self confidence can really help build the person they envision themselves to be. It is an interesting concept on what drives human beings to be better versions of themselves

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  8. lillyanamayo says:

    I truly agree with the work of Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow’s theory on the Humanistic Theory. The Humanistic Theory “…emphasizes the responsibility people have for his or her own behavior, even when the behavior is abnormal.” Meaning, if a person feels like his or her life is boring, a humanistic perspective would encourage the person to do some soul-searching and determine what exactly is missing from their life (whatever it takes for them to feel fully self-actualized; what should be needed as treatment). The humanistic perspective includes the idea of self-help; that a person can be responsible for their own happiness, and that a dissatisfied person can make changes to his or her whole life that will eventually lead to happiness and self-actualization. Additionally, this theory understands that people have goals, and that reaching these goals are very important. Plus, it also believes that individuals are able to make choices that affect them and others, meaning their choices also carry responsibility.

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  9. elizabeth zitterkopf says:

    I didn’t know before this psychology class, my first deep introduction to psy world , that existed many psychoanalytical theories. I was Very bad informed, that understanding someone was only about psychoanalyzing the person’s behavior based on “Freud” views , deep dreams. I’m glad to find out about all this other theories and theorists. Humanistic feels like is the one theory more commonly use at this moment, considering how the world is acting. Good, that one person is seem as one individual and unique , that is what we really are, all different and unique, although we might have dreams look alike. It’s important to ma rain focus on your gols, dreams, achieves, may help your mental health. But it’s not been easy, I think there’s a big social pressure, to behave in a certain way and that is having a big impact on the “millennium “ young generation. Humanistic can help understand each person, considering culture, and age probably impact a lot on the outcome.

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  10. anthonymansi says:

    I strongly agree with the humanistic theory, Maslow and Rodgers have made a great contribution with the humanistic theories. I feel the humanistic theory helps shape our personality and instinct more than any other, we are not instinctual like animals we are taught most of are personality characteristics. Also our whole life as children an upward to an adult we are taught to recognize and learn self acceptance and actually learning how to be ok with ones self. I mean self acceptance and self love are two different things but in the grand the scheme of things which also go hand and hand. In general a fantastic article and breaks down how the humanistic approach is and can be used in everyday life work, school,and family. Maslows hierarchy is a great tool and is still used today and Rogers theory of unconditional love and positive regard is worth of love is absolutely right, everyone deserves to be love and give love in there life regardless of there success or anything like that in there life. Very good read in general hope everyone has a great holiday.

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  11. almazgudeto says:

    I appreciate both of those great researchers, carl roger and Abraham Maslow. This great research is done by those persons which explains the relationship of individual to society (Maslow) and reflective of the future generation and the ideology of the humanistic approach of psychology. Both are from different field of study, but they have mutual idea on the self-actualization. There are many ways that one can be deterred from achieving his or her personal goals. Overcoming obstacles can be challenging and requires personal desire, grit, and commitment to succeed. The basic tenets of humanistic theory consist of theories by Abraham Maslow and the Carl Roger, may who, suggested that inner freedom represent the power to choose and direct one’s life. Finding self and the meaning of life through free will, choice, self-acceptance, and personal responsibility, and finding true self. Using humanistic approach with an emphasis and focus on the positive qualities, can reduce and overcome anxiety. One will strive for self-acceptance gaining better insight into themselves, theory behavior and their environment.

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  12. cmfenelo says:

    The topic of self-actualization is very interesting. I understand why people would try to reach self-actualization after they read it means that they’ve reached their highest potential. The only thing is that self-actualization would be really difficult for the majority of people to achieve. Most people don’t. And according to the article, to have self-actualization, people often have to have their basic needs met. Unfortunately, especially in America where the wealth and income gaps are really bad, most people live paycheck-to-paycheck or at least often struggle to make ends meet which would make it impossible to realize their highest potential. Not to mention, the poor in the western world don’t compare to the poor in the entirety of the world. Billions will never reach self-actualization, but I don’t think this needs to be a very sad thought. I know I haven’t reach self-actualization. It’s ok to be “perfectly imperfect”. Even in my highest potential, I would still be imperfect. All humans would be. So I’ll keep embracing my imperfect self.

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  13. JESSICA BRUNS says:

    Loved this article, I’m a fan of Maslow, and super agree with his theory. a complete usable in our life. Also I agree with Rogers Theory. In my opinion, we always need to see each others, understand each others in society and also accept how we areas people and human beings, understand our strengths and weaknesses, but be proud, if we do not accept ourselves and love no one go to. However, we must always be in search of improvement, the constant pursuit of wanting to improve and what motivates us to live. Having a focus and a goal is essential to having a healthy life. Most depressive people I have met do not trust themselves and have no goals in life. Become empty people, and unwilling to live.

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  14. sanunez27 says:

    I really like the humanistic theory because I feel like people in general think about who we are and who we want to be. To me, life is about being able to recognize your own flaws and accepting them. Life is about trying to be a better version of yourself and trying to improve, grow, and learn as much as we can. So the actions we make are towards our goals and what we want in life. I agree with Rogers two concepts of “self”, we are someone and we have the desire to be someone else. Our whole life we are trying to fit into “society”and we end up having difficulty accepting ourselves for who we are. The humanistic theory is by far my favorite because it talks a lot about self acceptance and how we, as a whole, struggle to accept ourselves and understand that we are on our own separate paths. It isn’t a competition, it isn’t a race and it isn’t about who is better than who. Life is about loving and accepting ourselves along with one another.

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  15. Netra Kumari Bhattarai says:

    I really like the humanistic approach done by Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow. MAslow was brilliant to come up with the levels leading to self actualization. Everyone is unique and i believe that we should live life fully because, we only live once. Everyone should have that level of love for themselves regardless of any factors. It is very hard to achieve that though in the kind of society we live in. I agree with the article, everybody has the inner drive or motivation to reach their definition it self acceptance. People seek self acceptance in their entire lives to have meaning for their entire lives to have meaning for their place in society and in the world. I want to reach self actualization at a point in my life where I accept my decisions and choices, as well as who I become. I have an inner drive and motivation to be as successful as I possible can be.

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  16. aymarasoto says:

    I really like the humanistic perspective of psychology everyone is different and have different goals they would like to achieve in their lives, learning to accept who we are is what makes life complete (in my opinion) for many years my goals where very materialistic and at the end of the day I was never happy, once I started accepting me for me I learned to become confident and I stopped worrying about how others saw me, self-acceptance is one of the most difficult tasks in life but also one of the most rewarding feeling a person can experience, happiness is a choice, self-acceptance is a choice that we can make, looking back and realizing how many mistakes I have made and to now be OK with my past decisions is rewarding because I am who I am thanks to those mistakes.

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  17. Hiba says:

    This is a great article that summaries many of the daily behaviors and views that we see in our lives st home, work or publicly. I came across very talented parents, managers and mentors who had the ability to help people to get the best out of themselves. It’s absolutely ok to be the-self person I think I am, and the ideal-self I wish I was.

    Many time we come across people who have worked in the same role they started with for 30 years. They are perfectly have self-acceptance and happy with what they do. Most of the time they perform their duties better than their colleagues because of the extended and focused experience. Also, we see people who were motivated and had gone through series of growth events, improvements and progress to fulfil their inner desire to be the persons they wish they were. People can’t realize their full potential if they view themselves with half-empty glass perspective versus half-full.

    In some cases, some people whom their one’s selves were the person they thought they were until some other individuals realized their full potentials and encouraged and supported them to be the person they never imagined to be. Even to get to this level, motivation, education and support is needed, and these individuals need to have the self-desire to “grow, improve, and use their potentials to the fullest” to reach self-actualization.

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  18. ojune4 says:

    I strongly agree with the humanistic theory and believe it is one of the intrinsic forces that drives our personalities to develop. We do not have instinctual drive like animals, we learn all of our behaviors and one of them is self-improvement. The humanistic theory I believe is very dependent on the social influences and environment that a person grows up with. For example, Roger’s theory of unconditional positive regard is hard to realize on your own without someone’s positive example, so it is mostly taught by your environment and family/friends. We base the self that we want to become off of good characteristics we see in others and how we want others to see us. I agree that the most important part of the humanistic theory is self-acceptance, acknowledging your “ideal self” and who you desire to be, and accepting and embracing who you really are. If you accept your current self, then you can move up and enhance the parts of yourself that you love and work on the parts that you believe need improvement without judgment.

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  19. Hannah Ramos says:

    The humanistic theory is one of the best ones. What we, as humans, think of ourselves and what we want to be matter, it has a huge importance in our life. For me, life can be defined as humans trying to develop, trying to improve, trying to be someone else, and also trying to be loved. So our actions can be explained by what we want. I agree with Rogers two concepts of “self”, we are someone and we have the desire to be something else. Our whole life we are trying to fit into the pattern of “society”and we end up having difficulty accepting ourselves as we are. If we accept us as we are life would be easier, we would have more compassion, empathy and we would have a better percentage of people at the “self-actualization” level.

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  20. Rodney Figueroa says:

    The humanistic perspective of psychology is the one I agree with the most. The acceptance of yourself is the only thing that matters at the end. As humans it is difficult to concentrate on ourselves and try to grow from within instead of “bettering” ourselves for the eyes of others. We all have a different opinion and view on what the ultimate goal in life is. Once we find the beauty in our imperfections that is when we can start making changes for the better and just accept the things we can’t

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  21. victorialuchi says:

    The most amazing part of the humanistic theories is that it brings a little of every theory in it, Freudian theories, behavioral theories. The humanistic view of society focus on seeing someone as an altruistic, and the only way people can ever be okay with themselves is by realizing who they really are, and be fine with that. After knowing who you are according to Maslow’s charge you should be able to help the others without wanting anything in exchange.

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  22. Haoxi Wang says:

    Based on the video, I thought that a lot of unconditional positive regard is most likely to do with how you feel about yourself. With the concept of the fact that you the person feels about themselves. The value of self acceptance has to play a big factor in how you view yourself and how other view you. However, that shouldn’t mean that for someone to change themselves based on how other feel about them. I just feel that being yourself, and accepting who you truly are is a lesson to learn and hold the standard.

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  23. FRITZA JEUDY says:

    I thought that Humanistic theory is an really optimistic approach. As humans, we should really value self acceptance and the morale of who we are inside and out. People should also try to not care about what others think and just try to move on forward and try to foreshadow a positive in the future. Caring what people think can change the person that you were once were and that’s not fair. Humanistic theory just goes to show that self acceptance is significant in life.

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  24. Cameron Selfridge says:

    Unconditional positive regard has a lot to do with self acceptance and being comfortable with who you are and how you fit into society. Instead of always trying to become something that you aren’t, one should accept who they and stop comparing themselves to others. If you fail to believe in this unconditional positive regard, you will never truly be happy or feel as though you are good enough. Although it is always beneficial to seek self-improvement, failing to accept the unchangeable traits about yourself will set you up for failure.

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  25. Humanistic theory resonates the most with how I personally think of human personality development – I think the premise of self actualization driven by the desire to become the person you wish to be, alongside with the concept o self -acceptance of the person who you currently are – are beautifully and simply constructed and certainly help to explain a lot of what can drive people’s behavior.

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  26. Fajr Harris says:

    Self-Actulization is a funny concept to me. In away I feel like you can achieve it with not having every aspect on the pyramid. I think its about progressing in life in whatever form that is to you. Its a personal achievement. No two people are truly the same. No one is better either. However you reach and what your scale and goals were are up to the individual. In plain for it is acceptance. Acceptance of who you are and the choices you make.

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  27. seeker1307 says:

    Self-actualization is the acceptances of who you are or who you want to be in life in itself. some may say it’s about looking back to what you did or did not do in the past and accepting. But I think me living my life is just to move forward and not worry about the past, the past will always be in the past and it always tends to hold us back. I am a computer science major and that being the fact that I can’t look back to the past but instead, learn my mistakes to correct my present and future. there’s a great quote by BRUCE LEE “if you love life then don’t waste time, cause time is what life is made up of”.

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  28. Mingxi Li says:

    I believe in order to be the person that I want to be, you need to is know yourself, accept yourself and love yourself. Without knowing and accepting yourself, I am sure you don’t even know what you want to be. Of course, throughout our life- time we will go up and down at the Maslow’s hierarchy, that’s the process everyone will go through. Even though, you might can’t be the person you wanted to be, accept yourself first and try hard to achieve it, you will have no regret.

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  29. YU LIU says:

    in my whole life, I always try to love myself, but all the time I can’t felt that, maybe I have more benefits want to get, maybe I must change because of some situation, maybe sometimes I can’t follow my heart. that is all my choice, because my don’t have any chance to choice. when I get the goal, I will relax a little bit time. after that, I feel boring. so I will find other goal to catch it. that make me lose myself. family always tell me ” Don’t forget your original intention”. I think I need a little bit time to think about that. because this is my own life, maybe I want all the things achievement…
    But who knows …… I have the chance, just me can choice it…. Follow my heart…..

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  30. Ezekial Francisco says:

    This was probably my favorite thing that you taught us in our mini semester. I like the idea of moving up and down your hierarchy of needs as necessary. I also really liked how I could physically place myself on the chart and map out the things I wanted to achieve and how I could if possible reach self-actualization. I also definitely agree that people have this inherent need to achieve self-actualization. Whatever that may be.

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  31. Mamadou Balde says:

    In order to love ourselves, we must accept ourselves. If we are not satisfied with what we are, we will always try to hide our true nature and will never love ourselves. I think that we have to know ourselves in order to be our ideal-selves. If one does not know themselves I don’t see how they are going to achieve their ideal-shelves. If everyone would accept themselves, the world would be a far better place. Conflicts in all elements of society is due to the fact that people don’t accept themselves, therefore don’t even love themselves let alone loving others. When someone that is in a particular set of conditions is trying to get out those conditions and achieve something they are currently not or don’t have really accept themselves. This may be attempt to change one’s social status and things of that sort. To have a better world we need to accept our individual selves.

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  32. Gabby Berube says:

    Self acceptance and self love are two different things. I believe though, in order to love yourself, you must first accept yourself. If self actualization is the goal, then I believe the first step is self acceptance. Something I have always told myself and others, is “how can you love anyone if you don’t even love you.” It is easy to love your mom, dad, and other family members. Sometimes, you have no choice, because you are “stuck” with them. However, when really talking about loving a spouse, or significant other, I believe truly loving the other person means you have successfully learned how to love yourself, and appreciate you.

    In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the love and belongingness category is fulfilled by family members and friends. The self-esteem need is the need to love yourself and who you are. Unfortunately, many do not reach self-actualization because many are focused on who they are not, and who they want to be, instead of embracing the things they enjoy about themselves.

    As a psychology major, and someone who does believe that the hierarchy of needs is true, I can see myself one day reaching a point of self actualization. I have made a commitment to myself to learn how to love and appreciate my well being in order to one day be selfless, and content. I take it as both a challenge, and an experiment.

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  33. Jonathan Hock says:

    I would disagree with Roger’s theory of unconditional love saying that every human being is deserving of love regardless of achievement and behaviors. In fact, I would say achievement and behaviors should be used as a tool to guide us through life and to find love. We should work and strive for love and the inputs we contribute to society and interpersonal relationships should be the basis of the love we receive. I firmly believe in a fundamental philosophy that a person cannot take, take, take, and expect to receive. As I also believe that humans are not born inherently good, nor, inherently bad. I am not basing this off any religious concept of original sin, as am I atheistic in belief, I simply believe that humans are conscious animals that are entirely influenced by their environment and to some extent their genetics. I do not believe that human beings have an objective universal truth, I believe each society of humans have their own learned, created, socially acceptable subjective truths. An Arctic tribe may kill their new born babies to make it through the winter and conserve resources which seems subjectively reasonable to that individual society. Where it may not seem as justifiable to abort an unborn baby in an affluent first world country. I believe good and evil are subjective to different societies of people, but if I were to believe in any one universal rule when it comes to humanity; it would be that nobody deserves anything.

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    • Jonathan, I like your post, it was honest and somewhat dark. I believe what Rogers was saying is that every human being has an inherent set of deserving qualities, and love, like life, or the right to breath is something we are born with, and behavior and achievement has nothing to do with it. When you take into account their behavior, then the judgment of what they deserve and what they don’t deserve comes into play. While I agree, on the surface, when someone only chooses to take, that his or her behavior doesn’t deserve to receive, the idea of that inherent quality still does exist and they are still deserving. Rogers’ opinion is stripped of religion, culture, or learned behavior and is focused on the inner core of personalization within the mind and its perception on itself inside the matrix.

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    • The concept is regardless of achievement and behavior,, so if I am not capable of achieving greatness, I do not deserve unconditional love????

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  34. Michele McKinnon says:

    Self-acceptance is probably the most important gift we can ever give ourselves. Once we start to accept ourselves for who truly are, then I believe others around us will begin to accept us. I think if people just focused on who they want to be, rather than who they are, they’d eventually suffer some sort of identity crisis. It’s important to love you for you because you’re stuck with yourself no matter what. If there’s something about you that you’re unhappy it’s up to you to change it. I think Maslow was spot on in developing the hierarchy of needs. While most never actually reach the self-actualization stage, just striving to be the best you that you can be will always leave you feeling content.

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    • Amy Considine says:

      I, too believe wholeheartedly in self acceptance, as I have mentioned before in other posts. I have had the experience of working at a summer camp, where kids are just being kids, not worrying about exactly how they are coming off to people around them. We can learn a lot from children, their being their best and not second guessing themselves. I think this starts to happen in high school. That confident boy, that self accepting girl, they start to doubt themselves and peer pressure sets in. I know that I was a carefree kid until I got to high school. Now, granted, I was dealing with some psychiatric symptoms in high school, but my self doubt got the best of me. I see my nephews and how they live life without any self doubt. I have recovered from high school, though, and now see myself as a pretty neat person now. Self acceptance has indeed been the greatest gift I could give myself. I usually accept myself, aside from those off days where I doubt everything I do! I don’t think I will ever get to self actualization, as I have said, but hopefully I can become the best version of me that I can be.

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      • Qian Ren says:

        I agree on how we should be able to accept and love ourself before anything and that children are the best at doing this. It was normally when we reach high school that we are pressured from society, unfortunately sometimes children lose their innocence in middle school now with all of the easy accessible internet and social media. We always care about about what others and society thinks of us, that we don’t act like who we really are. Sometime we just need to care less and be ourselves because the right group of people will welcome us into their group.

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      • Michele McKinnon says:

        Yes I agree. If only adults saw the world in the same light that children do. They are so young and innocent. Self-doubt means nothing to them. It’s a shame that as we grow older we are constantly comparing our current selves to those around us. If people just focused on being who they are there would be less problems. The most important thing to remember is to always be yourself because despite your shortcomings (we all have them) no one can a better you than you. The older I get the more I realize this. It’s okay to be imperfect, just be the best you can be.

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      • Heather Monks says:

        I worked at a summer camp as well, and I worked with 13 year old girls, which is the age when self doubt, and inner criticism starts to appear. It was very disheartening to see this young girls start to doubt everything they would say, and eventually have no confidence in themselves. I found the best way to help promote their own self-confidence was to be entire confident in myself, and never waver with my actions. Young minds learn so much by watching others, and as a role-model to these girls, perhaps I could teach them it’s ok to be themselves and act silly if I can do the same myself.

        It was very important for myself to be totally self-assured and confident, so that these girls could learn from that and perhaps make a difference in them. It was just incredible to see this self-doubt start to form in their minds, at such an age, and I couldn’t entirely reverse it, but I hoped to make some difference to them.

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    • I agree self-acceptance is probably the most important gift we can ever give ourselves. Receiving self-acceptance from purr selves is the equivalent of beating life at its own game. When you reach the stage of self-acceptance you are not only at peace with yourself, but with the world around you as well. I am only 17, so I am not going to reach self-acceptance anytime soon, I am constantly involved in stressful assignments and tasks that could influence my life in the distant future so I must consistently make the better decision in multiple senarios and situations as to not follow a negative path. Self-acceptance is like a finish line for people attempting to find themselves in society and within theirselves.

      Like

  35. Judene says:

    I aways have a drive of been the best I can be as a person and as a mother to my son. In live my motivation is reaching the stage of self-actualization. “I’m I going to get there, maybe not” Is just a inner drive or motivation to motivates me in becoming a better me and be a role model to my son and family.

    Like

    • Qian Ren says:

      I agree the stage of self actualization is hard to reach but it is not impossible. I love how Maslow included this in his hierarchy of needs because it is a great motivation for us to never stop progressing. To actually get to that step, we would need to have self acceptance, we would need to believe that we can and will. I really like the work of Maslow and Roger because their ideas are so positive. They believe in free will and how everyone should be treated the same, with love no matter who they are. I love their positivity, they say that we would have to believe in our selves to achieve whatever we need to achieve. There are two concepts of self, the one that we want to be is like a goal for us to reach. But sometimes, a person is who they want to be but doesn’t see that because they keep pressuring themselves to be better when they are. As long as we are happy with our own self.

      Like

    • I as well have the drive to be the best I can on a daily basis. Motivation influences us to try our best and reach the stage of self actualization. I want to be a role model for my family by going to a good college after highschool and choosing a career path I enjoy and can benefit from. In order to accomplish that I need to make choices and accept those decisions in the end no matter what they may be so I may find peace with myself and hopefully reach the stage of self-actualization.

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  36. Reaching the stage of self-actualization seems as if it’s an important goal for every individual to accomplish. Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow’s relationships of the individual to society is a fascinating example of how individuals view themselves in relations to others and how one see’s their place in the world. I agree with the article, everybody has the inner drive or motivation to reach their definition if self acceptance. People seek self acceptance in their entire lives to have meaning for their place in society and in the world. I, want to reach self-actualization at a point in my life where I accept my decisions and choices, as well as who I become. I have an inner drive and motivation to be as successful as I possibly can be. During my path to self-acceptance I will not let the influences of society change me. My own self-acceptance is a unique individual perspective consisting of my own perception of perfection. Perfection to me could be imperfect to another m, there is no one perfect perception of life, every life no matter how perfect is imperfect.

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  37. Amy Considine says:

    Qien, I too believe in self acceptance, which leads to unconditional positive regard. I have had experiences where I have felt badly about myself, and have forgotten about this. I tend to be kinder to others than I am to myself. One time at a birthday party I thought people were thinking that I was weird, when that was not the case at all. If I had only used some self love I cold have combatted these thoughts. Instead I spent the night in a fog and did not enjoy myself. Maslow was brilliant to come up with the levels leading to self actualization. Every time I find myself climbing up the ladder, I tumble down and have to start all over again. Self love must be part of self actualization. Unconditional positive regard applies not only others but yourself. I need to learn that. Perfectly imperfect? That is definitely what I could call myself if I were being kind to myself. Self acceptance needs to guide us through life, in our relationships with family and friends. It can help us in so many ways. I am working on it in therapy and hope to climb the pyramid as I grow and change as a human being.

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    • Amy, I enjoyed your honest reply. Self-acceptance is truly the ultimate achievement of one self and the road to enlightenment can be arduous. But as we self reflect in times of insecurity, remembering a few life facts can lessen the tension. Remembering that everyone in the room is also managing their own insecurities and creating their own synopsis of how they appeared to others. “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how made them feel.” Maya Angelou. This great quote disregards the self-deprecating thoughts and highlights your personal truth, the truth of who you are to others. I personally like weird people because I feel they are being real to themselves and others and it gives me a sense of comfort while relieving anxiety. That’s what I’ll remember, not what they did or said that made them weird.

      Like

    • Heather Monks says:

      I find Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to be entirely accurate. As one climbs the ladder, if one of the proviso pillars wavers, they can’t move forward. I think self-actualization also consists of self-love and as well as confidence. I need that may go with the previous pillar of esteem, but I think confidence is a crucial part of growth, and developing confidence can make a significant difference in someone’s outward interactions with the world. Perfectly Imperfect reflects that we all need to accept ourselves and take or leave our faults, but most importantly accept them. And congrats to you to be working towards a whole you, and growth. I wish you the best of luck in therapy!

      Like

  38. The ideas that are agreed upon by Maslow and Rogers cause me to reflect on my own path. From my experience, the dual relationship between the ideas of what I am, and what I want to be, has been an ever-winding marriage of influencing forces that mature over time. The result of both realities comes from the influence they have on each other. The stronger the focus is of your ideal self will determine the outcome of your real self, simultaneously as the limitations of your real self becomes a reality, it will affect your ideal. This is where grit comes in. Your grit will improve your ability to persevere in difficult situations and keep you going in the face of opposition. I personally believe that is one of the single most important things to acquire toward your path to success. Everyone’s ideal is obtainable to a certain degree and it’s your internal strength that will get you there. But while grit will bring you to your full potential, self-acceptance is the key to happiness. If you live your whole life striving to achieve an ideal self because you cant except who you are, then your self will not be fully actualized. Self-acceptance is self-love, and like Rogers put it “a person is inherently worthy of love, regardless of behavior or achievement.”

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    • Sarah Erritouni says:

      I love every thing about your comment. It’s so perfectly worded and structured and outlines everything I believe about this topic that I didn’t fully know how to put in words before. I especially love how you mentioned that both the actual self and the ideal self project and influence one another. The concept, once brought into the picture, seems so simple and yet, it completely eluded me as I was mulling over the article in my head. A person uses their ideal self to guide the changes in their real self but also uses their knowledge of who they are to estimate what it is they can be. This simple statement beautifully explains the growth and maturity of human beings. Thank you for putting it out there.

      Like

    • Sierra Hitchcock says:

      Martin, that was beautifully well written. I love how you explained the ebb and flow between a person’s real self and their ideal self. You clearly summed up a complex relationship in one sentence. Reading your post helped me see things in a new way where I didn’t think there were any new ways to see it. Also I completely agree with your about grit. My dad talks a lot about grit. He has sent me both a podcast and a TED Talk about grit and what it can do for success. I will put the links to both at the bottom. People put so much effaces on natural ability and talent that I think its often forgotten how far grit and hard work can take a person. Granted there are things such as biological limitations but even then people have found ways to achieve their goals. I know of many dancers who appeared to be limited by their physique only to use their grit to become extraordinary dancers and performers. I hope that my own grit will help me on my path of self-acceptance and self-love.
      https://overcast.fm/+FA4yt7ioo NPR Hidden Brain Podcast
      http://www.npr.org/2013/11/01/240779578/is-having-grit-the-key-to-success TED Talk

      Like

    • Sara Sada says:

      Hi martin, I totally agree with your view of self-acceptance. Everyone should have that level of love for themselves regardless of any factors. It is very hard to achieve that though in the kind of society we live in. The media especially picks at our self worth and makes us doubt and compare ourselves to others we see. Self acceptance is the key yes, but to get to that level you need a thick skin to disregard anyone’s opinions of you, and learn to accept yourself fully. Everyone has faults, but to find value in yourself and accepting that you are good enough for you, that would be the ultimate dream.

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      • Martin conserva says:

        Sara, eventually you will realize that you are the only one holding you back. People will come and go and their opinions will become irrelevant and then you’ll start to see yourself through the fog, and everyone else will fall to the side.. I’m not saying I am fully their yet myself but I know how you feel and I know it gets better..

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  39. Qian Ren says:

    Self acceptance and being able to look back and accept what we did and didn’t do is really important in life. It is what makes us happy and motivated to progress. I really like the humanistic approach done by Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow. Everyone is unique and I believe that we should live life fully because, “you only live once”, but there is always a limit to something, when we have done something wrong, we would need to pay for the consequences. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, is a great outline to make our goals. Each step up the ladder is an obstacle we have to overcome. I believe that individuality is important because without this everyone would be the same. Back then every gender and age group had the same role in society, they didn’t have choices, ladies were expected to be married off and become mothers, men were expected to take over whatever the family had (continue on the family legacy), there was no room for free will.

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    • Sierra Hitchcock says:

      Qian, I really liked how you mentioned that part of self acceptance is be able to look back and accept what we did and did not do. I hadn’t really thought about that part of it. I often think about what my life will include and not include. I know that when I’m eighty I want to be able to look back at my life and have as few regrets as possible. The hard part about that is in the present we often don’t know what actions will lead to regret and which ones won’t. We just have to make the best decisions we can. I personally believe that there is a higher power helping to guide me on my life path. Whether or not there actually is a divine being, this belief helps me stay at peace and not worry about the future. Also, the fact that I am accountable for any and all of my actions I hope will help me lead of life of few regrets. I want to be able to look in the mirror and be proud of the person looking back at me.

      Like

    • Jonathan Hock says:

      I agree Qian, there is an interesting twist on the modern hierarchy of needs compared to the old societal roles of humans. I would argue that every citizen in the first world western society can progress without restrictions to class, gender, race, religion, etc to self-actualization.

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  40. Sarah Erritouni says:

    To be completely honest, if I were to ever change my career path to psychology, I’d probably label myself as a humanistic psychologist. I’ve always had a problem with people telling me or even implying that I have no choice in what I can or can’t do. I also don’t find it very realistic to point all the blame for someone’s behavior towards genetics, conditioned learning, etc. The idea that all people themselves decide how to act makes a whole lot more sense to me.

    Also, I really like that Maslow and Rogers were able to see the good in all people and that they were able to say with confidence that deep down everyone was a good person. While I still do believe that this assertion is a bit generous given how some people, in my opinion, are absolutely horrible, I definitely appreciate the optomisim.

    There is, however, one thing that confused me a little. According to Maslow, self-actualization, people’s desire to be the best that they can, is what every human strives for but Rogers’s self-acceptance says that a person reaches their potential once they come to terms with what they are and what they are not. It seems strage to me to expect someone to keep fighting to be what they want to be and at the same time accept that they are not what they want to be. How have humanistic psychologists combined these two principles and, if I misunderstood what was beimg said, what do they actually mean?

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  41. Sierra Hitchcock says:

    Growing up is one of the most fascinating things to experience. I often think about how differently I am mentally that I was two years ago. I’ve learned how to be more self accepting, how to better help those around me, and even how to take better accountability for my actions. All of these things have made me a happier person, more like the ideal person I want to be. It certainly hasn’t been easy, definitely trying at times, but I feel so lucky to have the ability to grow and change. After being introduced to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, you can’t help but try and figure out where you are on his pyramid. I am very much near the bottom but I hope that I am privileged enough to reach the top before I leave this world. As I move through my life, I will forever be referencing back to Maslow’s Hierarchy seeing where I regress to when I hit a bump in the road and where I move forward when I experience a new, positive life event, hopefully in pursuit of my ideal self. I wish everyone strived to be their ideal person because I think the world would be a much better place if that were the case. Unfortunately that is not reality. I do hope though that everyone learns that “it’s ok to be you.”

    Like

    • Sarah Erritouni says:

      I love your optimism! I, like you, really love the idea of every person trying to be the best they can and climbing up the ladder, or pyramid, towards a better future. Everyone should be allowed to reach for their goals, personal or otherwise, and feel proud of themselves for moving forward. I also agree with you when you say that not everyone strives to be their ideal person. Some people would much rather aim for what society tells them they should be rather than look at what they honestly want. Some would rather chase a lie because if it fails, they won’t feel as disappointed; chasing your goals can be scary because the possibility of failure can sometimes be so terrifying that some people don’t even want to take the chance. Regardless, I believe that even if failure is the more likely outcome people should still go for what they want and improve themselves as they see fit because I would be much more content with failure knowing I did my best. Not to mention, change in a person is not usually an end goal; it’s something that happens over a journey(please excuse how cheesy this sounds). No one should feel too intimidated to be the best they can.

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    • Amy Considine says:

      Hi Sierra, i found your post really interesting. You say that you are different now than you were two years ago. I will bet that two years before that you were even more different! I know that I was different two, five, ten years ago. Not better, not worse, just different. I too am trying to take accountability for my actions and life in general. I just finished watching a Ted Talk by Brene Brown. She talks about being imperfect and about how messy life is, life doesn’t have to fit in a neat box. You need to accept yourself for who you are. I think it’s a matter of self love and I know personally i can have more empathy for people around me than for myself. I have learned (in my life to date) how important self love is. I hope I model that for my two nephews, 4 and 7, knowing that life can be difficult but to be kind not only to other people but to yourself as well. They say in an airplane that you have to put on your air mask first before you can help anyone else. This process of “taking stock” in this class has been about trying to figure out where we all fit on the pyramid, and that has been significant. This class has given me the opportunity to think about my own life from a different perspective. And that, for me, has been priceless.

      Like

      • Sarah Erritouni says:

        “Not better, not worse, just different.”

        It’s great that you mention this. People, myself included, always tend to think of change as being either good or bad. The idea is if you are different now that must mean you’re either better or worse than you were before. Very rarely do people ever see change as simply different. Difference, to a lot of people, has to be labeled and sadly this mentallity has caused some to lose faith in themselves.

        I think more people should adobt your way of thinking on this issue: not all change is good or bad; sometimes it’s just different.

        Like

  42. Amy Considine says:

    I find this article fascinating. I have been thinking for days about where I am on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Am I just at the physiological stage? Have I progressed past it? Am it a the safety stage? Have I achieved love and belonging? Or even esteem? I do not think I have gotten to self actualization at the ripe old age of 44. I am certainly not Ghandi or Mother Theresa. But that doesn’t mean I can’t try. I attend therapy on a monthly basis trying to better myself as a person. I help old ladies across the street and always go back to Market Basket if they have forgotten to charge me for the soda under my carriage. But what actually constitutes self actualization? it has to be different for everybody. My grade on a test might be higher than yours but wouldn’t there be a curve for ability and moderate expectations, depending on the person? I do believe in unconditional positive regard, treating everyone the same regardless of behavior or achievement. I really do. I think everyone needs a fighting chance, whether they are born with abnormalities, and unconditional love benefits everyone.
    So back to where I am on the Hierarchy of Needs…hmm, not sure on that one. I keep growing and changing and becoming a better person every day. I do have setbacks, blips in the road, but overall, I think I am doing pretty well. Maybe not Maslow himself yet, but we will just have to see.
    Best,
    Amy

    Like

    • Judene says:

      Amy, you are too funny when you said “you don’t think you have gotten to self actualization at the ripe old age of 44”. As Professor mentioned, it is hard to get to that stage in life unless you are the Queen of England or the President. Just keep continuing to strive on becoming a better person.

      Judene

      Like

    • Qian Ren says:

      I like how you brought up the different ways people interpret self actualization. I feel that we just need to be at peace with our own self and our decisions/ actions. We always need to remember that we can never be perfect so when there is a mistake that we have done and can’t accept the fact that we actually made the mistake, we would need to look at the bright side of things. It is these mistakes that makes us more strong because we learn from them. When we are able to accept who we are and what we have and not have done, that’s when we are at that stage. Although we can never be like Mother Theresa and Ghandi, we can always still strive to do little acts of kindness to the people around us. Like how you said, going back into Market Basket or helping the lady across the street. Little acts of kindness is still kindness.

      Like

    • Sierra Hitchcock says:

      Amy, I really like your attitude of unconditional positive regard. Meeting someone with that kind of attitude is such a breath of fresh air. I think it can also really help people who struggle with self-acceptance to interact with someone who does not judge them on their behavior or achievement. People so often jump to conclusions about others and are quick to form opinions about them that it hinders them from actually getting to know the person. Granted it takes time to get to know a person, that’s why I am a huge propionate of not judging a book by its cover. When you meet someone you usually don’t know what battles they have fought or what demons they are fighting. You put it best: “Unconditional love benefits everyone.”

      Like

  43. Recognize self acceptance is crucial for success and motivation, real thought you had share. Thanks

    Like

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