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The Road to Self-Actualization

The Road to Self-Actualization

If you are struggling to understand your life’s purpose, you are not alone. The road to realizing your full potential is not an easy one. But what does it mean to be self-actualized?

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs may be a familiar concept to you. This five-stage model is drawn as a pyramid – from the bottom up. Our basic needs (such as psychological and safety) must be satisfied before progressing on to our growth needs (such as our sense of belonging and self-esteem). Only as we satisfy each stage of the model will we be able to move up in the pyramid to satisfy the next level of need. Placed at the very top, which Maslow considered to be the highest form of needs fulfillment, is self-actualization.

So how easy is it to reach the top of the pyramid? Well, Psychologist Abraham Maslow added that only one in every hundred people truly reach self-actualization. This is especially accurate now considering that society rewards individuals who are high in self-esteem, rather than in self-discovery.

Many of us do a great job at satisfying the four previous needs on the road to self-actualization – we are proficient at feeding ourselves, making sure we have a place to safely rest our heads, nurturing relationships, and making ourselves feel good. However, some of us end our efforts there and tolerate not understanding and knowing who we truly are.

Why are we here? What are we meant to do? What is our life purpose?

Before finding the answers to the above question, you need to know yourself from within. The following section will help you identify the steps to finding a deeper understanding of who you are, and ultimately, help guide you in defining your life’s purpose. 

How to achieve Self-Actualization

1. LIVE FULLY

Immerse yourself in your everyday experiences. When we completely submerge ourselves in what we are doing, we experience “peak” experiences (experiences that would occur at the top of the pyramid). Maslow taught us that reaching these peak experiences causes us to feel pure joy, a heightened sense of curiosity and awe, and a feeling of ecstasy.

Ask yourself – What experiences have I had that have sent me over the moon? Why bother participating in activities that only give you satisfactory feelings? Why not partake in things that really give you goosebumps?

Note – Goosebumps are bumps that appear on a person’s skin when they are cold or experiencing a feeling of strong emotion. This emotion could be anything from fear to pleasure to nostalgia and even awe.

Living fully means satisfying your needs to the fullest. It means immersing yourself in everyday experiences that give you satisfaction.

2. RECOGNIZE YOUR UNIQUENESS AND STAY POSITIVE

Recognizing your unique qualities and what they can offer those around you can prove to be quite powerful. So, how can you determine what is unique about you? The answer is by accepting your imperfections and keeping a positive narrative of yourself.

Accept your flaws and imperfections. We are all human, and humans are all but perfect. The sooner you are able to grasp this, the sooner you will allow yourself to be fearless. By being fearless, you are opening yourself up for self-growth. Consequently, self-growth will lead you to new and valuable experiences, which will promote these “peak” experiences that everyone keeps raving about.

Practicing optimism and positive self-talk will remind you of the great things only you can offer to the world. Having the ability to see the bright side to life will not only keep gray clouds at bay, but it will also motivate you to attempt new things, which will lend a hand in deepening your understanding of yourself. Once you have a better grasp of who you truly are, you will be better armed when finally tackling the great question of – What is my life’s purpose?

3. MAKE HONEST CHOICES

How will making honest choices help you in defining your life’s purpose? If we examine our daily choices, are they in line with our core values and beliefs? Perhaps, we don’t quite know yet what our core values and beliefs are. Well, by choosing to make honest decisions regarding our everyday lives, we are working on recognizing what is important to us.

If you make honest choices and are mindful of your selections, you will begin to decipher and sort through what is important to you.

Nike, just like most companies, has a mission statement. The benefit of a mission statement is that whenever a company has to make a decision, big or small, they can refer to their statement to make sure every decision they make is in alignment with their mission. An organization’s mission statement will strongly reflect the company’s core values. Nike’s mission statement is, “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” Through Nike’s products, branding, marketing, and strategic business decisions, we see their mission statement shines through.

Developing your own personal mission statement will help you make genuine and authentic choices for you to honor your purpose in life. One quick tip is to save your personal mission statement in your notes app on your phone, that way you can refer back to it whenever you have to make a tough decision.

4. LET GO OF YOUR EGO

Those who are self-actualized are able to feel self-acceptance, self-love, and self-value. The mere 1% that have been able to reach self-actualization are aware of their desires for social acceptance and societal pressures, but they hold a true understanding of themselves, instead of a distorted idea of who they should be according to exterior influences.

Your ego can play to your advantage – it can help boost your self-confidence and heighten your sense of self-worth. Having said that, letting your ego take precedence of your true self, also carries a dark side.

Your ego enhances your need to be right, your desire to win and supercharges your need to be superior. If the dark side of your ego takes charge of your everyday life, it will not only inhibit you from seeing different perspectives, it can also prevent you from opening up to new practices.

Letting go of the shadowy desires from your ego will open up your mind to new experiences that will increase your willingness, openness, and curiosity. In turn, these skills will lead you to your self-discovery and following your life’s purpose.

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it benefits your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you need help on your road to self-actualization, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram to keep up with our latest blogs!

 

 

How To Identify Your Strengths

How To Identify Your Strengths

Everyone has a natural aptitude for something.  

What are your strengths?

  • Working with numbers
  • Detail-oriented
  • Drawing pictures
  • Teaching children
  • Growing plants
  • Problem-solving
  • Caring for those less fortunate than you
  • Music
  • Athletics
  • Empathy
  • Writing
  • Working with your hands.

Identifying your greatest strengths and building your life based on them is essential for your overall happiness and success. Without knowing how to discover your strengths and maximize them, you may waste a lot of time doing the wrong things.

Can you imagine spending years of hard work only to realize at the end that you have poured your time and energy (not to mention money) into the wrong things?

Many people are not even aware of their strengths.  So, the question is: How do you discover your natural talents?

Here are three easy steps to help you determine your natural aptitude

Step 1: Tasks that are easy
  • Write down a list of those things that you do that seem easy for you.
  • These are the things that you can do that seem almost effortless.
  • Often, the tasks that are easy for us are those where we have a special aptitude.
Step 2: “Where did the time go?” tasks
  • Make a list of those things you do where time just seems to fly by.
  • When you are doing these activities, you may look up and realize that several hours have passed without you even realizing it.
  • This is a good clue to activities where you have natural talent.
Step 3: Tasks that make you happy
  • Finally, write all the activities that make you happy.
  • These are things that make you smile.
  • These are the tasks you would do just for yourself, with no promise of gain, just because they’re fun, interesting and fulfilling.

After writing out all three lists, find the common activities.

These are likely to be the areas of your natural aptitude and talent.  These are the areas of greatest potential for you.

Imagine if you could spend most of your time developing and playing at something that makes you happy, where time flies and where it’s easy for you.  Wow!

So, now that you know what your natural talent is, try to find or carve out a role that draws on these strengths every day. Organizing your life around your strengths will make your life more productive and fulfilled.

Not sure where your strengths and weaknesses lie in terms of your emotional intelligence? Try our free 15-question quiz to measure your level of emotional intelligence.

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it benefits your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you need help leading your organization to success, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram to keep up with our latest blogs!

Visualizing Your Path to Success

Visualizing Your Path to Success

Setting goals is the first step towards success. They provide us with a purpose and point us in the right direction. Realizing and achieving our goals takes a lot of work and determination. Unfortunately, many of us get stuck at the goal stage, and can’t seem to convert our goals into reality. Why is that?

For many, setting goals stops there. It’s a one-dimensional thought. We write our goals on a piece of paper and hope for the best. However, our good intentions are short-lived; because we can’t visualize what achieving that goal actually looks like, deep down inside, we don’t believe we can achieve it.

Law of Attraction

The Law of Attraction is attracting to our life what we give attention, energy, and focus to, whether positive or negative. In its essence, it simply means that we attract to our lives what we look for.

Therefore, if we are continuously worrying about being, or expecting to be, let down, we will be. Similarly, if we carry a positive attitude and visualize a positive outcome, then we begin to ‘see’ the possibility of achieving it. When this happens, our subconscious energy motivates us to do our best, in whatever we are doing, in order to achieve those positive results and reach our goals.

“It is important to understand that visualization is a natural skill of yours.” Innately, our mind naturally thinks in pictures and images. The key to living the law of attraction is visualizing a mental image of future events.

Our thoughts direct our energy where they need to be. When we focus our thoughts on our current situation, we tend to recreate, replay, and relive that current reality. By visualizing a different set of circumstances in our minds from our current reality, we redirect our energy to a different path or course, and consequently, recreate a new reality.

The power of visualization is a philosophy. In fact, many successful people and famous athletes have used the power of visualization to achieve success. An example of a celebrity who is a supporter of positive affirmations and visualization is Oprah Winfrey. Oprah recognized from a very young age that she wanted more for herself. She reminded herself every day that her life would be better. “Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe.” And that is what she has done.

Benefits to Visualization

There are many benefits that come with visualizing the life of your dreams. For one, visualizing helps us overcome limiting beliefs. At some point in our lives, many of us have doubted our skills and ability to succeed – perhaps this meant shying away from opportunities because we worried about things not going well. When we spend time worrying about what we are afraid of, who we shouldn’t trust, and/or what we are insecure about, we are ruminating and reinforcing our worries to our subconscious mind. Undeniably, we are recreating a clear, negative mental image of what we are most afraid of; hence we become frozen in fear. Instead, visualize an ideal outcome to help shape your perception of your current reality. When you exercise positive visualization, you can change your subconscious mind from thinking, ‘I can’t’ to ‘I already am.’

Secondly, when we change our mind’s focus from a negative thought to a positive one, we visualize an encouraging and motivating mindset. Once we know what we want and envision our future, it is easier to find the inspiration and enthusiasm to strive for more. The power of visualization is an extra kick-in-the-butt. It is easier to get up in the morning and truly work hard when we know what we are getting up against and can see the end results or the fruits of our labor. Therefore, visualize to actualize.

Lastly, visualization helps to improve our self-esteem. Similar to overcoming self-limiting beliefs, when we imagine becoming the best version of ourselves and achieving success, we boost our self-esteem in the same fashion – it makes us think about what we are capable of doing, which raises our confidence and self-respect.

So, how do positive thinkers really apply the law of attraction to achieve their success?

Here are two common visualization practices that you can attempt in order to overcome limiting beliefs, change your focus from negative to positive in order to motivate yourself, and increase your self-esteem.

VISION BOARDS

Vision boards are probably the most commonly practiced visualization technique. Vision boards are a way of honing in the mental laws of success and visualization, including the Law of Attraction. By its very nature, vision boards remind us of our hopes, dreams, and desires. This physical and tangible object portrays our wants and needs, which are important to have when we are visualizing our success. It is a constant reminder to focus on our goals and helps us create a clear mental image of the future life of our dreams.

Law of Attraction Vision Boards are easy to make – flip through your favorite magazines and collect images and phrases that speak to you. After you think you have collected a sufficient amount of pictures and words, glue them onto a board and place them where you are likely to see them every day. Don’t fret about gluing every single desire on your board before posting it. Consider it as a work-in-progress, because of course; your desires may change over time. You will, however, over time see which images and phrases stick around, as others change. Vision boards give you something positive to work towards.

AFFIRMATIVE TOKENS

If you are a symbolic person, consider giving yourself affirmative tokens, which remind you of what you are working for. Take Jim Carrey – in 1985, he issued himself a $10 million check for “acting services rendered,” which he post-dated 10 years. He kept this check in his wallet to serve as a reminder for himself for what it is he wanted to achieve.

Granted, you don’t have to go as far as writing yourself a 10 million-dollar check. However, affirmative tokens can be anything that is meaningful to you. For instance, if one of your dreams is writing a New York Times Best Seller, it may be a good idea to print out a potential cover for your next, new book and keep that image in your wallet. If your book has not yet been published or printed, or if you have not even started writing it, having a physical token you can keep with you as a reminder for what you truly want to achieve, is a powerful tool.

So, there you have it – two common visualization practices.

Lastly, let’s talk about intention. “Nothing happens on this planet without it,” claims Jim Carrey. “Not one single thing has been accomplished without intention.”

To take positive visualization even further, we have to consider its physical form – our actions. If we live our lives with the intention to succeed and take the necessary actions to reach our goals, we are taking steps closer to achieving them.

Therefore, on a daily basis, look at your vision board. Touch, feel, and absorb your affirmative tokens and envision the feelings you will have once you achieve your dreams. Remember that you create your own path to success. Then, buckle down, work really hard, and make that goal a reality. 

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it benefits your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you need help paving the path to success for your organization or for yourself, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram to keep up with our latest blogs!

3 Ways Mentors Can Change Your Life

3 Ways Mentors Can Change Your Life

Have you ever considered taking action in pursuing something totally different from where you are now, but were unsure if it would be the right move? Have you ever thought of how to make that move, but were unsure of how to do it? If your answer is yes to either of these questions, then you may want to think of finding yourself a mentor.

Whether the life changes you are debating to make are large in scale, for example, jump-starting a career change or beginning a new business venture, or if they are as simple as purchasing new furniture or deciding new hobbies to take on, having someone there for you can clarify your decisions and enhance your experience.

The value of mentorship in your personal and professional life

1. Pulls You Out Of Your Comfort Zone

If you ever observe young children, you would see the keenness in their eyes when they see someone that shares their interests or acts in a way that they desire to act. For instance, their fascination with magicians.

When they first see magicians, children become in awe. They are amazed at what magicians can make disappear and appear out of hats, and magicians’ ability to cut people in half. For a while, after the children leave the magic show, they try and emulate magicians, putting on magic shows at home for their family and friends. Too often, though, those same kids can’t seem to master magic, lose interest, and move on to the next thing. Why is that? Well, when magicians perform their shows for children, they do not get the chance after the show to teach these children their magic tricks. So, for these impressionable children, they do not get to develop their magic skills from someone that shares their interests and has skills in an area they want to grow in.

Adults are no different. Do you want to grow an interest into more than a hobby? If someone has something you want, you need to learn how he or she got it. “If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.” How we perceive ourselves and who we are can be defined by whom we surround ourselves with. We all too often become comfortable with where we are sitting and never really leave our comfort zones and venture out.

Mentors normally have something you want – whether that is knowledge, a different way of thinking, or connections in the industry. For instance, a company mentorship program can help extend your horizons, build, and strengthen your relationships with other people who have more experience in an area you don’t. When we finally get out of our comfort zones, then we are able to see where we are falling short, and realize where we can improve, and that is where the magic happens.

2. The Nudge – A Different Perspective

Mentors have been doing what you want to be doing, sometimes, for many years. They have previously experienced things that you are now just beginning to face, and have already put in countless hours of blood, sweat, and tears. They have the wisdom you need; you can learn from their mistakes. This is why, if the right mentor has been chosen, they can give you the nudge to start on your pursuit of happiness and self-fulfillment.

We are all social beings. We are attracted to people that have similar values, beliefs, and life experiences, which help build a strong foundation of trust. Finding a mentor that understands where you are coming from – your strengths and development opportunities and where your goals and aspirations lie – will make it easier for you to push through the challenging times that may lie ahead.

Mentors have a way of igniting the passion for their mentees by giving them a different perspective. Those that may have thought little about their abilities and how far their skills could take them might think otherwise if only they had a mentor behind them to push them to strive for greater things. The importance of mentorship lies in its ability to shed light on how you could do things differently, which could accelerate you in the right direction.

3. Expedite Your Journey

When we look at mentorship from the lens of a writer, we can see that writers are well versed in articulating their ideas and stories; however, it is their editor who gets their work from good to great. Mentors, much like editors, can help you go through your work with a fine-tooth comb – they can help you navigate your way.

Mentors are not people that tell you what to do. Mentors are people who help in guiding you in the right direction. For individuals trying to progress higher and leap forward, it may take years and years for them to get to their destination. However, having a mentor can shorten the learning curve required to get up there.

Mentors help us avoid mistakes that can be costly and time-consuming to our personal and professional progressions. They help in making sure that we don’t reach a point where we have to say, “If I had only known back then, what I know now.” It is important to take seriously what your mentors have to say. After all, they have been walking in your shoes for much longer than you have.

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it benefits your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you’re looking to build employee mentorship programs within your company, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

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Improve Your Well-Being with Self Management and Emotional Intelligence

Improve Your Well-Being with Self Management and Emotional Intelligence

Regardless if you are the CEO of a company or a super successful entrepreneur, there is always room for personal and professional development. Oftentimes we get so caught up in our job, friends, and family that we forget to take care of ourselves.

When is the last time you took time for yourself?

This is an important question for two reasons. One, it allows you to reflect on how you treat yourself, both mentally and physically; and secondly, it shows how much you have invested in self-management for both your personal and professional life.

You could be very successful in your business life, but if you are not looking after yourself as an individual, it will soon catch up to everything you do.

Improve your well-being with self-management and emotional intelligence or else…

  • There will be a decrease in your mental and physical health
  • You have the potential to lose valuable relationships
  • Your work ethic will decrease
  • Your motivation decrease

Emotional Intelligence gives people the ability to manage their emotional and social awareness well-being and build up their emotional muscles.

Now, I know life gets in the way; we get stuck in routines that it almost becomes impossible to spend time to improve our well-being. Emotional Intelligence has 15 competencies of which 4 of them are the key to self-management and self-care.

1. Emotional Self-Awareness

Understanding your emotional cues is vital to self-management, but can only begin by paying attention to your emotions. What makes you angry, sad, happy, excited? Discover your feelings at the moment. When a situation arises, stop and analyze:

How did you react when first presented with the situation?

What are you feeling?

What outcome do I want?

How can I approach this?

 2. Stress Tolerance

Stress is something everyone experiences in their daily life. Having high stress levels dramatically decreases your mental and physical health. When you are presented with situations that increase your stress, stop what you are doing and breathe to remain calm- you will be surprised how helpful taking 5 deep breaths will be. We are all busy people, but it is important to take a little time and de-stress. Some things you can do are:

  • Read a book
  • Listen to music
  • Talk it through with your mentor
  • Mediate
  • Exercise
3. Impulse Control

Impulses, everyone has been a victim of acting on an impulse. Maybe it was that chocolate bar that was right by the checkout or that new gadget that you need to buy right now!

Although not every impulse ends in a negative outcome, they contribute to the decrease in your overall well-being. It is important to control your impulses and rationally think about what you are about to do.

4. Interpersonal Relationships

Even if you are a workaholic and your job takes up 90% of your time, it is important to create and maintain friendships outside your work life. If you are surrounded by business 24/7, it will start to weigh on your mental health. When you leave work, leave everything work-related, including your work-related thoughts, behind. It is great to make work-friends, but just remember when you meet outside of work, don’t talk about it. Surround yourself with people that are going to lift your spirits; who understand your beliefs, opinions, and will support you through all aspects of your life.

Self-management is a never-ending process. Remember that taking care of yourself first doesn’t mean you are not looking out for others; rather, it demonstrates your passion for your self-worth, which is an important value to have!

Take our EQ Assessments to learn more about yourself and your well-being.

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it benefits your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you’re looking to improve well-being, self-management, and emotional skills, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram to keep up with our latest blogs!