This blog is part of a series of blogs where we explore Emotional Intelligence. We will look at ways to be able to develop and enhance our own perceived levels of Emotional Intelligence.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Well, you can take a look at our previous blog What is Emotional Intelligence and How Can I develop it, to find out some more. Emotional intelligence is all about how well you understand your own emotions and the emotions of others, and the ability to identify and manage them. Emotional Intelligence, also known as “Ei” or “EQ”, is now well established set of “Competencies” that contribute to performance, engagement and success.

Emotional Intelligence is broken down in to five key areas. Self Perception, Self Expression, Interpersonal, Decision Making and Stress Management. Within each of these areas there are three traits. We are going to discuss each of these traits in more detail with their own blog. This week we will be looking at Self Actualisation. If you want to catch up from last time click here Developing Emotional Intelligence – Part 1 – Self Regard

Emotional IntelligenceWhat is Self Actualisation?

Self Actualisation is the ability to realise one’s potential capacity and to strive to do that which one wants to do and enjoys doing. In short it involves striving to achieve personal goals and realise one’s potential.

“It is easy to live for others, everybody does. I call on you to live for yourself.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Leading to a rich and enjoyable life, Self Actualisation is about your willingness to continuously improve oneself and engage in meaningful and personally relevant activities and objectives. Knowing the things you like to do and the things you don’t like to do and the reasons why.

When Self Actualisation is operating well:

  • Highly motivated
  • Self Starter
  • Strives for self improvement & High Performance in Self, Team and Organisation
  • Leads a rich and personally meaningful life

When Self Actualisation is low:

  • Wants to get more out fo life
  • Tends to have a lack of direction and purpose
  • Does not see own potential
  • Lacks motivation to succeed

Developing Self Actualisation

Self Actualisation naturally has it’s ups and downs, some days we don’t feel as motivated as others. Feeling generally motivated to get on a do things is a good sign. During Learning Cog’s Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Masterclass, starting with ‘Self-Perception’, we explain how to assess you own emotional intelligence and how to develop your EQ awareness. Here in this blog we have added some areas to think about when developing Self Actualisation.


Find that person that you perceive to have high Self Actualisation. remember it is your perception of them which may not be their own perception. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help observe the behaviours of people with high Self Actualisation.

  • Who do you know that strives to make their life meaningful?
  • Do they do a range of activities?
  • What signs do they have that they gain enjoyment from the things they are involved in?
  • Does this person have goals?

Self Coaching

  • Which part fo the day do you look forward to the most?
  • Which parts of the day do you dislike the most?
  • Whats the difference?
  • What are your goals, personal and professional?
  • Do I tend to procrastinate a lot?

Thinking and Reflection

Here is an exercise for you to complete to help build your understanding of your own Self Actualisation.

Exercise: Personal Satisfaction Ratings

Ask yourself how satisfied you are with the things that you are presently doing, with your interests. If you’re not happy with what you are presently doing, think of what you would like to do and can possibly do. Identify your degree of satisfaction on a scale of 0 to 10 on the following aspects of life. You may wish to draw this as a wheel and mark scores on scale of 0 to 10 where 10 is on the outside of the circle and zero in the middle.

Aspect of life to score a scale of 0 to 10:
Work/life balance, finances, hobbies, friends, family, emotional growth, well-being, career, mental and spiritual growth.

You could change the titles to items more suitable to you.


It is important when developing your Self Actualisation that you pay attention to Doing things rather than planning. The practical element of everything you do is important.

  • Schedule time each week explicitly for self actualisation pursuits.
  • Make a concentrated effort to discover where your skills and talents lie.
  • Experiment to discover what suits you and your personality best.
  • Explore the possibility that there might be a area is that you are not yet aware of, that could be of interest to you. You may discover that you have hidden interests and talents which can give you a great deal of gratification and satisfaction.

Developing your Self Actualisation will support you leading a rich and meaningful life in everything that you do, leading to being happy and healthy. Why not get in touch and talk to us more about developing Emotional Intelligence in yourself, your Leadership Team or your whole business.

Look out for the next blog on Developing Emotional Intelligence – Part 3 – Emotional Self Awareness

Or read previous blogs:

Developing Emotional Intelligence – Part 1 – Self Regard

What is emotional intelligence? and how can I develop it…