Self-actualization is a congruence between self and experience, and it is the fulfillment of one’s inherent potentialities according to Pervin, John & Cervone (2005). It “involves the tendency of an organism to grow from a simple entity to a complex one, to move from dependence towards independence, from fixity and rigidity to a process of change and freedom of expression” according to Pervin, John & Cervone (2005). Can one become self-actualized, though, and what may limit this potentiality? Incongruences between self and experience are “subceived as threatening and are either denied or distorted” in the neurotic person’s self-concept according to Pervin, John & Cervone (2005), thus this would limit that person’s ability to self-actualize. Incongruences between self and experience “result in a rigid, defensive maintenance of the self against experiences that threaten the wholeness of self and frustrate the need for positive self-regard” according to Pervin, John & Cervone (2005).

Positive self-regard includes “seeking warmth, liking, respect, sympathy and acceptance” and it needs to be unconditional according to Pervin, John & Cervone (2005). If a child grows up in home environment where positive self-regard is conditional, though, these people will develop defense mechanisms such as denial andrepression that limit one’s ability to find congruence between the perceived self and experience. To overcome this problem, client centered therapy will focus on providing congruence, empathy of the therapist, and unconditional positive regard, thus even in neurotic people a more healthy balance between self and experience can be achieved such that the person can work on becoming more self-actualized. Self-acceptance, autonomy, environmental mastery, purpose in life, openness to experience, intrinsic versus extrinsic goals, and the lack of environmental restrictions have also been associated with becoming self-actualized as well, thus when one experiences these qualities the limits towards reaching self-actualization are reduced. Thus, yes I believe one can become self-actualized, and that people can overcome limitations to this end by finding congruence between self, experience and the idealized self.
After reading this, I think one of the important points is that a person must overcome or, at the very least, be accepting of any issues that the individual may be experiencing. Does this make sense? If so why or why not?

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