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Accept your whole self, not just your best self

The goal of Scott Barry Kaufman's book, Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization, is to help the reader integrate 'everything inside.' As Maslow suggested in his 'Being psychology' approach, “this requires penetrating the depths of your being with piercing awareness with the intent of experiencing the full richness of human existence,” incorporating being and becoming, deficiency and health (Kaufman, 2020). To integrate oneself, basic needs must be met, facilitating growth towards one’s highest goals and values.

 

Kaufman uses the metaphor of a sailboat instead of the pyramid associated with Maslow (Maslow never used a pyramid himself). The sailboat metaphor represents the dynamism of development. When you drop your defenses, when you feel secure enough, you open your sail to move forward.

The sail on the sailboat of your personhood represents growth. Growth lies at the heart of self-actualization, what Maslow called becoming fully human. In an appendix, Kaufman presents 20 “growth challenge” activities, based on the research findings presented in the book. And he presents seven principles for becoming a whole person, explaining each in kind.

 

Seven Principles for Becoming a Whole Person 

  • Accept your whole self, not just your best self.
  • Learn to trust your self-actualizing tendency.
  • Become aware of your inner conflicts.
  • Look out for lopsided development.
  • Create the best version of yourself.
  • Strive for growth, not happiness.
  • Harness the power of your dark side.

In my Coaching, accepting yourself doesn't mean to create the best version of yourself. This is the only point, where I disagree to the fantastic author. Following consciousness already implicits that you look out for a refined version of yourself. What you do after your personal discovery seems to me being more important for the world. Thus I would claim: serve yourself and others naturally! Start now!

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