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Fulfilling Your Potential

By Peter Shepherd

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In this ongoing series, I shall present information and techniques to provoke you to think differently about your life, to open up new channels for your personal development. This approach, called 'transformational psychology', is described in detail in my online book Transforming the Mind.

Transformation occurs when existing solutions, assumed truths and past decisions are exposed as unrealistic, and this new insight allows one to view from a more appropriate and empowering perspective. I shall endeavor to provide new materials in each of this 'Tools for Emotional Intelligence' series, that explain why people behave the way they do and how you can transcend these limitations.


One of the foundations of transformational psychology is Maslow's theory of human needs, developed in the 1970's. Maslow believed that people are not merely controlled by mechanical forces (the stimuli and reinforcement of behaviorism) or the unconscious instinctual impulses that psychoanalysis emphasizes. Maslow preferred to focus on human potential, believing that humans strive to express their capabilities fully, and that this is the basis for happiness.

People who seek the frontiers of creativity and strive to reach higher levels of consciousness and wisdom, were described by Maslow as 'self-actualizing' individuals. Transformational psychology is not therapy, it is information and techniques to enable healthy persons to make their lives even better, to fulfill their potential - it is for you.

Maslow set up a hierarchical theory of needs in which the basic survival needs are the first priority, and the needs concerned with man's highest potential follow on when other needs have been met.

  1. Physiological Needs
    The needs for oxygen, food, water and a relatively constant body temperature. These needs are the strongest because if deprived, the person would die.

  2. Safety Needs
    Children often display signs of insecurity and their need to be safe. Adults, too, need the security of a home and means of income, and often have an underlying fear that these may be lost, e.g. in war or times of social unrest, or due to misfortune. Fear is the opposite flow to need. Accompanying any need for something is an equivalent fear of losing or not obtaining it.

  3. Mastery Needs
    This is the need to be able to get one's own way, to establish some control over one's situation and environment, to express some degree of personal power, to be able to communicate and obtain objectives.

  4. Needs for Love, Affection and Belonging
    People need to escape feelings of loneliness and alienation and to give (and receive) love and affection, and to have a sense of belonging with high quality communication (with understanding and empathy).

  5. Esteem Needs
    People need to feel good about themselves, to feel that they have earned the respect of others, in order to feel satisfied, self confident and valuable. If these needs are not met, the person feels inferior, weak, helpless and worthless.

  6. Self-actualization Needs
    Maslow describes self-actualization as a person's need to be and do that for which the person has a vocation. It is his 'calling', a full expression of his or her creative potential. It is to be autonomous and fully-functioning. If these needs are not met, the person feels restless and frustrated, even if successful in other respects.

One reason that a person does not move through the needs to self-actualization is because of the hindrances placed in their way by society. For example, education can act to inhibit a person's potential (though also of course it can promote personal growth). So can other aspects of the family and culture act to condition and funnel an individual into a role that is not fulfilling. To escape this conditioning, a person has to awaken to their situation, to realize that their life could be different, that there are changes that can be made in the direction of self-actualization.

To promote our personal growth, we can learn to be authentic, to be aware of our inner selves and to hear our inner feelings and needs. We can begin to transcend our own cultural conditioning and become world citizens. We can help our children discover their talents and creative skills, to find the appropriate career and complementary partner. We can demonstrate that life is precious, that there is joy to be experienced in life, and that if one is open to seeing the good - and humorous - in all kinds of situations, this makes life worth living.


Emotional Intelligence - Home Page

Next in the series
'Tools for Emotional Intelligence'

2. The Highest Need


Help for Emotional Intelligence Issues

Emotions are a fundamental part of being human - they make us who we are. But emotions are not something that we consciously control. They are our instant, unconscious, total body/mind response to whatever is happening around us - NOW. Emotions precede thought (contrary to popular belief). Our conscious minds invent rationalizations for what we feel after the event... thought distortions may make the emotion more intense, or mindful acceptance may enable us to let the emotion go.

This doesn't mean you are totally at the mercy of your emotions. Emotions are the drivers that get us to take action and get our fundamental needs met. When you understand this function, and you understand what your fundamental needs really are, you can bring together your conscious and unconscious efforts to make the most of life. This reduces the inner conflicts that make life so difficult. And when inner conflicts are reduced, outer relationships also go more smoothly. That's what developing emotional intelligence does for you.

If you want to set about developing emotional intelligence to get on better with others, feel happier in yourself and get more out of life, here are a wide range of self hypnosis downloads to help...

Road Rage
Overcome road rage quickly with hypnosis

Accept Things
Hypnosis can help you come to terms with what can't be changed

Anger Management
How to control anger effectively with hypnosis

Be Kinder
Use hypnosis to realign your unconscious attitudes

Be More Humble
Stop compulsive lying making life so difficult

Birthday Blues
Overcome birthday blues - you've got plenty to celebrate!

Controlling Emotions
A hypnosis audio to calm your emotional brain and differentiate real and perceived threats

Dealing with Guilt
Ease away feelings of guilt and shame using hypnosis to help you take a new view

Don't Be Ashamed
Hypnosis can help you let go of shame and get ready to move on

Express Your Emotions
How do you feel? - Express your emotions, your way

Express Your Love
Hypnosis can help free you to say how you feel more eloquently

Feeling Down
A hypnosis audio to gently let go of pervasive worry and relax into better everyday mood

Feeling Like a Failure
Calm those harsh feelings with hypnosis

Forgive Yourself
Let go of self-blame and learn how to forgive yourself

Forgiveness
Forgiveness: let hypnosis help you forgive today

Grass Is Always Greener
Learn how to escape the cloud of dissatisfaction

Improve Your Mood
Relax deeply and quickly and cast off black moods

Impulse Control
Develop the powerful ability to control your own impulses with this download

Increase Emotional Intelligence
Update your brain with new patterns of behaviour with this hypnosis download

Let Go Of The Past
Hypnosis can help your mind let go of the past and set you free to make the most of your life

No Embarrassment
Learn how to replace embarrassment with calm and comfort in situations that have been previously difficult

Overcome Envy
Overcome envy and free yourself to be happier

Overcome Greed
Overcome greed and enjoy what you have

Overcome Jealousy
Experience immediate relief from the effects of jealousy on you and your relationship

Stop Being Irritable
Stop being irritable and rediscover how to enjoy life

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