Self Actualization vs Self Esteem: Difference and Comparison

The term “self-actualization” refers to the act of realizing one’s full potential. Self-realization is a term that is used interchangeably with self-actualization.

However, Self-esteem is a subjective assessment of an individual’s total worth. Self-regard and self-worth are two synonyms for the word self-esteem.

Key Takeaways

  1. Self-Actualization is the realization of one’s full potential and the achievement of personal goals, while Self-Esteem is the evaluation of one’s worth and value.
  2. Self-Actualization focuses more on personal growth and fulfillment, while Self-Esteem focuses more on self-worth and confidence.
  3. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Self-Actualization is a higher-level need, while Self-Esteem is a lower-level need.

Self Actualization vs Self Esteem

Self-actualization is a more dynamic process that involves ongoing growth and development throughout an individual’s life. Self-esteem is a relatively stable trait that can fluctuate over time based on various factors such as experiences, social comparisons, and feedback from others.

Self Actualization vs Self Esteem

The notion of self-actualization is utilized in a larger meaning in today’s approach, or in the current scenario, to define it as the complete potential attained by humans with the support of other personality traits such as determination and strong willpower.

Kurt Goldstein, who created the phrase and developed the conceptual analysis of self-actualization, defined it as the end destination reached or the goal set by all living creatures through realizing their capacities.

Self-esteem is a subjective assessment of someone’s total worth. Self-regard and self-worth are two adjectives that are used as synonyms for the term “self-esteem.”

Self-esteem was first started as a ratio by William James, who coined the word. The success-to-pretension ratio is calculated. In today’s world, self-esteem is described as a person’s battle to gain a sense of self-worth.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonSelf ActualizationSelf Esteem
First use Kurt Goldstein, 1939. William James, 1890
Original concept Achieving final goals with all capabilities. successes: pretensions.
Modern concept Achieving goals by attaining full potential Feeling self-worth.
According to Maslow Highest position Below Self-actualization, in the fourth level.
Other terms Self-realisationSelf-worth, self-regard

What is Self Actualization?

The term self-actualization refers to a person’s ability to reach his or her full potential. Self-realization is a term that is frequently interchanged with self-actualization.

Self-actualization is ranked first in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Kurt Goldstein was the first to invent the term “Self-actualization” in 1939.

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The notion of self-actualization is utilized in a larger meaning in today’s approach, or in the current scenario, to define as the complete potential attained by individuals with the support of other personality traits such as determination and strong willpower.

The phrase “self-actualization” was coined by Kurt Goldstein, who defined it as “the final destination attained or the objective set by every living person through actualizing the possibilities they possess.”

Self-actualized people are aware of their inner potential, have innovative ideas, and have strong interpersonal bonds. Furthermore, they have a positive outlook on the world.

self actualization 1

What is Self Esteem?

The term “self-esteem” refers to a subjective assessment of an individual’s overall worth. Self-regard and self-worth are two words that are used as synonyms for the phrase self-esteem.

According to Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” theory, self-esteem occupies a fourth-level position below self-actualization, classifying self-esteem as one of the key esteem needs.

In 1890, the phrase “self-esteem” was coined for the first time. William James, on the other hand, was the one who started it. The phrase “self-esteem” was coined by William James, who expressed it as a ratio.

The success-to-pretensions ratio is calculated. In today’s world, self-esteem is described as an individual’s battle to gain a sense of self-worth.

People who have mastered the quality of self-esteem are thought to be proud and satisfied in all of their accomplishments, have complete faith and belief in themselves that they can achieve anything they desire, and are extremely sensitive to others’ feelings, particularly regarding needs.

self esteem

Main Differences Between Self Actualization and Self Esteem

  1. The concept of self-actualization refers to the fact of fulfilling an individual’s potential. On the other hand, self-esteem refers to objectively evaluating an individual’s overall value.
  2. The term “Self-actualization” was coined for the first time in 1939 by Kurt Goldstein. On the other hand, the term “self-esteem” was put into use for the first time in 1890. However, it was initiated by William James.
  3. Kurt Goldstein, who coined the term and the conceptual analysis of self-actualization, expressed it as the final destination achieved or the target set by every living being by actualizing the capabilities they possess. On the other hand, William James, who put forward the concept of the term “self-esteem,” expressed it as a ratio. The ratio is taken from successes to pretensions.
  4. In the modern day’s approach, or the present scenario, the concept of self-actualization is used in a broader sense to define as the full potential achieved by humans with the help of other personality traits like determination and strong willpower. On the other hand, Self-esteem in the modern world approach is defined as the struggle of an individual to get the feeling of self-worth. Understanding your value, not doing something below your own set of principles and standards, is what is defined self-esteem in today’s era.
  5. According to the Hierarchy of Needs put forward by Maslow, the concept of self-actualization is placed at the topmost or highest order. On the other hand, According to the “Hierarchy of Needs” theory that was put forward by Maslow, self-esteem grabs a place below self-actualization in the fourth level defining self-esteem as one of the vital esteem needs.
  6. Self-actualized people know their inner potential, possess creative ideas, and have a strong bond with others. Moreover, they also possess an optimistic viewpoint of viewing the world. On the other hand, The people who have mastered the quality of self-esteem are believed to be proud and satisfied in every small and big thing done by them, and they have utmost faith and belief in themselves that they can acquire anything they want and are quite sensitive regarding feeling for others and especially when it comes to needs.
  7. One of the words that are used interchangeably with self-actualization is self-realization. On the other hand, some of the words which are used as synonyms of the word self-esteem are self-regard and self-worth.
Difference Between Self Actualization and Self Esteem
References
  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0146167286121007
  2. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1983-12714-001
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Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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6 thoughts on “Self Actualization vs Self Esteem: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The article presents an intellectual discourse on self-actualization and self-esteem, but the writing style could be more engaging to sustain the reader’s interest throughout.

    Reply
  2. The breakdown of the modern concept and historical background for both self-actualization and self-esteem is enlightening. It helps in understanding the significance of these terms in different contexts.

    Reply
  3. While the content is informative, some of the explanations could be simplified for easier comprehension by a broader audience.

    Reply
  4. The explanations and references provided are compelling. It’s intriguing to see how these concepts have evolved over time with different theorists.

    Reply
  5. The comparison table offers a concise yet comprehensive overview of the differences between self-actualization and self-esteem. It’s a valuable addition to the article.

    Reply
  6. This article is very detailed and clarifies the concept of self-actualization and self-esteem quite well. I appreciate the depth of information provided.

    Reply

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