Six human needs
Have you ever wondered why you do the things you do? What causes you to pick Option A from Option B? What force drives and shapes your actions, emotions and, ultimately, your destinies? A few days ago I revisited Tony Robbin's '6 human needs' and thought this would be great to share. The answers to these questions are traced back to our childhood and can all be explained by learning and understanding the 6 basic human needs.
The inability to meet these needs can bring about dysfunctional behaviors. Sometimes you wonder, "why did I do / say that? Something just came over me." This is called the 'shadow' which lurks in the deep, repressed parts of our personality. Your shadow self will always be a part of you, and any imbalance or tipping of scales in these needs may arise a stirring toward a more dark and repressed side in your personality, which at times, is inevitable.
So, how do we develop and fulfill these needs in an effective and healthy way? First we must understand that, individually, we prioritize our needs differently and our decisions are based on which needs we put first. While these needs are intrinsic, you must remember that your past is not your future and your present choices dictate how these needs are met.
The six (6) human needs are as follows.
• Certainty: If this is one of your core needs, safety and security about the future are of great importance to you. Upon receiving a positive form of recognition, it may be accompanied by a need for certainty that the recognition is authentic and will continue. To continuously live in certainty, you seek a life that has to stay the same. You artificially control your environment to meet this need by changing your expectations or by avoiding new situations. In reality this is a difficult and exhausting feat. Life is ever-evolving.
It's important that you find balance by opening yourself up to activities you enjoy while slowly pushing the boundaries. Slowly but surely, you'll be surprised with the progress you've made, the new people you've met, and the new situations you were able to ascribe yourself to.
• Uncertainty: You strive for variety and sometimes push boundaries to the extreme. You're unafraid to take risks, meet new people and get into different situations, seeking new stimuli. Uncertainty can be beautiful, but there must be a balance. In order to fulfill this need for variety, you will want to switch things up in moderation. Feed your mind with new information, try a new workout routine, eat new foods and try hobbies that allow you to meet new people.
• Significance: Playing an important role in many people's lives is important to you. This translates into a desire to be seen, heard and listened to. This sense of importance gives you validation, makes you feel needed and special. Recognition is an innate and major driving force behind human behavior because it provides us with a measurement system to analyze and track our significance.
Naturally, you are competitive and highly driven. You must be careful, though, because this drive can get channeled into a wayward direction. To wield this ambitious nature, it's important to learn to channel this drive into healthy activities, like learning a new hobby or sport, or working on skills that enhance the natural leader instinct in you.
• Connection: You constantly seek close relationships with someone or something and truly understand that love wakes you up to the gift of life. Without love, there's nothing worth living for. Everyone needs love, and this can lead to many incredibly fulfilling relationships. But you must be careful and guard your heart—some connections may not be as pure as you think it is.
In order to fulfill the need for genuine and loyal connections, be open to vulnerability. Communicate your desires and needs. You have the ability to achieve greater spirituality through meditation, prayer and connecting with nature.
• Growth: In your core is a need to strive for better; to learn more. You know your worth and your potential, and seek out avenues to showcase your abilities through various arts, jobs and situations. It's a wonderful thing to push boundaries and never settle for less, but it's just as important to step back, take a deep breath and relax. You cannot be an effective agent of growth if you are heading toward a burnout. You must learn how to stop. Rest is not complacency, but a key component of growth.
Challenge yourself to not only learn new skills, but to also master and utilize them in practical settings. Don't forget emotional and spiritual growth as these are important factors in your overall growth as an evolved human being. Examine your limiting beliefs, learn to control your emotions and take up hobbies like meditation to keep you grounded.
• Contribution: You want to make a big difference, however, it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that giving begins at home and neglect those closest to you on your pursuit to changing the world. Learn to step back and reflect. You cannot give from an empty cup, therefore it's completely okay to focus on you and your needs before contributing to everything else at a larger scale. It's simply an act of self-preservation and by no means selfish once done with pure intent.
Knowing which of your 6 human needs is your primary driver and how this affects your ability to connect with others and develop healthy relationships is crucial to your understanding of what fuels you. It can also help you better understand and manage triggers and be in charge of your own emotions.
It also helps to know others' basic needs, so ask clarifying questions of the ones you love and work with to better help your communication and growth together!
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