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The Six Primary Human Needs: How to Meet Them So You Can Shine

6-human-needsSome may think I’m a bit crazy to take even more training but hey, I just seem to keep needing to do it. I’ve recently started Core 100 Strategic Intervention with Robbins/Madanes training. Tony Robbins and Cloe Madanes that is. If you don’t know them, they are internationally known and loved life coaches.

Tony started his learning 30 years ago in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming). I’ve read some of his books in my NLP practitioner training and have always appreciated his compassionate, clear and direct way of helping people get unstuck and move towards what they want. So now I’m in this training program!

The first module of the training includes something I wanted to share with you as I’ve found it very useful and clear. As described in human needs psychology, people are motivated by the desire to meet one of six needs:

  1. Certainty: the need for stability, safety, comfort
  2. Variety: the need for change and stimulus
  3. Significance: the need to be worthy of attention and to be special
  4. Connection and Love
  5. Growth: the need to expand and develop
  6. Contribution: the need to give

Through this lens of needs I ask, “why am I doing yet more training”? My strongest needs are for growth and contribution followed by love and connection. When I train in something, the processes I choose always includes in-depth personal development processes and that meets my need for growth and for self-love. I apply what I learn in helping others which meets my need for contribution. I connect with others in meaningful ways. Obviously, my needs get well met in programs like this one. It was useful to look at from this positive perspective of how it is serving my needs.

It was interesting to go through an exploration of these primary human needs with a client recently. She and her husband were having some difficulties. Both members of this couple are quite balanced in their feminine and masculine expression. When we looked at their relationship problems from a needs perspective, it appeared that her husband’s needs for significance in his masculine strength, protective and procreative abilities had perhaps not been met. Her need to express her masculine strength had not really had space either. We came up with some ways that she might help him feel virile and important as the man in their marriage and for her to express her strength and masculine power in ways that felt right to her without undermining his masculinity. I’ll be interested in hearing how it goes for them.

Consider yourself in this mix. Which of the six primary human needs do you see as most important to you? What would be in second and third place?

When you feel out of sorts in some way, consider which need is not being met. How could you meet this need? Could you create some calmness and order in your life to meet your need for certainty? Maybe you need to do something different like sign up for a course or make a new friend (variety). Do you need to remind yourself about how special and valuable you are (significance)? You could place your hands over your heart and tell your innocent self “I love you, I’m always here for you” (love and connection). Maybe it’s time to go see someone to help you get unstuck and grow in some area (p.s. that’s what I’m really good at). Is there somewhere you could offer your service (contribution)?

Apply this to others too. When they are not at their best, reacting in patterns of sadness, self-pity, loneliness or in patterns like anger and blame, which needs do you think may not be getting met for them? Is there a way you might help them? Can you help them see their strengths and other possibilities? Can you give them a place to serve? Could you love them up a bit? Take them on a trip or make something different for dinner? Help them feel more secure? Point out what they seem to be needing so they could do that for themselves?

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from all my clients and students over the last thirty or so years of helping people to change it’s that no matter how evolved we are, we are all human. We all have needs, we all have stuff in our pasts, we are all fallible and none of us are perfect (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong on this!). At the same time, we are also powerful beyond measure, full of love and grace. Meet your primary human needs and your lightness of being will be much more inclined to shine through.

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