The 6 Human Needs
Human behaviour is led by six basic needs:
- Certainty: Everybody wants to have some degree of certainty and security in life about something. It may be with their finance, family, relationship, career, house and so on.
- Uncertainty/Variety: We all want some degree of variety or uncertainty to our lives, to keep it interesting and challenging.
- Love & Connection: All human beings are in need of some degree of love in their life, and feel a need of being connected to themselves, and their loved ones.
- Significance: We all need to feel unique and special in our lives, earn respect, and feel superior to others.
- Growth: We all want to have some degree of ongoing growth in our day to day lives.
- Contribution: We all need to have some degree of contribution towards ourselves, others, society we live in, and our fellow human beings.
The first four needs are essential for survival, and the last two are for spiritual fulfilment. While we have all of these needs embedded in our lives to a certain extent, there is often a predominance of two out of the six needs which determine our behaviour, focus, and hence the direction of our life.
How dominant needs are formed
Most of us live a life without knowing our dominant needs, and never ask the question "Why we do what we do?"
Many of these needs are set early in life, triggered by our past references, including painful and pleasurable experiences. A person always loved by her parents due to early life achievements easily slips into a need for significance and leads her entire life running after achievements, one after another, just to seek the acceptance and love from her loved ones. This is often misinterpreted to be a vehicle for "self-respect."
On the other hand, a person grown in a financially deprived situation could easily develop a need for certainty to make sure his next generation never suffers with that awful feeling that his family suffered with.
Are your needs becoming foes instead of friends?
Many of these needs are developed to help us combat a particular situation at a particular stage of our life. That stage and situation passes off, life moves on to a different stage, but we still carry on living our life trapped by the same needs. These needs ultimately start becoming foes instead of friends by limiting our beliefs, focus and hence the direction of our lives.
We also have set rules to meet these needs, and most of these rules are again set early in life. Often many of these rules are so intense and rigid that it becomes almost impossible to meet them on a regular basis.
For example, a person having love & connection as her prime need may only feel loved if the person loving her always acts according to her wishes, never shouts at her, never contradicts her opinion and so on.
As you can imagine, such a scenario is almost impossible to meet on a daily basis. Lack of meeting needs pushes this person into a feeling of being unloved, and a state of despair and frustration. Often these rules are set to be controllable by others instead of ourselves, which makes the situation worse.
Becoming aware of your needs
It is important to be aware of our driving forces and the rules we have set to meet these needs, and to be able to replace or change them if they are not helping our current stage of life. We need to replace the old need with another empowering need which can help us forming empowering beliefs, and enable us to meet those needs several times a day on regular basis.
For example, the same person seeking love & connection may change her rule, so that she will feel loved whenever she hugs her spouse, or kisses her children. This can be achieved several times a day and would be in her control rather than that of others.
Our behaviour, mostly arising from avoiding pain or seeking pleasure, is derived from these needs which set our focus, and shape our direction in life.
Learn to know yourself better by eliciting your own needs, and the rules to meet these needs, allowing yourself to bring a rapid shift towards an empowering and fulfilling life. A coach can certainly help you on this journey—contact me if you would like assistance.