6 Human NeedsFeb 20, 2023
Maslow's heirarchy of needs is a popular model that outlines our basic human needs. Tony Robbins (life & business strategist & renowned coach) adapted this theory and came up with our 6 basic human needs. He has identified six core human needs that form the foundation of our lives. These needs are essential for us to feel safe, secure and fulfilled. They include the need for certainty, variety, significance, love/connection, growth and contribution.
Whether we are aware of it or not, these needs drive our decisions and shape our lives. Understanding them can help us make better choices that will bring more joy and satisfaction in our lives. So let's take a closer look at these six core human needs and how they influence us on a daily basis.
What are the 6 human Needs?
Love / connection. Love is an intricate and powerful emotion, which can be broken down into various components that make us feel connected to those we love. Those components include expressions of kindness and compassion, spending quality time together, intimate moments shared, words of affirmation and appreciation, offering emotional support, listening intently to what the other person has to say, performing acts of service or assistance when needed, as well as physical touch such as hugs or holding hands.
Variety is such an important part of life and yet, many of us find it difficult to break out of our same old routines. It doesn't have to be a big change - something as simple as ordering a different takeaway, wearing clothes you've never tried before, or taking a different route while walking can all help add some variety in your life. You could also go for bigger changes like travelling somewhere new, making new friends, trying out new hobbies or just being spontaneous with what you do - the possibilities are endless!
Significance is an essential part of life - we all need to feel important and appreciated for the things that we do. This can be something as small as lending a compassionate ear to a friend in need, or it could be something more ambitious like running a marathon, or even having a meaningful job that brings value to the lives of others. Ultimately, it's about feeling fulfilled and valued in whatever role you find yourself playing in life.
Certainty - we all strive for certainty in our lives. Certainty is about avoiding pain which is basically impossible! This often leads to negative behaviour traits, so we need to learn to harness the good traits. Being trustworthy, maintaining good relationships, being there for others & being certain in the fact that you will always have your own back.
Growth is a key component of leading a healthy and successful life - whether it's spiritually through connecting to something greater than ourselves, emotionally by learning how to better manage our feelings and reactions, physically by taking care of our body and engaging in physical activities, or mentally through improving our skillsets and knowledge. All these areas need to be nurtured in order to thrive.
Contributing to others is a powerful act that can help to make a lasting difference in the lives of those around you. It's all about looking beyond your own needs and desires, and focusing on how you can help someone else achieve their goals. Contributing doesn't have to be a grand gesture; even small acts of kindness can go a long way!
How are these needs manifested in our lives?
Positive ways this need is manifested in our lives: connection, listening, quality time, communication, admiration and respect for others. Unfortunately, the need to be in control of our lives can manifest love in a few negative ways, such as forcing others to behave in the way we want them to, controlling people, engaging in excessive people-pleasing with no boundaries, putting up a wall as a barrier between us and others, adopting a victimhood mentality, codependency and disconnecting from other people. These are all signs that indicate it may be time to reassess our behaviour and strive for healthier relationships.
We all have a need for life to feel exciting & different. We want change, we need new stimuli, we enjoy a sense of the unknown. However, our survival mechanism also wants us to feel grounded, safe and secure. Society also celebrates us as human beings following the norm - gaining an education, finding a good job, creating financial security, getting married, having children and buying a house. So there is a battle between our human need for change and our survival mechanism aligning itself to societies expectation of us. This causes confusion & fear when we want something different.
Positive ways this need for adventure and exploration is manifested in our lives include: different forms of exercise such as yoga, running, weightlifting, etc., getting outside of your comfort zone and trying something that you wouldn't normally do, attempting to learn a new and challenging hobby or skill, meeting new people from completely different backgrounds than yours, embracing spontaneity and going with the flow instead of having fixed plans all the time. In short, doing things that take us out of our comfort zone can be incredibly rewarding!
Negative ways this need for variety is often manifested in our lives include being overly productive, struggling to relax and find time for stillness, overthinking and obsessing over things, not being able to switch off our mind, constantly jumping from job to job or relationship to relationship without settling down. We may also feel like we have a never-ending list of tasks of things we must do and an inability to prioritise what is truly important. When we think of how we approach variety we need to look at the energy behind it - if we are approaching it as a way to prove ourselves and get as many things possible done then it's coming from a place of low self-worth. We want this need to be manifested from a place of higher worth as then it will feel good!
Certainty, as I mentioned is often looked for in jobs, relationships, finances, and future plans... but here's the thing, nothing is ever certain. Once things feel good, we tend to want our lives to stay the same. But realistically this is never going to be possible. So how I like to think of this human need is to feel excited by your plan, by your idea of what your life is going to look like, but also be ready & willing to adapt to things that get thrown your way. The other thing I believe will help you fulfilling this need is to stop seeking certainty outside of yourself - from situations and other people as this is truly impossible. This is your time to start building the most incredible relationship with yourself, so ultimately you can always find certainty from within. The certainty that you will always show yourself love & compassion no matter the outcome of your goals and desires.
By utilizing powerful tools and personal development strategies, I have managed to overcome the negative thought cycles that were once so deeply entrenched in my mindset in order to find this certainty from within. I no longer doubt myself or feel like a failure, instead, I have a newfound self-confidence that has allowed me to break free from the chains of perfectionism. Feeling like I have my own back, knowing I will always have my own back even when I make mistakes, knowing I will always learn & grow, knowing I am exactly where I am meant to be, finding love and compassion for myself and being my own biggest cheerleader.
Positive ways this need is manifested in our lives: having a clear idea of what your values are & making plans to live your life accordingly, knowing what you want in a partner & communicating that clearly, having a regular practice that allows you to connect with that certainty inside yourself - movement, yoga, intentions, affirmations, gratitude.
Negative ways this need is manifested in our lives: choosing a partner who doesn’t treat you the way you deserve (choosing the certainty of a partner over alignment for what you truly want), doing things because everyone else does them, not knowing who you are and what you want, staying in victimhood mode, feeling powerless to how busy you are, being controlling, micromanaging and being a perfectionist, focusing too much on the outcome rather than the energy you bring to things.
When we continually grow physically, emotionally, intellectually & spiritually we feel pretty good about ourselves. It makes sense - when we get physically fit we feel healthier, when we get mentally fit our relationships improve, when we grow intellectually we improve our memory & cognitive ability, when we grow spiritually we feel more grounded and aligned with our desires.
Positive ways this need is manifested in our lives: exercising, taking courses, reading, learning a language, learning a skill, getting outside of your comfort zone, learning how to consciously communicate, building empathy skills, having a spiritual practice. Negative ways this need is manifested in our lives: perfectionism, not being able to relax, wanting to achieve for reasons like not feeling good enough, wanting to be liked by everyone.
We all want to feel significant and important to others. We all want to feel seen, heard and understood. We all, deep down want people around us to support and cheerlead us. Meeting this need is a careful balancing act. We gain the feeling of significance through acceptance from people and society around us and by meeting the need ourselves, from deep within. This is why a spiritual practice combined with internal growth is so important. To find significance from within, we have to learn to trust ourselves and speak to ourselves with compassion and kindness. When we rely on others to validate us, we will always be disappointed. It's also a sign of low self-worth. We have to be able to validate ourselves - which is a huge sign of high self-worth. When we have high self-worth we are able to believe and understand we are worthy of everything we desire.
Positive ways this need is manifested in our lives: meaningful work, striving for healthy success, focusing on abundance, connection to self, building self-worth, being solution focused. Negative ways this need is manifested in our lives: perfectionism, workaholism, comparison to others, being obsessed with success, focusing on scarcity, being problem focused.
Contribution is about looking beyond your needs and contributing to the wider world and other causes. The secret to living is giving. This is about having an impact on other people’s lives in a meaningful way.
We can manifest this in our lives by volunteering, running a race for a charitable cause, visiting the elderly, being part of a community project, checking in on loved ones regularly, being kind to strangers, simply asking how someone is and truly listening to them - not just their words but making an effort to understand what’s being said and felt underneath the words. Turning off our screens to spend quality time with one another. This can also be manifested in unhealthy ways - doing so much you burn out, exhaustion, not looking after yourself and people-pleasing.
By understanding these six human needs, we can gain insight into why we act the way we do and how to better meet those needs in order to lead more fulfilling lives. I'd like to help you find more clarity with your needs & have created a 40 page downloadable and fillable PDF to help you understand what your needs are and how to manifest them in healthy ways. Click here to purchase.