How We Go About Meeting Our Needs
Updated: Mar 10, 2019
(Originally posted in The Newfoundland Herald, Oct.8-14, 2017)
Part Two of Six
(Part 2 of 6)
So last week I introduced you to the concept of Strategic Intervention and how we actually choose the emotions we get to experience every single day. I also mentioned that even though there are hundreds of emotions in the english language, most of us tend to experience the same ones over and over again. This week I'd like to get a little more in depth about how and why that is.
As human beings that still operate from a primitive perspective, our brains have a natural tendency to look for what is wrong. As a survival mechanism, this primitive brain worked rather well because it did the job of keeping us safe from harm and alerted us to any immediate danger. In today's world, however, the tendency of our brain to look for what might be wrong usually ends up doing us more harm than good.
Six Basic Human Needs
To understand more about why our brains would be programmed in such a way, we first have to understand more about how that behaviour has helped us to meet our needs up to now. Once we understand what it is that drives our behaviour after all, we can then begin to make some more educated decisions about how we want to proceed in the future.
Every human being on the planet has six basic human needs, and these needs control our behaviour in ways that many of us are not even aware of. The six needs (in no particular order) are: Certainty, Variety (or Uncertainty), Significance, Love & Connection, Growth and Contribution. Out of these six needs, most of us have a tendency to focus on one or two more so than any of the others, depending on the life stage we are in, what our learned behaviours are and what is happening in our lives at any particular moment in time.
The first four needs, Certainty, Variety, Significance and Love & Connection are what we refer to as the needs of the personality, and everyone must find a way to meet these needs in order to survive. The last two needs, those of Growth and Contribution, are what we call the needs of the spirit, and not everyone finds a way to meet them in their lifetime. Some of us end up spending so much time chasing the first four, we never actually get to the point where we have the time to focus on the remaining two. The problem with that, is that unless we find a way to meet our need for Growth and Contribution, we will never be able to experience true fulfillment.
Controlling Our Lives
Certainty is the need to feel safe and protected; to know that we have a roof over our heads, to know where our next meal is coming from and to know that we have at least some ability to control our lives and our environment. So it makes perfect sense that by developing a brain that is programmed to look for whatever it is that might be wrong, it would pretty much give us a guarantee that we are going to meet at least one of our most basic human needs. Our brain's ability to focus on what might be wrong has enabled us to avoid danger, stay safe and feel comfortable and in control.
Remaining focused on what is wrong all the time though does tend to have some other implications as well. Being focused on what's wrong over time can cause us to become anxious, fearful and depressed. We tend to develop the habit of seeing or even seeking out the negative aspects of our lives and our experiences. We give certain meanings to events that occur and we create stories that disempower us and make us feel like we are no longer in control over our lives. In the process of keeping ourselves seemingly safe and protected, we end up making ourselves miserable and powerless.
Pain is, as I mentioned last week, an inevitable and necessary part of our lives. All of us are guaranteed to experience pain at some level and we all have a blueprint for how we think our lives should be. Whenever something happens in our lives that doesn't match our blueprint, that is when we experience pain. We may suffer a loss or disappointment which may take some time to process, but eventually we are usually able to recover from it. The problem arises however, when we find ourselves in a situation where our life doesn't match our blueprint AND we feel powerless to do anything about it. This is the point when we go from pain to suffering.
Please come back next week to learn more.
Feeling hopeless can cost us our happiness, inhibit us from having the life that we want and keep us from achieving our ultimate goals. With a focused and effective process combined with the guidance of an experienced professional coach, it is possible for you to eradicate your limiting beliefs and finally get to experience the life you've always wanted! Contact me to find out how you can take advantage of my complimentary, one-on-one, Strategic Intervention Coaching Consultation Session. This free session can help you get clear about what has been holding you back and give you the opportunity to create a powerful and impactful purpose driven plan to get you where you want to go! Learn more...
About the author
Tamara Dodgson is a Certified Strategic Intervention Coach and Life Strategist, trained by Robbins Madanes. She has spent the better part of a half century studying, researching and learning about personal growth and development, self-help, spirituality, leadership, success, achievement and philosophy. She is a writer, philosopher, life coach, mother, fitness enthusiast, nature lover, and book fanatic. She is also the proud author of "Designing Your Life - A Guide to Help You Consciously Create Your Future" and has recently released a new educational program called "2017 - Your Year of Transformation." You can connect with her on Facebook at Forward Coaching & Consulting Services, on her website at www.tamaradodgson.com, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.