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“You will either step forward into growth, or you will step backwards into safety.

Abraham Maslow

woman holding book

In this article, we identify the 6 human needs as identified by Tony Robbins and their crucial role of your personal journey of growth and transformation.

The six human needs listed below were developed by Tony Robbins, building upon Abraham Maslow’s original ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ theory.

1. Certainty: assurance that you can avoid pain and gain pleasure.

2. Uncertainty/Variety: the need for the unknown, change, new stimuli.

3. Significance: feeling unique, important, special or needed.

4. Connection/Love: a strong feeling of closeness with someone or something.

5. Growth: an expansion of capacity, capability or understanding.

6. Contribution: a sense of service and focus on helping, giving to and supporting others.

Numbers 1-4 are defined as personality-based needs, which are vital for survival: these must always be met in one way or another. Needs 5 & 6, however, are spiritual needs, and although they are required to have a fulfilling life, they may not always necessarily be met depending on the challenges we face throughout our lives and the tools we have available to overcome them.

Each of us prioritises the list of individual needs differently, and our priority list may change throughout our lives depending on the circumstances we are faced with as we progress through our life’s journey.

As individuals, we also all have completely different ways of meeting our needs. Some of these ways are empowering, and others are destructive and have the effect of disempowering us, even though they serve to meet our needs.

How can I use my knowledge of the 6 human needs to empower myself to achieve fulfilment in life?

Let’s now take a look at core human each need in detail, with a strategic look at how you can use this knowledge to better meet your needs in a empowering way.

1. Certainty/Comfort

If you are a person who craves certainty, it’s important to ensure that there are measures in place which provide continuity or stability in a healthy and empowering way. For some, this need may be met by creating a daily or weekly routine or schedule, but putting aside regular savings or by surrounding yourself with level-headed, calm and rational people who are steadfast in their relationship with you.

Many people use alcohol, smoking, drugs or the abuse of food to gain certainty in their lives. Even despite the obvious dangers and health risks, these also provide certainty in the sense that they provide the certainty of a particular physical or mental state for the habitual user, even if this state is not serving them.

People who crave certainty seem to look like they have it all together, but deep down, they may spend an excessive amount of time worrying about things which ‘may happen’ in future or over-planning in an attempt to cover every eventuality to avoid uncertainty. Others may seek to achieve certainty by trying to control others actions or beliefs. Unfortunately, when we control others, we violate the human need of love & connection, and in doing so, create further problems in our lives which must then be resolved to achieve happiness. These behaviours are truly unhealthy for both ourselves and others and can eventually lead to bigger mental health issues if left unchecked.

If you feel that you are suffering from this type of anxiety, it can be helpful to reason with your subconscious mind by allowing it to understand that you may be missing out by not going with the flow as opportunities present themselves. Only when we let go, can we truly experience fulfilment in life. Try to achieve certainty in a healthy way, such as using some of the actions listed at the start of this section, so that you feel that you always have certainty despite anything else that else changes around you.

2. Variety

flat lay photography of eight coffee latte in mugs on round table

Strangely enough, it seems that the second human need is the exact opposite of the first. However, let’s take a moment to think about it: if every single day of your life was the same, and you knew everything that was going to happen to you, you could never really enjoy the moment and would probably be bored to death.

We need variety in our lives, and there is a number of productive and positive ways of achieving this. Here are some examples:

  • Planning, booking & getting ready for an exciting trip somewhere.
  • Visiting new and interesting places in your community
  • Reading new books or speaking to people with different interests, culture or background to yours.
  • Planning ‘mini events’ in your life to add interest, such as themed menu nights, quizzes or games nights with friends and family.
  • Learning a new skill or language.

3. Significance

brown lion

All of us have an innate need to feel important, special and significant in some way. Many people get significance by powering on up the career ladder; some by driving the best or biggest house or car in the street; by studying more to achieve a masters or doctorate with a view to achieving academic success; by having most followers on Instagram or by being the fittest person in their network.

All of these things are pretty positive ways of achieving significance, but there are also some negative ways to achieve them. Some people achieve the feeling of importance by asserting their dominance on others, or by taking action to make others feel inferior. Others gain a feeling of significance by being the person who always has a problem to help solve, and this is an extremely disempowering way to live.

Can you think of anyone who fits into the categories above?

4. Love & Connection

persons hand with white manicure

Love and connection is the most powerful need which we have as humans. When we feel love and connection in the world, we feel alive and radiant. Love is truly the most powerful force in the world and allows us to transcend all feelings of fear, anxiety and lack of fulfilment.

Unfortunately, some people seek love externally as opposed to starting with loving themselves, and this can end in heartbreak. Examples of this are conforming to others’ ideologies in seeking approval or through seeking approval and likes on social media. When we realise that we are beautiful, loveable and perfect just the way we are, and pair this with a mindful attitude to living life, we can achieve anything and lift even the lowest of moods.

5. Growth & Personal Development

It has been said that ‘if you’re not growing, you’re dying’ and this should ring true with each one of us. We can be growing and developing in any area of our personal life, whether that be in business, in our health and wellbeing or in the way in which we connect with others in our life.

Some ways to gain fulfilment through personal growth are;

  • Learning a new language
  • Engaging in Personal Development
  • Uplevelling in your areas of talent and expertise
  • Working to improve your relationships with others
  • Tackling the aspects of your life which require stepping out of your comfort zone.

6. Contribution

Kindness contagion

Many people find that after achieving success in business or in their personal life, there is still something missing. They feel empty inside and have a longing to achieve more, even at what they feel is the pinnacle of their own career or life. Have you ever felt like you have everything plus more, but you still feel unfulfilled and don’t know how to fill the missing void? You feel that no matter how much personal development you undertake, that emptiness never seems to leave you.

The answer is contribution. The only way to feel true fulfilment is to understand that life is not all about ourselves and that our specific gifts and talents actually directly correspond to our purpose which is always centred around serving and supporting others in life. When we finally find and embrace our purpose and calling in life, everything seems to shift. We finally let go of our cares and anxieties about what others ‘may think’ and embark on a journey of self-discovery which ultimately leads to fulfilment through contribution to a greater good within the world. We realise that the only thing that really matters, at the end of the day, is the positive impact that we have had on others through the love, connection and service which we have provided as part of our journey.

What is your higher purpose in life?

Have you discovered your true self and meaning yet or are you still in the process of self-discovery and transformation. If you are feeling stuck, and don’t quite know how to move from where you are to where you want to be, download our free Dream Life Mindset Planner.

We also have a wide variety of free resources which will help you to make your powerful transition into a the best version of you, to access simply click here.

We’d love to hear about your own ways of meeting the 6 human needs, so leave us a comment below, or reach out on social media.

Until next time, wishing you peace, abundance and prosperity and we hope to see you again soon.

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