The Six Core Human Needs

According to Tony Robbins, human beings have six core human needs.  They are:

✦  The need to feel certain  

✦  The need to have variety in life  

✦  The need to be loved and to belong and to feel connected

✦  The need for significance  

✦  The need for growth  

✦  The need for contribution  

When a person is miserable, angry, off balance or depressed, often it is because one or several of these fundamental human needs are not being met.  

Look at the list.  Which of these needs is not being met in your own life?  

The first four needs are considered base needs.  The last two needs, growth and contribution, are what are considered needs for the soul.  People who are at a certain level of evolution will have a greater intensity for these two needs.

For example, over the past ten years, as we have awakened as a collective consciousness in a more accelerated way, countless women are beginning to outgrow relationships, jobs and friendships that no longer allow them to grow.   Growth has become essential in ways that it was not a few generations ago.  Same for the need to contribute.  The popular obsession with the question "what is my purpose?", is directly linked to the soul's growing need to make a contribution.

Everything that you desire to have, be or do has it's root in one of these six core needs.  

These needs are essential to know for several reasons.  Most importantly, when needs go unacknowledged they wreak havoc in our lives.  Needs can't always be met but they can be acknowledged.  For example, you may not be able to meet the need for certainty in your life if you are going through a divorce but to recognize the need is actually enough.  When you recognize the importance of your fundamental needs, the part of you that is vying to get your attention or having an inner tantrum because those needs are not being met, can relax.  That part will feel seen, heard and validated and that is all that is necessary.

As women, we are hard-wired to track the needs of everyone else in our lives.  We are experts at knowing what our children and husbands and pets and even our plants need!  But when it comes to ourselves, often, we overlook.   

One of the most powerful practices a woman can begin to do is to develop is the habit of asking herself, "what do I need?"  Again, your needs may not be able to be met but to name them is enough.  So many women identity with the need for self care.  Believe it or not, self care is most likely a need for connection with SELF.  It's not about getting the actual massage or the pedicure. Self care is often a plea for love, connection and the need to belong to oneself.  Knowing that, helps to enrich your self care time.  I can't tell you how many clients I have that spend the $100 + dollars to get the massage only to be left with the same void inside.  The massage doesn't fill the need for self care.  The acknowledgement of self is what fills the need for self care!

The other trap we fall into is that of projecting our needs onto others.

We look to our partners to meet our need to feel loved.  We look to money to meet our need to feel certain.  We look to success or our children's successes to meet our own needs to feel significant.  So the second question then would be, "How can I meet [this need] for myself?"

What I love about the six human needs is that we all have them.  We are all the same inside.  For as tough or aloof or intimidating as someone may be, they still have the same fundamental needs that you do.  Knowing these core needs allows you to see people and yourself through the eyes of compassion.  Bad behavior is often a desperate cry for having one of these needs met.  

Be tender.  Be curious.  Be open.   Be aware of these needs.  You'll be amazed at how they help you to understand yourself and others.  


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Ali Wright