Unleash The Power Within

unleash the power within

In my last blog I introduced you to the Six Human Needs.  The driving force and motivation behind everything we do.  I urged you to familiarize yourself with these needs.  Identify the two needs that you care about most as these two things will be the single greatest influential factors in your life.  Now I want to take what you discovered and help you unleash the power within.

Modern psychology teaches that all human motivation can be explained as the desire to meet one or more of these human needs.

Refresher On The Six Human Needs


The need to feel safe, avoid pain and be comfortable.  To feel secure in our environment and relationships.

Key words: stability, safety, comfort, predictability


The need to be challenged and experience variety in our emotional and physical world.

Key words: stimulus, change, surprise, unpredictable


The need to feel important, needed and wanted.

Love & Connection

The need to love and be loved.  Well connected with others.

Key words – belonging


The need to be able to learn and develop physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.


The need to give and contribute to others beyond our selves, without expecting anything in return.

Everyone is hard wired to meet the first four needs.  They are essential for human survival. Fundamental needs of the personality.  Everyone must feel that they have met those needs, even if they have to lie to themselves, create a problem, or violate their values in order to meet those needs.

The last two needs, growth and contribution, are the needs of the spirit.  They are essential to experiencing fulfillment, which we should all aspire to.  However, not everyone meets these two needs.

What Is The Significance Of The Six Human Needs To Your Life?

The Six Human Needs is a model of thinking and understanding yourself and others.  You become less judgmental at this deep and useful level because you understand the cause of a particular behavior or attitude.  I like to think of it as a game you don’t even know you are playing.

Once you are aware of this dynamic, you will be able to interrupt your own self- limiting or destructive behaviors.  Changing the way your needs are met, which begs the following question.

“How Are Your Top Needs Being Met?”

Needs are being met by what we refer to as vehicles.  Everyone finds these means or vehicles to meet our highest two needs, those that we favour the most.  Interestingly, some of these vehicles can either empower or disempower you in your quest. This happens through either constructive or destructive behavior.

We behave in certain ways because consciously or unconsciously, we believe that by doing this, feeling this, or by acting this way, we will meet one or more human needs.

For instance, most people will have you believe that their non clinical depression happens to them.  However, they are actually using depression as a negative vehicle to satisfy the need for significance.

Depression is also a vehicle used to meet the need for love and connection.  Certainty with depressions predictable emotional state.  I use depression as an example to show that anytime you associate with a vehicle (overeating, drinking, gambling) that meets three or more needs, you become addicted to it.

Chronic complaining or hanging onto a problem is another example of a negative vehicle to fulfill a need.  I believe it is the greatest addiction of them all.  Most people hang onto their problems because it meets their needs without having to risk facing their greatest fears.

Conversely, many needs are met by positive vehicles such as a strong work ethic, dedication, caring, providing and learning to site a few.  Click here to read, “WHY DO I DO WHAT I DO?”

Unleash The Power Within

Relationships and marriage are probably the greatest psychological relevance of Human Needs.  Let’s briefly explore this dynamic by asking ourselves “what is stopping you from having the life and relationship you want?”

Human needs are the primary source of meaning in our relationships.  For instance, in conversation with your partner, you can experience the conversation in terms of your greatest need of significance or in terms of your partners greatest need of love and connection.  This conversation may take on a different meaning which may create a conflict.

Who Are You In Your Relationship?

Remember, the needs you value determines who you are.  So a person who values security (certainty) will have a very different life from someone who values adventure (uncertainty).

Someone who values family (love and connection) is quite different from someone who values success (significance).

These are potential land mines of conflict between two people.

Simply put, you cannot enjoy a relationship at the highest level unless both people are meeting the others needs and putting each other first.  If you can achieve this your relationship will transform before your eyes.

Human Needs and its situational applications and nuances are endless.  Only by identifying your primary needs and that of others, will you be able to eventually peel back a layer of insight.  Understanding why we do what we do, what life is about for you and unleash the power within.

As a life coach, to better understand a client’s world, it is necessary to determine your most important needs.

In our next blog we are going to talk about our values.  While our needs are required for our survival, our values are what is important to us.  Needs and values are distinctly different but highly interrelated.

We all have a hierarchy of values.  And, if we live in congruence with our highest value we will live a more meaningful and fulfilling life.

6 Human Needs

Sometimes on the surface life seems OK.  However, down deep we actually feel unfulfilled, empty and dissatisfied.  We can’t seem to put our finger on why we feel the way we do. This can happen when one or more of our 6 human needs are not being met.

The 6 Human Needs Include:

  1. Certainty
  2. Uncertainty/Variety
  3. Significance
  4. Connection /Love
  5. Growth
  6. Contribution

At some level, we may believe, consciously or subconsciously that we are meeting our psychological needs by what we do, feel or experience.  However, there is a lot more to it!

diversity and commonality

Diversity And Commonality

We all come from a different orientations, backgrounds and beliefs.  Also differing are our:

  • Education
  • Rules
  • Language
  • Religions
  • Cultures

In fact, this is what makes our individual fabric so unique.  We are all diverse in how we think, feel and behave.  However, that said, we are all hard wired with the same 6 Human Needs.

We strive to meet each of these needs with varying levels of success determining how we think, feel and act.  The problem arises when our fundamental needs are not being met enough, being met too much, or not being met at all.

fundamental needs

Fundamental Needs

In Life Coaching, the 6 Human Needs is a a very useful strategy to balance and re-prioritize your life in optimal ways.  Although this strategy was presumably birthed from Maslows heirarchy of physiological needs – The 6 Needs differ as they are psychological needs that we should be aware of.  In order to achieve a higher level of happiness and fulfillment, they need to be met and continually improved upon.

Have you ever listened to Anthony Robbins spin his magic during a strategic intervention?  He is primarily using and mastering, the art of identifying the 6 Human Needs.

In life coaching it is important that the client understands the 6 Human Needs to further understand themselves and others at a deep and useful level.  People will generally be less judgmental of themselves and others with an understanding of the cause of a behaviour or attitude.

Click here to read A Scientific Validation Of Your Emotions to get a deeper understanding of your emotions.

Tony Robbins - 6 Human Needs (Adult Content Please Be Advised)

The 6 Human Needs

Every individual needs to fulfill them to survive as they are the basis and motivation for every choice we make in life. So let’s dig into them a little deeper.


This need is the driving desire to feel safe, comfortable and secure in our environment and our relationships.  The fundamental need to avoid pain and seek pleasure.  Even though certainty is necessary to all of us, the degree of certainty required is different for every person.

Certainty may be met by living in squalor with the bare essentials while others feel certainty only if they live in luxury and abundance.

Code Words For Certainty
  • Comfort
  • Security
  • Safety
  • Stability
  • Feeling grounded
  • Predictability
  • Protection
uncertainty out of your comfort zone

Uncertainty/ Variety

Variety is the spice of life.  Everyone needs variety and challenges.  Physically, mentally and emotionally, we require uncertainty for our overall well being.  When Life gets boring and routine we seek change and variety.  Something different, and the excitement that it brings us to feel alive.

Examples of variety and uncertainty might include:

  • Travel
  • Extreme sports
  • Compulsive sex
  • Stepping outside your comfort zone
  • Going to the movies

A major source of variety is to experience our problems.

Code Words For Uncertainty
  • Fear
  • Instability
  • Change
  • Chaos
  • Entertainment
  • Stepping outside our comfort zone
  • Suspense
  • Exertion
  • Surprise
  • Conflict
  • Crisis


A throwback need from infancy to be number one.  As children we competed with our siblings to be special and unique.  Significance comes from our roots of comparing ourselves to others as superior or inferior.  The need for significance can be filled by achievement and success. It can also be met by a destructive act or bringing someone down.

A positive act of significance can help raise our standards, but if we are overly focused on significance (it’s all about me) we will have trouble connecting or expressing our love to others.  Significance can come from:

  • Providing for family
  • Philanthropy
  • Major achievements
  • Acquiring wealth
  • Humanitarian work

However, conversely done by being a failure, having low self worth, or a criminal record.

Code Words For Significance
  • Pride
  • Importance
  • Achievement
  • Perfection
  • Discipline
  • Competition
  • Rejection
love and togetherness


Again, a need that is nurtured during infancy and childhood.  In fact, infants who are not held and touched will die.  The need for connection continues into adulthood that everyone strives for.  Romantic love as we know it in our culture does not exist in many other cultures. However, connection is necessary whether it be in the family, workplace or community. The need to be loved is something we all share.

Code Words For Love/Connection
  • Togetherness
  • Passion
  • Unity
  • Warmth
  • Tenderness
  • Caring
  • Desire
personal growth


When we are green we grow. When we are ripe we rot, and when we stop growing we die.  Therefore there is a continual need for us to develop physically, emotionally and spiritually throughout the various stages of life.

Growth can be met through education and reading. Also by nurturing, developing and expanding your health, resources and relationships. Growth helps to define fulfillment. One needs something to serve that is larger than themselves (family, community, the world) to give us the initiative to grow in order to give beyond ourselves.



Like growth, contribution is a need for the spirit and fulfillment.  A need to give back to others.  It is our nature to have a sense that we are making a contribution to leave a positive mark to make the world, community, family and/or job a better place.

The 6 Human Needs In Summary

The first four needs are for human survival as everyone must meet them at some level.  The last two needs, growth and contribution are essential to human fulfillment.  Not everyone finds a way to satisfy these needs of the spirit, although they are necessary for lasting fulfillment.

Click here to read Top Tips To Manage Your Emotions.

six human needs exercise

A Worthy Exercise

First, try to determine where each of your six needs are being met. Next, determine which two needs are most important to you.  Once you are able to identify your needs and the needs of others, we can then determine which needs are in conflict. Thus causing you to feel unfulfilled, empty and dissatisfied. Furthermore why healthy relationships are not being met.

By completing this exercise, you will have a greater appreciation for my next blog, Unleash The Power Within.  There, we will explore the 6 Human Needs at a practical and much deeper level.