While undertaking intense business coaching course last year, I learned about the Six Core Needs. This is a Tony Robbins concept and it not only relates to business, but to every aspect of our lives.
These core needs seem especially important during a pandemic as these needs aren’t being met, or if we are meeting them in an unhelpful way.
The Six Core needs are divided into two categories: Needs of the Personality and Needs of the Spirit.
The Needs of the Personality are Certainty, Variety, Significance and Love/Connection. The Needs of the Spirit are Growth and Contribution.
In this blog, I’ll take you through the Six Core Needs and suggest ways that we can meet them in our daily lives (pandemic or not).
Certainty is the need for safety, stability, consistency and control. Certainty is having a regular income, budgets and routines for our work and home lives. We have control over activities that we can and want to do.
In a pandemic, Certainty plays out in unhelpful ways when we hoard toilet paper and food staples. Many have lost jobs; financial security is unknown and there is so much fear about what is happening and when this will end.
One way to meet this need right now in a helpful way is to create your own Certainty. This may be by developing rituals for this “new normal”, such as work from home routines and a kids at home routines, and reminding yourself that “this too shall pass”.
Variety is the need for excitement and adventure. We need variety in our lives. It keeps life interesting. We can be playful, creative, dive into hobbies and look to new challenges.
In a pandemic, Variety can be unhelpful if we feel overwhelmed, indulge in alcohol or drug use to stave off boredom, or create drama just to keep ourselves busy (Facebook comments sections, anyone?)
We can meet our need for Variety in a positive way if we take the time to indulge in time off from work to play with our kids or learn a new hobby or be creative in another way like journaling, painting, dancing, cooking.
Significance is the need to feel special, to feel pride for a job well done and to feel a sense of importance and that we are worthy of love. We can meet our need for significance in a helpful way by leading others, speaking up or achieving a goal.
We can meet our need for Significance in an unhelpful way by putting others down, posting sad stories about ourselves on social media and by playing the victim.
In current times, we can meet our need for Significance in a positive way through supporting friends and family that may be struggling or dropping off essential supplies to house-bound neighbours.
Love/Connection is the need to feel connected with others, to have healthy attachments and relationships and the need for communication and unconditional love.
In a pandemic, our need for Love/Connection can be unhelpful if we engage in unhealthy relationships, create drama and problems.
Our need for Love/Connection can be met in a helpful way by sharing and supporting others, connecting with nature, and developing interdependent relationships. In current time we are so lucky that we have the technology available to help us connect in different ways through video chats, phone calls and text messages.
Growth is the need to emotional, intellectual or spiritual development. It is our hunger to learn. The need for Growth helps us strive to be better and do more. We are looking for ways to make the world a better place.
Our need for Growth can be unhelpful as it can cause perfectionism, and we may neglect our need to rest in order to manage stress levels, or we may have “bright shiny object syndrome” and move on to the next task quickly.
In pandemic we can fulfill our need for Growth by providing something meaningful for others. I have seen this play out with positive Facebook groups, such as the Collectively Inspired Humans, a daily dose of positivity, or We are Going on A Bear Hunt, an interactive bear hunt for families in self-isolation.
Contribution is our need to strive towards a meaningful existence. It means providing value to others that are beyond your own personal needs desires and wants. Our need for Contribution is about making a difference to the wider community in some way.
In a pandemic, the need for Contribution can be unhelpful when we look at all the ways we want to contribute and help others but feel powerless to do so. This can be in instances where we see family and friends suffering with the restrictions of lockdown or the scarcity of basic supplies.
To meet the need of Contribution in a helpful way during this time can be as simple as buying supplies for a neighbor or sharing what you have, such as home-grown vegetables or fruits or donating food to front line workers, such as nurses, doctors and cleaning staff.
In small and simple ways, we can start to meet our core needs during this uncertain and scary time. In doing so, we can regain some control and feel like we have more personal power and choice during this time.