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6 Basic Human Needs – What They Are and How They Impact Your Choices

By Tiffiny J. Fambro | Confidence

Sep 29
6-basic-human-needs

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Humans are all very diverse. We come from various ethnic groups, countries, backgrounds, genders, and belief systems. We have different types of interests, careers, hobbies, and lifestyles.

However, as diverse as we are, we all share the same basic human needs.

The original concept of, “basic human needs” was written about by humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow. He wrote about what he called the “hierarchy of needs” in his book Motivation and Personality. The idea was to study the psychology of healthy-minded people.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in order are:

  1. Psychological needs
  2. Safety and Security
  3. Love and Belonging
  4. Self-Esteem
  5. Self-actualization

Maslow explained that every human being subconsciously desires to have each of these needs met and that most of our existence is spent working to fulfill each of these needs.

What Are the 6 Basic Human Needs?

Tony Robbins, the famous high-achievement coach, speaker, and author used Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to create what he calls “the 6 basic human needs”.

His concept of the 6 basic human needs expands on Maslow’s theory. The concept of the 6 basic human needs explains that we as humans have core psychological needs. Robbins explains that these core psychological needs are what drive every decision that we make in our lives.

Some of those needs are met in childhood but others may have been neglected. This results in us trying to fulfill those needs in adulthood sometimes in positive ways and sometimes in negative ways.

These 6 basic core human needs are:

  1. Certainty: The need for safety, comfort, consistency in certain aspects of our lives, and stability.
  2. Variety: The need for diversity, challenges, excitement, and adventure.
  3. Significance: The need for validation, feeling wanted, feeling special, and feeling heard.
  4. Connection/Love: The need for a social network, community, affection, and intimacy with others.
  5. Growth: The for intellectual, spiritual, physical, and emotional development.
  6. Contribution: The need to use our creativity to give, serve, even reproduce life on a physical level.
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How the 6 Basic Human Needs Impact the Choices You Make

These 6 basic human needs impact the choices you make in your adulthood. This is especially true if you did not receive what you needed as a child.

When our basic human needs are neglected we tend to overcompensate in another area of our life to function in society.

Certainty

When we grow up without the basic need of certainty we may make decisions that overcompensate and create an environment of extreme control.

For example, if you were homeless as a child or moved constantly because your parents did not have consistent income, then you may not have developed the basic need of certainty. As a result, as an adult, you may work very hard to make sure you have a place to live, food to eat, and save all your money.

You may thrive in organized structured environments and enjoy consistent people, i.e. they do what they say they are going to do. Also, you may avoid taking a lot of risks or avoid new experiences that are very different from your everyday life. This may negatively impact the 2nd basic need of variety which can put you in an overall imbalance in life.

Variety

As adults, our basic need for variety is what pushes us to try new things and be willing to have extraordinary experiences.

For example, if you grew up in a very conservative household or in a community where everyone looked the same, you may seek world travel in adulthood. You may want to shake up your life by meeting diverse people, eating different types of foods, and creating different traditions.

On the flip side, it’s possible that you grew up and still live a very conservative life similar to your childhood. However, in this scenario, you may feel uneasy or suffer from anxiety since you don’t have enough variety in your life. Consciously you may know something is wrong but subconsciously you may not understand why.

Significance

Having a healthy balance of significance means that as a child, you were given positive reinforcement and validation from your parents or caretakers. You may have been praised for accomplishing tasks at varied ages that displayed your growth, compassion, strength, and overall intelligence.

If you did not receive a healthy balance of the significance need, then as an adult you may develop people-pleasing tendencies. You may over-give your resources or time to others even when they don’t reciprocate the behavior. This can lead to sadness, depression, and anxiety.

Connection/Love

Not only do our 6 core needs impact decisions around how we live our lives, but they also impact the decisions around the type of people we allow in our lives.

For example, if we grew up in a household where we were not shown love or affection we may lack the basic need for connection. This in turn could result in us dating or being friends with people that are manipulative, narcissistic, and abusive, as your desperation for love will subconsciously allow you to accept inappropriate behavior from others.

Growth

Experiencing physical, mental, and emotional growth can be exhilarating. Expansion is the secret to human existence. As humans, we subconsciously desire growth on every level of our lives and even on a physical level through reproduction.

For example, you may want to learn how to expand your income through your career. Or, you may want to expand your mindset by learning new spiritual practices or personal development. You may also want to expand your family by having children or adopting. You may desire to expand your health by developing a healthy lifestyle practice based on quality nutrition and exercise.

Contribution

Contribution is all about knowing that we are using our creative talents and gifts to change the world. As humans, we subconsciously desire to leave a legacy- leave evidence that we existed sometimes in a big way or a small way.

For example, you may grow up and want to be an artist or a musician or create a charity that helps others.

The idea is that you are fulfilling the need to contribute to the world and give your gifts to others.

Tips on Fullfing the 6 Basic Human Needs

If you are in a place where you know you may have an imbalance in your life due to neglect in one of the 6 core human needs, then try these tips to get back on track.

Create More Stability

If you need certainty, then look at where you can create more stability.

Perhaps take a look at your finances and see if you need to start working on your budget and paying down debt. I highly recommend the book, The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey, just to get you started on getting on a solid budget.

If you are looking to create more order in your schedule then try using the Simple Elephant Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Calendar Planner for Productivity & Goal Setting. This planner will give you a place to write your goals, what you want to focus on, your monthly schedule, and weekly to-do list. Getting a solid planner will help you stay on task and create more consistency.

Change Your Workout Routine

There are so many ways to add variety to your life. You can start traveling more to new places, take up a new hobby, try out a new workout, or start a business.

To easily get more variety in my life, I enjoy adding a new workout to my regimen by using Beachbody on Demand.

Beachbody has a multitude of different workouts with different time lengths, for beginners, intermediate and advanced. The workouts range from dance, barre, weight lifting, yoga, and interval training. It is a simple yet effective way to add more variety to your life as well as improve your health.

Use Affirmations and Talk to a Professional

Understanding how to validate yourself is a big part of building up the need for significance. Try using affirmations to remind yourself of your importance.

For example, read 1 affirmation every day in the morning when you wake up. It can be as simple as, “I love myself” or “I am worthy” or “I am enough”.

Significance can also be wrapped up in childhood trauma that you may not have thought about or wanted to face. In this case, it may be beneficial to talk to a licensed therapist or counselor.

Onlinetherapy.com is a great online program that offers various levels of therapy at different rates depending on how much attention you feel you may need. It can also be accessed wherever you are in the world.

Talking through issues around significance or validation may be a great step to feeling like you are seen, heard, and that you are special.

Practice Self-Care

The best tip for love and connection is to make sure you are showing yourself love first. Pouring self-care into your life opens you up to attract more loving and kind connections.

You can also try going to networking events or after-hours social events. Meetup.com is a great online resource that can connect you to various interest groups in your community and all around the world.

Try working on these tips if you would like to start attracting more connection, love, or meaningful friendships into your life.

Learn a New Skill

Growth is all about learning something new and applying what you have learned to your life. Try taking a new online class to help you grow in an area that interests you.

If you know you want to achieve your goals, build confidence, and get unstuck, then take a look at my 90-day one-on-one coaching program. Coaching is yet another way to develop yourself personally and see what areas you may need support in so you can move forward in life.

The bottom line is, be willing to learn something new or expand on what you already know to open yourself up to mental, physical, and spiritual growth.

Contribute to Society

There are many ways to contribute your gifts and talents to the world. Volunteer work with a local charity or non-profit organization is a great way to give back.

Learning how to harness your talents and creativity is another great way to contribute. Whether you are an artist, business owner, musician, or mom.

Contributing your gifts in any way to make society better is key to connecting to the basic need of contribution.

Conclusion

We are all very different, but the one thing that connects us all is the 6 basic human needs.

Understanding the concept of the 6 basic human needs is the cornerstone to helping you make better decisions in life.

Once you can assess which need you may be lacking, you can better address any issues that you are facing.

This will help you build confidence, create life balance, and achieve your goals faster.

About the Author

Tiffiny has a B.A. in Psychology, and master’s degree in Public Health Education. She worked in consulting for over 16 years, as well as previously owning a fitness and health business. In her personal life, she used personal development, mindset and health strategies to go from being overworked in a demanding corporate career, emotionally drained in a toxic marriage, physically unhealthy, and depressed to becoming an award-winning figure level bodybuilding athlete and entrepreneur. As a women’s empowerment coach, she works to help women get clear on their goals, build confidence, increase self-esteem, take action on their deep desires and create a life they love

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