What drives you? March 4, 2014 – Posted in: Confidence, Personal Development – Tags: , , , , , ,

Did you know that according to Human Needs Psychology there six basic human (non-physical) needs?  These are:




Connection & Love


and Contribution

As a race, we spend our lives trying to meet these needs with varying degrees of success.  We each have a number one need (mine is Connection & Love closely followed by Variety) but to feel content with our lives we need to be operating in all areas to some degree.  What’s interesting, as a Coach, is to help people unravel why they do what they do…

Let’s take a make-believe guy called Fraser as an example.  For years he’s been desperate to break out of his sense of inertia and mild depression but nothing he tries seems to work.   He’s brilliant at his career but prefers to believe he’s average.  His sweet tooth is getting out of control and he wants to exercise but never gets round to it.  He was an amazing single Dad but his kids left home a few years ago and he feels a bit lost without them.  He loves to read.  His goals for 2014 are to improve his mood and become healthier.  But he’s stuck…

If we look at Fraser’s situation in terms of human needs we can start to see what lies beneath his problems.  Because his inertia and depression have been around for so long they give him certainty (despite the discomfort they bring) and eating sugar is a way for Fraser to love and connect with himself and provides variety during the humdrum of the day.  He felt he was contributing well when the kids were at home but now they’ve left his needs for significance and contribution are missing.    Reading fulfils his need for growth.

The best way for Fraser to start to improve his life is to see what needs he’s meeting with the biscuits and the inertia.  Once he can see what’s going on, he can identify new ways in which he can meet his emotional needs.  Then, with some coaching, he can move forwards into a new space.  Like physical hunger, we are driven to have these needs met in us and if we can’t fulfil these needs positively we’ll do so with whatever is available at the time.  The trick for positive change is to identify the need before changing the habit it’s attached to.

We’re all like Fraser.  What drives you?


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