The 6 Human Needs and Why They Matter

The 6 Human Needs and Why They Matter

Have you ever reflected on how you are showing up in all areas of your life? With your family and community? In leadership with your team? 

Understanding yourself, your needs, and how you show up for others now, will help you determine how you can adjust and show up for others in the future according to what they need

Tony Robbins launched a concept in a TED talk in 2006, called The 6 Human Needs. He describes 4 needs that he claims are universal emotional and spiritual needs for every person. Of those four, people will often prioritize one over the others. Often if those basic four needs aren't met, we can’t focus enough outside of ourselves to grow and contribute to others. 


The 4 Core Needs

As you read, notice if you relate strongly to one need above all the others. Then ask yourself, ‘How am I meeting this need in my life now?’

  1. Certainty -  You want to avoid pain and be comfortable in where you are going and what you are doing. You don’t like surprises. ON an average day you like to know what you  are doing and where you are going. An example of this is certainty in providing for your family. ‘I want to know that my family is taken care of.’ Until you have the foundation of certainty it is hard to move away from Certainty. You might be someone who loves checklists and prefers comfort over change. 
  1. Uncertainty - You may thrive on variety, surprises, and stimulating change. If you love unexpected problem solving, you may actually have this as a top Need. You like the element of surprise and flourish with variance. 
  1. Significance - You want to feel significant and important to others in the various roles you play in your life. You need to feel appreciated and admired for who you are and the work you do. Whether in leadership or relationship,  it is important you receive gratitude and reflections of how you are valued and admired. 
  1. Love and Connection - Your relationships of all types are hugely important to you. In work you may thrive in a team atmosphere surrounded by people you can connect with daily. Prayer, friendship, relationships are all aspects of your life you put time and energy into cultivating.


Why is it important to define your primary need as well as how/who/what you are using to fulfill these needs within yourself? Every one of these top 4 needs are in some way being met right now. Where these needs are being met you will feel ‘addicted’ to that source. If you are getting two of these or more met in one aspect of your life you will want to be there all the time. For example, if your top two needs are Significance and Certainty and you are getting them fulfilled in your business, you will never want to leave. If you are not getting Significance and Certainty from your family you may start spending more time at work and spend minimal time cultivating Love and Connection with your family. 

If you are not getting the 4 needs fulfilled from healthy sources, you may turn to less healthy sources to meet them. Some people turn to avenues such as drugs, toxic relationships or workaholism.


This blog is called the 6 Human Needs, but the truth is these first four must be met before you can move onto the last two.

  1. Growth - You are always looking for ways to expand your knowledge and uplevel who you are. You find a way to continuously educate yourself, and you are excited at the idea that learning is a lifelong process. 
  1. Contribution - You value giving back to others. When you can meet others human needs you feel fulfilled. You are always searching for ways to change and give to the world. 


Many people attempt to jump to growth and contribution before their first 4 human needs are met in a healthy and balanced manner. Trying to fill others’ tanks when you are almost empty yourself, will only last for so long.  

Your honest self-assessment of your needs, if they are being met, where they are being met (and are the sources healthy or unhealthy) will help you determine how to balance your life. Do you need more Significance at home so you can in turn fill their need for Love and Connection? 

This is important in life and leadership because if you can determine what someone’s core need is you can provide them the right fuel to help them work at their highest levels. If you understand what your own needs are and make sure they are being met, YOU show up differently. 

When you are living in the areas of growth and contribution you want to provide others with their core needs, you want to contribute to their growth. However, not everyone is open to receiving that contribution and that can be challenging for someone who’s core need is Contribution. 

We teach this tool to our Mastermind because we believe when you know yourself, meet your needs, and understand how to listen for other people’s needs, you will be more successful in every area of your life. 

Remember, making deals is about being the buyer that finds a way to solve any problem the seller has. If you can listen for the seller’s needs and begin meeting them, you will be the one they happily sell their property to. 



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