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6 Human Needs Made Simple To Take Empowering Action

I used to constantly sabotage my own results and couldn’t understand why I kept doing things that I knew weren’t serving or helping me to create the life that I wanted.

I’d have to force myself to take action towards what I wanted to achieve in life but I couldn’t understand why, after all it’s what I wanted to achieve in my life.

I then came across the 6 human needs and discovered why I’d consistently keep procrastinating or doing things I knew I shouldn’t whilst avoiding doing what I should have.

I want to share with you what these 6 human needs are and how by understanding them you will no longer have to battle and force yourself to take action towards the life that you want.

The 6 human needs that must be met


I originally learned this concept from Tony Robbins who discovered this after working with millions of people through his seminars, coaching clients and people who he worked with around the world.

Tony realized that we all have similar problems but with variations around them because it’s our beliefs and values that are unique. But the needs we MUST meet are the same 6.

The 6 human needs are shown in the table below:

6 human needs table
6 human needs table mobile

The 6 Human Needs

To first break down what these needs are:

Certainty: We all have the need to avoid pain and to gain pleasure, it is part of our survival instincts. If you’re reading this in a room.

And you’re not sure if the roof above you is about to collapse on you or not, you would have no further interest in what I’m about to say as your primary focus would be making sure you’re certain

Of your safety and survival. Certainty can be met in ways that make us feel comfortable such as food, drugs, alcohol, entertainment such as TV and video games.

We can also feel a sense of certainty by trying to control everything around us such as what decisions are made and trying to control how people act.

We can also meet our need for certainty in a much more constructive way by believing we’re being guided by something greater or by doing something that serves others and knowing it will return back to you.

If life becomes to certain and predictable we become bored. Which is why we must also meet our 2nd need which is...

Uncertainty/variety: We all need surprises and variety, challenges make us feel alive and stimulate us.

Ways we meet our need for variety can include alcohol, visiting a new location, watching a film that we haven’t seen, alcohol or anything that changes how we feel.

These are just a few examples, the difference being is the vehicle that we use in order to meet it. Whether it’s constructive or destructive is what’s important.

Too much uncertainty leads to fear which is why a balance is needed between certainty and uncertainty.

Significance: We all have a need to feel significant which can also be described as feeling important, special or unique. That we’re important and what we do is significant.

Ways of meeting this need could be for example making out that we have the biggest problem or by putting others down to make ourselves feel above them.

Other examples can include, earning a lot of money and having a higher status, another way could be by making the biggest contribution to our local community.

If we feel so significant, so unique and special in comparison to others this can make us feel separated which violates our need for..

Love and connection: We all have a need to connect with others and ourselves.

This need can be met by simply interacting with others, joining a group or gang. Some people feel a sense of connection by aligning with their creator.

Some people will perform at a high level, take drugs or alcohol to be accepted or feel a sense of connection with an individual or group.

What needs you must meet in order to feel fulfilled

You have likely already noticed the first four needs covered so far have opposite needs that are in contrast that must also be met and kept in balance with the other.

The 6 Human needs are broken into two categories, one being our fundamental needs meaning we will always find a way of meeting them, even if we meet them in a destructive ways.

Which are the first four that have been mentioned so far. The needs of the spirit are the needs we must meet in order to live a happy and fulfilling life.

This is why you can get people who on the surface achieve everything and are unhappy or unfulfilled because they aren’t meeting the needs of their spirit which are...

Growth: No matter how much someone has achieved in their life if someone doesn’t feel like they’re growing they will feel unfulfilled and like they’re dying inside.

By growing you will feel alive with a sense of purpose. But the reason we fundamentally grow is to meet our need for..

Contribution: We all have a need to contribute beyond ourselves. This is when we experience true joy and fulfilment. Happiness and excitement only lasts temporarily.

Such as achieving a reward or promotion, but lasting fulfilment comes through contributing to others.

The importance of choosing the right vehicle to meet your needs

We all have different vehicles for how we meet our needs which can also be described as different ways in which we meet them.

The importance of becoming aware of what vehicles you’re using when meeting your needs is whether it is having an empowering or disempowering impact on your life.

Someone bored in their relationship even though they see being faithful as an important value they end up cheating on their partner as a destructive vehicle to meet their need for variety.

“People will violate their values to meet their needs choosing the wrong vehicles only leads to pain.”

-Tony Robbins-

Why we sabotage our own results

Remember these 6 needs must be met they aren’t negotiable or just something we meet when we feel like it.

If you find that you’re regularly trying to push yourself to take action and that you sabotage your own results. This is because whatever behaviour you’re doing in some way is meeting your needs.

Even if it isn’t meeting them at a high level as all 6 can be met at different levels through even procrastinating.

Or the tasks that we’re avoiding may also take away from the needs that we want to meet or only meets them at very low levels.

Don’t punish yourself for not taking action as you’re meeting your needs in the best way you currently know how, rather find a more empowering vehicle to meet them.

How to become aware of why you’re not taking action towards your goals with the 6 human needs

electrified brain

A destructive pattern of behaviour might only be meeting a few needs at a low level and violates your other needs which will be the cause of why you’re unhappy with the result.

Rather than trying to force yourself with willpower to do an activity you’ve been avoiding that will benefit you. Plan how you can make it meet your needs at a higher level.


If you’re wanting to exercise but you keep putting it off, make a list of how you’d rate exercise in terms of how it’s meeting your needs on a scale from 0 – 10.

With 0 being it doesn’t meet that need or even takes away from it and 10 that it meets that need at a very high level

Certainty: How certain that exercise will bring you comfort or pleasure and avoid pain.

Uncertainty: How much variety does exercise give you?

Significance: How significant or important does exercising make you feel?

Love and connection: Do you feel like you’re connecting with others whilst you’re exercising

Growth: How much do you feel like you’re developing yourself, growth doesn’t mean getting physically bigger.

Contribution: How much do you feel like you’re contributing to others when you’re exercising?

Following this example as a former personal trainer, I used to experience a lot of people that didn’t enjoy exercise had low scores when it came to how they felt in regarding meeting their needs when it came to exercise.

They would say they find it painful which gives a low sense of certainty, repetitive so there isn’t much variety, they’d feel insignificant because they weren’t very good at it.

They had to give up time spent with their family so they’d lose out on love and connection, they’d feel some growth and no contribution to anyone else.

So it was no surprise why they had a hard time staying persistent with exercise.

How to align yourself to take action on what you want to achieve

Once you have found how you rate whatever it is you’re putting off in terms of how it is or isn’t meeting your needs.

You can then start to create changes regarding how to make it meet more of your needs by either changing the circumstances or the belief you have around it.


Following on from the exercise example, someone could lower the amount of pain they’re experiencing by reducing how hard they initially exercise and also do a form of exercise they enjoy.

Such as rather than using a cardio machine some people prefer an exercise class which also can meet other needs including, variety, love and connection,

Significant and contribution if eventually they help other members of the exercise class.
Find ways you can make the activity you’ve been putting off meet more of your needs or ask yourself questions to whether there’s another meaning you can attach to it.


Again following from the previous example a lot of people when they’re first joining a gym feel insignificant because they feel people are watching and judging them.

But in fact are usually just waiting to see if they’re finished on that particular machine or for a variety of reasons. And by asking yourself and noticing are people actually judging me or does it matter what other people think of me?

May cause you to actually feel significant in knowing that you’ve decided to go despite how you originally felt.

Breaking out of disempowering addictive behaviours and what causes them

Whenever something meets at least 3-4 of our needs at a high level it becomes addictive. If it meets even more or all of our needs at a high a level it can become extremely addictive.

The important question isn’t if the behaviour is addictive but rather if it’s having an empowering or disempowering impact on our lives.

Some people may meet all of their needs by creating big corporations that have a beneficial impact on millions of people throughout the world and feel compelled to make them even more efficient.

But if someone then neglects their family because they’re meeting all of their needs through work then it’s worth becoming aware of the meanings attached to an area that is being neglected.

In order to shift in terms of breaking the habit of taking part in a negative behaviour or staying persistent with a positive you need to either associate pain to the consequences your current behaviour is having.

Or associate pleasure to what the alternative you want to change to will have but ideally associating pain to the current behaviour you’re wanting to change and pleasure to an empowering alternative.

Why you need to be aware of the two needs that drive you the most

Even though we all have the same six needs, we all have two that we favour in particular that we will put above others as a priority to meet first.


If someone’s two primary needs they have as a priority are certainty and significance they will primary focus on finding ways of feeling certain and significant.

But if their primary need they value the most is certainty even other significance they will look for ways to feel significant but only when they’re certain it will make them feel significant.

If there were two opportunities without taking into consideration the other needs that will be met to keep this example simple that with one opportunity being they will be certain that it will make this individual feel significant.

And the other opportunity offers an even higher level of significance but they feel uncertain about it, they will likely take the opportunity that is more certain over the uncertain.

The reverse would also be true if someone’s primary value was uncertainty/variety instead of certainty.

Give what you want to receive

By giving what you’re wanting to receive you’ll at some point receive it. If you’re feeling insignificant or even worthless. By making others feel significant they will make you feel the same.

Or you may even feel significant just by raising and uplifting others.

The same can be said by love and connection, by making others feel loved eventually someone else will make you feel the same.

By also giving you will meet your spiritual needs of growth and contribution which can end up meeting all 6 as a by product which is the secret to a happy and fulfilling life.

If you’re wanting to know how raising your vibration and managing your state will empower you in creating the life you want I recommend reading Raise Your Vibration To Unblock Your Success.

If you’re wanting to know how to apply what you’ve learned about the 6 human needs alongside manifesting with practical steps I recommend reading Manifesting The Ultimate Practical Guide.


All human behaviour as insane as it may seem to us or even the person doing it, in some way is meeting some or all of these 6 needs that we all have.

We all have different beliefs and values around how life should be and what we perceive as important and different rules on what has to happen in order for us to feel a certain way.

Which is why we’re unique despite having the same 6 needs, we also have different priorities in terms of which needs we will favour over others even though we will still find ways of meeting all 6.

We have two needs that we prioritize the most which have a huge impact on our decisions and behaviours throughout life.

Rather than punishing yourself for repeating negative patterns of behaviour focus on how you can meet more of your needs through the actions or tasks that you have been putting off or avoiding.

Meeting the two needs of the spirit which are growth and contribution are the needs that must be met in order to live a happy and fulfilling life.

I would love to hear the greatest insight or learning that you have taken and going to apply.
Let me know in the comments below.