We all have needs

We all have needs

I love practising, teaching and using neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). Since I was a teenager, understanding the science of how people think has been an incredible fascination of mine, as well as giving me enormous satisfaction for knowing how genuinely to help people with their finances, business, health, relationships, spirituality and emotions. It’s a fast, effective and positive way to teach our subconscious mind how to get what it wants.

Our subconscious mind is responsible for a huge part of our day-to-day functions, and it takes the job really seriously. It doesn’t need your permission to take action either, it just does.

When you study NLP you get to understand that your mind NEEDS certain things in life. When you know what those needs are, you can see the patterns it follows when we go a long way around to get them, as in, a VERY long way, sometimes even a painful way. The awesome part is that once you know what you need and demonstrate a faster, easier way to get there, your brain cooperates, lightning quick. Working with your brain is the most powerful and enlightening thing you can do to get rapid results and long-lasting positive change to the person you are born to be.

Just to be clear before we get started, the subconscious needs are not the same as wants or desires. These are inbuilt psychological essentials that drive every action, every thought and every belief within us. One of the things about NLP teaching is understanding that EVERYTHING we do has a positive intention, even the very worst things. It’s a hard one for people to take on. Everything you do has positive intentions. That positive is to get a need met.

The 6 Needs Your Subconscious Mind Works Towards Obtaining

  1. This contains safety, security, comfort, carefulness, protection, predictability and structure.
  2. This contains exploration, discovery, surprises, unknowns and new viewpoints. It’s risky, dangerous and impulsive.
  3. The knowledge that you are important, you are special, have outstanding skills, you are incredibly unique, famous, worthy of praise and individual power. People need you.
  4. The knowledge that you are part of a greater purpose and your involvement is deeply needed for another cause. Within a community love and love others. You need people with you and around you, a place to belong.
  5. The desire to learn and experience. To become better and deeper through knowledge and understanding. Expand your individual capacity emotionally, spiritually and mentally.
  6. Giving all you have to a greater cause. To give back in order to enrich and nourish other people’s lives. Self-sacrifice.

We all have the same needs and your brain will deliver them, whether you like it or not. The longer you suppress a need the more violent the actions you will take to obtain it.

If we look at any of our behaviours and ask the right questions, there is always one of these needs playing at the base of it (sometimes completely ineffectively).

Let me give you an example. Let’s say you want to save money. You know how to save money, you have a plan you are prepared to follow and, wham! You actually spend more money than ever. What’s responsible for this? An unconscious need that your mind thinks is being met by spending (or by not saving). When we do some gentle digging a long lost memory will surface that explains the link between what you do, and why you do it. It will click into place and suddenly, in an instant, everything you do makes sense. Maybe someone you knew once saved money and was robbed, or maybe they died and you overheard someone say it was a shame that he died without ever spending his money. Maybe you feel independent when you spend, that you have a say in what you do, maybe a deep sense of loyalty of creating community wealth. It doesn’t have to be logical (it probably won’t be logical) but at the time, when the memory was created, an important decision was made and written on your internal blueprint of how to get a need met.

There is a trap to these six basic human needs. That is they sit opposite each other, like seesaws. Too much of one, and the other is left aching. This can often be the root cause of a person’s divorce. They married into one need, let’s say, certainty. Over time that pattern of certainty became the norm and was repeated over and over, without enough room left for variety. The one thing they fell in love with originally becomes crushing, limiting and restrictive. It’s confusing, nothing has changed, why do you suddenly want something different? And worse, in order to gain variety, you will need to threaten everything your marriage stands for. An internal battle rages, confusion, emotional suffocation, unrest and frustration are felt until the variety explodes larger than life. It might be an affair, a radicle purchase (like a sports car), an abrupt breakup that looks out of the blue, all you can say is, ‘I just wasn’t happy anymore’.

The person leaving has guilt for not being satisfied in a once beautiful relationship, the person being left feels angry and confused at having always provided and it not being good enough.

When people talk about balance and harmony I picture all three see-saws sitting level.

Happiness means balancing each of the three seesaws, communicating with those around you so that you can safely and effectively get those needs satisfied.

You can see how, when you nourish each of these needs they fully complement each other and allow you to achieve even more in every area of your life. Sometimes we feel that we need to choose one or the other, we have to sacrifice for our children so we don’t take a promotion.

The belief that you can’t have everything sometimes limits our ability to get our needs met safely and effectively. Who says you can’t have everything? To be happy you have to have everything, not in material form, in terms of meeting all six of your subconscious desires.

It’s about putting your energies directly into all what you need, rather than drifting along, absorbed in numbing or ‘satisfying’ addictions or destructive behaviour patterns.  Ask yourself when you go to buy something you don’t need, eat something when you are not hungry, get drunk, smoke a cigarette, ‘what need am I meeting?’ and trust that the answer, however illogical, is the right one.

Now ask, ‘is there a faster way for this need to be met?’

It doesn’t need to be big.

Volunteer at a non-profit organisation, take on a leadership role where your talent will shine, care for someone in need, take a class, go somewhere new, curl up with your favourite book.

Write out a list of the things you can do for each of the six internal needs so you always have an action plan.

  1. To feel safe and certain I _____________________________
  2. To feel alive with choice and adventure I ________________________________________
  3. To be the centre of attention I ________________________________________________
  4. To feel connected to my community I ________________________________________
  5. To learn and grow as an individual I ____________________________________
  6. To give back to my community and serve others I ___________________________

Before you leave a job or family that you know you love, ask yourself, ‘how can I get more of my needs met?’

Knowing what your needs are gives you vital information to understand and flick the switch on old wounds and allow enough activity in your life to balance your six.

Remember these six needs are the basis for every person’s actions. Know that, while you need a dash of all six flowing in your life, so does your partner, your parents, your children and your co-workers.  When you know this you can approach situations and conflicts with flexibility and gentleness, understanding and compassion (it also makes you a fantastic life coach).

Matt Catling


Your future now

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1300 997 669

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