For those of you following the Needs conversation, here is what to do about it if you decided to do a better job getting them met.
- Identify and articulate specific highly personal needs. The easiest way is to do The Needs Exercise. To do this go to the website www.leverageyourbest.com – when you get there you can gain access to the website by pressing USE IT and using the log in: coachme and the PW: now. Once you access the site click on the Needs Identification Exercise. This site is free for anyone and is loaded with fun and useful tools.
Some may have already occurred to you. One of the best ways to quickly identify a need is to think back to a recent moment when you felt you were simply not yourself. This would be a moment in which you behaved in a way that you simply do not condone and are ashamed of because you knew it didn’t represent what is true about you. Ask yourself: what need was not getting met?
2. Surrender. You only need permission from yourself to get your needs met.. One of the prime motivators for doing so comes from recognizing that not giving in and admitting to a need will end up hurting you more in the long term.
3. Identify the people in your life who can help. It is a really good idea to cultivate relationships with people who know you and can listen to you, and to learn to return the favor.
4. Set a goal and design a set of activities to move you toward it: Once the problem is clear, it is much easier to come up with solutions. Often, a plan will come as a blinding flash of the obvious because the obstacles to getting needs met are usually self-imposed.
Be mindful that although needs stay the same, circumstances change – often rapidly. Even the most competent people can get caught up in the whirlwind of events. It is easy to miss changes that have caused a situation in which a need might go suddenly unmet. It is a good idea to consider big events in light of your needs, and to try to make arrangements before a crisis occurs.
If you’ve been absorbing and digesting the principles about needs, and want a step-by-step process for using them, the Needs Exercise is for you. The key is to first identify needs, then pinpoint ways in which you might get them met, noting while you do the people who might be able to help you. After that your task is to mount a full-scale effort toward getting those needs met and people on board, along with a strategy and battle plan.
One of the questions many people ask is: What if I pick the wrong need to work on? A valid concern; and the answer is that you really can’t go wrong. Learning how to get your met is like learning any new habit – it takes some trial and error, but anything you learn with getting one need met will help you with others. Resist the impulse to pick one that feels impossible – you know who you are, don’t sabotage yourself that way. If you have been working with a therapist for ten years to get your need for love met by your Mother and have not yet succeeded, this is will be not the magic bullet. Choose to work on a need that feels right, one that you suspect will make an impact on your quality of life and start with that.