Meeting Needs Of Self And Others

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Why must you spend time meeting needs of self and others? When people define their purpose; what they most want to cause in their life, that which is borne of the best in themselves, they usually think of this as what they cause others. We insist that purpose include meeting needs of self AND others. Without including both, the outcome is either burnout when focusing on others solely, or a high focus on self, which robs one of the fulfillment that only comes from contribution. When there is a focus on both, the garden thrives because the gardener thrives too.

“To be human is about regaining what has been lost in the shuffle when life has been relegated to keeping score and making waves. To be human is about cultivating the good life. To be human is about gardening the soul.”
Terry Hershey, Author of Soul Gardening

Our Basic Social Needs: Belonging and Significance

Beyond basic survival, we all want to experience a healthy sense of belonging and significance through our four core social needs to feel powerful, lovable, connected and contributing. The four core needs are so great in us that the urge to meet them can override our conscience, fears, disapproval and even threat of punishment or death. Solutions: Ask yourself if what you’re thinking, saying, feeling or doing is consistent with the four core needs for you or others. Examine if in your home, workplace or other important environments you consistently remove what’s detrimental and install what’s crucial to the four core needs.

Our Need to Feel Powerful

By power I’m not talking about force, control or manipulation. I mean intrinsic power whereby I can influence and affect outcomes. When we can’t get this need for power met legitimately, we’ll often accept the cheap substitute: force. Solutions: Insist on sharing authentic power and provide yourself and others with the skills, support, encouragement and tools to be self-managing. Honor yourself by asking for more power and being specific about what you want. Do the same for others. Spend time reading about and being with powerful people who use their power in mature and intentional ways.

Our Need to Feel Lovable

Deep down, we all want to know that who we are uniquely, delights others. While we want to share our authentic self, the world reflects back to us how we think about our self. I remember a time I kept attracting men who seemed desperate and lacked self-confidence. My coach suggested I look for where I wasn’t seeing myself as a great catch and shift this belief. Once I did this, I started to attract a different type of person into my life. Solutions: Find ways to fall in love with you and look for and find the many ways you are delightful. Take time to remind yourself that you do enough, you’re good enough and that you always do your best. Each day, note five ways you were kind to yourself and others and five things you appreciate about yourself and others in your life.

Our Need to Feel Connected

All institutions (including our homes) are communities and within these communities, the need for connection is crucial. At the same time, so many communities fail because they’re frequently dysfunctional, based on win/lose, superior/inferior dynamics and dog-eat-dog assumptions and behaviors. Solutions: Make eye contact and smile. Physically touch others appropriately. Celebrate win/win intensely. Exaggerate affection and positive regard. When meeting new people, prepare yourself by taking a breath, getting present and putting down your fears or judgments so you’re not in a protective mode when they tell you their names. This helps to greatly increase your ability to remember the names and other details of all you meet.

Our Need to Feel our Contributions

People are deeply satisfied when contributing to something larger than themselves. An example of this was 9/11. People were able to contribute to one another in openhearted, extensive and immediate ways. Giving is consistent with who we are authentically. Yet, we often block others from contributing to us because that puts us into a state of receiving – and many are uncomfortable with the vulnerability they feel when asking for help. Solutions: Ask for ideas, advice and help from others often, especially those disenfranchised such as children, workers on the bottom rung of an organization or any person who’s not traditionally thought to be significant. Also, let go of the notion that it’s better to “give than to receive.” Finally, when you have a contribution to make, whether large or small, but are stymied by a fear of failure, do it anyway. By living within the context of our four core needs, we honor others and ourselves. Isn’t that what life is all about?

As published nationally in the column Emotional Intelligence in the Women’s Journals, Aug/Sep 2008

Why People Hire LifeWork Systems

Business owners and executives, community leaders, parents, educators and individuals hire LifeWork Systems because they know that effective conditions and conversations make all the difference in building trusting relationships, achieving dreams, and creating solutions and innovations for our evolving world. When people are happy and responsible, emotionally and socially intelligent, confident, and appropriately seen, heard, and supported, they always exceed expectations. We help instill into every person common concepts, terms, tools, and processes that result in healthy, happy, caring and contributing individuals, teams and organizations. Our mission is to create a world in which all people love their lives!

We appreciate you being here on our website and encourage you to reach out to us directly at or  314.239.4727. May something we offered in this article and website help you love YOUR life ~ because YOU matter!

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