How to understand yourself with the 6 human needs

In our life we make choices. We do things. We have ambitions. We create things. We destroy things. Sometimes we know why and we are ‘aware’, and sometimes things just seem to happen and we don’t know why.

Lately, the 6 human needs described by Tony Robbins are a key element that keep coming back in my life and I love to share them with you, because they are an amazing tool into understanding yourself. They are a beautiful guide into understanding the things you and all the people around you do and why!

We all have these 6 needs, although 1 or 2 are dominant. Figuring out which ones are dominant for you may help you with making conscious choices in your life and creating happiness in your life! Figuring out the needs of someone close to you and therewith the shared values you have might help you gain understanding in why your relationship is how it is at the moment. They are not right or wrong, they simply show where our priority in life is at the moment, it may change over time. And diversity in focus creates a richness in our world!

Having been through a lot of transition the last few years, and I am still in the middle of a lot of huge transitions right now, it has been a practice for me to stay on my game and keep my balance. Sometimes with more success than others :-).

So, here they are:

1. Certainty
2. Uncertainty
3. Significance
4. Love and Connection
5. Growth
6. Contribution

Man in office smiling with post-it on his head


The need to feel in control and secure. This has to do with creating basic comfort, avoid pain and gain pleasure in your life. This need is our first need, because our survival depends on it and it is deeply wired in our brain, however, when you know everything in your life for certain, things won’t be spontaneous or fun!


Is needed to create variety in your life,to introduce the surprise, the amazement and the fun that comes with that. It helps you to adapt to new situations and to broaden your perspective.


Is the need to feel important, special, unique or needed. We have many strategies to meet this need, from being the best, richest, loudest, most beautiful, biggest, poorest, …. Basically whatever you can think of to stand out in the crowd and show you are different from others.

Love and Connection:

Is the fourth basic need. When we are loved and feel connected, we flourish. When love and connectionmisses, we are miserable. Our bodies are wired to be loved and in connection. The nervous system of a baby develops by synchronising with the nervous system of the parents while holding the baby (preferably skin to skin). ‘Love is all you need’. Right?!


Is the nature of our universe. It expands constantly and we as a species evolve continuously. Growth happens regardless, but when you are aware of growth as your need, it will fulfill you and help you value the steps you take in your life!


Is the sixth human need. This is the need to give, to share, without expecting something in return! Sharing enhances your experience and selfless contribution creates meaning in your life!

So, when having read this, what are your two strongest human needs? Take a minute to figure them out and see where in your life you can recognise the presence of these needs. What decisions do you make and why? What need do they connect to?

Have fun and let me know what this piece of inspiration brings you! Share your wisdom in the comments.

With love,



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About Lisanne

BreathWorks facilitator, trainer and coach

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