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Day 23. Connect To Your Inner Voice By Exploring Your Desires & Needs Part Two

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3. Dig deeper on your needs.

Your needs are personal to you so you don’t need to get approval from others about your needs – they make sense to you because they fit with your journey so far and going forwards.

Your needs are your general ‘self’ needs (how you want to feel and live on a day-to-day basis), work, education / self-improvement, health, family, work, friends, romantic relationship and any other areas that apply in your life. Some of your needs cross into several or all of these but it’s also important to evaluate the appropriateness of them, so for instance, ensure that needs that should have originally been met by a parent are not being expected from a romantic partner or friend.

Are there items in your needs that relate to your self-esteem that are not in your self section? i.e improving worth, validation, giving you an identity, making you feel secure about things that aren’t issues that relate to your involvement/interaction with them.

I used to have Daddy Hunting issues. While my exes were far from being right for me, it was inappropriate for me to try to get them to meet needs my parents should have met. When I stopped doing this and addressed my own self-esteem, this void closed.

A very quick test for this that I’ve done got lots of my students is do is as follows:

Get four sheets of paper (or use four pages of your journal)

On #1 write down the needs, expectations and desires that you had from your parents/caregivers when you were a child.

On #2 write down the needs, expectations and desires that you have from the parents/caregivers in #1 as an adult.

On #3 write down the needs that you have from romantic partners, friends, a boss.

On #4 write down the needs, expectations and desires that you are meeting for you.

If #1 and #2 look similar, you can immediately see where you’re still in a child role - you will know this from where your inner critic has had too much sway and say.

If #2 and #3 look similar, you can see where you have transferred these unmet needs to others in an attempt to fill voids but are being exposed to pain due to giving away power and putting you into a child role.

If #4 doesn’t have much on it and doesn’t mirror the expectations you have of others, you can see which needs you need to find ways of meeting for you. Our relationships provide us with a window into understanding what it is that we need - if we keep looking for, for example, recognition from others, it’s because we are not recognising ourselves. If we do what we seek, the void closes up.

Write down the details of each area of your life and how you would like to feel, be treated, and act, so for instance think about the job that would be happy with, the relationship that you would be happy with, what type of relationship with your friends where you would be happy. Don’t edit / self-censor – just put your ideal relationship down on paper.

Things to consider:

  • How would you be treated?
  • How would you feel?
  • What types of things would cause you to feel that your needs weren’t being met?
  • What do you feel like you couldn’t do without?
  • What would make your position in a situation untenable?
  • When you’ve been in other jobs/relationships/friendships where your needs weren’t being met, what were the reasons?

Remember – every person has their own needs. Like values, it’s better to find someone who is on the same page than trying to impose your needs. They may have the need not to be in a committed relationship for instance – that’s their prerogative. If you are meeting a need as well as having that need in a relationship, you were engage with people who meet you at a similar level rather than looking for them to make you feel better.
Once you have gone through all of your needs, do relate them to the ‘self’ section. It’s not that others cannot meet your needs, but you need to be capable of also meeting the majority of your needs in some way.
What you’ve put down is a vision of your needs.

It also tells you about what you will need from you as well as from others. Treat you as you want to be treated by others.

You will also find that you now have a springboard from which you can define the way in which you want to engage with your inner critic because the way in which you have been, does not reflect the healthier attitude that you want to have.

4. With this in mind, when trying to articulate what you need, want, or expect as a means of trying to understand what you're working towards, write it out in a positive way.

I don't want to be with anymore ACs that boss me around and leave me feeling rubbish about myself, while it may be true, it not only reflects a focus on the past but it's not really a goal, and certainly not a positive one.

I want to improve the way I feel about me as well as I how I interact in my relationships by being more assertive and more connected to my inner voice, sounds much more positive.

5. Next stop, consider the signs, the evidence, that you will know that you are accomplishing your goals and aspirations as well as meeting your needs.

You need to know what to look for. You need to know how this aspect of your life and your habits have improved. Again, write in a positive and supporting way. Example:

  • When my inner critic pipes up, I will recognise [the character’s name] for who he/she is and remember to go gently on me and that [the character] doesn’t represent the whole truth nor is it the boss of me.
  • When my inner critic pipes up, I will not allow anything disrespectful to pass. This way, I consciously change the pattern of my backing track.
  • I will finally be able to smile back at myself when I look at me in the mirror.
  • I will see it as a gain, not a loss, if I cannot proceed with an involvement with somebody who doesn't share the same core values or who isn't coming from a place of love, care, trust, and respect.
  • I will enjoy spending time in my own company.
  • I will hold my ground and speak my truth in situations where I would typically back away.
  • I will consider what my feelings, opinions, needs etc., are before I agree to something.
  • I will show up in an 'adult role' instead of being in a 'child role'.
  • I will see feeling like a child or helpless as a cue to stop, look, listen and evaluate where I am giving away my power and then step up.
  • I will stop criticising and comparing me and instead remind myself of what I have done, who I am and focus on progress not perfection.

Part of identifying where you want to evolve and being able to articulate your 'goals' as such, is about understanding how you want to feel (so that you know when you're there) but also being able to recognise a feeling for what it is and to distinguish between feelings and facts.

JOURNALING: Try to summarise your overall needs about your interactions into a paragraph. Here’s mine as an example: I’m the type of person that enjoys freedom of expression, feeling connected in each others’ lives but who doesn’t feel joined at the hip and is still an individual entity. This means it’s important to be able to express myself, something I didn’t do in most of my relationships unless I was melting down. I want to feel good when I express myself which means it’s vital that I minimise the amount of incidences where I’m silent when I need to be speaking up. I need to feel that we are in a mutual relationship, not one-sided. I need to retain my sense of self and have some personal space. I also need to feel loved, cared for, trusted, and respected and it’s vital to me that I don’t remain in any situation where I feel anything less than that. I ain’t got that kinda time! Now, you have a go!

 

TASK: Brainstorm ideas about at least one thing each day that you can do to show you that you are paying attention to and taking care of your needs. It doesn't need to be a massive thing - it's the smaller, considerate things done consistently that make a big difference. One of mine is that I ask me how I'm doing.

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