Everyone Always Needs Me, but I Have Needs Too
"Everyone has needs. Some needs are related to survival; some are related to safety; some are related to comfort; some are related to growth; some are related to stability; some are related to change; some are related to happiness; some are universal; some are individual. Regardless of what they are, we all have needs." —Patrick Williams and Lloyd J. Thomas from Total Life Coaching
Over the summer, I've been involved in a project of decluttering my entire house. Some of you might wonder why I would take so much time to do that. Others may wish they could have a completely decluttered home. Those of you that long for the same thing I did could, like me, have strong needs for peace and organization. Other moms might be struggling to lose weight, find time for friends, increase intimacy with their husband, or find a more rewarding career. Regardless of what actions you are taking in your life, or trying to take, it all stems from your needs.
What happens more often than not is moms are so busy taking care of everyone else's needs that their own personal needs are often pushed aside and sometimes even completely ignored.
How Do You Know What Your Needs Are?
Most of us are pretty good at identifying our basic, physical needs:
I am hungry. I need to get something to eat.
I am tired. I need to get some sleep.
I have a headache. I need to take some Tylenol.
I don't have enough money to pay my bills. I need some more money.
It's the more complicated emotional needs that often pose challenges with understanding our needs.
I'm confused. I don't know what I need.
I'm unhappy. What do I need?
I feel angry. What need is being threatened?
I feel afraid. What need do I fear losing?
Our unidentified and unmet needs create emotional energy in our lives. In other words, your emotions are the key to identifying what you need. When you are experiencing emotions like anger, fear, sadness, frustration, guilt, or any other emotion that is zapping your energy, then it's time to pay attention to your needs. Get in the habit of honoring your feelings and taking time to ask yourself "What do I need right now?"
Why Care About Identifying and Meeting Your Needs?
Annie came to me about six months ago feeling disorganized and unfulfilled in her role as a mom. She had recently been laid off from a career she loved, and found herself at home with her children, unhappy and dissatisfied with her life. After participating in the NeedLess Program with me, she had a clear picture of what her needs were, and was able to set up a plan to meet her needs. I recently received a card from her and these were her words to me:
"You have really allowed me the opportunity to get to know myself, my needs and how to release negative emotions. You have helped me in so many ways that words cannot describe how thankful I am that you stepped into my life."
When you identify and start meeting all your emotional needs, your life will change dramatically. Simply addressing your needs can make the difference between surviving and thriving, unhappiness and happiness, lack of purpose and fulfillment, chaos and peace.
Our children have needs. Our husbands have needs. Our employers have needs. Our friends have needs. However, if you don't put on your oxygen mask first and address your own needs, you will not have the emotional energy to meet anyone else's needs. Unmet needs become wishful thinking, but consistently meeting your needs is a powerful source of energy for you and everyone around you.
What needs do you have that are currently unmet? How can you better meet your needs so you can live the life you desire?
Copyright © 2009 Lori Radun, CEC
Lori Radun, CEC is a certified life coach for moms.