So a few days ago, I wrote about what’s in my resilience toolkit after a number of people had asked how I had been coping with the world at present. Today I wanted to delve a little deeper and share what my essential needs are and where this concept came from. Let’s get started…


What are Essential Needs?

I came across Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs when I was studying at university. Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) started his professional career as a behaviourist, however moved on to become a psychoanalyst. In 1943, in a paper titled “A Theory of Human Motivation”, he proposed the psychological theory known as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. He suggested we had two different types of needs –

  • the first four levels are needs relating to survival and focusing on deficiencies (D-needs)
  • the final layer and needs relating to psychological growth and focusing on being ourselves and everything we are capable of becoming (B-needs).

Maslow suggested we focus on the first level of motivation and then once that is met, then we can focus on the next level. The Abraham Maslow – Hierarchy of Needs are as follows:

Abraham Maslow - Hierarchy of Needs

What are My Essential Needs?

When I read about this concept it resonated with me, and subsequently I started making small tweaks in my world. By looking at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, I identified a range of essential needs for myself, including  –

  • Biological and psychological needs – some of these include: drinking water each day, eating nourishing food, having comfy clothes), meditating, getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep and moving my body,
  • Safety needs – including living in a safe environment, honouring and listening to my emotions and having a place to live where I feel safe,
  • Belongingness and love needs – again, some of them include having family and friends who understand and listen to me, contributing to the community,
  • Esteem needs – learning new things and taking responsibility for what I can control, and
  • Self-actualisation needs – continuing to grow and evolve.

The above are a quite a few examples of my essential needs. It took me a while to recognise I had essential needs and to take care of them. Subsequently, it continues to be a work in progress for me (even though I lead a pretty simple life) 🙂


What are Your Essential Needs?

If you would like to, feel free to identify your own essential needs, by using the table above 🙂 As you are identifying your needs (if you choose to), remember to identify a need and not a want! What is the difference? Glad you asked! Personally I see the difference as –

  • a need, when filled nourishes you and helps you survive, and
  • a want, when filled entertains you or “It would be nice if..”.

If you confuse or substitute a want for a need, it can drain or deplete you of money, time and energy.

Over to You…

I hope this has give you some insight in to my essential needs at the moment. Over the years, what I have learnt working with clients and from my own experiences is that your deepest needs cannot be met by spending money, eating extra amounts of food or winning awards.

Meeting your essential needs is also an individual thing, something you need to find out for yourself. Kahlil Gibran puts it this way “Your friend is your needs answered.”


Ready to reclaim your courage and take the next step towards your freedom and opening your heart, why not join our Toolkit?


Reference –

Maslow, A.H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50(4), 370-96. Retrieved from


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