What Do You Need? (Part 1)

What do you really need?” can be the most empowering question we ask ourselves or others. Because it acknowledges our value, our realness, our vitality. It opens the door to caring.

This week, let’s start by asking that question of ourselves. We’ll explore the part about asking others next week.

So, how often do you ask yourself what you really need?

Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Not at all?

It’s easy to ask what we need when it’s simple things. My stomach is rumbling. I need to eat. I’m tired. I need to sleep.

We all ask ourselves what our physical needs are and seek to fulfill them.

But what about the harder things?

What about:

  • “What do I need to make me happy?”
  • “What do I need to feel fulfilled?”
  • “What do I need to maximize the contribution I’m making?”

I gave a talk last night and during the talk, I made the statement that a large percentage of high performing women don’t get their needs met. Two of the women almost fell off their chairs – literally, and there was a marked physical reaction from quite a few others.

Hmmm… I guess that hit home.

The first step in getting your needs met is knowing what they are. Asking yourself the question, what do I really need?

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I’m afraid to ask that question. Or I don’t really want to know the answer.

Because if I know what I need, I have to do something about it, right?

Well, maybe not all the time. Sometimes, it’s okay to say, yeah, I need that, but not now. And that can be valid. Sometimes.

However, it’s often an excuse because I don’t want to do what it takes to get my needs met. Because it might mean asking someone to do something for me. Because it might mean upsetting someone else’s plans. Because it might mean making someone else uncomfortable, possibly even angry.

Maybe I don’t really need it.

Many women – myself included for many years – don’t believe that that can, should, or even deserve to get their needs met. (Okay, to be fair, there are quite a few guys that fall into this category too.)

Why? Because it’s risky. What if I piss someone off? What if they don’t like me anymore? What if I lose my job? What if I’m taken off the promotion list? What if . . .

The what-ifs can go on forever.

But I’m telling you that you do deserve to have your needs met. You do.

And getting your needs met doesn’t have to come at the expense of others. There’s often an “and”.

What’s even more cool, is that when you get your needs met, you’re more able and willing to help others get their needs met. And then they support you in getting your needs met.

And you got it, an expansive cycle is created.

So, I challenge you today to ask yourself “What do I really need?”

See what comes up. And then, pick one thing to work toward this week. Just one. Even if it seems risky.

Make it fun. Make it an adventure!

You might be pleasantly surprised with the results. I know I have been.

I’ve found that when I get my needs met, even when it’s hard or seems risky, I’m happier, more energized, and much more able to help other people get their needs met.

My friend and coach Sally Anderson loves to remind people that putting the oxygen mask on first isn’t selfish. It’s the only way that you can help others put theirs on.

It’s not selfish to get your needs met.

And you definitely deserve to.

What do you need?

Let me know how it goes, and how can I help you get it.


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