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6 core needs – the travel version

When I first got introduced to the 6 core needs a few years ago (by reading some things by the American coach Tony Robbins), I started to realise just how important these actually are. The more I work with people who move from one country to another, the more I notice just how often these needs actually play out in peoples lives.

The 6 core needs are:

  1. The need for certainty/safety/comfort
  2. The need for uncertainty/variety/adventure
  3. The need for significance
  4. The need for love and connection
  5. The need for growth
  6. The need for contribution

These are needs every single person has. To not acknowledge these needs is a bit like trying to not breathe air, as they are invisible programs that we always strive to fulfil and they affect all the things we do and the decisions we make. Really understanding these needs can explain how you make decisions about where and how to live your life.

Depending on your personality, 1 or 2 of these needs are more important (your core drivers) and some will come in as lower priorities. You will however have all of these needs represented in your life, which is something to be aware of both at work and in your personal life. You can read a lot more online about the 6 core needs if you are really interested, but over the next few weeks I will go through each need here in the blog in a way that mainly applies people who travel and move overseas. Let’s kick of with the first core need!

1. The need for certainty/safety/comfort:

Everyone needs some level of stability and knowing what’s going to happen next. There is a part in all of us who does not like when things change too fast.

The most resourceful way of meeting this need is through backing yourself through your journey and having certainty in self regardless of what happens along the way. This is all about allowing yourself to be who you are and who you need to become to handle challenges (that unavoidably come up) when you decide to move far away.


Resourceful certaintyUn-resourceful certainty
Believing in yourselfAnger tantrums
Backing yourselfProcrastination
Trust in your ability to cope with problemsPerfectionism
Routines (exercise, meditation, enough sleep etc.)Routines (watching too much TV)


Unfortunately this need also plays out in quite a few un-resourceful ways that you might have seen around you or maybe even done yourself at times. Pay special attention to people throwing anger tantrums to have control of the environment, which obviously only gives temporary control of the situation. Anger is an unconscious choice to gain control of something, and I’ve seen this in both adults and children who are moving into something unknown.

The best way to check in with yourself is to ask: ‘Is this specific action moving me forwards to who I need to be to handle life’s challenges/problems?’ Watching TV all the time, procrastinating or throwing anger tantrums is probably going to make your move harder. To back yourself and create resourceful routines will probably help you a lot more.

How important is certainty to you? For me it’s one of my 2 core drivers. When I was in my teens I used to do lots of the anger tantrums and the perfectionism, but luckily I’ve gotten a bit more resourceful over the years. But I still go back to my old ways from time to time!

Next week we’ll be looking at core need number 2 (variety/adventure/uncertainty) and how need 1 and 2 actually can work quite well together.