Identifying & Understanding Needs: Overcoming The Need To Mentality With The BeMo Practice

Understanding Your Needs - BeMo Journal

There's a reason why Needs are at the center of the FUNCK Methodology within The BeMo Practice—and no, it isn't just to ensure that this emotional breakdown doesn't become explicit. When you feel like you're in an emotional FUNCK (sad) or feel like dancing to some FUNCK-E tunes (happy), Needs remain at the center of your experience.  

 

Needs & Psychology

To understand the psychology behind met/unmet needs, let's go on a field trip to learn how to identify, speak, and meet your needs. Drawing from psychological theories such as Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and Attachment Needs, we gain insight into the fundamental role our needs play in shaping our behavior and overall well-being.

 

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow's hierarchy of needs proposes that individuals have five categories of needs arranged in a hierarchical order, starting with physiological needs (e.g., food, water, shelter) at the base, followed by safety needs, love and belongingness needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs at the top. According to Maslow, individuals must fulfill lower-level needs before progressing to higher-level ones.  

 

How BeMo Incorporates Maslow

In your BeMo Practice Guide, these Needs are expressed as part of the Fundamental Needs list. Another way to look at Maslow's description of fulfilling lower needs first is to say that if you have a Fundamental Need, all other understanding or expression of needs go out the window. For example, if you're tired, hungry, and stuck in the rain, your need for rest, food, and shelter takes precedence, and a need for, let's say, connection and adventure will not be recognized so long as your base, fundamental needs are unmet.

 

Take a moment to let that sink in.  

 

To correctly identify the whole experience of met/unmet needs, you must first work through the emotional FUNCK of any unmet Fundamental Needs as listed in your BeMo Practice Guide at the front of your BeMo Journal. In other words, as you understand how to identify and meet your Fundamental Needs as they relate to your experience in life, you'll be able to experience meeting a variety of needs for yourself and, therefore, be capable of securely showing up for the needs of others. Of course, within Fundamental Needs is its own hierarchy, illustrated in Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

 

 

Attachment Needs

Attachment Theory, developed by psychologists John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth, explores how early experiences with caregivers shape individuals' attachment styles and influence their relationships throughout life. It suggests that secure attachments formed in infancy provide a foundation for healthy emotional development. In contrast, insecure attachments can lead to difficulty creating and maintaining relationships.

 

Common Attachment Needs

Attachment Needs can be described as needs formed as a result of unmet needs from your childhood. These unmet needs come from repeated experiences that led you to evolve as dismissive/avoidant, anxious/preoccupied, or anxious/avoidant/fearful/disorganized with how you receive and/or express emotions.

  • Safety and Security
  • Nurturance and care
  • Acceptance and belonging
  • Trust and reliability
  • Emotional regulation
  • Exploration and independence
  • Boundaries and respect

These attachment needs are essential for healthy emotional development and form the basis of secure attachment relationships throughout life and yet more than 50% of individuals in the United States alone do not have a basic understanding of how to identify, voice, or meet these needs for themselves or others - making generational trauma (aka passed down learned behaviors and damaging belief systems) a systemic issue.

 

How BeMo Incorporates Attachment

A variety of core needs sparked by our attachment styles and the experience of our upbringing are listed in The BeMo Practice Guide as Personality Needs. Some of these needs are adventure, significance, inclusion, or zest. The BeMo Practice expands on core attachment needs by including value-based needs and needs that arise from positive or reframed beliefs.

 

By integrating insights from these theories, we can recognize the complex interplay between our innate needs for survival, security, belongingness, esteem, and self-actualization, as well as the influence of early attachment experiences on our psychological well-being and interpersonal relationships.

 

Society's Influence: Why Understanding Our Needs Is Difficult At First

 

In a world often dominated by external pressures and expectations, we've become accustomed to the language of "need to" and "want." In other words, we've been conditioned through friends, family, commercials on TV, and more to feel the constant burnout of wanting more/needing more, wanting to do more/needing to do more because that is the experience we deeply feel, hear, see, and know from those around us.  

 

For example, "You need to clean your room!" as spoken by an angry parent who is fed up with us - leading to feelings of inadequacy and laziness that are not safely expressed due to the experience of anger.  

 

While asking a child to clean their room (often repeatedly) is an innocent request, when you consider the number of times a preoperative (before the age of 8 or 9) child experiences feelings as it relates to words of, "You need to..." and "I want..." it is no wonder that we often grow up to bash ourselves and others with similar verbal threats.

 

As an adult, we feel a transference of parenting stress as we move on to work with other authorities in our communities, schooling, or careers - reinforcing the "need to" mentality and driving our underlying feelings of "want" and "desire" to cope with the constant "need to" being expressed. As in, I need to work harder. I need to do more. I need to be a better parent. I need to be a better member of my church. I need to get better grades. I want to be a better person. I want to be seen by my peers. I need to... I want to... I need to... I want to... As you work through these feelings, you'll begin to see and unwind the intertwined negative BS (Belief Systems) and the way that you speak to yourself as a result of "I am not good enough."

 

Just writing this feels stressful and consistent! It is triggering, right?!? Knowing this, it is no surprise that this mentality can lead to a variety of unhealthy behaviors and coping mechanisms, from overeating to excessively working out, from feeling paralyzed and just wanting to avoid and do something else to feeling overly anxious and wanting to do more, be more, get more, get further, and beyond!

 

The BeMo Shift: Drop The Storyline of "Need To" & Discover Your "Need For"

BeMo challenges us to shift our perspective to "need for," empowering us to recognize and prioritize our intrinsic desires and well-being.  With Needs at the center of The BeMo Practice, you'll also find that each of our products centers on a healthy relationship with seeing, hearing, and knowing what we truly need. From journaling to planning, we aim to do it differently and instill transformative ways of speaking to ourselves so that we can subconsciously transfer that empowerment into our behaviors - positively reinforcing both needs discovery and fulfillment!

 

How To Speak Your Needs: Differentiating "Need to" vs. "Need for"

Speaking your needs out loud starts with how you speak your needs to and for yourself.  

 

Just as we refrain from saying, “I am sad…” in the Feelings portion of our FUNCK practice, we must ensure that our Needs statements reflect a similar mindfulness. "I need to exercise" implies an external obligation, often triggering a post-traumatic stress reaction of fight/flight/freeze/faint/fawn.  

 

In contrast, speak to yourself with kindness and understanding by challenging yourself to find the "need for." "I need to exercise" becomes "I have a need for outdoor adventure, health, time alone, etc." By speaking your need to yourself with this level of certainty and self-understanding, you acknowledge an intrinsic desire for movement and well-being giving yourself a higher purpose while also meeting that foundational need for being seen, heard, and known first and foremost by your Self.

 

If, at first, you write your needs as "need to's" while going through your BeMo Practice, don't beat yourself up. Many people start here and that's ok. By starting here, you're engaging in self-recognition and becoming aware of how you speak to yourself with passive criticism and have hte opportunity to transform. Challenge yourself to reframe your "to" into "for"!  In doing so, you'll start to internalize what it truly means to show up FOR yourself rather than externalize all of your love, energy, and time toward others.  

 

Advancing Your Needs Discovery with BeMo's Advanced Renurturing Practice

The Order Matters

Our needs have a long and complicated storyline. If you find yourself repeatedly not showing up for your needs, first check that you are moving through The BeMo Practice fully and in order. Many of us have been taught to jump into what we need and immediately move on to what we can do about it. For example, "I have a need for healthy exercise so I can put out all of my clothes the night before and set an early alarm." Great! That's a good start. It may work for a little while, and then you'll forget all about it and beat yourself up subconsciously for being a failure. Yikes. Let's not do that. Instead, truly feel where you are at in the moment and show up with self-compassion prior to trying to understand what you truly need. Don't skip steps, and try not to go out of order, or you'll feel skipped over and out of sorts with why your needs aren't being met within your life.  

 

Check Fundamental Needs

If you do move through the FUNCK Methodology and still find yourself not showing up for your defined need, there's likely a Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs or Fundamental Need at play - meaning, perhaps your Need for self-recognition, consideration, stability, love, belonging, rest, and safety are more important right now than your need for going on a run. If that's the case, that's ok. Often, if you dive deeper and allow yourself to acknowledge why you have a deeper fundamental need that isn't met, you'll be able to rise to the occasion of getting out there to pound the pavement with love and self-care rather than subconsciously yelling at yourself all the way to the gym.

 

Keep Going

Unwinding the narrative you have with need is a daily practice. If you're rapdily repeating the same need or missing out on the ability to fulfill it bravely ask why enough times to know.  Years of practice will allow you to rise above past triggers - adding that experience to your Knowing in a way that allow syou to move on and experience more through safety and presence. 

 

Identifying Your Need

The Needs Wheel in your BeMo Journal serves as a powerful tool for discerning between critical self-talk (need to) or surface-level desires (I want) and deeper emotional needs (need for). We uncover authentic desires aligned with our true selves by exploring our feelings and needs-based motivations as they relate to each other.

 

If you've added all of the above information to your Knowing and still struggle to understand how to identify your Needs, that's ok. You have likely experienced an extreme lack of safety in being able to have any of your own needs, let alone express them to others. You'll be able to work on that with time. For now, let's start with feeling safe and identifying needs for ourselves from within. This information is just for you. And just as the next step of FUNCK expresses, you are able to reveal empowered choices, including what you don't want to do about it. In other words, you don't have to do anything at all. This is not a self-assignment.  

 

Feelings of extreme lack of safety around the emotional/need conversation often bring up a reluctance to feel "assigned" or responsible for fixing a feeling or meeting a need. That's ok. We'll overcome this together, one step at a time. For now, just remember you don't have to do anything at all.  Simply moving through the FUNCK to identify each step of this acronym is enough to help you feel seen, heard, and known. With repetition, even without "doing," you will free yourself of so many misfit experiences.

 

With that being said, let's begin.

 

How To Use the BeMo Needs Wheel

If you already know how you are feeling, you can use your BeMo Feelings & Needs Wheel within The BeMo Journal or your BeMo Feelings & Needs Wheel Bookmark to identify your feelings or synonyms of that feeling.  

 

For example, I feel angry. To expand on this, I look at the angry portion of the BeMo Feelings Wheel and see that it is actually more of an anxious rage that's causing me to feel very aggressive for fear that I am out of control.  

 

If you follow those words on the feelings wheel, you'll see that I am right on the line between fear and anger - a common reactive link for someone like me who has been fearful, avoidant/anxious, avoidant/disorganized most of their life. (Note: Fearful Avoidant/Anxious Avoidant/Disorganized are all names used for the same Attachment Style depending on the source. Prior to becoming Secure, this was my attachment style for most of my life due to extreme volatility in emotions that caused a sense of an unsafe environment and repeated trauma and neglect).

 

Now that I've identifed the feelings, I can look at the exact same quadrant area of the BeMo Needs Wheel and see that I have a need for love, connection, communication, discovery, and closeness.  

 

How does The BeMo Needs Wheel work for Positive Feelings

I'm glad you asked! When I developed The BeMo Practice, it was extremely important to me that working with emotions and tapping into this self-therapy practice did not require something to be wrong - a problem with the overall mental health industry that perpetuates too much of that "need to" experience as a "need to feel better" in our reasoning for seeking help and a "need to feel bad" as a justification for needing help. From this blog post alone, I hope you can see how that underlying "need to" can feed ongoing behaviors of more-more-more-more and make it increasingly hard to feel the soothing presence of an inactive, healed state.  

 

At BeMo, we believe that you can and should have really fantastic days in which you dance through the FUNCK as if you would to a groovy, funky guitar tune, and in doing so, you recognize met needs. For example, I am feeling happy. Happiness aligns directly with the need for growth and certainty.  

 

Make sense? Cool!  

 

What if I can't feel my feelings?

If you struggle to identify emotions and/or were led to believe you are an unemotional being, you are not alone. While I am an emotional being, my partner, Stark, has experienced this belief that he is in a non-emotional state throughout his entire life and has experienced incredibly transformative growth in his use of literally speaking (he's not much of a writer), The BeMo Practice. For him, holding the Feelings Wheel in his hands is everything.  

 

At first, I was surprised that he works from the outside of the wheel toward the middle. He is able to identify what to me are bigger, deeper emotional words such as I feel enlightened, open, and free. From there, he is able to understand that means he is happy.  

 

There is no wrong way to utilize and tap into the experience of BeMo's Feelings & Needs Wheel. If you continue to struggle with identifying feelings and/or needs, try to let go of the belief that you can't and try to understand who led you to believe that this is something you are unable to do. As you tap into that storyline, I guarantee you will start to unearth feelings around that [emotional] truth. And if it still seems hard after that, that's ok.  

 

Everything takes time, and everyone comes at it differently and imperfectly. (F) Perhaps you feel frustrated. (U) You are not alone. (N) It is ok to have a need for help. (C) You can always ask me and others in the #BeMoJo Community. (K) Know that.

 

Understanding Met versus Unmet Needs 

As we walked through identifying Needs with The BeMo Feelings & Needs Wheel, we talked about experiencing Positive Needs as a way of identifying Met Needs experienced at that moment.

 

Recognizing Met Needs is a portion of Renurturing or what we call The Advanced BeMo Practice. However, recognizing the full, long storyline as it relates to your overall narrative of unmet needs is, at the core, advancing your practice to a full-life perspective once you've built security with here-and-now situations and, as a result, removing reactive behaviors from your day-to-day life. 

 

To continue with Positive Feelings, take note of this: While feelings of positivity indicate a met need, not all met needs are positive.  

 

Reinforced Behaviors & Negative Coping Mechanisms

Let's dip a toe into this advanced realm. For example, let's go back to a tough feeling. Perhaps you are feeling extreme heartbreak. You feel hurt, hopeless, and disappointed, which results in unmotivated and apathetic behavior.  

 

Each of these words is part of the same section of the BeMo Feelings Wheel. When you go to that same portion of the Needs Wheel, you see that you are lacking trust and, therefore, have a deep need for trust, clarity, or certainty. If you are experiencing extreme heartbreak, it is no surprise that these would be the needs you have at the center of that emotional experience. But let's say you don't take the time to feel those feelings and work through the emotional FUNCK. Let's say you spring into immediate action so that you can experience change, believe in something better, and feel like you're successfully in a relationship.  

 

If you follow along with the words I am expressing, you see that change, belief, and success are the opposite of the need for trust, clarity, and certainty. (While they are opposite on the wheel, this does not mean they are absolute opposites or antonyms of each other.) If you dive quickly into solving an emotional problem, aka meeting a need for not feeling this way without taking the time to truly feel your feelings, you've created a disorganized result in which you're reacting fearfully, anxiously, or dismissively (attachment styles) in order to avoid feeling anything at all let alone being able to identify the feelings of disappointment, hurt, and distance you're experiencing.  In order to meet your need to (yes, "need to" - in other words, you dove in so fast to meet a need that you self-assigned immediacy toward "cans," skipping right over "need for") not feel these feelings, you've tried to solve for x (the unidentified need for) by instilling change, belief, and success. By skipping over feelings and needs, you've also left out self-compassion and go straight to the action in order to force knowing (all part of FUNCK). Cue: Reinforcing behaviors (masked as Knowing, but not actually the self-awareness of Knowing).

 

Solving for an unidentified need, as expressed above, looks different for each attachment style.  

 

Let's use an anxious, preoccupied attachment style as an example. Someone who is anxiously trying to disregard their feelings of heartbreak may quit their job, move to another city or state, make a risky financial decision, etc., in order to feel the change. This same person may disregard their past relationship ever happened, create stories about that person or change their opinion about that person, place blame on the other person, or suddenly jump back to past relationships, past friendships, and other areas of their past in order to feel belief in themselves. That same person may immediately jump into a new relationship or create stories around the changes they've made (i.e., job, house, etc.) and beliefs they've gone back to (i.e., old relationships, old friends) in order to feel successful. To be clear that this is a negative coping mechanism or negatively reinforced behavior, let's point out one aspect of this story so far: this person used blame in order to instill belief. Sound negative? That's because it is. Behaving this way is negative for everyone who experiences the wake of these rapid need-to behaviors.

 

Feeling change, belief, and success doesn't seem all that bad, does it? I mean, it feels great! These are all positive feelings. But here's where this all went awry. First and foremost, someone who is trying to avoid feeling their feelings (F) and jumps straight into action (C) in order to force understanding (K) is doing one thing and one thing only - reinforcing negative behavior by doing the same thing they've done before in order to experience a similar result. It feels like addictive behavior because it is.  This behavior is codependent, and codependency can be defined as expecting the same result from people, places, and things that you are codependent on, staying the same so that you can be different.  To put it in straightforward terms, jumping to what you Can do as a bypass to Feelings is because you're trying to reinforce Knowing without understanding what you Know - therefore, you're reinforcing old behaviors.

 

The second problem here is that, ironically, by avoiding feelings, this example ends up seeking feelings.  

 

Notice that we used need-based words such as change, belief, and success and described them as feelings.  Having a "need to feel..." is not only a "need to" and therefore is an immediate action prior to self-understanding, but it is also a way of overlooking the Needs-based storyline in order to reinforce a narrative rather than understand the intertwining storylines that make up this narrative.  

 

While feeling change, belief, and success seems great at the moment, the repetition of changing jobs, lifestyles, locations, friends, and constantly being on the move will not only wear you down, resulting in a constant need for more or a "need to do again," it will also result in losing the people close to you who are trying to support you.  As a result, you'll experience constant burnout on yourself and avoid it by reframing it as burnout on others, locations, and careers.  By avoiding feeling your feelings, you practice avoiding a lot more in your life - such as avoiding recognizing yourself and your burnout.  By avoiding yourself, you can imagine how you'll begin to feel like nothing ever works, nothing is ever right, you can't run far enough, you can't work hard enough, you can't love strong enough, and it all feels against you because at the core, you are against yourself and this is likely a learned behavior from trauma or neglect that feels too hard to face. First things first, face your self-recognition of feelings as they relate to need; the rest will come as you advance your practice.  Trust me, I've been there.

 

Recognizing Healing & Sticking With It

It is crucial to differentiate between external pressures and intrinsic desires. Straightforward statements like "I have a need for growth" or "I have a need for progress" hold a great deal of understanding of yourself. These are the first steps toward healing.  

 

Allowing yourself to repeat needs and reinforce empowered choices by repeating The BeMo Practice as often as you need (for me, every day), allows you to slow down your behaviors and truly be present with each step of the FUNCK Methodology.  As you repeat your practice and slow down these behaviors, you start to recognize each step within yourself. You start to consciously understand how you feel, that it is ok, what you need at this moment, what you can do to fulfill your need rather than fulfill a desire or continue a cycle of self-criticism, and ground yourself in a strong self-understanding that you can instill new and positive behavior patterns into your life.

 

Will you make mistakes and go back to tried and true negative behaviors? Yes. And it is going to be ok.  You will know you are healing because you go back to old behaviors less, and you spend significantly less time reinforcing those negative behaviors.  For example, if you find yourself emotionally reacting, you'll no longer feel like you need to pile on self-defense because you'll more immediately find the secure self-connection that allows you to go, "You know what, I'm sorry. I can do this differently." Trust me, I know. I wouldn't be making these promises if I hadn't experienced them for myself and had the absolute blessing of witnessing these transformations happening every day with others.

 

Embrace the journey of self-discovery and empowerment with BeMo. By understanding and honoring our needs, we reclaim our power to live authentically and thrive. Join us as we navigate the intricacies of human experience, one journal entry at a time.

 

 

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