Feeling stuck in a rut is overwhelming, confusing, draining and extremely stressful. Sometimes its hard to imagine how we will ever get out of it.
The human ‘hierarchy of needs’ is a useful, simple and highly effective tool to help us understand why we are stuck, and how to move on. The diagram below shows our needs in order of priority (with our essential requirements shown at the bottom of the pyramid).
Unless those most basic of needs are met, we simply cannot reach the higher levels of self-fulfilment. And once we have reached a level, we may not always remain there.
MOVING THROUGH THE LEVELS: We can find ourselves moving down to the lower levels at certain times in our lives, as our minds may unconsciously abandon the level we are on in order to meet the lower needs.
For example, a major life event such as a redundancy, or a divorce may mean we have to refocus on our financial affairs and find a new home. A feeling of financial and domestic security are the essential building blocks of the pyramid.
The human race has evolved over the centuries, living in tribes and to this day, we still need the sense of safety we get from our ‘tribe’ of friends or family. We fear rejection and can find it difficult to cope with being alone.
It is so important not to underestimate this profound human need. Ultimately a feeling of ‘not-belonging’ can lead to a sense of loneliness or inferiority, which in turn can have a direct impact on our self-esteem. At one point or another we’ve all experienced a desire to fit in and be accepted by others. It helps us see value in life and cope better with life’s many hurdles.
Some of us meet this need by joining a church, taking up a social hobby, or spending time with family and friends. Social media can also help us feel connected with others (but digital interactions can never replace human ones). However, many of us experience emotional and physical loneliness throughout our struggles to discover our sense of belonging.
We may even end up trying to mould ourselves to suit someone else’s expectations, and consequently lose our own sense of who we really are. We need to accept that ‘belonging' is about having the courage to join in with others, whilst staying true ourselves. We should not have to adapt our behaviour to constantly try and please others.MY STORY
I want to share my own personal ‘belonging’ story with you. I grew up in France but moved to England over 22 years ago and in order to fit in, I had to work very hard indeed to learn English and build a new life here.
Our critical inner voice can have a devastating effect on us, leading to low self-esteem and a debilitated self-image.
It’s important to take a moment to reflect on how strong a critical inner voice we have. Are we permanently berating ourselves for our guilt, our shame, our wrongdoings - and how does this make us feel?
A critical inner voice is a bit like poison ivy, invading us on the sly and then attacking, blaming, comparing and criticising. It can be abusive and judgemental, leaving us with the overwhelming feeling that we are not good enough. We may listen to it for so long that we come to believe that we are fat, stupid, selfish, unlovable, ugly (or whatever it maybe telling us). We may even start to think that this is how others perceive us too!
Listening to this voice could be the only way we know to try and become ‘A Better Us’, or perhaps it's learnt behaviour from our childhood. Either way, we can become so accustomed to the negative things it tell us that our mind may believe what we are hearing.
Enough is enough! Now is the time to stop inflicting this pain upon ourselves, and to replace this old destructive habit with a useful new one. But how…?
I grew up in France and came to the UK in 1993.
During my early career, I experienced the pressures and stresses of the commercial world, so I have a real understanding of the impact these can have on you, your relationships, your self-image and confidence.
I am a Life Coach and Counsellor. I am a fully trained and qualified Clinical-Hypnotherapist, trained in Person Centred Counselling and Transactional Analysis and I am also a qualified Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) practitioner.
I am registered with the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council (GHSC) and General Hypnotherapy Register (GHR), who are the UK’s largest and most prominent organisations within the field of Hypnotherapy. I am bound by the codes of ethics of these organisations. I have an enhanced CRB check and am a qualified hypnotherapist.
Client confidentiality is assured.