March’s “Bold Brilliant Beautiful You” project question was posed and asks, What Do I Need? Seems I had asked myself this same question last year. There’s a page in my journal proving I was equally confused then in defining wants versus needs. I promised I’d return to answer later but I haven’t. I supposed then, the best time is now.

Wants vs. Needs

I will simply define wants are desires for possessions or glamor unrelated to our basic existence. I shudder at the American mentality of more more more for less less less as we are lured in by our confusion in defining wants versus needs. Supplies necessary for survival would be needs which are both tangible and intangible. And yet, I would still not have included emotional needs as necessary. Dismissing these is second nature to me.

juniper bush

In my Those That Blog post from last Fall, I listed a few of my needs. I’m still in need of like a babysitter once a week, garden help, or someone to explain #hashtags to me #onceandforall. But sometimes needs seem superficial, dishonest. It feels their root is something deeper, more emotional in origin. And I also suspect that these are the needs I’ve denied for so long that I can’t see my need forest to make my way through my need trees.

Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs

So I set out to define the meaning of needs, hoping this knowledge would help me then feel entitled to have and fulfill them. I looked up Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs courtesy of my freshman year psychology. And what I rediscovered was very eye-opening.

Maslow's Hierarchy of needs

Maslow stated there are five levels of needs. The first two levels include the basic needs and the last three are the psychological needs, the top most level being self-actualization. The catch is that you can’t really fulfill the next level up if you are missing something on the level below. I can remember suspecting this was a stumbling block for me years ago. Here I am again and I was more right than I knew.

Yes I have food, clothing, shelter, a loving 2nd husband, healthy children, etc.. The first basic need level is covered but it seems, at times, I have lacked some basic safety and security needs from Level 2. For years, my husband and I have had no health insurance, no savings, and my husband started his own business while freelancing which is a tenuous existence.

Blue wire glob from

Things have improved for us but periods of want, fear, and sadness meant isolation and not actively seeking out the 3rd level’s Social Needs for new communities to belong to and be accepted by. This was an “Aha” moment explaining my long running low self-esteem and I suddenly understood a lot about America’s need for healthcare as it relates to productivity and the emotional well-being of a society.

BBB You Project

And then I see the 4th level and I know getting these needs met is exactly why I joined the Bold Brilliant Beautiful You group. This level is about the Esteem Needs. Our need to be appreciated and respected. Our need to be validated for our existence. This then becomes our motivation for accomplishment and our search for prestige. Um, Heck Yeah!

I hadn’t any idea those needs were mine and yet, that is exactly what I’m feeling these days. When I understood the purpose of the BBBY project and the support and acknowledgment I could gain, my gut feeling was Joy. To be able to create a mirror from others that says,”What you’ve got is good stuff and keep putting it out please”. It’s not narcissism, it’s necessary.

Christmas lights on fence from

Once you’re on this need fulfillment roll, your brain reaches a place of potential fulfillment. Not having to worry about much of anything takes you to a place for safe play and creative freedom. Einstein was grooving on some self-actualization and creativity.

Eight Solid Needs I Have Now

And so I come to a place where I can state my own needs. These were the ones that popped up for me.

  1. I need to keep prioritizing creativity.
  2. I need to see my talents and feel proud to gift them back to the world.
  3. I need to find a way to be OK with being paid for my creativity.
  4. I need to ask for emotional, financial, and physical support.
  5. I need to have and make time for my priorities.
  6. I need to stop trying to take care of too many other people’s needs which distract me from mine.
  7. I need to spend more time with girlfriends and create more friendships.
  8. I need to regularly reconnect with a husband and a little boy who’ve been bumped for a baby.

Yes, I still need help with my garden. I still need a babysitter. I still need a decorating friend to come and help me scheme up a new design plan for my hallway/dining room/anywhere else I am sick of. Surely some needs will work themselves out. Meditated on and intentionally thought of until they become a need ready to be fulfilled too. Because I get the feeling the more you have your needs met, the easier it is to have needs.

moss and roots from

I am immensely grateful for being given an opportunity within my Bold Brilliant Beautiful You group to safely discover my need acceptance was “normal” and that my creative heart can excel from this nourishment. I’ve gotten a creative transfusion and my hope is for other creative women busily fulfilling everyone else’s needs, can fulfill one of their own needs today.

If you have any thoughts, please drop a word below in the comments. Or

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  1. nice, Shalagh. I’d say that you discovered that babysitting, gardening and decorating are wants, (maybe not babysitting) and your new list is more about about your personal needs which of course, are the ones that we need to fill most. Bravo! PS – I once read a terrific article about hashtags, and it turns out you are exactly right about them.

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