The Curious Coach Podcast

Episode : 120
Mini: Emotions and Needs

Emotional Self-awareness is all about becoming aware of your own emotions and feelings, and becoming aware of the events and triggers associated with them.  However, what happens when you reflect on the underlying needs that may, or may not, be met – is this what the emotion or feeling is trying to tell you?

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Hi there and welcome to the latest episode of The Curious Coach Podcast. This week I’m reflecting on emotional self-awareness and what insights that might give us about needs.

As I’ve previously discussed, emotional self-awareness is about becoming more aware of your emotions and feelings along with their associated triggers. This can be achieved by simply pausing at various moments and asking yourself “how am I feeling?” and “What is that has led me to feel this way?”. Journaling or using an app to track these insights, can then be a useful way to spot patterns that you can then use to increase your self-awareness.

Another step in this process, which can be particularly useful for those times when you’re feeling particularly strong emotions, is to be curious about which of your needs is being addressed or ignored by your current emotion or mood.

For example, imagine you’re feeling alive and overflowing with joy and excitement. Depending on the context and your own inner world, maybe you’re doing something with a friend that’s meeting your need for connection; or engaged in a hobby that’s fulfilling your need to learn or be creative. Each of us will have different needs, so hopefully you get the idea.

However, this can be especially insightful for those times when you’re experiencing unpleasant and energy draining emotions. Perhaps you’re feeling down about something and experiencing a range of negative emotions. Whilst it’s useful to understand and identify the triggering event, it’s also useful to inquire about the need that’s not being met or satisfied that’s connected with the emotion you’re currently experiencing. Maybe it’s because you need more connection, or need to feel movement towards something, or need to be learning, or need to be helping others – be really curious and see if you can identify the need or needs that aren’t being met. As always, it can be useful to journal for a few moments to help you reflect and work through your thoughts. Start by naming the emotion, then the trigger and then finally the need.

As you realise the need that’s not being met, ask yourself how you can use this feeling to motivate you to make a change. What is the one small step or change that you can make that will start moving you towards meeting this unmet need? Don’t try to be too bold or unrealistic, start with something small and achievable and take it from there.

As humans, we’re complex beings. We have lots of information and data available to us, and through moments of self- awareness and reflection, we can start to tap into that data and use this to help us to grow and develop. So good luck reflecting on any connections you notice between what you’re feeling and your needs. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts and insights, so please feel free to post a comment on LinkedIn or drop me an email to [email protected] Thanks for listening, and until next time – stay curious.