Needs, Needs Satisfaction, and Wellbeing

Enhancing Wellbeing: Needs, Resources, and Use of Resources

This article aims to provide a valuable guide to improving your wellbeing.

First, we specify six groups of needs, or clusters of needs, grouped as distinct domains. The six needs represent a hierarchical structure.

To satisfy needs, you deploy internal resources in addition to external resources.

Using these internal resources will bring about need satisfaction, which is assumed to underlie wellbeing.

These internal resources are skills, beliefs, and strategies.

Ultimately, we are interested in your use of these resources and their application to your life situation; this is the practice we aspire to implement, the “acting on what we know.”

Our coaching is about “doing the good” to “be good, be well.”

We will use an integrated approach to satisfying the “Need for Improvement” and developing “Positive Self-evaluation.” These two domains, or aspects, are interlinked and go together, where enhancement in one will feed into the other domain and facilitate the growing of resources in other areas.

Some skills are stated concerning a particular need, although they may be relevant to more than one domain. For example, self-regulation is a master skill you can develop through mindfulness and presence.

I will assist you in developing your life improvement and self-development plan, a plan to support development of skills required to promote thriving and wellbeing.

First, we establish the coaching relationship and your initial coaching objectives. 

We will look at your goals through the lens of the “Thrive and Survive Theory (TST) Model of Needs” (Franklin, 2009) to clarify your unmet needs and the skills required to meet them.

What we assume here is that the use of (your, others’) skills (strategies, resources) in service of (your, others’) needs will promote (your, others’) wellbeing.

Skills that satisfy needs and promote wellbeing in TST

A simplified representation of a human needs hierarchy with the complementary skills which could serve to meet these needs and promote wellbeing is given below.

Thriving & Flourishing Needs and Corresponding Skills

Achievement, Performance, Success Needs 

Work skills

Connection Needs

Social skills

Positive Self-evaluation   

Self-development skills

Improvement, Progress, Growth

Life improvement skills

Surviving Needs and Corresponding Skills

Security Needs   

Security and Safety skills

Physical Needs

Survival skills

Our fundamental coaching task is to develop your skills necessary to satisfy unmet needs.

As you acquire foundational life improvement skills, you may also observe rapid improvement in mood as you establish hope early in the coaching process. Achieving your life goals and enhancing your life will become a real possibility.

The achievement, performance, success needs, and related work skills are also outcomes.

The connection needs and associated social skills are embeddedness factors forming the person’s general context.

The positive self-evaluation needs and the corresponding self-development skills are a driving force of human endeavor.

The improvement, progress, growth needs, and related life improvement skills are a process.

Taking a closer look at life improvement skills, what does needs satisfaction bring to our lives?

Life improvement brings us wellbeing.

Progress in life brings us career enhancement, social status, and leadership roles.

Personal growth brings us social-emotional and cognitive development, life stage tasks and maturation, and establishing our family and becoming a parent, a caregiver, a trusted spouse, or a provider.

Bring your positive psychological capacities to the use of life improvement skills and self-improvement skills so that you may satisfy your growth needs and positive self-evaluation needs in accordance with principles of optimal human functioning. In the process, enhance your skills, your capacities, and your life. Begin by reviewing what you already have as your internal resources, some of your beliefs, skills, and strategies that you can reliably engage and build on.

Fulfillment of Improvement, Progress, and Growth Needs through the Use of Life Improvement Skills

Supportive Beliefs, Skills, and Strategies

Awareness of your supportive beliefs, skills, and strategies will directly positively impact your capacities of hope, optimism, self-efficacy, and resilience.

Using supportive beliefs, skills, and strategies will have a direct, positive impact on your competence and mastery.

Growth Mindset and fostering enabling beliefs

Engage your growth mindset in developing your life improvement skills using supportive beliefs, skills, and strategies. To promote a Growth Mindset, use

Facilitative beliefs:

“In my pursuit to enhance wellbeing, I can improve, I can progress, I can grow.”

“I can learn and develop my cognitive attribution style of optimism.”

Supportive skills:

Supportive strategies:

Hope: Motivation, Goal, Pathways, and Agency

Hope is your capacity to:

find multiple pathways for the challenge;

use various ways or methods to reach your goal;

fully utilize your energies for the task;

expect to be exceptionally successful in moving forward;

swiftly achieve milestones on your way;

get back on track if you derail;

find many ways out if you get stuck.

Engage your hope in developing your life improvement skills using supportive beliefs, skills, and strategies. To foster Hope, use:

Facilitative beliefs:

“I can easily find ways to develop my skills and satisfy my needs.”

“I am committed to pursuing my goal to develop my skills and satisfy my needs.”

“I am prepared to persist in facing challenges to pursue my goal, develop my skills, and satisfy my needs.”

Supportive skills:

Your skill of mindfulness will help you to

observe your energy as you set and pursue goals;

detach from dis-empowering attitudes and mental patterns;

monitor your progress and celebrate milestones;

take in the good that comes from pursuing wholesome goals;

keep your focus and also renew and refresh yourself daily.

Your skill of bringing your character strengths into the pursuit will support your motivation and agency.

Supportive strategies:

Form attainable stretch goals;

Break goals down into manageable sub-steps;

Develop alternative pathways with action steps;

Enjoy the process of working toward goals.

Optimism: an optimal degree of openness to reality

Optimism is your capacity to:

expect good outcomes, lasting and beneficial to the pursuit;

expect that most events will be helpful and favorable to the pursuit;

expect that setbacks may happen, but they will be temporary with minimal, local impact on the pursuit;

expect that uncertain situations will turn out beneficial to the pursuit.

Seligman’s (2002) view on optimism is based on attribution theory. It emphasizes two crucial dimensions of explanatory style: permanence in time and pervasiveness in space.

An optimistic interpretation of good and bad events in contrast to a pessimistic interpretation would be:

Bad events are temporary: “I’m exhausted.”

Bad events I attribute to specifics: “I had a problem with this computer program.”

Good events are permanent: “I’m talented.”

Good events I attribute to universal: “I’m a computer whiz.”

Pessimistic interpretations would be the opposite:

Bad events are permanent: “I’m all washed up.”

Bad events I attribute to universals: “I’m just computer illiterate.”

Good events are temporary: “I tried very hard on this one.”

Good events I attribute to specifics: “I know Excel.”

Optimism induces an affective state conducive to other positive emotions.

Engage your optimism in developing your life improvement skills using supportive beliefs, skills, and strategies. To foster Optimism, use:

Facilitative beliefs:

“My prospects look good to develop my skills and satisfy my needs.”

“Positive events and outcomes I consider as being related to my ways of being; they are generally durable and have far-reaching effects.

Negative events and outcomes I consider as being related to external conditions outside my ways of being, with temporary and local, contextual effects.”

“I am cognitively expecting a positive future despite adversity and difficulty.”

“I expect events to result in positive situations and outcomes rather than unfavorable ones.”

Supportive skills:

Your cognitive skill of disputing unrealistic, automatic attributions by using the ABCDE method of the cognitive-behavioral approach.

Utilizing the specific guidelines in (a) identifying self-defeating beliefs when faced with a challenge (Adversity, Belief, Consequences), 

(b) evaluating the accuracy of the beliefs (Disputation), and 

(c) once dysfunctional beliefs are discounted, replacing them with more constructive and accurate beliefs that I have developed (Disputation, Energization).

Your supportive decision-making, planning, and action skills;

“I can decide on my actions in case of adverse events or situations, 

act proactively with an optimistic attitude in case of setbacks, and

act with an optimistic outlook of success and achievement”

Your skills to cope with stress and uplift morale.

Supportive strategies:

Use specific guidelines for building optimism;

Build the skills of identifying, evaluating, discounting, and replacing dysfunctional beliefs;

“I have positive goals, high expectations of successful outcomes, and high morale.”

“I can be patient in the face of adversity, active in mind and body, and assert positive attitudes and behaviors in any situation.”

“My orientation focuses on planning and action. As events unfold, I plan rational and pragmatic actions, prepare my readiness to act, and am ready to overcome any adverse situation.”

Self-efficacy: proactivity, persistence, and learning from feedback

Self-efficacy is your capacity to:

change ingrained habits that do not serve you in your pursuit;

stand up for, declare, and assert your purpose to follow through;

advocate for your plan;

feel confident in defining your goals.

Engage your self-efficacy in developing your life improvement skills using supportive beliefs, skills, and strategies. To foster Self-efficacy, use:

Facilitative beliefs:

“I can use my talents and strengths to develop my skills and satisfy my needs.”

“I am at the cause of an outcome.”

“I have done it before; I have seen others do it; I am told I can do it; I feel like I can do it.”

Supportive skills:

Supportive strategies:

Resilience: Risks, Vulnerabilities, Protective factors, and Resources

Resilience is your capacity to:

improve on setbacks quickly, without difficulty;

find ways to cope with challenges;

persist in getting results;

deal efficiently with stressful tasks;

cope with multiple challenges effectively;

rely on your experience for overcoming difficulties.

Resilience is the capacity to bounce back from adversity. Common themes or profiles of resilient people are

a relentless acceptance of reality,

a deep belief, often reinforced and justified by firmly held values, that life is meaningful, and 

an uncanny ability to improvise and adapt to significant change.

Engage your resilience in developing your life improvement skills using supportive beliefs, skills, and strategies. To foster Resilience, use:

Facilitative beliefs:

“I will endure.”

Supportive skills:

Self-knowledge skills,

Change skills, and

Problem-solving skills.

Supportive strategies:

Use practices and attributes of social competence, autonomy, and a sense of purpose and future;

Avoid negative thinking traps when things go wrong;

Test the accuracy of beliefs about problems and how to find solutions that work;

Remain calm and focused when overwhelmed by emotion and stress.