Friday, August 8, 2008

Self-healing from Trauma Block 5: Analyzing your needs

This block picks up where the last exercise left off.  If you had any trouble with making your list of needs or if you would like some feedback on your list please let me know.  If you have any trouble with this exercise on analyzing your needs let me know.  Remember to have your enjoyment basket near by while you are working with this. 

Hopefully you are still making time each day to do one thing for yourself that makes you feel good and one thing that you enjoy doing.  If you you do not have time to spend for yourself everyday, at least try to do things for yourself every other day.

Now that you have made your list of needs and organized it into the order you want to work on them, you need to analyze that list and order to determine that you are approaching it the best way possible. Sometimes we will think there is one thing more important than another when really we cannot achieve the first thing without first doing the second thing.

Go back through the answers to your questions about each need. Make sure that there isn’t an underlying need that must be met prior to pursuing the main need you have listed. For example if you listed getting a place to live as your number one first need that you must address; what do you need to do BEFORE you can even start trying to accomplish that? Maybe you need a job; but then maybe you have to obtain proper work clothes. Thinking about all of this to start with will save you time and frustration in the long run.

Maybe you are having problems ordering your list. Right now it seems like you need to get everything done all at once and you are running out of time to accomplish that. If that is the case then you could approach if from the perspective that all of your needs are most important. Try listing the sub-needs under the main needs in that case. Make it look more like a To Do List.

Realize that none of your needs are frivolous. If you feel that you need something in your life then you do. What you need to examine is why you need it and how much of it you think you require. You may have put that you need clothes at the very top of your list, and that may be true. If you are looking for a job and only have one outfit, then having more clothes is very important. However, on the other hand if you already have a closet full of clothes and having more would just make you feel better for some reason, then you may need to move clothes down the list and replace it with something else. Don’t remove that need from your list totally though.

There may be other needs that really are a surface need for a deeper need. Such as you may have listed a cell phone high on your list, or you may have added manicure or makeup as a last thought. These may actually point to your need of security without you realizing it. In the back of your mind you may be thinking that if you had a cell phone you’d be safer and could call for help if you needed to. Or if you got a manicure or makeup you would look better and attract people to you. So examine the reasons for your needs, and you may find that your list is actually getting shorter; especially if you are sub-categorizing your needs.

Go back to the questions again and see which needs actually require someone else to do something before you can meet that need. Really think through it and determine if there is any way you can meet that need without someone else’s help. There are times when we think someone else needs to do something first only later on do we realize we really didn’t need to wait on them.

There are some things though that we really must wait for others to do and that can get frustrating. Before letting frustration take over, attempt to approach the person if possible and check their timing as to when they think they are going to be done with their portion or part. Don’t ever just assume that they already know you are waiting on them unless you have already spoken with them yourself.

At this point it is enough to know which emotions you feel when thinking of each need. By putting those emotions down on paper you are essentially acknowledging them, and for the time being that is enough. You may have had to keep your feelings to yourself for so long that this simple admission in and of itself may feel like a release. You will look at and analyze your emotions later.

Once you have worked through your needs, answered the questions pertaining to each one and analyzed it all it is time to get started on accomplishing the tasks that will lead to meeting each need. Some tasks may meet more than one need and thus save you time and effort. By realizing that in the beginning you will save yourself time in the long run.

There may also be some things that you can “get started” and then move on to something else. Such as; you may need a car, job, and place to live. You can start looking for all three at the same time, as long as you realize to yourself that you really can’t get the first car you see if you haven’t found a job to pay for it. Whereas you will also know that you probably can’t take the job you want that is 30 miles away if you don’t have a car yet. So you may have to take a closer job until you save enough to get the car.

This may all seem like a never ending cycle.  However, starting out by thinking about and realizing what is possible today versus what may be possible later on will get you started much quicker and give you time to think through your actions. Then you won’t be running in circles without seemingly accomplishing anything.


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