Why do you feel needy sometimes?
You feel needy because your own brain doesn’t believe you.
Your brain sees what you want. It also sees what you don’t want. And it genuinely expects that you’re going to keep getting what you don’t want. It doesn’t believe that you’re going to get what you want.
Your brain believes that your efforts to get what you want will ultimately provide inadequate. It believes that you’re going to fail.
So you feel needy when this happens. That’s actually a good signal, but you have to interpret – and act on it – correctly.
You can solve the problem of neediness today. You absolutely don’t have to wallow there.
Your brain is just being honest with you. That isn’t a problem per se. It’s just honest feedback, so take it as such. When you feel needy, accept that your brain is telling you that your current plans, behaviors, and actions aren’t going to work. They’re too weak or too misguided to succeed.
Despite this feedback coming from your own brain, don’t take it personally. This doesn’t mean that you’re weak. This doesn’t mean that you aren’t good enough as a human being. But it does mean that your current approach sucks and that you’re going to have to change it.
From Neediness to Abundance
In any area of life where you feel needy, ask yourself this key question:
What would it take to objectively create measurable and observable abundance in this particular area, so it would be really difficult to feel any further neediness?
What would it take to solve the neediness problem for life, permanently?
If you need sales in business, and customers are flooding you with purchases, it’s pretty hard to feel needy for more sales. So one priority in business is to get really good at generating sales consistently, so there’s no longer any neediness in that area.
If you need toilet paper and buy some at Costco, you’re likely to feel pretty secure about having more than enough for a while. When that sort of neediness is no longer present, you can focus on other parts of life.
Show your brain a true solution, and it will very likely stop generating feelings of neediness – if it also believes that you’re really going to implement that solution.
So to overcome neediness, you must show your brain the following:
- A practical solution that looks solid and workable, even if it may take a long time
- True evidence that you’re seriously committed to actually solving the neediness problem, even if your initial plan doesn’t work
If you could only pick one, the second item is more important than the first. While a plan can be good and convincing, what matters more for overcoming neediness is the personal commitment to create and experience abundance in that area of life. You have to convince your own brain that you’re absolutely going for the gold and that you’ll never give up.
If you convince your brain that you’re going to give up at some point, you can expect to feel pretty damned needy.
Recognize that replacing neediness with abundance is a long-term problem that deserves a thoughtful, long-term solution. Otherwise it will probably still be in your life decade after decade. Whatever neediness you’re dealing with in your 20s will still be haunting you in your 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond. Problems of neediness usually don’t just go away. You will drag them forward year after year. Your brain knows this, and it’s trying to warn you NOT to do this.
It’s wise to see just how nasty long-term neediness can be, so you’ll frame the stakes as worthy of a long-term commitment to create a real solution, even if it requires a five-year investment or longer.
Solve the Problem for Life
Just reaching the point of making a real decision regarding your level of commitment to REALLY solve the problem for life is transformational. That alone is usually enough to significantly reduce or eliminate the neediness.
Consider this: What really makes you feel needy is that you aren’t committed to doing WHATEVER IT TAKES to create abundance in that particular area.
Your brain knows when you aren’t committed. And it can predict long-term failure and lack when there’s no clear evidence that you’re actually going to do what’s necessary to solve the problem once and for all. So it’s going to generate some negative feelings to communicate that you don’t have a real solution yet.
Your brain is doing you a great service here. It’s trying to grab your attention, so you’ll prioritize solving this problem and prevent a lifetime of regret.
As soon as you truly make a firm and solid commitment to a new course of action that has a decent chance of long-term success, your brain can finally be satisfied that you’ll eventually get there. It can start predicting success, and so it will very likely start generating some positive emotions. You won’t feel neediness anymore. Instead you’ll feel confident, motivated, excited, curious, and other empowering emotions.
Stop disappointing your own brain with your egregious lack of commitment. Your brain isn’t fooled by your half-assed efforts. It can see plain as day that you’re going to fall short.
What About Intentions?
Are mere intentions enough? Ask your brain. It will tell you when it believes that you’re doing enough and when you’re just practicing wishful thinking and deluding yourself.
If your goal is basic enough that just holding some positive intentions will create abundance, you’ll feel great just holding those intentions. Maybe your brain has seen enough evidence that this approach works for you, and it can predict success when you apply it under certain conditions.
But if your brain isn’t convinced, you can hold those cutesy intentions all you want, and much of the time you’ll still feel anxious, worried, and needy because your brain doesn’t believe that the power of intention alone will be enough.
How will you convince the universe to give you what you want if you can’t even convince your own brain?
When your own brain demands more from you, give it more.
Remember that when you feel needy, your brain is saying: I don’t believe you.
Whatever It Takes
So what can you do today, right now, to overcome feelings of neediness and replace them with certainty and confidence?
Do WHATEVER IT TAKES to create the EVIDENCE that you are 100% committed to solving this particular problem for life. Convince your own brain that you’re serious.
One of the greatest transformations I see in my readers who change their lives for the better is when they finally decide to get SERIOUS about solving a problem that’s been plaguing them for a long time.
Some frame it as: no more playing small. It’s like graduating to a new level of maturity.
Instead of resisting the bigger effort required for success, you can accept the invitation.
Say to yourself something like this:
Okay, so my previous efforts have been wholly inadequate. If I keep doing what I’m doing, maybe I’ll get some incremental gains here and there. Maybe I’ll get lucky. But I’ll never get to experience anything close to the level of success I’d really like in this area of life. And if I don’t do something about this right now to change course, I’ll be dealing with this same crap year after year for the rest of my life. It’s just not going to get much better than it already is, and it may even get worse. The only way to succeed is to up my game. I can’t keep playing this the way I’ve been playing it – that is just never going to work.
You can even dialogue with your brain through journaling. Converse with it to see what it actually needs to see from you in order to stop generating feelings of neediness. Listen for the truth, not for the feel-good answer you’re hoping for.
Through practice and observation, you’ll learn what it takes to convince your brain that you’re going to succeed, and you’ll recognize when it doesn’t believe you.
I can tell by how I feel that I’ve convinced my brain that I’m going to write a novel in November (or at least the first 50K words of it). I feel certain and confident that I’ll actually do it. That’s because I’m all-in committed. Other people can see evidence of this too, like my blog posts about this commitment, my NaNoWriMo profile with the book project already created, social media updates about it, recent books I’ve been reading about writing, research I’ve done on story structure, etc. The external evidence may help to convince other people that I’m serious about this, but what really matters internally is that I’ve convinced my own brain that I’m all-in and that I will actually do this. I’ve done enough for my brain to signal loud and clear that it believes me.
Where in your life do you want certainty, confidence, and abundance? Start by convincing your brain that you’re 100% all-in committed to reaching a certain level of abundance and moving beyond scarcity. You can do this in any area of life: money, relationships, professional achievement, creative self-expression, lifestyle, and more.
What will it take for your brain to believe that you’re absolutely going to do enough to succeed?
If you don’t know, then ask your brain what it needs to see in order to be fully convinced. The answers may be simpler than you expect, like: join NaNoWriMo, join the local NaNoWriMo group, buy a half dozen audiobooks on writing and start listening to them, share the commitment publicly, invite others to join in, research story structure, create a novel project in Scrivener, start brainstorming story ideas, etc. Even before doing all of those items, my brain grew convinced when it saw sufficient evidence that I was going to do them and not stop – and that’s before I’ve written a single word of the actual novel.
Beyond Your Comfort Zone
You can’t fool your own brain. It sees right through you. If you feel needy, that’s your brain telling you LOUD and CLEAR that it doesn’t believe you and that it doubts your sincerity. It’s predicting that you’re going to fail because it’s not seeing enough evidence of any real and true commitment. So it’s calling your plans and intentions out as B.S. that won’t work.
That is a call to change – to immediately and powerfully alter course. That can be done in a day. It’s a decision – not a needy one but a strong one that proves to your brain that you’re making a commitment and that you absolutely won’t quit till the job is done.
Convince your brain that you’ll do whatever it takes to succeed. If you haven’t done that yet, then your “whatever it takes” is going to require that you stretch beyond your comfort zone. Don’t confuse “whatever it takes” with “whatever feels comfortable.”
Be willing to do what feels awkward, uncomfortable, and scary. That’s all part of doing whatever it takes.
If awkwardness is enough to stop you, you’ve lost. If discomfort is enough to stop you, you’ve lost. If fear is enough to stop you, you’ve lost.
Your path to abundance may very well take you through awkward, uncomfortable, and scary experiences. Be willing to experience all of that. Surrender to that possibility. Make it clear to your brain that you won’t use those as excuses to quit. Then create some real evidence by deliberately doing something awkward, uncomfortable, or scary. Prove that you’re serious.
Alternatively, you can continue to wallow in neediness – month after month, year after year, decade after decade – until you don’t even cling to false hope anymore, and your neediness is replaced by permanent regret.
Note finally that neediness is actually a positive sign. If you feel needy, it means that your brain still believes you can succeed, but only if you change your approach, raise your commitment, and finally get serious.
Neediness is an invitation; don’t leave it unanswered.