(An unmet Need causes us to feel empty, incomplete or less than whole. Fulfilling a Need gives us freedom to be ourselves.)


This is a common need. To be self-regulating means to be in control of your own destiny. It means you get to determine how your day will unfold. No one else decides what your actions should be. In multiple job satisfaction surveys the need to be self-regulating has ranked at the top, higher than more pay.

Picture the stages of development to adulthood – from small child to youth to teenager to adult. The wise parent allows their child more and more self-directed action as they grow through each stage. (Not an easy thing for a parent to do, but that is another subject!) As the child demonstrates mastery they are given more freedom by the parent.

Then the magical day arrives and the young adult thinks they are free, free at last! Then they go to work for a company and quickly learn that someone else is still determining their limits. Not free. Not self-regulating.

If you see yourself in the above situation, why? What keeps you from being self-regulating? Security? Inertia? Not enough pain yet? Do you think it’s impossible to be self-regulating?

It’s not impossible, but first you have to want it to happen. Awareness is the key to this need, the need to be self-regulating.


Copyright 2001 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.