Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is often portrayed in the shape of a pyramid with the largest, most fundamental levels of need at the bottom and the need for self-actualization at the top.
The most fundamental and basic four layers of the pyramid contain the needs of esteem, friendship and love, security, and physical need. If these are not met, we’ll feel anxious and tense, according to Maslow.
His theory suggests that the most basic level of needs must be met before we strongly desire the secondary or higher-level needs.
These are the physical requirements for human survival.
If these requirements are not met, the human body cannot function properly and will ultimately fail.
Physiological needs are thought to be the most important – they should be met first.
Air, water, and food are metabolic requirements for our survival.
Once a person’s physiological needs are relatively satisfied, their safety needs take precedence and dominate behavior.
In the absence of physical safety, these safety needs manifest themselves in ways such as a preference for job security.
Love and belonging
After physiological and safety needs are fulfilled, the third level of human need is interpersonal, and involves feelings of belonging.
This need is especially strong in childhood and can override the need for safety – as seen in children who cling to abusive parents.
According to Maslow, humans need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance among their social groups, whether these groups are large or small.
All humans have a need to feel respected, and this includes the need to have self-esteem and self-respect.
Esteem presents the typical human desire to be accepted and valued by others.
People often engage in a profession or hobby to gain recognition and a sense of contribution or value.
Low self-esteem or an inferiority complex may result from imbalances during this level in the hierarchy.
People with low self-esteem often need respect from others, and they may feel the need to seek fame or glory.
However, fame or glory will not help the person build their self-esteem until they accept who they are inside.
Psychological imbalances such as depression can hinder us from obtaining a higher level of self-esteem or self-respect.
Are your needs being met in these key areas? And how?
Are you leaning on and learning about the one – Jesus – who can give you your true identity?
Are you connecting with a healthy, loving community?
Are you ensuring safety for yourself and others?
Do you believe, deep down, that you are valuable, precious, loved…?
As we look after ourselves, body, mind, and spirit, we become more able to live the lives God intended for us.
Keep strong and hold on to God as you bring all your needs before his throne of grace…
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)