Pursue What Matters
Episode 128: Learning to Tolerate Risk Pt.2: Growth Needs
Please excuse any typos, transcripts are generated by an automated service
Dr. Melissa Smith 0:00
Are you too scared to grow? Do the risks of life weigh you down and leave you feeling like a passenger in your own life? While join me today, because it’s time to grow!
Dr. Melissa Smith 0:14
Hi, I’m Dr. Melissa Smith, welcome to the Pursue What Matters Podcast, where we focus on what it takes to thrive in love and work. Well, if you joined me last week, you know, I, am in the middle of a three part series, all about learning to tolerate risk. So risk is a part of life it’s a part of our reality. And so with the three part series, we are helping you to break down your needs so that you can make better decisions, you can have more clarity about your personal risk tolerance, and you can have increased commitment to growth. Despite the uncertainty, that sounds pretty good, right. And we want to do that in both love and work. So think about your work, think about your personal life and recognize that everything we’re talking about as part of this series applies equally at home and at work. And so that’s what we want to pay attention to.
Dr. Melissa Smith 1:32
So of course, today is part two where we are focusing on growth needs. But as a quick review of last week, in part one, we were talking about your security needs. So if you haven’t had a chance to to listen to it, you’ll be fine to listen to this and then go back or it might be best to listen to Part one first. So I will link to Part One in the show notes. So you can find that. But in part one, we really were working on helping you understand your needs for both security and growth we, we have both security needs and growth needs. And this understanding brings awareness about your risk tolerance, it brings clarity about why some decisions will never be a good fit for you. And it can help to bring compassion for both yourself and others when it comes to facing down fears. And then, of course, I did a deep dive into security needs that we all have, and really working on having awareness about those needs, so that they don’t hinder us, but can actually help us. And then of course, today we’re going to talk all about our growth needs. And these are the needs that really help us to take meaningful action in our lives. And then of course, next week, we will have part three, and we’re really going to talk about finding balance between your security needs and your growth needs so that you can make better decisions for yourself. And as part of that, I’m gonna have a lot of practical solutions to help nudge you towards more balance.
Dr. Melissa Smith 3:08
Of course, with the podcast every week, the goal is to help you pursue what matters by strengthening your confidence to lead. So we’re kind of hitting on all three leading with clarity, by helping you to understand your own personal risk tolerance, we’re going to help you lead with curiosity, because we’re going to help you increase your self awareness about how your risk profile might be helping you or might be hindering you. And there are a lot of times where we, we make decisions, we make a commitment, but then we don’t follow through. And we wonder why and we get down on ourselves that if you can lean into curiosity and self awareness, you can see some of these hidden intentions that might trip you up. And then we don’t, right, because of the self awareness and self leadership, we want you to get to a place where they don’t trip you up anymore, and that you are leading your life. And you’re not just a passenger, okay. And then we’re also going to help you by building and leading a community because it’s really important to understand the risk profiles of those you work with those you live with, because their risk profile comes into play in decision making. And boy, this can take down a team, it can take down a marriage if you’re not careful. And so that’s where we’re at. And so, you know, as we think about if we think about our underlying needs, we have needs for both security and growth. And so we want to be safe, but we also have a desire for adventure seeking right and the brain is a novelty seeking machine. And we need both for balance. And so with a security needs. The things that you need to remember about these for our conversation today is that these needs are motivated by a lack of satisfaction. They are driven by fear, security needs to distort reality, and they lead to specific defense mechanisms that hinder growth. And we covered all of that last week. So definitely go back. And listen, if you haven’t.
Dr. Melissa Smith 5:11
At the end of part one, I challenged you to identify 1, 2, 3 of your biggest security needs. So your themes, right, we all have common themes. So three very common themes include finances are not enough money, affection and belonging, not enough love, and self worth not good enough. And so I wanted you to identify what are your themes, so identify 1, 2, 3 and how the security needs a distort your reality, be impact functioning, and see impact relationships. So I hope you did that. And I hope that it led to more insight for you and more commitment to really find this balance. And now I hope you’re ready for part two, because we are going to be talking all about our growth needs.
Dr. Melissa Smith 6:01
So remember, again, that we want to think about security and growth needs on a continuum, we need both to grow. And we need both to, to really set the stage for well being. And so it’s not an either or it’s not an all or nothing. But we really do need to balance how we prioritize these needs. So if we have too much focus on security, we stagnate, we fail to reach our potential. We might be surviving, but we’re not thriving. If we have too much focus on growth, we take unhealthy risks. We lack stable connections, we lack coping skills. And the reality is we don’t survive, we die or we lose stability. And of course, we want to pay attention to balance and integration between security needs and growth needs because this is where we thrive. And that’s what we want.
Dr. Melissa Smith 6:56
So let’s jump in and understand growth needs today. So when we think about growth needs, a lot of this work comes from the humanist psychologists. So I mentioned last week, this is where psychology can really inform our decision making. And Abraham Maslow was an incredible psychologist and theorist who came up with the theory of self actualization, you have probably come across it. If you’ve ever taken a general or basic psychology course, either in high school or in college, you most assuredly have come across Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Now, there’s been a lot of misconstruing of Maslow’s work. But in a nutshell, the way to understand it is this, this growing in purpose, this growing in potential, and so if you think about self actualization, it is reaching your full potential in life. And Maslow absolutely believed that we are all capable of self actualization. So you heard that right. Everyone is capable of self actualization. But this is what he found. The reason most people don’t self actualize is because we spend our lives motivated by our deficiency needs, our security needs. So that’s what I mean when I say we got to find balance, because if we are too focused on security needs, we’re not going to reach our potential. And that’s exactly what Maslow studied. That is what his theory is based on. Of course, his work has been extended. Some of the the findings that we’re talking about today, and in the other sessions of the series come from an excellent book, Transcend by Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman, I will link to that book. It’s great. So if you like what you hear, you might really like Transcend. I love it. I have been devouring it over the past few months. But the the key here when we think about growth, is reaching our full potential. The other term that Maslow and other researchers use is this idea of transcendence. And so it’s when I think about this, I think about moving beyond the hamster wheel of daily life, right? Think about that, when you’re just you’re a victim to your schedule, you just kind of get into the daily grind of what needs to happen. And if we’re not careful, we just become objects in our own life. We become passengers in our life rather than drivers. We’re not active participants were reactive. And so we don’t want that that is right. We might survive. But we’re not thriving and we’re not growing. And so when we think about transcendence, it is moving beyond the hamster wheel. It is living in presence.
Dr. Melissa Smith 9:58
So this is where mindfulness comes in. You can be fully present in the in the present moment, you’re not stuck in your head, you’re not thinking about your email list, you’re not thinking about what’s what the other person is thinking about you, you are fully present. When we think about transcendence, I want you to think about being versus doing. Of course, we all need to do things. But can you do things with presence candidate? Can you bring your full attention to it? When we think about transcendence, we are absolutely thinking about purpose driven living versus reactive living. And if we are focused too heavily on our security needs, we are reactive, we’re impulsive, where are we make, we may make decisions, sometimes we don’t. But we make decisions that are reactive, that are impulsive, that are motivated by fear. And with transcendence, we are replacing a clouded lens with a clear one.
Dr. Melissa Smith 10:59
So if you think about a clouded lens, that would be the security needs because if you remember from last week, security needs distort our perception of reality. And that’s because fear distorts realities overwhelm leads us to tunnel vision leads us to, to not seeing life clearly. And so we want to replace that clouded lens with a clear one. And that’s really where we can move on to transcendence, self actualization, and giving proper attention to growth needs, right. And again, it’s that integration.
Dr. Melissa Smith 11:21
So when you are self actualized, or moving towards transcendence, you can see yourself and life clearly, you understand your purpose, and you find meaning in it, right. So you find meaning in life, you are able to move toward the meaningful and away from the meaningless. Now that’s a really big one. How many of us just, you know, we get done with work, we get done with dinner, we get done with kids responsibilities, which all can have a lot of meaning, but we can be doing them without meaning. And then we turn on the latest Netflix series, does your life have meaning. So certainly showing up for your family being present, making a wonderful meal for them, or enjoying the fruits of someone else making that meal, all of that can be absolutely meaningful, or we can make it meaningless because we aren’t present. Because we are bugged by it, because we feel put upon. And so we always want to be moving toward the meaningful and making life meaningful, right. So you can have the exact same experience. And it can be either meaningful or meaningless, depending on how you approach it. So when we are focused on growth needs, we tend to be more accepting and loving both of yourself and of others. So we think about self acceptance, we think about self compassion, self worth, there’s also empathy and compassion for others. And you can be generous with yourself and others. And if you remember from security needs, right, it’s fear based, it’s often very self critical, it is self rejecting. And if we’re not careful, we reject others because we push others away because of fear of vulnerability. And so, you know, when we’re able to focus on growth, we are accepting both of ourselves and others. Again, we see reality clearly, that’s really important to see.
Dr. Melissa Smith 13:42
One of the things that I often say, as a psychologist, both as a leadership coach and a psychologist, that my job is to help those I work with see reality clearly, to live in reality. And that can feel very basic, but it is not basic, because so many of us have incredibly distorted perceptions of ourselves, of others, and of life, and boy that wreaks havoc for us. So the goal of learning to live in reality to see reality clearly, is a pretty stout goal. It is it’s beautiful, it’s hard, but beautiful. So when we are looking at growth needs, we’re really looking at growth, wisdom, which asks what choices will lead me to greater integration and wholeness? And that’s really what we’re moving towards was self actualization, more integration, more wholeness. And so it’s an integration when we think about growth, wisdom, it is an integration of our security needs, and our growth needs. And if you remember, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, right? Even though there’s some dispute about how, how that hierarchy is presented. He did see safety needs as a foundation. Write that you need to write that, that those needs really do lay a foundation. But it’s not one and done. It’s not like once you have secured safety that you never have safety needs. And so when we think about growth needs it, they, by definition, integrate a strong foundation of security. Right? And so this is how we get to greater integration and greater wholeness.
Dr. Melissa Smith 15:29
So let’s take a look at what motivates growth needs. Growth needs are motivated by growth, right? That seems pretty basic. So what we recognize with growth is that we must tolerate risk in order to grow. And so we’re growing, we’re facing fears, folks who are able to attend to their growth needs have greater happiness, and greater well being, they often also have greater success in life. So as you can see, these growth needs are pretty darn great. We’re moving towards self actualization, we’re moving towards transcendence. What does that mean? We’re living a purpose driven Driven Life, we are present, we have mindfulness in place, we’re accepting of ourselves and others. So let’s just review these growth needs. So these knees are motivated by a desire for growth. The, these are driven by purpose, purpose is what it’s all about when it comes to growth needs. These needs help you to see reality, clearly. And these needs help you face fears, while accepting yourself and others. So if you just think about those, in contrast to security needs, right, and we reviewed these at the end of our podcast last week, the security needs come from a lack of satisfaction, security needs are driven by fear, and security needs distort reality. The other thing to know is that security needs also often lead us to disconnection from others. And so in in some ways, right there, they’re kind of polar opposites. That doesn’t mean that we don’t need security needs. But if we’re hyper focused on them, we’re gonna be in trouble.
Dr. Melissa Smith 17:29
So today, I have another challenge for you. So last week, I had a challenge for you, in terms of understanding your security needs, right. And today, my challenge is around growth, okay. And I hope that you will take the time and go through these questions. And that will really set you up well, for next week when we are talking about finding balance. So my first question for you is how have you embraced growth in your life. So I want you to identify one or two ways, you’ve embraced growth in your life. So think about one to two examples in your life, maybe it’s that time you went back to school, maybe it’s that time you took a second chance on a relationship, maybe it is when you threw your hat in the ring for the promotion at work. So they don’t have to be huge situations, right? But they are examples of how you embrace growth in your life, right? We have a choice, we have a choice, and we want you to choose growth.
Dr. Melissa Smith 18:39
So with those two, one to two examples, how did you face fears in those situations? And then what helped you take action in the face of uncertainty, right? Because there’s always going to be that uncertainty. So did you have support from loved ones from colleagues? Did you maybe have mentors? That could be guides to you? Did you use self talk to help get you through that time? What helped you take action in the face of uncertainty? And so that’s the first challenge for you is to answer that question of how have you embraced growth in your life? And then the second question for you is, how can you apply these lessons, right, so what you just did with challenge one, to an area of your life, where you currently have a lot of fear, because that’s the thing about life, fear will always surface it doesn’t mean you’re doing life wrong. It doesn’t mean you lack confidence. It just means you’re living life. And so we’ve got to learn to embrace, embrace growth, even in the face of fear. And so this that second challenge, again, is how can you apply the lessons from challenge one right, of how you’ve embraced growth to an area of your life where you currently have A lot of fear, because we’re always standing on the shore, right? We always need to make the decision, okay? Am I am I going to risk this? Am I going to take this step, and that doesn’t go away. And if you are on a path to growth, it still doesn’t go away.
Dr. Melissa Smith 20:18
The difference between hyper focusing on security needs and growth needs as with security needs, we retreat. And we don’t take on the challenge. But with growth, we take on the challenge, and then we grow in skill, capacity and confidence as we move forward.
Dr. Melissa Smith 20:35
So that’s part two for you. We’re talking about growth needs. I hope you will do that challenge, right. It’s got two pieces. And I would love to hear from you about that. I would love to connect with you on social media. I’m on Instagram at Dr. Melissa Smith. And of course, you can head on over to my website. To check out the show notes with the resources for this episode. I’ll include the link to part one. I’ll also include a link to that great book transcend by Scott Barry Kaufman, where he goes over a bunch of the research on self actualization. You can find all of that by going to my website at www.drmelissasmith.com/128-growthneeds. So one more time, that’s www.drmelissasmith.com/128-growthneeds. I hope that you will accept my challenges there and that you’ll join me next week for part three as we wrap up this series on taking healthy risks in your life. I’m Dr. Melissa Smith. Remember love and work, work nad love. That’s all there is. Until next time, take good care.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai