Use Feelings to Identify Needs.

If you’ve ever been curious about the connection between FEELINGS and NEEDS, try this.


Jot down what you’re feeling this moment. Reference anything – relationships, work, fitness, future plans. Whatever is alive for you right now – take a feelings inventory.

Need some prompts?  Here are 16 common emotions, sorted as Negative and Positive.


  • Angry
  • Anxious
  • Afraid
  • Ashamed
  • Disconnected
  • Disgusted
  • Drained
  • Sad


  • Confident
  • Connected
  • Engaged
  • Excited
  • Grateful
  • Peaceful
  • Happy
  • Surprized

OK – make your list.

Bet you noted more than one feeling! Here’s my list, right now:

  • Frustrated
  • Anxious
  • Jealous
  • Excited
  • Hopeful
  • Sad
  • Intrigued

“So what?”

Here’s the magic.

With Questions 2 and 3 I’ll show you how to use your feelings/emotions to help identify what you need in this moment, even though your conscious mind might be clueless.


Of the feelings you just identified, there’ll be some you’ll want to keep feeling. For me that’s excited, hopeful, intrigued and sad. I don’t mind sad. It motivates me to keep trying to make the world a better place. It’s an old friend.

The other feelings you possibly want to transform or not feel. For me that’s frustrated, anxious & jealous.

Take any one of the feelings you want to transform and ask ~

“What feeling would I prefer to have?”

Take my feeling of “frustrated” as an example.

Q ~ In the face of feeling frustrated, what feeling(s) would I prefer to have?

A ~ Flow, inspiration, audacity, faith, confidence

Nearly done – stay with me here. Soon you’ll be able to connect your feelings and needs in a flash, but I want to slow it down to show you how.

Now we’re ready for ~

Ask ~

“Now that I know I’m feeling ____________, and I’ve identified I’d rather be feeling ______________ , what do I need to get me there?”

For me this looks like ~

Now that I know I’m feeling frustrated, and I’ve identified I’d rather be feeling flow, inspiration, audacity, faith & confidence, what do I need to get me there?

Here’s my free-association response ~

I need to live audaciously. I need to do one thing out of my comfort zone each day. I need to take big, fat risks and stop hiding behind needing things to be perfect. I need to be OK with failure. I need to leave frustration because it is keeping me safely stuck!

Huh! My conscious mind did not know this. I was thinking caution, more research, more time, less risk. But apparently my emotional body has a whole other plan!  I’ve moved from feeling vaguely upset and stuck in a project, to a forward momentum action plan. My feelings pointed me toward what I need. OK – now I’m intrigued to see what happens when I work with anxiety and jealousy!

Might this work for you?

5 thoughts on “Use Feelings to Identify Needs.

  1. gemmautting Post author

    Yes, it is a bit sneaky/giggly. “Body mind” seems to offer up way funner suggestions than “Brain mind.” For me anyway. Love your language Lisa, as usual.

  2. Pingback: “I Feel So Bad!” | Gemma Utting ~ Relationship Therapy

  3. Pingback: “I Feel Like You Should..” | Gemma Utting ~ Relationship Therapy

  4. Pingback: Respond, Don’t React | Gemma Utting ~ Relationship Therapy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s