We all have the same 5 core needs, and these impact how we parent and build relationships.

Dr. Kathy Koch is a world-renowned author, speaker, and founder of Celebrate Kids, Inc. She’s the author of the book Finding Authentic Hope and Wholeness.

“When we are healthy in these 5 ways – relationships are healthier.”

These 5 core needs can be pictured as a pyramid. The top of the pyramid can’t grow if the bottom of the pyramid is crumbling or in question.


The first question we all have is: who can I trust?

“We should not place our security in the quality of our cell signal. We should not place our security in the number of friends we have on Facebook. It’s not a quantity issue, it’s a quality issue. Do I have men, woman, peers who are trustworthy truth talkers who are speaking into my life.”


Our identity is linked to where we find security.

“I believe that if you know who you can trust, you’re more likely to know who you are. If you have no one trustworthy speaking into your life, you’re going to probably be more of a wishy-washy, peak-and-valley person who doesn’t really have more of a consistency, more of a confidence in knowing who they are.”

Identity answers the question of who am I not who was I.


Belonging helps us answer the question regarding who wants me. 

“If I know my strengths and my passions, and I’ve become trustworthy and my word matters, then guess what? My relationships are going to be stronger.

Inversely, if our identity is weak or negative, we will struggle to find belonging.

“If all the things I know about myself are what I cannot do because that’s all I’ve ever been told in my life — then I enter into those relationships knowing what I can’t do, and I don’t know how to connect with people.”


Our purpose is rooted in the first three needs.

“If I know who I can serve, and I know who I am, and I have trustworthy relationships and I have security, then I’m more likely to believe I’m alive on purpose with purpose and that I was created with good intent and there is something that I can do.”

Purpose gives answer to why we are alive.


Competence, the tip of the pyramid, answers the question about what we do well. Those who have plateaued or are struggling with apathy, are those who have fractured foundations of competence.

“We were not created to do things perfectly, although the culture might suggest that’s the case – that’s a lie. We were created to do things well. I believe that if you know your purpose, you’ll be more motivated to find your competence, and you will know what competence you need.”

Highlight: Meeting your 5 core needs

Finding authentic hope and wholeness