Welcome back to the series on Human Design and Projection.
So far in this series, I covered what projection is and why it isn’t the same as psychological projection in most Human Design contexts. I talked about how the projector aura works.
And, in the last post, I covered the Human Design Channel types (Projected, Generated, Manifesting Generated, and Manifested) and EVERYONE, not just projectors, needs recognition.
With projected energy being over 60% of the chart, recognition is a core need of what it means to be Human.
Based on the mechanics of the channel types alone, I’d personally say that everyone has a need for recognition (projected), sustenance (generated), and expression (manifested).
I would not say those three sum up all of the core human needs but they are definitely a beautiful big picture view. Core human needs are a much bigger topic than I could cover today. In fact, I used to teach an entire four month program about them.
For now, in this post, we will discuss the practical side of the need for recognition and the secret to feeling seen, heard, and valued for your unique contribution.
But first, let’s explore the word need.
Because remember, words are spells. Your word is your wand.
What is a need?
Culturally speaking, not just in the Human Design space, the word need is used quite liberally. It has become a subjective word that means all sorts of things, depending on who you are talking to.
People often describe their day-to-day plans as needs.
I need to get my hair cut. I need to go to Target. I need to get there before 10 AM.
In Human Design, strategy and authority are often described as needs.
You need to wait for recognition.
You need to inform others.
You need to ride your wave.
I am also guilty of speaking that way, which I am becoming more mindful about.
Nonetheless, needs and strategies are not the same thing.
Merriam-Webster says that a need is a physiological or psychological requirement for the well-being of an organism.
A person doesn’t need to get their hair cut; a cute do is not a true requirement.
The thing that motivates them to get their hair cut – such as belonging, respect, or recognition – is the need. The haircut is just a single strategy for getting those needs met.
And a strategy is the art of devising or employing plans or stratagems toward a goal. (A stratagem is a clever trick, btw. Who knew?)
A need is a requirement, and a strategy is a plan of action for getting those needs met.
So, in the context of projected gates and channels, the need is recognition and the strategy is to wait to be invited.
In other words, the Human Design projected strategy of waiting is not the need, it is one way to approach getting the need for recognition met.
Human Design Strategies Are Not Requirements
In Human Design, your type + strategy are tools you can use toward your aim of satisfaction, success, peace, and delight. They are ways to get the needs for recognition, sustenance, and expression met.
(I explain your type + strategy in the Human Design Map.)
But the Human Design strategy itself is not a requirement.
You can create well-being without following your strategy. You can meet your needs for recognition, sustenance, and expression in a myriad of ways.
And your emotional signature (satisfaction, success, peace, and delight) gives you a big picture clue to where you are in relation to your needs. (I explain your emotional signature in your Human Design Map.)
In fact, there are people worldwide who are satisfied, successful, peaceful, and delighted with life, having never known anything about their design. AND (this is the important part) they didn’t even live according to their prescribed strategy.
And that is because Human Design is just a door. It is not a destination.
Your Human Design chart gives you focus in your exploration of purpose, meaning, and the value of your unique contribution in the world. It gives you a path back to your center.
But you do not “need” to “live your design” to create meaning, be well, and contribute to the world. But if your needs for recognition, expression, and sustenance are not met, you absolutely will not thrive.
Understanding and experimenting with your Human Design is a way, not the way, for diving into that journey. It is a map you can use, and in my experience, cuts the self-discovery process time by years, if not decades.
Your Human Design strategy offers clues for action plans, a starting point, and an initial experiment. But how those experiments will shake out in the real world will be different for everyone.
As a side note, to be honest, I actually think it is our incarnation cross that offers the most practical action. But, that is a whole other can of worms.
That said, what works for one Generator to create satisfaction will not work for another. The same goes for Projector success, Manifestor peace, and Reflector delight.
Similar to how it is important to understand the difference between Human Design mechanics versus Human Design interpretation, It is important to understand the difference between needs and strategies.
When we equate strategies (plans) with needs (requirements) realm, we strip away our autonomy and free will.
Assuming that our best laid plans are the only way to meet our needs, we become attached to life going a certain way. And when it doesn’t shake out like that, we crumble into a pit of shame and despair.
Life itself becomes a weapon against our very humanity. And it really does not have to be that way.
You are wired for thriving. And embracing your humanity is part of the path.
Speaking of our humanity…
Before moving on, I want to point out something else that is really important to understand.
In our current culture, as I briefly mentioned in the post about projected channels, the word need is often bound up in codependency. And, quite sadly, a lot of the traditional Human Design interpretation of mechanics is laced with codependency.
Codependency, Needs, And Human Design
A revisit to our friend Merriam-Webster tells us that codependency is the dependence on the needs of or on control by another.
When relationships are guided by codependency, we hear people say things like…
They hurt my feelings.
As long as you are happy, I’m happy.
You need to do this so that I can be happy.
These types of dynamics are rooted in disempowered tribal circuitry and make other people responsible for our well-being, particularly our emotional well-being.
There are often numerable boundary issues, authoritarian and control hierarchies, and most often rely on the fawn response (aka shame) for compliance.
Codependency Versus Interdependence (An example using Human Design)
In the context of Human Design, subtle codependency might look like a Generator telling a projector that they “need” to sit in the corner and be quiet until they are invited to speak. And then reprimanding them if they do not comply, telling them that they are not recognized or invited to offer insight.
Did you know there are whole-ass Human Design conferences, put on by Generators, where the rule for projectors is to sit in the corner and be quiet? (UGH.)
Do not be fooled. That is codependency hidden under the guise of empowerment.
When you need to control someone else’s behavior in order for you to feel a certain way, that is unhealthy attachment and codependency.
And I am not bashing Generators here. I love Generators. There is nothing like basking in their soft, warm glow of satisfaction.
This is just one of the more blatant ways I’ve seen this play out in the Human Design space. It often plays out in family dynamics, groups, and communities, as well.
Either way, the Generator, unconscious of their codependent patterns, is basically saying:
You make me uncomfortable with your laser beam eyes. I need you to bend to my will so I don’t have to manage my boundaries or take care of myself.
This isn’t just disempowering for the Projector. It is disempowering for the Generator, too. The Generator is placing the responsibility of their well-being onto the behavior of the Projector and are calling it boundaries.
The trouble is, we cannot actually control others!
And, as Human Design gate 37 shows us, boundaries are not about controlling other people’s behavior. Boundaries are the containers we hold for ourselves, how we align our actions with our values, and what we will do in specific situations to ensure our own well-being.
If the Generator feels uncomfortable and does not want to be in a situation, it is on them to take care of themselves. They are responsible for their own sustenance. The projector is in no way responsible for them.
For that matter, The projector is responsible for their behavior and well-being, too. It is on them to only go into spaces where they are free to be themselves.
At the end of the day, in any situation where we believe that others need to behave a certain way for the sake of our well-being, we are setting up a very disempowering lose-lose. We surrender the power of our inner state and set the other person up to fail.
No one succeeds at a losing game.
Now, I am not saying go around being an asshole for shits and giggles. And I am not saying that we shouldn’t be clear about our preferences.
What I am saying, though, is that we need to switch our mindset from one of codependency to interdependence.
As humans, we do have needs and other people play a vital role in some of our needs being met. And a huge part of our development as humans is becoming less dependent on others – but not completely independent, either.
Our autonomy begins to form when we are toddlers and becomes stronger and stronger as we age.
And it means that we become aware of our needs – separate from others – and begin to consciously create plans (aka strategies) for getting those needs met.
Meeting your needs in a healthy way cannot include controlling others as part of the strategy. Because, remember, you cannot actually control others.
You can, however, choose the kinds of relationships you are a part of.
And choosing to be a part of relationships where the other person genuinely wants to do something to meet one of your needs is what it means to be interdependent. It also means surrounding yourself with a variety of people who can assist you in meeting various needs.
There will be no one single person who can be all things to you and it is on you to ensure you are surrounded by the “right” people.
With that in mind, let’s explore getting the need for recognition met.
What it Really Means to “NEED” Recognition
To me, as a Projector, the need for recognition is where things get really interesting and a bit paradoxical.
When we understand the mechanics of the Projector aura and projected gates and channels, it becomes clear that projected insight and guidance must be received by another person to have value. When insight and guidance falls on deaf ears, it is because there is no value in it for the person receiving it.
In this way, projected energy needs recognition and invitation from someone else in order to shine.
It isn’t like, say, food. You could go out into the wilderness to hunt and forage for food. You could absolutely do that alone. You might not want to but you could. That need is not dependent on another person because it is sacral.
Projected energy does not work that way; it needs someone to receive it.
The problem is that we often create codependent meaning out of a lack of receptivity and recognition – it becomes “evidence” that, as a human being, we have no value.
Someone rejecting our greatest gifts may be interpreted as:
I have nothing to offer the world.
No one wants me.
I have no purpose.
I should sit in the corner and be quiet.
But none of those things are actually true; they are an interpretation that is based in a codependent perspective.
The problem is the attachment to specific people receiving your gifts.
And, the solution is to hold the paradox of both/and.
To those specific people, what you have to offer has no value. For a myriad of reasons, they do not want it and cannot receive it.
AND, that is actually quite good to know because now you can stop wasting your energy.
Now, you get to lean into trust that there are absolutely people in the world who will find your guidance and insight completely invaluable. There are people all over the world praying for the insight that you have.
The channel of the Alpha is a GREAT example of what I mean here.
I have the full channel of the Alpha. And in a fun twist of fate, both gates are in my Saturn placements. Good times.
Anyway, the very clear thing about the highest expression of the Alpha channel is that the Alpha’s leadership is democratic; they must be “voted in” to lead effectively.
Humans always prefer leaders they have chosen rather than leaders who elected themselves. We tend to resent anyone who attempts to lead us without our permission. Some of us resent anyone who tries to lead us at all.
And the “leader” in that situation probably feels like shit. They are most likely steeped in fear, doubt, and self-loathing. They probably feel bitter AF.
All those “low” frequency expressions of said leader is because the need for recognition is not actually being met.
And they are using a misguided strategy (voting themselves in) in an attempt to meet that need. They are trying to force the democratic process by “making” others see their leadership.
They believe (aka act as if) that other people are responsible for meeting their needs and that they need to manipulate others into seeing them.
Just like in Human Design, we often think that our strategy is about what we need to do for others or what we need to get from others in order to thrive.
But, even in the case of recognition, it doesn’t actually work that way.
Remember, other people are not responsible for meeting our needs.
This begs the question…
How do we meet our needs for recognition without codependency?
This will be one of those things that sounds over-simplified at first. And I promise that I’m not going to just give you the “the simple answer” and bounce.
So hang with me here.
The simple answer is this…
We meet our needs for recognition, without codependency, by recognizing ourselves first.
And that is true no matter your Human Design type.
Whether you have a projector aura with just one defined projected channel, a Generator with six Projected channels, or someone with a ton of hanging projected gates, you meet your needs for recognition the same way you meet any need in a healthy way.
You meet your needs by taking 100% responsibility for them.
And through that responsibility, you align yourself with the people that want to give exactly what you want to get.
You create win-win scenarios for yourself, where no-one involved has to sacrifice their authenticity to please the other.
You strip the need down to its core – in this case, recognition – and you own it.
You stop denying the deep longing for it. You no longer pretend that you are above it.
You remind yourself of your sheer humanity.
You want to feel seen, heard and recognized for your contribution. And that you shine brightest when surrounded by people who appreciate and value your way of being.
Period. Good to know.
And nothing to be ashamed of.
Don’t beat yourself up for it. Don’t make yourself wrong for it. And stop giving your power to others.
Instead, focus on creating ways of being in the world that honors what you need, just the way you need it.
You honor all your parts.
This is the heart of wholeness (gate 18 vibes!)
Meeting The Need for Recognition IRL
Let’s say that you have the 1-8 channel and are an artist.
By paying attention to the patterns in your life and using your Human Design to give voice to those patterns, you may realize that you have a need to be seen for your beautiful creative contribution.
(You’ll learn about all the channels inside the Human Design Map portal.)
You have a beautiful painting you want to sell and are desperate for others to see the beauty in what you’ve created.
You visit ten random galleries, seven coffee shops, and 3 boutiques, trying to convince them that your art is worthy of their walls.
They all say no.
This is your make or break moment. It is your moment to make an aligned choice.
You can fall into the codependent poor pitiful me, no one wants what I have flavor of suffering. Never to share your art again.
You use it as a catalyst to go within and recognize yourself and the value of your contribution on an even deeper level.
You stop giving your power away to people who, for whatever reason, just don’t see you and your art how you crave to be seen.
Remember from the Projector aura post in this series recognition isn’t personal. It is karmic. It isn’t about you. Or them. It is just karma taking shape.
And when you believe someone who doesn’t see you should or that your well-being depends on those people, you stay trapped in the codependent cycle. And your need for recognition goes unmet.
So, instead of all that outdated bullshit, you go within and get clarity on your contribution’s genius. You drop the judgment of yourself, and you get curious instead.
You ask yourself powerful questions like…
What do I really love and value about this painting?
What place in my soul did this painting come from? Why does it matter to me?
Why is this painting magical AF and why is it actually priceless?
What kind of person would ADORE this? Who is out there right now, searching for this exact piece of art?
And why do they want it so bad? What will it bring to their lives that is missing right now?
What will this painting symbolize to them, and how much meaning have they already infused into it?
Where can I connect with the people who already value my art style?
You start to recognize, on purpose, why the world needs this art. And why the world needs it right now. And why they need it from you specifically.
Your aura becomes flooded with recognition. You see yourself clearly and it radiates like a thousand suns.
And this gives you new energy to take action. It becomes the fuel to keep going.
You are now prioritizing your need for recognition in a way you simply can’t when you think it is up to someone else.
Maybe you start looking for galleries geared toward someone who ALREADY finds your painting style valuable. You go to parties, festivals, and other such events where you can truly connect with those people. You are excited to talk about your process and the meaning your art holds for you.
You put yourself in situations where you can be recognized. You surround yourself with people who can’t wait to see the next thing you make. You let people love the shit out of you, just for you being you.
And you stop putting yourself in situations where you already know that people are not receptive to your genius. When it becomes clear that your insight, guidance, or contribution isn’t valued, you get the fuck out of dodge.
You stop settling for scraps and open yourself up to the feast.
You become rooted, knowing you matter and owning the value of your way of seeing the world.
In turn, you show up differently. Your energy is different. You are the flame for the moth.
And, as if by magic, you meet that person who has been searching for your exact painting. They tell you about the synchronicity of how it all went down for them. They are delighted to pay your price and even whisper that you aren’t charging enough.
You are flooded with success.
But the real beauty isn’t what they are doing.
It is that you set your life up in a way that draws the right people to you instead of just hoping and praying that someone else will validate your existence.
You become the embodiment of success.
You don’t wait in the corner, twiddling your thumbs.
You wait for the people who are hungry for your exact flavor of genius. And you allow yourself to be seen for exactly what you offer.
Life is not meant to be one and done. The game is forgetting and remembering.
So, even with a deep understanding of this transformative process, you will lose your way. You will forget. You will go back to spaces where the people don’t value what you have to offer. You will feel bitter.
And nothing has gone wrong.
You revisit the questions. You reconnect with the part of you that already knows. You begin to look for the evidence that already exists.
You work through the shadows that are afraid to be seen and tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t. You let go of the story that you shouldn’t be so full of yourself or that you are just a cocky ass-hole. And you let go of the story that no one wants what you have to offer.
You meet those parts of yourself with love. You learn to value them, too. And you come back even stronger than before.
(You’ll learn how to do this – step-by-step – inside the Human Design Map portal.)
I am not saying this is easy. This work is for the brave-hearts, the wild rebels, and the ones who are ready to do the work it takes to make their most valuable contribution in the world.
And that starts with you going first. You seeing you. You owning the fuck out of your genius. No apologies or toning down.
You are the one.
That’s a Wrap on Feeling Seen, Heard, and Recognized
At this point in the Human Design and Projection series, we have covered the parts of Human Design that are unrelated to psychological projection – the projector aura and projected channels. You’ve come to understand that, in these contexts, projection is about SEEING the other with crystalline clarity and making what you SEE big enough that the other person can’t unsee it.
In the next post in this series, I’m going to start digging into the parts of Human Design that do relate to psychological projection. And you won’t want to miss those — I’ll even be talking about the elusive 2027 transition.
In the meantime, grab your map and use the resources in the portal (including unlimited Q + A with me and my team) to start making your need for recognition front and center.