“Give yourself permission to live a big life. Step into who you are meant to be. Stop playing small. You’re meant for greater things.” – unknown
Once upon a time, there was a twenty-something year old woman. She was passionate, charismatic, and fun; she was independent, opinionated, and driven; she was hardworking and ambitious. She was excited and hopeful about all of the possibilities her future held and went after her goals, one by one. Others were drawn to her energy and passion, and as she worked hard to achieve her goals, inspiring others along the way. Without a doubt, she could be too much for some people, but she didn’t worry about them – they weren’t her people. In fact, she enjoyed being a contrary force and an independent thinker. She had a clear vision for her life, her career, her relationships, and went after it.
At the same time though, she privately battled against debilitating insecurities and automatic negative thoughts and beliefs about herself – she wasn’t “good enough”; “not worthy”; and “who did she think she was anyway” to want success or the life she desired. As she got “bigger”, her deep-rooted fears and beliefs became stronger, pulling her down to keep her in her “place”. Fortunately for her, her clear vision of her life and ambitious nature were strong enough to propel her forward despite those negative beliefs. She especially found her stride in her work and her career flourished.
Then, over time, she began the habit of shrinking and becoming less of who she was meant to be. Those powerful automatic negative habits of mind provided the ideal rationale and justification for her to begin not partaking in her life path. She compromised her dreams and plans to avoid confrontation so others would feel more comfortable. She put her gifts, innate needs, and desires behind the needs of others, not wanting to upset others or deal with the push back. She became a shadow of her true self.
This isn’t a unique story, especially for women. Women have been socially-conditioned to put the needs and desires of others ahead of their own. Once in a relationship, or when children come along, many women put their dreams, desires, and goals on the backburner, sacrificing their innate needs and desires in the “best interests” of the family, conforming (or contorting) into ideals of being the sacrificial wife and mother.
Such was the case with this woman. Not nurturing ourselves or living authentically can trigger our self-protection system, erode our self-esteem, and cause feelings of unhappiness and psychological distress. If you are someone who has felt like you’ve shrunk yourself to live life for the betterment of others, for the family, then you know how uncomfortable and confining it can be to live such a life. When we aren’t living as the best version of ourselves or living to our full potential, we are doing a disservice to ourselves and our loved ones.
So what do we do when we find ourselves in this situation? How do we go about trying to figure out who we are and what we want?
Here are the five steps in the SSPS* to activate yourself:
Self-awareness. Learn about your personality, your strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes. It helps to recognize when you are stressed and how your behaviour changes during such times.
Current state analysis. Reflect on your current state and where your needs are being met, and where they aren’t being met.
Imagine the life you what. Envision, or re-envision, your future state, your dreams and possibilities. Define what it looks and feels like.
Identify your automatic negative habits of mind. Uncover your dysfunctional patterns of behaviour, and; your fears and underlying beliefs and assumptions.
Create a strategy and plan. Identify actions and experiences of how you will move from your current state to your desired future state.
We’re all worthy of the amazing journey of finding our purpose, discovering our passions and, living our most fulfilling life. If you, like this woman, would like to start your journey back to finding yourself again and living more authentically, I’d love to help you. Start by completing the SSPS assessment by contacting me.
Now, it’s your turn.
Do you remember your twenty-something dreams? Have you shrunk yourself for “the betterment of others”? Are you currently living to your fullest potential? Share in the comments.
“We all have an unsuspected reserve of strength inside that emerges when life puts us to the test.” ~ Isabel Allende
This current pandemic has no doubt turned all of our worlds upside down. While “we’re all in this together”, each of us is facing different circumstances and challenges. Some may be worrying about money and job security, the health and safety of themselves or others, or coping with social isolation, homeschooling, working from home, or working in essential services. Each of us will deal with the anxiety associated with our current situation differently. These are truly difficult and uncertain times and they’ve forced us to change how we interact with others in our daily lives, bringing with that a whole other level of challenges. The more we understand ourselves, our triggers, and our personality preferences, the better equipped we’ll be to make healthy choices and respond to what life throws at us more productively.
A good place to start is with understanding how different personalities behave during turbulent times. Carl Jung theorized that we’re born with our personality type preferences and it remains relatively stable throughout one’s life. While I believe that our personality doesn’t change, we are constantly changing and evolving, or devolving into survival mode. This is one of those times that our personalities will be put to the test and can trigger us into survival mode, or into our self-protective system.
Fundamentally, we’re all adaptable and resilient enough, and, as far as the Striving Styles Personality System (SSPS) or Myers-Briggs Personality Types (MBTI) are concerned, I don’t believe there is one personality type that is better equipped to handle the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re all willing and able to cooperate with others and abide by the executive orders that have been put in place. While I think that emotional intelligence is a far better predictor of one’s ability to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic (refer to SSPS for a deeper dive into your self-protective behaviours), the MBTI can offer some valuable insight into the strengths and weaknesses of certain personality traits that might manifest during times like these.
There are four MBTI dichotomies and everyone has a natural preference for one of the two opposites on each of the four dichotomies. They describe our preferences but we use all eight of them. Here are a few general things about the Myers-Briggs personality types and how they may describe how you or others respond to what is happening in our world now.
Introversion vs Extraversion: This is where we get our energy and where we prefer to focus our attention. It may be more difficult for extraverted types to practice social distancing or harder for them to get that social interaction needed to feeds their brains. However, Extraverts might have an edge in this time of social distancing because Extraverts may be more likely to pick up the phone, Facetime people, or organize Zoom parties when they need interaction. While introverted types tend to have or need fewer social interactions than extraverted types, this doesn’t mean that Introverts don’t need social interaction as well. We’re all wired to need other human beings to one extent or another. During periods of stress, it’s important to reach out to others whether you are an Introvert or an Extravert.
Sensing vs Intuition: This describes the way we prefer to take in, gather, and prioritize information. Sensing types are drawn to the details first and are attune to tangible data and facts. Intuitive types are drawn to the big picture and pay attention to general concepts and theories and tend to be future-focused. During the pandemic, a Sensing type might receive information as follows: “we’re in the middle of a pandemic, there’s a stay home order, I have to stay at home, the last time I stayed at home for a long time was when I was sick, my house isn’t clean, etc”. For a Sensing type, it’s just what it is, and there isn’t a hidden meaning in any of this. It’s all about the process of sensation and the mind doesn’t attribute any meaning to any of these sensations.
For an Intuitive type, they receive it as “we’re in the middle of a pandemic, and there’s a stay at home order and I’m going to go stir crazy. I need to find ways to occupy myself at home, I always get like that when I’m at home for too long, why is that? I wonder when we’re going to go back to work, there are so many people getting sick, we have to be careful if we go outside. How is this going to change the world? The difference here is the intuitive response is a web of complex information and a lot of it is intangible and may or may not happen. While sensing types focus on clarity, intuitive types associate ideas with one another. In terms of this Covid-19 pandemic, one potential issue I can see in the Sensing/Intuitive dichotomy is communication. Sensors communicate in a sequential detailed way, so it’s best to use concrete language and facts and be straightforward when speaking to them. Intuitives are more likely to skip over the details and be attuned to impressions or ideas, so focus on the big picture instead of concrete data, and try to speak to their curiosity with ideas or theories.
Thinking vs Feeling: This is the way we evaluate and make decisions. Thinking types tend to make decisions based on objective logic while Feeling types tend to focus on the impact on people and use a values-based approach when deciding. With these two types, there is a fundamental difference in how they experience and express emotions. It’s not about being emotional or moody or anxious and in fact, being a feeler doesn’t mean you are overly emotional, and being a thinker doesn’t mean you’re not emotional at all. It’s about what you prioritize when you’re making a decision. If you’re a thinker, you prioritize impersonal logic, pros and cons, and cause and effect. If you’re a feeler, you prioritize values, morals, and personal principles.
For example, if you’re a Feeling type, you might be soaking up a lot of emotions as the world is going on right now. You may “feel” what other people are going through. Thinkers may appear to respond in an overly objective and straightforward way, devoid of emotions, which just make things worse for the Feeler because the Feeler wants their feelings to be validated. This is hard for Thinkers because feelings aren’t logical.
If you’re a Thinker, a little praise with a Feeler goes a long way. Let them know that they are doing a great job in managing their stress and cite examples if you can. If you’re a Feeler, try to practice not taking things personally and looking at the reality of the situation. It’s going to be helpful during these uncertain times whether you’re a Thinker or a Feeler to work hard to understand and appreciate differences and try to flex your style accordingly.
Judging and Perceiving: This is all about our lifestyle orientation and we orient ourselves to the external world. While Judging types tend to be structured and organized, and very mindful of time, Perceiving types tend to be adaptable and spontaneous. This dichotomy is going to play out in a very big way during these trying times, especially when it comes to working from home. Perceivers may have a harder time sticking to a 9-5 type of work schedule unless you’re already in a structured type of role. Naturally, P’s dislike routine, and let’s not even talk about micromanagement. One positive about working virtually for Perceivers thought is the ability to be more flexible with their schedules, although this could become a problem if the rest of the work team is more structured and follow more of a routine, eg. like if they’re expecting work to be done during regular business hours and they’re getting emails at all hours of the night, this could be a problem. So if you’re a Perceiving type, knowing what the preferred style is for your team is going to be very helpful. If it’s expected that you are available at certain times, set some calendar reminders so that you don’t miss appointments and factor planning into your day. Make sure that you take regular stretch breaks too. And as much as you can, allow time to complete your work when you’re at your best. For J’s it’s a different story. Judging types are very time conscious and they tend to be list-makers and planners. While J’s will likely hunker down, prepare lists and diligently work towards checking off their to-do’s, this disruption that we’re experiencing is most likely harder on them in many ways than it is for Perceivers. Judging types don’t like surprises at all. They’ve got contingency plans for most things but this pandemic has probably thrown a huge curveball to them and it make take them some time to adjust. Another potential issue because J’s are goal-oriented and they want things decided and fixed they may make snap decisions or judgments before they have the needed information to make a properly informed decision. This is very easy to do in highly charged communication situations without the benefit of non-verbal cues such as facial expressions and body language.
Lastly, if you’re like me and crave something positive, you’ll enjoy this YouTube video where Jack Canfield shares 6 reasons to be optimistic about the future. He explains the importance of remembering that for every problem we face as a society, there are many brilliant people around the world working on solutions, and that this should give us a great deal of hope for the future.
Finally, in the words of Dr. Bonnie Henry, “stay calm, be kind, and stay safe”.
Now, it’s your turn.
How have you been coping during this Pandemic? How do you manage your stress? How do you stay positive?
“Always be yourself, retain individuality, listen to the truest part of yourself.” ~ Marilyn Monroe
Do you know what makes you unique? Each of us is born perfectly unique. We can see this unique beauty in babies and children who are happy and free within their own skin. Then over time and as we grow up, social and cultural conditioning, the need to fit in, to get along, to be liked by others slowly erodes our uniqueness and in many ways encourages us to be who we think we should be rather than who we actually are. This experience of being removed from our true self can leave us unsure of ourselves and lacking in confidence, energy, and motivation. It also robs us of the peace that comes from being ourselves and comfortable within our own skin.
“True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.” ~ Brene Brown
Can you think back to a time when you tried to be someone you’re not? Maybe in a new relationship or in a new job you attempted to present yourself in a certain light that didn’t represent who you were. No doubt this left you feeling uncomfortable and unsure. It can also drain your natural energy and draw your awareness away from your grounded self. In contrast, being yourself is the most natural and fulfilling way to walk through your days. It leaves you feeling you energized, inspired, confident, and fulfilled.
3 things you can do to discover what makes you unique
Reflect on yourself as a child. Was there something that you loved or something that you did that in some way has stayed with you? This practice or habit may have changed shape as you’ve become an adult but in its essence, it is still part of who you are. Perhaps it’s a love of drawing, a deep concern for others, or a love of nature. Maybe it’s a sense of adventure, a thirst for knowledge, a love of singing, dancing, or music. Just allow an image idea or feeling to arrive in your mind and heart.
Consider how loved ones describe you. Another way to get in touch with your uniqueness is to reflect on how others see you. How have loved ones described you? Perhaps in birthday cards, during a speech, or a conversation. If you haven’t experienced this in words, just imagine what friends and family love about you.
Take a personality/strengths assessment. They will help you to define yourself more clearly. I happen to love personality assessments of any kind and find them incredibly insightful in understanding what makes us tick, including our behaviour, how we work the best, and what motivates us. There are many available, some of the most common are Myers-Briggs, Enneagram, Strengthsfinder, Striving Styles, and many others. I work with the Striving Styles because it helps us understand our brain, our personality traits, as well as drivers of human behaviour, motivations, fears while providing a comprehensive approach to development.
We all know that life is full of ups and downs, moments of great joy and great difficulty. Throughout our life we are presented with all sorts of situations that can make it difficult to live our deepest values and share our unique self, to remain awake and aware. Family breakdown, a stressful work situation, health issues, financial troubles, or just a general sense of tiredness and overwhelm all make living our values and sharing our uniqueness hard. We can feel tempted to fall back in a daze of modern-day busyness and old behavioural patterns and habits. During these challenging times, we can draw upon our confidence and sense of self through self-awareness and being mindfully present. Through this connection, we can once again reconnect with our values, our purpose and, our uniqueness.
In this funny and insightful Ted Talk, Brian Little dissects the differences between introverts and extroverts and explains why your personality may be more malleable than you think.
Now, it’s your turn.
What are your unique qualities? Have you completed a personality assessment? What did you learn about yourself? Share in the comments below.
“Before anything else, find yourself. Be yourself. Love yourself.” ~ Anonymous
With Valentines in mind, it seemed fitting to talk about love and relationships. What I’ve learned from being married for over 25 years, and absolutely know to be true, is that marriage can be hard, but if we want to have a healthy, satisfying, mutually respectful relationship, both partners really need to know, value, and love themselves first. Without this self-awareness, couples stay stuck in negative relationships patterns of blame and victimhood (see previous post). If you desire a satisfying, healthly relationship, then you need to be a whole, well-rounded person with a strong sense of who you are.
I’m often asked if certain Striving Styles or Myers-Briggs personality types (click here to learn about your personality) are more compatible as romantic partners. While certain personalities are likely to be more compatible than others, personality is only one factor. Our personality influences all aspects of our life, including career choice, health status, and lifestyle, all of which contribute to our similarities with our partners. However, our upbringing, our values, our self-awareness, and emotional well-being will likely have a greater influence on our overall relationship success and satisfaction.
While it may be difficult to pinpoint a single factor that will make you and partner right for each other, we do know that when both partners are living more from their self-actualized systems, they have a greater chance of relationship satisfaction. Regardless of personality type, your overall happiness stems from the extent to which you truly understand yourself, and whether you regularly live more honestly and authentically in your day-to-day life. In fact, all of your relationships will improve when you focus on improving yourself. Understanding your Striving Styles relationship style (learn about yours here), your innate needs and strengths, your self-protective behaviours, your weaknesses, and managing your triggers, will benefit everyone in your life.
So, imagine what would happen if BOTH partners invested the time to understand themselves, how they are each uniquely wired! And, what if they learned to appreciate and value each other’s strengths rather than wasting time and energy criticizing their differences! Despite individual personality type, when both partners consciously shift to self-actualizing behaviours, their chance of having a more healthy, satisfying, thus successful relationship, significantly improve.
“The happiest couples never have the same character. They have the best understanding of their differences.” Anonymous
Relationship satisfaction improves when you understand and learn how to get your needs met through communication, conflict, romance and intimacy. Knowing your Striving Style will:
give you much-needed insight into your relationship strengths,
help you understand how your inner impulses, attitudes and behaviours influence your relationship style,
build awareness of your innate relationship needs that drive your behaviour in relationships,
identify what triggers or activates your self-protective behaviours in relationship,
help you understand how to create the conditions in your relationships in which you are most likely to thrive.
When you know your relationship style, you will understand how your Striving Style behaves in relationships, not only when self-actualizing, but when being self-protective. You will learn how to consciously shift to self-actualizing behaviours, negotiate to get your needs met and become who you are meant to be.
Two of my clients, K & G, a couple married now 30 years, completed my This is You workshop and coaching program. Even though the workshop is focused on learning about yourself, my clients decided to participate together during a transitional time in their life and marriage. By participating together, they not only learned about themselves, they gained a deeper appreciation of each other’s differences, needs, and unique gifts. Here’s what they had to say about it:
“we were provided the knowledge and insight of our individual unique personalities and the tools and framework to navigate to be the best versions of ourselves. We have a good awareness of why and what aids in us living a self-actualized state vs. why and what triggers ourselves into an unhealthy self-protective state. Having this knowledge and the tools has deepened our relationship to appreciate our uniqueness in each other and therefore helps build each other up rather than tear down. I can honestly say, it has been life-changing!” ~ K
“having been married to my wife for 29 years, one would think we would know each other's personalities inside and out, not so. We would argue and set each other off by triggering emotions that could end up being destructive. The striving styles identifies those triggers and how to prevent them. This is huge for the harmony of our relationship. Our 29 year relationship with my wife is back on track.” ~ G
While it can be way easier to observe, notice, judge, and criticize others behaviours, especially our partners, a couple can significantly improve their relationship when they build self-awareness and stay focused on their own behaviours, needs, triggers, and personal improvement. Valuing and appreciating each other, not just your similarities, but also your differences, will strengthen your relationship. We all know how hard it can be to change ourselves, so why do we think we can change our partners!
If you are traveling a road together, it’s so much better to be pulling in the same direction. The secret is to become really curious about your partner, and as they talk about their needs, or even their frustrations, just listen. And, now that K & G have a deeper understanding of themselves, have a greater awareness of their differences, and are staying focused on their own behaviour, they are living proof that it’s possible to make a relationship work with any combo of personalities and tendencies. And, really, what’s a better motivation to improve and better ourselves than love?
This TedX talk is so good if you’re looking to improve your relationship habits!
Now, it’s your turn.
What are your relationship needs? Do you know what triggers you in your relationships? What conditions are key to making you thrive in your relationship? How are you and your partner different? What differences do you love and appreciate the most in your partner? Which ones annoy you the most? Leave your comments below.
“Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about un-becoming everything that isn’t really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.” ~ Paulo Coelho
Do you know who you are? What your unique gifts are? Each of us are born perfectly unique. We can see this unique beauty in babies and children who are happy and free within their own skin. Then, over time and as we grow up, social and cultural conditioning, the need to fit in, to get along, and to be liked by others, slowly erodes our uniqueness, and in many ways, encourages us to be who we think we should be rather than who we actually are. This experience of being removed from our true self can leave us unsure of ourselves and lacking in confidence, energy and motivation. It can also rob us of the peace that comes from being ourselves and being comfortable in our own skin.
Knowing who you are meant to be starts with knowing what you are born as. Too often people try to figure out what they are meant to do without having any idea about who they really are. This disconnect causes them to look outside of themselves for answers to questions that can only be answered from within. It also causes us to strive to be what others expect of us and to give up on ourselves and instead try to live up to an ideal, to be the person that we think we should be, rather than based on who we authentically are.
We’re are all driven by powerful, instinctual needs that we’ve had since birth – our predominant style or Striving Style (SSPS). These needs are the source of our motivation for our behaviour, social interaction, and influence how we behave and how we feel about ourselves. When our predominant need is met, we are poised for growth and development.
However, when our predominant needs are not being met, we will feel threatened, frightened or anxious, leading to self-protective or survival behaviours. Fear and anxiety override rational thought which will profoundly influence our behaviour, often without our awareness, thus undermining our success and effectiveness.
Have you ever got to the end of the day and felt like somehow your day was hijacked? Or maybe you’ve spent to much time reacting, caught up in some drama or just consumed with a sense of busyness. Do you ever feel uneasy, or have a quiet of rumbling deep inside that something isn’t right. This means you are living out of your self-protective systems. When I have a day (or week) like this I’ll reflect on the predominant needs of my striving style and make a plan on how I need to shift out of my self-protective system. If you’re unaware of your predominant needs you will be at the mercy of your unconscious impulses, emotions and negative habits of mind, leading to reactive, non-productive behaviour, increased emotionality, and an inability to focus on your goals.
The SSPS gets to the heart of the human experience and helps you identify what you need to feel secure and psychologically stable so you can grow and develop. As well, it provides you with insight into the consequences when you don’t get your predominant needs met. The SSPS doesn’t provide a laundry list of strengths and weaknesses but rather, it takes into account the complexity of your brain’s functioning and its impact on your personality.
Coming to understand yourself, recognizing and expressing your uniqueness and who you really are will make you feel more creative, confident, energized and inspired. Your personality, your unique history and story is like no one else’s. Living a life with authenticity, meaning and purpose is ultimately what a happy and fulfilled life looks like.
I love this beautiful (and fitting) song that I have currently playing on repeat. Enjoy!
Now, it’s your turn.
Think about a time recently that you felt really happy and content, like in that moment you had everything you needed. Who was there? What were you doing? How did you feel when you were in this moment of happiness?
How about a time that you felt inspired motivated or purposeful. When you felt you were focused, in the zone. How did it feel to be inspired in this way?
What about a time when you felt moved by something more- a beautiful sunset, a night sky, the ocean an overwhelming experience of love or compassion.
“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best you are capable of becoming.” ~ John Wooden
The short answer is no. There is not one particular Myers-Briggs (MBTI) personality type that is directly correlated to successful outcomes. No one type is better than another and each type have their own unique strengths, weaknesses and gifts. For example, an INTJ is not any more likely to be successful than an ESFP. In addition, there is so much more to you than your type such as your upbringing environment, your unique tastes and traits that make you a unique individual. No matter what personality type we are born with, we all have the ability to be successful. While success is somewhat subjective to the individual, I think it’s described best as those who achieve their goals or live in alignment with their life vision and values.
So what does determine your success? Ultimately, it is your habits, mindset, and utilizing the capabilities of your full brain that will determine your success.
That said, knowing and understanding your personality type, your strengths, your preferred working styles, will absolutely contribute to your personal and professional success. While on its own it, knowing your type won’t impact success or performance outcomes, it is a key first step in developing self-awareness which is an important and foundational factor related to your overall success.
One of the most beneficial outcomes of learning about personality type is you will feel understood. It will also help you improve relationships and become a better communicator with people who process things differently than you do, and reduce conflict both at home and at work.
Your MBTI describes your unique characteristics, how you process information, your preferences, and how you interact with the world. Each personality type has a dominant mental process and an inferior mental process, and everyone has a natural preference for one of the two opposites. Our inferior processes tend to be the sources of many of our weaknesses and embarrassments while our dominant processes tend to be easier for us to master and use effectively. The best way to explains this is that we all have a preferred hand to write with which is easier for us, but that doesn’t mean we never use the other hand. For example, if you’re right-handed and you suddenly try to switch to writing with your left hand you could do it, but it would take a log more time and it would look a lot sloppier.
Here is a brief explanation of the MBTI:
There are four MBTI dichotomies:
Introversion (I) or Extraversion (E) describes where you get your energy. Extroverts gain energy from interaction with the outside world while Introverts gain energy from pondering their thoughts
Intuitive (N) or Sensing (S) describes how you gather information. Intuitives focus on the abstract, theoretical, and “unseen” while Sensors focus on the concrete, literal, and real details of the world around them and their experience with it.
Thinking (T) or Feeling (F) describes how you make decisions. Thinking types “step outside” of a decision to consider the logic, pros and cons, and the truth of a situation. Feeling types “step inside” a decision to consider how it will impact the people involved, whether harmony will be maintained, and whether the decisions aligns with their values
Judging (J) or Perceiving (P) describes how you interact with the outside world. Judging types like to have a schedule and a plan. They like to get all their work done before “playing”. Perceiving types like to mix work and play, and have an open-ended, spontaneous schedule. They like to stay open for new opportunities and inspiration.
Everyone has a natural preference for one of the two opposites on each of the four dichotomies.
They describe preferences
There is no right or wrong
You use all 8 of the preferences, but you prefer four
Sometimes how we are at home, at work, alter our personalities to fit that environment.
*Contact me if you would like to know your MBTI personality type
While understanding your personality type is incredibly insightful in knowing our strengths and development areas, this alone will not help you achieve your goals, or ultimately determine your success. It is learning what to do with that knowledge, and how to go about making changes in our life so we can live more fully that will make us successful.
Learning how to utilize and develop your “full” brain, while uncovering and replacing your old stories and habits of mind that no longer serve you with those that are more in line with supporting your best selves, starts first with self-awareness. However, this is just the first step because then we need to “do the work”. This is the hard stuff.
This is why I think the Striving Styles Personality System (SSPS) is so incredibly effective and offers a more comprehensive development process. It provides a systematic approach to building self-awareness and emotional intelligence for those who want to achieve personal goals and reach their full potential.
The SSPS is an evolution of Carl Jung’s research on personality type and the MBTI. While I have extensively used and worked with the MBTI in organizations, and still believe the MBTI is a very effective tool when integrated into leadership and employee development programs, for improving teams, coaching individuals, and career planning, it doesn’t identify what is getting in the way of achieving our potential.
The SSPS development process helps us to examine our mindset and uncovers those negative habits of mind, including your shadow fears, beliefs, and triggers, that ultimately undermine your efforts, ambitions and potential. It helps us understand how our brains are organized and hardwired, as well as the specific needs and emotions that drive your behaviour. It helps identify behavioural patterns we developed as children that no longer serve us. It offers a deeper understanding of your predominant style, your major psychological needs and fears that are associated with your style, and your associate styles, so you can look at some of the things that might be getting in YOUR way of achieving your potential.
The SSPS is a development tool that offers a way of understanding ourselves, which helps us be able to answer the questions “who are we meant to be?” and what is it that is getting in the way of achieving our full potential.
Your success will be determined by getting clear on what you want in your life and how you want to show up for yourself and others, by valuing your unique strengths and your quirks, and by developing good habits, and developing a positive mindset. As usual, I like Maya Angelou definition of success:
“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” ~ Maya Angelou
As a bonus, here are some other factors will determine your success:
Have a growth mindset, defined by Carol Dweck as “people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.”
Get clear on what you want in your life and what does it looks like (1 year, 5 years, 10 years). Your vision statement should describe where you are going to be, and the values you will use to get you there.
Know your “why” of your vision because it is your ultimate motivator and is the one the thing that will inspire you and those around you.
Utilize meta-habits, or those foundational habits that enhance your ability to adopt other habits, such as exercise, self-knowledge, meditation, quality sleep, etc.
Believe that you have self-determination, the belief that you have control over your choices and your life.
Photo source: Susan Wheeler (pink rose in my garden, North Vancouver, BC)