The experience of getting feedback through the Life Styles Inventory 1 (LSI 1) started a life changing journey for me. I came to realise that the way I described myself, the way I spoke to myself was the key to my happiness. Appreciating my innate worth was far more liberating than asking myself to behave in a certain way.

The way we describe ourselves in the LSI 1 reveals the relationship we have with ourselves. This relationship can be kind and loving, indifferent and dismissive, or critical and coercing. We know well enough that the way we treat other people either brings out the best in them or makes them feel inadequate and fearful. Parents who want their children to be happy and achieving foster this by caring, listening and encouraging and by spending time with them. We would be horrified to think we might be causing feelings of abandonment or anxiety in the way we speak to children or others.

And yet our responses in the LSI 1 suggest that often we don't pay as much attention to how we are speaking to ourselves and the potentially limiting effect of our self description.

Here are some examples of how our LSI 1 might play out:

If we score ourselves high for 'unique and independent in thought', an item in Self Actualising (a Constructive style), we are likely to encourage ourselves to think and speak our truth with confidence and trust. If we score ourselves high for 'needs to be liked by everyone', an item in Approval (a Passive Defensive style), we are likely to be asking ourselves to modify our behaviours to achieve this goal at the expense of our innate creative ability. If we score ourselves high for 'always has to be right', an item in Competitive (an Aggressive Defensive style), we are likely to put pressure on ourselves to be right rather than trusting in what we believe and who we are.

Neither restricting ourselves nor pushing ourselves is the way to experience peace and joy in our lives, nor does it facilitate the achievement of our potential.

We can change our thinking, our self-talk. The journey to being our whole and true selves begins with understanding our LSI 1.

Over the next 12 weeks I will be sharing my views on each Style in more detail. I will consider the items in each of the Styles in terms of how our responses to them prescribe our behaviour and determine our effectiveness and satisfaction.

 

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