Take Greater Control of Your Mental Health


Take Greater Control of Your Mental Health

The Striving Styles Personality System shows how we can take greater control of our mental health. Mental health was originally defined as the absence of mental illness.  The World Health Organization defines mental health as "a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community". Therefore, self-awareness is indeed the key to creating mental health.

Who Are You Meant to Be? blends new brain science with a century old personality system to show you why most people live in survival using behaviors, thinking patterns and beliefs that keep them there. It introduces the Striving Styles Personality System. It is an easy, yet profound way of understanding what motivates different people and the predominant need that must be satisfied for them to achieve their potential and become who they are meant to be. It differs from other personality typing methods by getting to the heart of what motivates and drives behavior - need satisfaction and the ability to use emotional energy.

For hundreds of years, we have thought about how the brain works incorrectly. We believed our ability to think and use rational thought was the key to our happiness. We know now that the achievement of good mental health lies in our ability to experience and use our emotions. Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio’s groundbreaking research in the neurology of thought and emotion challenged Rene Descartes' long-held rationalist view. In fact, there is some evidence that parts of the rational brain can be removed with much less effect on our personalities and functioning than removal of parts of the emotional brain. This supports Damasio’s argument that Descartes made a profound error in his famous statement “I think therefore I am.” New brain science now shows “I feel therefore I am.”

We now know that it is the emotional brain that motivates and provides energy for behavior. We also know that it is capable of overriding the rational, thinking brain. In the past we have tried to change ourselves without involving our emotions or changing our brains. We believed that change and development was a matter of "using your head" or "common sense". Will power, control and overpowering needs and emotions were promoted as the way to do it. Those who couldn't were judged to be weak and ineffectual. No wonder we kept failing to achieve our potential!

Using the Striving Styles Personality System in my practice, I developed a process of relationship repatterning which shifts the focus onto clients to work harder at building their own self-awareness. By identifying the 8 different Striving Styles and their patterns of behaviour that each style uses to protect themselves and those they use to self-actualize, people are able to practice behaviors to help them make their shift out of survival behaviors. We can never get to a different place in life by using the same behaviors we used to bring us to where we are. This system fast-tracks people to greater self-awareness.

Unfortunately, the approach most people to take to their mental health is a hands-off approach. The tendency is to knowledge of mental and emotional problems in the hands of the experts rather than work on it. It encourages us to eliminate emotions rather than understand ourselves in order to achieve emotional health and happiness. There is growing evidence to support the notion that how you feel and how well you are have as much or more to do with your self-awareness and self-nurturing than it does medical expertise. This is even more obvious with mental health, where psychological diagnosis is subjective and far less clearly defined than for physical health.