by Ashley Logsdon

Define Yourself With Intention: Our Perspective Shapes Our Personality

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Are you focused on intentional living, and wondering what personality quizzes there are to help you, or if learning about personality styles even matters? Check this out.

How do you define personality? Do you have all kinds of labels and descriptors you use when you talk about your family?  

If you are anywhere close to my age, you remember Popeye the Sailor Man, and his wonderful line, "I yam what I yam." 

personality style intentional living

I have seen time and time again families who are stuck in the Popeye mentality, creating a label around the negative behaviors their kids (or their spouses) exhibit.  

They live in reaction, ready to spring with their defenses anytime something doesn't go their way.

What's Your Label?

Have you ever said:

  • "She's so hyperactive"
  • "He's just a stick in the mud"
  • "She's super sensitive."
  • "He's a bit of a Negative Nancy."

The rebel. The class clown. Oh my, the drama queen. Have you had those moments where you see one of your beloved little creatures in your home and immediately think up a label that not only defines them, but solidifies the negative persona you want to avoid?

We want to stay away from the label game...and yet...those labels are the adjectives that describe the people in our lives.  

So how can we describe and not define?

There is an element of truth to Popeye's quote. We are, at our core, a unique personality style blend - based on science, environment, and emotional factors.  

Our adjectives describe us, yet don't have to define us.  Better yet, if they ARE at the core of who we are, what if we were intentional about what descriptors we want to stick and become part of that definition?

mama says namaste define labels

What Is Your Personality Style?

A while back I did a series on understanding your unique personality style based on the DISC personality assessments. As this is the basis for everything I speak and coach on, it's time to revisit this powerful topic.

I spend a lot of time exploring personality and the way we are naturally wired - but let's get one thing straight. There are a lot of factors affecting who you are and what you do every single day.

Your environment, health, the family dynamics around you and how you connect with others all greatly affect how you portray yourself to the world. There have definitely been times when the words to describe me are not what I want to become my identity.

It's Really Not Personality At All...

In all actuality, it's not really about personalities. These "personality assessments" or personality tests that you take - Myers-Briggs, DISC, Kolbe, Enneagram, Strengthsfinders and more...it's about something more than personality...it's about behavior.

All these assessments can be surprisingly accurate. It's pretty incredible to see how well they can read into how we act and react. The bottom line is that these are measurements of behavior. After decades of research, what these tools are finding are common patterns of behavior that help to shape your personality style. It's through studies of natural behavior and reaction that these assessments can give you such insight. 

Remember that there are two ways to present yourself -

one is with intention, and one is out of reaction.

When you think of the definition of you, that's intentional. How do you want to present yourself to others? When you describe yourself, you are creating your reality. 

The kicker is, either you define you, or your reactions do. 

Alright, Ashley, on the chopping block with you - let's "define Ashley" in two ways, along with the adjectives to describe me:

Reactive:

I don't have much patience and love to be in control. When I'm stressed out, I frantically grasp for some element of control in something, so I start barking orders to ensure everyone is doing their part to bring some order to the chaos.  

My way is typically the right way, of course, so as long as people don't bother me with questions, we can plow right through and do what I know needs to be done.

Adjectives:

  • Micromanager
  • Impatient
  • Demanding
  • Argumentative

Intentional:

I'm driven and confident. Engaging others and empowering them to be their true authentic selves is my favorite past-time. I can move fast and jump in to most situations ready to collaborate or lead, depending on what is needed. My fast-paced style allows me to be ready for anything and always up for a challenge.

Adjectives:

  • Leader
  • Charismatic
  • Driven
  • Innovative

You have natural tendencies to describe how you behave.

Never, ever let one of those adjectives - especially something in your reaction mode - become a non-budging definition of who you are.


You are powerful. Significant. Loved. There are words that describe behavior, and there are ones that define a greater whole of who you are. Allow these to define your core behavioral style, and use words like this to reflect back on - does your behavior match the core of who you want to be?

Create your defining words beyond simply what you do in your worst moments. Separate out a reactive behavior and acknowledge we all have our hard moments.

ABove All...LOVE

mantra for toddlers

Hold on to those definitions of who you want to be - to be love, grace, joy, beauty.  

Let go of when you miss the mark - learn from it and move past it. You are more than just what comes out of you as you grow.

Every interaction with another gives you the opportunity to adapt a bit more into the person who thrives in your beautiful personality style.

Intentional descriptors are when you are living in your strengths. I end every Mama Says Namaste Podcast episode with the tagline: The uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us. That epitomizes that it is in our differences that we can truly complement and complete one another. It's recognizing the gifts of others and appreciating what they offer that you cannot. 

Reactive descriptors are when the head takes a back seat to the emotion. This isn't always a negative, which is why I say "reactive" instead of "negative". For example, when I feel like I'm going to fall, I'm going to react and grab whatever is closest to me. That's not a negative, that's simply a natural response.

When you live your life solely in reaction, however, even in the good way (like the survival mode you switch on in a crisis situation), you will eventually burn out, because this isn't sustainable.

You have to rest and replenish. This comes through pulling out those fabulous descriptors that are your strengths as well as your definition of who you want to be. If you want to be wise, define yourself as "the listener" and work on your listening skills. If you want to be more loving, define yourself as love...it's amazing how much that one definition will shift your demeanor and how you react to others.

Create your own descriptive words that you want to define you. Allow for these to become your mantra and live in your strengths. Don't become your reactive tendencies - instead, try being your biggest loving supporter and see how your whole perspective shifts.

Share with me below your favorite positive descriptors that you include in the definition of you!

Get a Snapshot of the Real You β€” the Inner You β€” That Will Help You Be Happy, Build Relationships and Find Success

Eager to learn how your family ticks? 

There are many types of people...and I want to make it easy for you - we can easily sort them into four main personality - or behavior - styles. Understanding these four personality types makes an incredible impact on your family dynamics, as you recognize the triggers that put your family in reaction mode, and see those beautiful strengths to help them thrive!

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About the author, Ashley Logsdon

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Ashley Logsdon is a Family and Personality Styles Coach and Lifelong Learner. She and her husband Nathan are RVing the States and unschooling their 3 girls. Her mission is to shift the mindsets of families from reaction to intention, and guide them in creating the family they love coming home to. Looking deeper than the surface, we assess the strengths, triggers, and simplifying your lifestyle so you truly recognize how the uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us.

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  1. I love this update, Ashley! It’s a great reminder.

    Here are some of my descriptors (based on the negative labels I get from reacting): decisive, driven, honest, compassionate.

  2. So good. I love how you were vulnerable and used yourself as an example. What a great way to take a practical look at ourselves.

    “Our adjectives describe us, yet don’t have to define us.” So true.

    One of my faves. Thanks, Ashley.

  3. Maya, thanks so much for taking the time to not only read, but comment and give feedback! It’s really powerful to explore into your personality styles and see what goes deeper than the reaction. Look at how you each are uniquely wired and what strengths you bring to the table. Check out my personality style series I have in here – when we become reactive, oftentimes it’s because our “fears” are triggered – possibly feeling out of control, loss of security, etc. When you get to the root of the reactivity, you are able to shift the focus and live a more intentional life.

    Check them out, join my FB community, and please feel free to ask any questions. You are right – words that are shot your direction do NOT have to become your identity. Yet since this is your beloved, you don’t want to simply build up a fortress to protect your feelings, but to dig deeper than the bandaid to figure out what is causing the reaction in the first place. Remember the bliss, love and light, and the fact that true healing comes from within – I read your about page, and you easily recognize the importance of inner work – send some love to your man and hopefully you can go deeper than the reaction to find the connection again. Thanks for commenting, and Namaste!

  4. So potent & resonating with this! Thank you for sharing you wisdom. A couple days ago, I was thrown a lot of reactive labels from my beloved & was extremely hurt. It happens a lot when he becomes reactive, stomping all over me with the words without thinking of how they would affect me. I have to realign with myself & ground. He forgets what he says. So, I sent him this article in hopes of him understanding the labelling reactively is detrimental. I thank you from the depths of my heart. I love your posts & they tend to be spot on with my life!

  5. Love these descriptors! Yes, those words are perfect to create as your mantra and definition of self – they definitely work! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Wonderful!

    There are two sides to all of our tendencies. The things about me that most annoy people are also my greatest strengths. Understanding this about ourselves and others is powerful. Focusing on the positive side is freeing.

    Ahhhh, my favorite positive descriptors – disciplined, organized, independent, and curious.

    And for you – wise, wholehearted, conscientious, creative, talented, and driven.

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