Do you want to know one of the best steps you can make towards not only creating a life that you love, but opening up to happiness? Then, darling, you need to get really clear on who you are, and what makes you tick. The process began for me when I took my first Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator test.
The Myers-Briggs test is a derivative of Carl Jung’s Theory of Psychological Types. Others have put their spin on Jung’s work, including Archetypal Work, Keirsey Temperament Sorter, and more. The latest to dive into the origin work is 16 Personalities, an incredibly well put together website that will give you powerful results.
After taking the test (again), I immediately sent the website link to several clients.
Since I began my study of human interaction and followed the desires to understand who I was, I came to recognize that these kinds of tests (and their results) aren’t there to label me or box me in. No, darling, instead, getting the results is like looking in the mirror and recognizing myself.
Getting those four little letters that describe you isn’t a death sentence; it’s like receiving a big old permission slip to simply own WHO YOU ARE.
I don’t make the statement that getting clear on who you are and what makes you tick as an off-hand kind of remark. I see it more as Gospel.
Permission to own who you are is critical to loving life. That’s why I don’t see learning about yourself as navel-gazing, but one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Why?
Because too often, we set out, not to be the best version of who we were born to be, but instead we attempt to completely change who we are in the hope that others will love us.
Let’s be as nakedly honest, sugar: you will never feel like you belong, or that you are worthy of being loved, or that you deserve to achieve your dreams if you are always trying to be different from who you are.
I want to be crystal clear: I’m not saying that we don’t all have areas of improvement; what I’m saying is that if you try to force yourself or morph yourself into someone else just so that others will like you, or because you think it will make you more successful, you will never find peace or true happiness.
I’ll use myself as an example. My Myers-Briggs personality type is ENTJ. What that means is:
- E vs I: I am an Extrovert, which means that I gain energy being around others and often “think” out-loud. (Which often means I SPEAK before thinking). This has nothing to do with people skills. The opposite of E is I, for introvert.
- N vs S: I am iNtuitive instead of a Sensor. I gather information in an intuitive manner, which means I like facts and the underlying theories and principles that make up data. Sensors trust information taken in via their senses and that fact fuels their data processing.
- T vs F: When it comes to decision making and coping with my emotions, I am a Thinker. That means when it comes to making decisions, I go for facts, figures, patterns, logic, cause and effect. I like rationality. Feelers are the opposite of T’s. They make decisions based on empathy, balance, harmony, fit, and the needs of the people involved.
- J vs P: When it comes to tactics, I am a Judgment gal. I like plans, rules and guidelines. I desire closure. Those on the opposite side are Perceptive. P’s typically like to leave things open, are good at improvising, and tend to take a more relaxed approach to work.
Keirsey puts me in the category of The Rational (and calls me a Field Marshal). Yes, once again, my 16 Personalities results are ENTJ, which puts me in the category of The Analysts and they call me the Commander. The typical description of an ENTJ person is:
Strong-willed. Bold. Imaginative. Will always find (or make) a way to make things happen. Yep, that describes me. So does impatient and intolerant. So does “poor handling of emotions.”
Knowing my strengths according to my Myers-Briggs Type helps me thrive. And it helps me manage my reaction to stressors.
I am the person you come to when you need big-picture strategy, because I can take a big step back and SEE it. Not only can I see it, I can help you draw up a plan, lay out the steps, and help you look for the potholes along the path.
I am also the person to come to when someone needs to be strong and logical in emotionally charged situations. When my mother was in her final weeks of life, I was the person she asked to call her preacher so that she could talk. I was also the person she told clearly what she wanted for her funeral. Neither my father nor my sister could step away from their hope that she would hang on or get better, so making those calls felt cold and unfeeling to them.
Knowing up front that I am naturally removed and logical doesn’t mean I don’t have feelings; in fact I feel things deeply even if I don’t show them. It just means that I am able to manage those tough situations without letting my emotions rule.
Though I don’t necessarily love some of the “weaknesses” of my Myers-Briggs personality type, seeing them in black and white gives me comfort.
Again, it’s like looking in a mirror and saying, “OH, I know you.” They also give me a clear understanding of the skills I need to learn so that I can better co-exist with other.
I’ve been accusingly told that I am too focused, too forceful, and just TOO much, yet, as I’ve aged, understanding that these are simply my natural strengths (some of which aren’t very popular for women), I’ve stopped apologizing for them. And I’ve also stopped over-explaining them. They are a simple fact about me, just like my hazel eyes and brown hair.
Do I always react in the best way possible so that I don’t hurt others? Of course not; I am human. Choosing to stop apologizing for who I am, though, doesn’t mean that I’m not aware of where I need to soften so that I can behave in a more compassionate or loving manner.
Understanding who I am has allowed me to actively do the work I need to do in order to, not just become who I was always meant to be, but also to see where my rough edges could use a little polishing.
Getting clear on who you are is invaluable. It allows you to better manage your anxiety, your reactions to crisis, and how to find happiness.
Using your Myers-Briggs Personality Type gives you a jump start on doing just that.
Better understanding who I am allows me to be better in all my roles. It also gives me the freedom to embrace who I am in any situation.
So, here’s my challenge to you:
- The first step towards doing the work is awareness. Get crystal clear on who you naturally are. Take one of the free personality tests (HumanMetrics / Keirsey / 16 Personalities) to help determine your Myers-Briggs Personality Type (I personally love how the results are shown in 16 Personalities)
- Read through the description of your Personality Type.
- Look for ways that the description of your Myers-Briggs Personality Type feels like HOME. Let the words mirror back to you that you simply ARE who you are.
- Accept yourself for both your weaknesses and your strengths. Don’t see the “weaknesses” as assaults on your character or criticism, but instead see them as simple facts.
- Choose one trait of your Myers-Briggs (strength or weakness) that you are going to stop apologizing for.
- Choose one trait you see as your “work” – one of your edges that needs softening, polishing or shoring up.
- From this more educated, begin to create a plan to change what you don’t love about your life or lifestyle.
If you’re not happy, if you don’t feel worthy, if you aren’t loving your life, if you are struggling with reaching your goals or if you feel like you’re always putting on masks, then, darling, you owe it to yourself to do the work to change your situation.
Bottom line: you are worth getting to know. You deserve to look in the mirror and recognize yourself instead of always wondering what mask to wear today. You are worth the time and the effort to figure out who you are.
*Note: I am not affiliated with any of the websites I am recommending nor will I make any profit or commission from you visiting them. I have simply worked with MBTI-type work for more than 20 years and know that it’s accurate and it works.
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