Make exploring your personality your top goal for 2020!Tweet
So here’s the thing, I’m kind of obsessed with self-reflection. I mean, I try not to be too self-involved but I am constantly trying to better understand myself if only to figure out why I am being so annoying. I’m an introvert who spends a lot of time in my own head, so I spend a lot of time self-reflecting and thinking about the way to respond to things in my life. I like to think Awkward Girl came out of a significant amount of self-awareness. In general, I think this examination has been super helpful in my own personal growth, but there’s more to it than just thinking about yourself. Here are some ways you can start the process of getting to know your own awkward self better.
Start with easy to understand personality classifications.
Most people have heard of the Myers Briggs personality types. I had to take the Myers Briggs assessment in high school and college even though I found it much more helpful the second time. This well-known typing system provides many free or low-cost test options and a wealth of online information to start to understand yourself. It can feel weird the first time you take one of these personality tests, but just answer with your first inclination and go with it. I consistently test as an INFP, which tells me I’m an “Idealist” who is quiet, a good listener, has high standards and wants to figure out meaning in my life (All of which are right on). This language gives you the ability to start to think about what motivates you and what the different parts of your personality mean when put together. After you get a handle on all this, you can use it to handle difficult situations better and interact with other personalities .
GET STARTED: Take the humanmetrics test to start your Myers Briggs journey.
Some people swear by the Strengthsfinder 2.0 test. I’ve never taken this assessment but it makes sense that understanding your strengths could be helpful to learn what opportunities to embrace or how to work with others who may have different (but complementary) strengths.
Make Some Lists
Now, I understand that these lists will be much more appealing to certain personality types. I understand, but I can’t think of a better way to start thinking about your values, likes, and dislikes. Whether you want to creatively map all of this out, or just write some straightforward lists in your favorite notebook, the act of writing things down can help you think out how you feel about your life.
GET STARTED: Here are some lists/ questions to think through to understand your personality and what drives you.
- What are my top 5 favorite things?
- What are my top 5 pet peeves?
- What 5-10 adjectives would you use to describe yourself?
- What do I value most in a relationship?
- What are my biggest fears?
- What is your biggest regret?
- If you had a life motto, what would it be?
- How do you deal with negative emotions/ideas?
- What would be a perfect day for you?
- What motivates you most?
Writing down an answer to these questions will probably start to highlight some things that seem defining in terms of who you are. Having all of this in your head can help you see how you align with personality classifications and can really help if you start exploring the enneagram (see the next one ;))
Dive in with the Enneagram
The Enneagram changed the game for me in terms of understanding myself. I cannot speak strongly enough about how much more I make sense to myself the more I explore the enneagram. Now, you might be wondering what the ennea-thingy is?
The thing about the enneagram is it requires more mental investment than something like Myers Briggs. The experts will tell you not to take a free test for the enneagram although that’s what you’ve probably done for any other personality typing system. I’ll be honest, I took a free test to start, but I followed that up with a lot of research. To really understand your type, you’ll probably have to read some books and listen to some podcasts.
In the enneagram, there are 9 types with various subtypes. One of the experts, Ian Morgan Cron, author of The Road Back to You and host of the podcast Typology, describes the enneagram as, “an ancient personality typing system that identifies nine types of people and how they relate to one another and the world. The Enneagram is a powerful tool for understanding why we behave the way we do, and how our personalities are powerfully influenced by our motivations. It provides a framework for how we can begin to live into our most authentic selves, and also reveals the wisdom each personality type can offer to others.”
The thing that the enneagram has helped me with the most is understanding what motivates me, what healthy and unhealthy tendencies I have and how to grow towards health. It can feel really intimidating to learn about at first, but the first time you read something and think “That is so me… how did you know?” it’s so validating and helpful.
Read and Write About It
Once you start exploring any of these ways to think about your personality, you’ll grow most by doing more reflection. Start journaling about your motivations and the way you react to things and what you identify with and don’t identify with about anything you’ve learned so far.
If you really want to get into the enneagram but you’re too overwhelmed to start, there are some great courses you can pay for. I’ve heard great things about Ian Morgan Cron’s, “The Enneagram Made Simple” and Suzanne Stabile has a well-respected curriculum if you have a group wanting to learn. Both these enneagram experts also have books and podcasts and I’ve found that to be a great way to learn.
I’ve also found a lot of great Instagram accounts that talk about the enneagram. Some of them are SUPER educational focused and some are more on the entertainment side, but the comments can be super helpful in learning about other people who have the same type as you.
GET STARTED: Check out these Instagram accounts!