It is very likely that you have taken anywhere from 1-10 different personality assessments or tests over the course of your life. You could be a lover or a hater of personality styles and assessments – it doesn’t matter.
The one thing we can’t argue about is the fact that you DO have a personality. Your personality is different from many people while also being similar to others you know.
Each one of us is walking around with a series of underlying motivators, natural tendencies, stressors, and preferences as to how we approach people and situations. You might have learned a large amount of information about yourself, or you might be just beginning your journey of self discovery – both are a wonderful place to start.
One of the biggest takeaways that I have learned over the past 10 years is:
No matter what type of personality you might be “assigned” or choose to identify with, that it matters more that you are 100% honest with yourself about who you are. The honesty and acceptance you exhibit matters much more than your actual personality qualities.
Let me explain.
One of my difficult truths is that I really enjoy at inspiring and starting new projects, but I really struggle to follow up and complete the things that I have started. This shows up everywhere for me- home improvement projects, work initiatives and even small group projects with my Girl Scout Troop.
By realizing and being honest about that strength, as well as the weakness or difficult aspect associated with that strength – I am able to understand how to best employ it moving forward. When I come up with some amazing work project or design idea for our house, I immediately try to find someone to hold me accountable for finishing it – a friend, colleague or my husband. I have learned to admit that follow through is difficult enough for me that I now ask for help.
Let’s explore what would happen if I wasn’t truthful with myself around this one specific personality trait. What if instead of admitting that follow through is hard for me, I instead gloss over the fact and internally deny it. I tell myself and others that I am great at completing projects I start. I will then avoid creating any sort of system to accommodate my weakness, instead assuming the impossible.
And the result of that denial?
The project or initiative will drag along without completion, people will become impatient with my lack of product, and I will feel defeated and frustrated.
And believe me, this used to be my story. Before I took the time to understand and admit that follow through was not my forte, this happened over and over. I would come at a new project with the gusto and energy of a freight train, impressing bosses and coworkers with my drive and initiative. But once we were knee deep in the work that needed to be completed in a regular and reliable fashion…I stalled and became enthralled with some other new idea that had distracted me. Bosses and coworkers were frustrated, and I felt unable to succeed.
The underlying issue was that back then, I refused to fully accept and understand what part of my personality I needed to get real with. Once I was able to admit that I wasn’t good at everything, it freed me up to move into problem-solving mode. I was able to take a breath and let go of forcing something that didn’t come naturally to me. I started strategizing systems (email and calendar reminders) and concepts (asking others to hold me accountable with reminders) that would encourage me to stay accountable until the end.
So it begs the question – Which personality traits are some that you might want to come to terms with? How could you set up some systems or frameworks to support your gaps in that area?
We are imperfect, messy, amazing individuals that will each naturally excel in specific areas, while falling flat on our face in other areas without some help or guidance. The more truthful you can get with your own strengths and struggles, the easier it is to make a plan to move forward in a new and better way.