On self discovery

ocean-1209762_1920I took the Enneagram test again (I’m a 2w1 if you’re curious). The results are pretty accurate, though I find myself more connected to the INFJ description. Both personality tests have made a big difference in how I perceive and understand myself. As a highly analytical person, I like being able to understand why I approach things a certain way.

As a result, I no longer view myself as a failure, unable to fit into society. I now see myself as a unique individual with much to offer. It’s created peace of mind and self acceptance where there was only self-doubt and insecurity before.

But while personality tests are incredible tools for self discovery, there’s also a flip-side. Early on, I would apply personality types to everything. I would make excuses for myself based on my INFJ status. “I don’t want to do that because I’m an introvert” or “I don’t really get along with that person because they’re so extroverted” are a couple of examples. While these comments may have been true, I was using my personality type to make excuses.

I know how damaging other people’s judgments can be (and it’s made me more aware of how I treat others). People see a quiet person and assume that’s all there is to them. But nothing could be farther from the truth. Yes, I’m quiet and reserved. But dig a little deeper and you’ll discover that my quietness is only a small part of what I have to offer.

That’s the same with everyone. Each individual in this world is incredibly complex. They’re full of amazing potential, unique characteristics and experiences, personal and emotional flaws, powerful strengths, beautiful ideas and dreams, and so much more. We just have to give them a chance to shine.

What do you think?

 

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16 thoughts on “On self discovery

  1. twainwall says:

    I couldn’t agree more about only judging a person if they’re to loud or very quiet; it matters what’s inside the person; everyone is an individual and it’s important to try and remember that.

    Lovely post Ally. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bart Leahy says:

    I tend to take personality assessments as a source of insight rather than a set of marching orders. When I was a lot younger, I started following astrology and realized very quickly that I was quite a bit different from whatever “sign” or “type” was assigned to me. That doesn’t stop me from taking them, though. Occasionally I learn something new.

    Keep being Ally, regardless of what the paperwork says!

    /b

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Britta says:

    I totally agree, Ally. I love being able to identify as an INFJ and and HSP, because both help me understand myself better. I’ve recently realized, though, that these boxes we put ourselves into for understanding can also be constricting. In recent months, I’ve shied away from relying on these labels because I started to feel I was losing my sense of self. Yes, I am INFJ and HSP, but I am also so much more than that. I also agree that they can hold us back. So many times I’ve said to myself, “I can’t do that because I’m HSP,” or “Doing that would be so out of character for an INFJ.” I’ve found it liberating to break free of the assumptions I’ve put upon myself because of labels. They are so useful to have, but they shouldn’t be all we have.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tired Little Birdie says:

    I can understand what you are saying. I have to say that I felt such an overwhelming relief when I read the description of the INFJ. The typing does allow me to feel like I belong and like I am unique and normal. I will read what this post says or that one, to understand the depth of things and to help me understand myself. I find that I use my personality type to help justify how I feel or act because it’s my way of still fighting the assumption that I am too sensitive, or too quiet, or too intense, or too whatever. That being said, I have never had a moment where I stopped myself from doing something because I was an INFJ and whatever I wanted to do was out of character. I have found that my sense of belonging to this group has enabled my not letting go of some things (I don’t want to and my MBTI says I don’t have to! :), but I am working on that! Every type has positives and negatives to be improved upon and we should all be cautious to not manipulate ourselves to fit an identity (whether MBTI, Jocks vs. nerds, Introvert v. extrovert). However, the feeling that I wasn’t broken, that I do belong somewhere, is incredibly refreshing and self-affirming and has been the only thing to help bring me back to center a few times.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ally says:

      I completely agree! Reading over the INFJ description was like having someone peering into my thoughts and inner feelings and describing them in a way I wasn’t able to express myself. I also had felt as if something was wrong with me, so discovering I was a “normal” introvert was so freeing and refreshing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts 🙂

      Like

  5. narrativespark36 says:

    I’m an INFJ and also a 2w1! I find both tests helpful because they can point out patterns in behavior that I might not have recognized in myself previously, especially how the enneagram tells you what type you act like when you are stressed. I try not to let the tests govern my actions but help me understand them when I can’t on my own.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kate says:

    I hadn’t heard of the Enneagram test, but will have to check that out. I’m an INTJ, and after determining this I think I had similar experience – it helped better pinpoint and articulate a number of aspects of my life and how to anticipate my reactions to certain things. I’ve met people who are very anti-personality test, but as a few others have noted, these tests serve as a guide and description rather than prescription. I’m not bound to every single attribute of a personality test result, but they sure have helped identify what it really is that makes me tick. The other great thing is that these tests can really help identify the marvelous strengths of different people, despite the fact that certain traits are often held to a higher regard in society (like extroversion) in my opinion. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jamc609 says:

    I really enjoy personality tests but I find myself in the middle so my type switches a bit. I enjoy being midline although it makes it hard to find tendencies. Today I took the enneagram test. I hadn’t heard of this one and got 2w3. My other test today was ENFP-t but this summer I was INFJ. As a teacher knowing where I am helps me interact with my students more effectively for sure and has helped me figure out how to interact with my students. Thanks for the post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ally says:

      I usually bounce between INFJ and ISFJ, but the description of INFJ fits me better. That’s awesome you’re able to use the understanding of your personality as a way to tailor your interaction. Thank you for commenting 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. artyplantsman says:

    I love the sentiment of your post Ally. I used to think there was something wrong with me until a year of CBT ten years ago convinced me otherwise. I do still have battles – sometimes I do feel lonely and left out of things. I guess it is a bit ironic that I’ve spent years trying to be as invisible as possible but now sometimes it hurts that I have succeeded. I feel I have a lot to offer but people find me hard to get to know, so don’t really bother. Thank heavens for my wife and the lovely ladies I work with.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ally says:

      Thank you, that really means a lot. As a quieter person who requires a lot of trust before opening up to someone, I’ve learned it’s very difficult to cultivate relationships with people who aren’t willing to spend the time getting to know you. That’s wonderful you have such supportive people who are willing to take the time 🙂

      Like

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