Your Personality: Personal Growth #3
How do we grow as a person, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually?
This is the third article on the topic of Personal Growth. Previously, we said that our process of growth is like a journey from point A to point B. Point A is your starting point, your current reality. It includes who you are, what strengths and weaknesses you have, what gifts you have been given. It includes some obvious factors like your family, your culture, your education, your experiences, etc. It also involves some less obvious factors, like your spirituality, your core values, which we talked about in our last article, and your personality.
This time, we talk about your personality. It is how you are wonderfully made in your mother’s womb. Your personality is like your preference in using your hands. Some are born left-handed, some are right-handed. There is nothing wrong in either, both are morally neutral. Likewise, there's nothing inherently wrong in your personality, accepting who you are is the first lesson in understanding your personality.
From time to time, however, your environment may push you to one way or the other. E.g., some left-handed people are trained to use their right hands for writing, but when they play sports, they still use their left hands. So, your training, your culture, your environment will have an impact on how you behave, but there are preferences deep down that are still there. Understanding them, accepting them and make use of them will help you thrive and grow.
How do you find out your personality? There are many personality assessments in the market, I’ll take two as examples.
The first one is Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, or MBTI for short. MBTI is THE most popular personality assessment, by far, in the whole world. It is administered millions of times per year. It categorizes people in 4 dimensions. Extravert vs Introvert, Sensing vs Intuition, Thinking vs Feeling and Judging vs Perceiving. What do they mean? Let me share with you my example. I’m Introvert, iNtuition, Thinking and Judging. Or we usually call it INTJ
As an INTJ, I think before I speak (usually), I am a visionary and an abstract thinker, I am a logical decision maker and I make my decisions relatively fast. These are my personality strengths, they made me unique. A lot of times, our strengths are the other side of our weaknesses. I get tired after social events, I can be too abstract, and people don’t understand me, I can be too cold in my analysis, and I can make decisions too fast.
The good thing about MBTI is that it is immensely popular, so there are lots and lots of resources you can get. There are books from the publisher of MBTI, and there are also books from other authors, and there are books writing just about me as an INTJ. Isn’t that cool to find books written about me.
Another personality assessment I sometimes use is DISC. It stands for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness. A person usually has one primary preference and a secondary preference. So I have Dominance as my primary, and Influence as my secondary. As you can see, DISC is much simpler and easier to understand and remember.
Either of these can be useful as a first step of understanding who you are and how you are wired as a person. They help you understand your strengths and weaknesses, and your preferences in thinking, behaving and decision making. They help you know what you are good at, what you are passionate about.
In our next article, we will move from point A to point B and talk about life purpose, what it is and how we can find ours.