How Personality Quizzes Set Me Free
I love personality quizzes! Mind you, I’ve always been very self-reflective, and I love psychology (knowing what makes people do what they do).
Either way, I honestly believe that knowing my personality type has brought me freedom. Let me show you how…
A LITTLE HISTORY
I started learning about personality types back in 1997. Florence Littauer’s books were the first to introduce me to these, and from there, I have taken several others.
THE RENAISSANCE SOUL
Margaret Lobenstine has a book called “The Renaissance Soul“, and it describes me perfectly! When I found this book, I immediately recommended it to my sister, and she, too, feels that it perfectly describes her. She and I now frequently reference this aspect of our personalities. 😉
Tom Rath’s book, “StrengthsFinder 2.0“, had a code for you to go online and take the Clifton StrengthsFinder quiz. From that, I learned that my “Top 5” are Empathy, Connectedness, Input, Intellection, and Strategic.
This explained for me my love of keeping empty boxes around in case I might need them some day (Input), and my love of books & reading (Intellection / collecting knowledge!).
MYERS-BRIGGS TYPE INDICATOR
Through reading several descriptions online, I learned my MBTI — only to then take a quiz at 16personalites.com and have my findings confirmed. I am predominantly ENFP (Extroverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Perceiving), but also INFP (probably about a 60% | 40% mix).
[Fun fact: One who has a fairly even split between Introvert & Extrovert is called an “Ambivert“! Thanks, Pinterest!] LOL
I haven’t done enough research on this one, yet, so I don’t know enough about it. But, from the quiz I took, my Enneagram number is 7 (the Enthusiast)! [fact: The Enneagram tells you the underlying motivations for why you do what you do… whereas, the Myers-Briggs test tells you about your behaviors].
Generally, I tend to stay away from Astrology & horoscopes — they’re never very accurate, anyway. However, there are bits of the Sagittarius profile (my horoscope) that fit me perfectly … fiercely independent? Yep! A fiery temper? Not so much. I’m quite easy-going, in fact.
I also researched my core values, and came up with a list of my top 10 (plus a few extra). Suffice it to say, Freedom is my #1 core value, and my site has that as its overarching theme — the thread that ties all of my various interests together.
So, having done all of these quizzes (plus, a whole slew of the ones through BuzzFeed… Thanks, Facebook! LOL), I now feel I have a really good grasp of who I am, what makes me tick, and why I do what I do… especially on default/instinct, when I’m not really responding, but reacting.
LEARNING TO “SEE”
Because I know my personality type and core values, I can now see why certain jobs never fit me (mainly any of them where I work for an employer! LOL), and why I’ve acted as I have — or made certain choices — in the past. Knowing that I’m a right-brained creative, for example (ENFP), shows me why the left-brained, secretarial jobs I’ve had never worked out for me (I had 3 of them in 3 years!). I was trying to force the proverbial square peg into a round hole, so-to-speak… acting in a way that was in opposition to my type.
During the second of those secretarial jobs, I was super-stressed because of work, and decided to make up a list of all of the things I both loved & hated from all of my previous jobs. Doing this, plus taking into account my personality & values, I was able to make my next job a much better fit for me, even if it still wasn’t perfect. Of course, at that time, I still hadn’t realized the bit about my right-brained creative side (I knew I had it, but it’d been buried for years at that point). Therefore, I still didn’t see that secretarial jobs weren’t a fit for me. After all, I’d gone to college and had gotten a certificate in Office Administration! So, I assumed that that’s what I needed to (should) be doing! I knew that, eventually, when finances allowed, I wanted to start my own business — I didn’t know what business, yet, but I knew I wanted to work for myself. But again, finances at that time didn’t allow for that.
Well, fast forward nine months, and I found myself out of a job — again. And, being that the job market was pretty sucky (especially in the small town where I live), hubby suggested that I go through the government-run self-employment program (here in Ontario, Canada) and try starting up the business I’d told him I’d been considering (virtual assistance for authors). So, I did!
Since October 2013, I have been self-employed (yay!). As previously mentioned, I’ve always had a gut feeling that I was meant to be an entrepreneur — long before I got the chance to be one! I come from a family of entrepreneurs, actually (both of my grandfathers, two of my uncles, and my sister), so I like to say “it’s in my blood!” LOL
Mind you, even my first year-and-a-half of self-employment was a learning curve. As I’m sure you’ve guessed, the “virtual assistant” thing didn’t last long, partially because it was yet another secretarial gig.
I then thought about doing Life & Business Coaching and took the steps toward that, but I realized I’d need years of training first, which I didn’t have the time or money for. So, that got set aside…
Four-and-a-half years into my self-employment journey, I realized that coaching really is the thing I’m meant to do with my life. I was able to look back through my journals (from the past several years), and connect the dots. And it stood out like a glaring light… Plus, it helped that I found some Life Coaching courses on sale through Udemy, which I purchased, and am working through.
The biggest thing my path has shown/taught me, though, is first, to know myself (ala Socrates), and second, to trust my intuition. All of the various versions of my “business(es)” over the last few years have been me getting an idea, trying it, feeling that something was still “off” (not quite “it”), and then pivoting to the next thing. It’s been frustrating, at times, and somewhat discouraging, too. However, I was blessed to have an amazing business coach & friend who helped me work through all of that, as well as my sister — a business-owner herself — whose business is thriving!
Another thing that helped add to my feeling of “freedom” was going to an Art Journaling class once a month, via the local library. This helped me to reconnect with my creativity.
I used to spend a lot of time doing “creative” or artsy things, but motherhood pushed that (mostly) into the background for seventeen years.
I also met some great new friends, in the last couple of years, who are musicians and creatives, themselves — which helped me to realize (after having spent time with them) that they are my “tribe”, my people… the creatives and the dreamers are with whom I feel at home.
So, be encouraged. If you still don’t know what you are meant to do, just keep experimenting. And, if you need help, you can always book a FREE discovery call with me to see if we’d be a good fit to work together. I’d love to help you get clarity!
Do you know YOUR personality type? (Share it here! I’d love to see what mix we have!) If so, how has it helped you?