Thursday, August 9, 2012

Know who you are, part II

Yesterday we talked about how helpful the Enneagram is to knowing yourself and being able to make choices based on that self-knowledge. I gave you a couple resources to help you discover which of the nine Enneagram types you are. Today I want to also mention the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

I first took the Myers-Briggs test more than 20 years ago. I will never forget what an aha-moment it was when I discovered my four-letter type and read a description or portrait of that type (I was an ENFJ at that time). I wondered if the person who gave me the test and scored it had been hiding in my house! The portrait really fit in so many ways.

One of the best parts was that I discovered what was natural or "normal" for my type. It helped me quit being so hard on myself for things I didn't do. An ENFJ doesn't like dealing with logic or facts that are unrelated to other people. So when it came to just hard, cold facts, I was bored silly. But tell me how those facts relate to the well-being of others and you've got my attention. So what was the point of beating up on myself for not being good with statistics when what really mattered to me was building relationships and using my gifts to help others?

Gradually over the years, I've moved over into being an INFJ—still very similar. And again, reading a portrait of that type helps me understand my patterns. I recommend you take the test if you haven't done so already. There are some online tests that are based on the Myers-Briggs. If you want to take the real thing, you'll need to see a professional who's been trained. But these online resources will give you a good idea of your type (and then you can Google "ENFJ portrait," for example, to read about your type): Human Metrics and another one called the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, which is quite similar to Myers-Briggs.

The better you know yourself, the more accepting you become of who you are. And the easier it can be to make choices about becoming the healthiest of your type that you can.

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