Personality – (n).: the combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual's distinctive character.
Step 1: Self-Evaluation
First and foremost, we need to deeply tune into ourselves and the specific aspects of who we are that formulate our individual personalities. The best place to start is with a deep self reflection. This can be done at one time, dedicating an hour or so on day to meditation or reflection, and writing down everything that you feel makes you, You; or, it can be done over several days through a morning or evening journal reflection in which you, little by little, hone into your qualities. Whichever method you choose, ensure you’re writing down every quality, value, strength, and weakness that comes to mind, including the way you react to both positive and negative situations.
Step 2: Peer Evaluation
The next step is to reach out to others to gather their view of you. There are some traits – both flaws and strengths – that we may not be able to see or accept ourselves. After doing a thorough self-eval, reach out to those who know you best: your partner, your family, and your friends. Ask them to describe you in a few words, then have them point out the strengths that they see and provide honest feedback on where your weaknesses may lie. Do your best not to take their feedback personally when weaknesses are highlighted. None of us are perfect, and you should trust that the loved ones you’re seeking input from are wanting what is best for you.
Step 3: Look into Outside Sources
Since ancient times, many have believed both personalities and life trajectories to be connected to astrology, or the study of the stars. Insert the Zodiac Signs: 12 star signs developed during Ancient Greek times, related to your birth month and date and thought to be a reflection of one’s personality. In studying your Zodiac sign, it is possible to discover how the timing of your birth has impacted your personality as a whole. There is a vast amount of information out there regarding the traits attributed to each Zodiac sign, so once you’ve determined your personality traits on your own, it doesn’t hurt to expand your knowledge of these traits and discover any relatable personality aspects your Zodiac sign can reveal.
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Another method? Science-based testing.
While not one of us is the same, there are several personality “types” that we each fall into, acting as an outline for our persona that we can refer to for a deeper understanding of what our strengths and weaknesses are. If horoscopes or spiritual methods aren’t your thing, there are several, research-backed tests you can take to discover your personality type, and these vary in detail depending on: 1. How in-depth you’d like to go, and 2. Whether or not you’d like to pay for a more intricate, individualized personality reading. In our opinion, the free tests are the way to go. Although test results may be pretty spot-on, there’s much more to you and your personality than what can be put on paper or rendered from a questionnaire, no matter how in-depth it is.
A few tests you can take include: The Myers-Briggs Personality Test (free test HERE) emphasizes your psychological preferences and decision-making patterns, placing you in one of 16 types based on 4 categories; The Enneagram Personality Test (free test HERE) focuses on the emotional aspect of your personality, placing you into one of 9 types. Each test/personality categorization method has corresponding information across web and social media platforms, offering resources and detailed examinations of each personality type to help further your understanding.
Of course, you are your own person – an individual with unique thoughts, needs, loves, and pet peeves – so when determining your personality type, keep that in mind. The tests help, but tuning into YOU - your loves, strengths, dislikes, shortcomings…– is the best way to connect to your own self and examine who you are. See your specified personality type as a general overview, not a direct indicator of who you are as a whole.
Step 4: Label Your Personality, Then Determine Your Strengths & Weaknesses
Once you’ve learned all that you can about what makes you, You, gather up the personality labels your research has given you and use these labels to discover more about your unique qualities. The only way we can benefit from learning about our own personas is if we determine our traits – our strengths and our weaknesses – and hone in on them so that we can become the best version of ourselves. Look into the personality types your test results and personal/peer research has shown you and take note of the positives and possible negatives of your personality type. Doing so allows us to learn how to capitalize on our best and how to improve upon our worst.
How exactly do we do that? We’ll share the details in Blog #2 of this series. Stay tuned!