Tag Archives: MBTI

Some Things I Learnt in 2013

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I’ve been on a bit of a blogging hiatus. But I’ve done lots of thinking and metacognitive analysis as usual, so I’ve got a bunch of things I’ve learnt throughout last year about how I work.

Here’s a quick summary of some of the things I’ve learnt:

  • As the duty fulfiller (MBTI) I love working hard but when I’m given so much work that I can’t keep up with, I get overwhelmed and start to let things slip because it’s all to much and I know I can’t do the job to the standard I want to. I’m a 100% or 0% type person. If I can’t put 100% into something, I don’t want to do it. I feel guilty if I can’t do the job the best I can, but I also feel guilty if I let things slip. My nature, then, is to simply keep going. When I hit this roadblock last year and was letting things slip, I resolved to just keep at it. I shared what I learnt with a friend and she had a “Whoa” moment from it because she realized she was the same. And now she’s made steps to “do something” instead of doing nothing at all. Because sometimes it’s better to do something than never do anything.
  • Again, as the duty fulfiller I love putting my all into my work. And when I can’t put my all into my work, I get very frustrated and feel burdened. My friend who puts her all into caring for people gets very frustrated and burdened when she can’t love people the way she wants to. We feel the exact same way about different things. I love how we’re all so different! We both have to learn not to place such high expectations on ourselves to ALWAYS be and do everything we want to be and do in the particular areas we care most about. Otherwise we’d be miserable whenever we couldn’t live up to our standards.
  • I learnt that I really am an advocate as the type 1 (Enneagram). I never really saw it in me but I finally worked out that it fits. I feel lost if I don’t have any meaning, and a big part of where I get meaning from is having a focus outside of myself. This means not just doing things I enjoy all the time but doing things that also give something back to people around me. The key for me is to find things that are both for me and others and also to find things that I believe in. This has helped a lot in giving me direction in life.
  • Knowing about my advocate nature, this has helped me realize that I need a filter for life. A filter that tells me what I should say yes and no to. A filter that tells me what I should spend my time, money and energy on. This way, goals can be met quicker, waste is avoided and there is a clearer meaning and purpose in life, both in the bigger picture and in the everyday.

So, this is only a snippet of the things I’ve learnt but I’ll write about the other things in other posts. And, of course, I’ll always be learning more! It’s a lot of fun!

The Best Personality Test

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The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality test based on Carl Jung’s theory of types. The test determines the preferences people have in terms of how they see the world and make decisions. These preferences are what shape a person’s interests, values, motivations, skills and needs.

There are four sets of dichotomies that are measured on a scale:

  • How you’re energized- extroversion (E) or introversion (I)
  • How you take in information- sensing (S) or intuition (N)
  • How you make decisions and evaluations- thinking (T) or feeling (F)
  • How do you structure the world- judging (J) or perceiving (P)

All eight are used but people differ in which ones they prefer to use. We might not know we prefer one trait over another but it’s the one we naturally do without even thinking about it. The trait that is preferred tends to be more dominant and highly developed than the other trait in the dichotomy.

Here’s a brief explanation of each trait:

Extroversion- Focus on the external world of action, people and things
Introversion- Focus on the internal world of reflection, thoughts and ideas

Sensing- Perceive the world through the five senses and what is present
Intuition- Perceive the world through insights and possibilities

Thinking- Objective decisions are made based on logic
Feeling- Subjective decisions are made based on values

Judging- Approach the world in a structured, planned, organized way
Perceiving- Approach the world in an open, flexible and spontaneous way

Once you know which four preferences you have, you know your personality type, which is expressed as a four letter code. There are sixteen types:

ISTJ ISFJ INFJ INTJ
ISTP ISFP INFP INTP
ESTP ESTP ENFP ENTP
ESTJ ESFJ ENFJ ENTJ

All types are equal and valid. There is no best type. They are simply different ways of seeing the world and making decisions.

Get to know and love your type but remember you are not just your personality. Personality makes up a part of you, and your MBTI type is only a part of your personality (other personality tests may show you different things about yourself). There is more to you than your type and there will be unique things about you that don’t match up with your type. No personality test will be able to describe or explain you completely, but I still see their worth for the small measure they do help you to know yourself better.

I have found the MBTI personality test to be the best because it has helped me understand myself better than any other test. You can read about that in this post: MBTI and Personality Enlightenment.

How well do you know yourself?

To find out your personality type, do this personality test.

Once you’ve found out your personality type, go to this personality profile page and click on your four letter code. I have found these particular profiles to be the most useful but you can also type your type into Google and check out what other profiles say about you.

Leave a comment with your type and the name for your type – I’d love to know how accurate you think it is for you and if it helped at all.

MBTI and Personality Enlightenment

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Before I tell you what the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is about, let me show you why I’m fan and why I think everyone can benefit from it.

When I found out I was an ISTJ, the duty fulfiller or the inspector, I had a light-bulb moment. I used to think there was something wrong with me because I had a combination of traits that made me different to most people I knew. To name some of them: I’m an introvert, I love studying and doing assignments, I enjoy hard work and painstaking, meticulous work that other people shudder at, I love deadlines and submit everything early, and I’m an organized freak who is incredibly structured and plans everything.

Now, being the introspective, metacognitive person I am, I knew all this about myself, but I thought I shouldn’t be all these things because other people thought my traits were odd.

That was all until I discovered MBTI and that I was an ISTJ. The profile fit me to a T and it was like I was reading myself on a page. It was amazing! It showed me that there was nothing wrong with me; I just had a particular personality caused by the way I saw the world, processed information and made decisions, which is something I don’t do consciously but could now understand.

I was worried when I told a friend my life motto was, life is about things to do and getting them done, because she just laughed and told me I was a workaholic. You’d think I would have worked that out for myself but I missed that fact. The motto isn’t what I thought life should be about; it was just how I saw life. I couldn’t help it and I thought I should get a new motto. But it reassured me when I found the name of the ISTJ is duty fulfiller. That sums it up right there and from then on I was okay with my hard-working nature and my tendency to state facts rather than inspiring idealisms.

Being an ISTJ, I got all the, what I call “hard” traits; so I’m a justice over mercy type person who likes rules. It’s why I love structure and don’t have a spontaneous bone in my body. I work well with details and facts because I take in things via the five senses so I excel in those areas, but even though I adore thinking about concepts and big-picture things, I don’t work well with those things. I would get frustrated when I had to work with big-picture things and didn’t know why before I knew I was an ISTJ, and now that I know, so much frustration is avoided.

Now, that’s only the tip of the iceberg in what I learnt about myself and how it helped me practically. I’ll give one more example of how it helped, and I use this one to show how knowing your personality is valuable because you can mould and manage it when you understand it.

As I said, I got all the “hard” traits. This was something I didn’t particularly like about myself, because I knew the importance of caring about people and not just doing things the way I liked them with rules, structure and cold hard facts. I knew there were also things called feelings and intuition, and I worked to develop my softer side.

That’s one of the great things about being an ISTJ: once we see the value of something, we wholeheartedly run with it. We’re not stubborn and don’t cling to our own ways when we see the validity of something new or different. So now I can be a mercy over justice person, not because that’s what I naturally go towards, but because I’m aware of other factors that might override justice, things that have become important to me since learning about my personality.

And now I can come out as an ISFJ with my feeling trait more developed. The profile doesn’t fit me as well as the ISTJ one and I will always naturally tend towards thinking over feeling, but because I’m aware of this, I can override it and use my feeling side. So you see, without knowing I was an ISTJ, I wouldn’t know that I lacked this feeling trait or that I was a thinker, so I wouldn’t have known how to do anything about it. All I had was this vague idea that I was a hard person who wanted to care more but couldn’t bring myself to do so because I didn’t know how I worked.

Now let me qualify this by saying, there’s nothing wrong with being a justice over mercy person and if that’s the way you want to stay, go for it. There are many other traits I have that I’m perfectly fine with and even though others might look down on them, I won’t change them because I’m cool with it.

The key is that MBTI can help you accept all of your traits and you can either love them or change the ones you’re not so keen about. I’m not sure I believe you can change your underlying preferences, but I do think you can override them if you understand them and work to develop the other preferences.

I will rave about MBTI because it helped me understand how I see and do things and  I’ve benefited so much from it in so many practical ways. Have you ever had a light-bulb moment from understanding something about your personality? Maybe you’ll get one when you do the test. Here it is: MBTI

In my next post I’ll give an overview of the MBTI so you’ll have a better idea of what I mean when I talk about traits, preferences, etc.