Do you ever feel lost and wonder who you are?
I’ve found that I can lose track of the qualities and strengths that are “me” when I get stressed and overwhelmed. When I do that, I end up trying to fit myself into what others are doing or how others think I should react. For example, I’m an introvert…much to the surprise of those around me. I love to connect with people, but after lots of time like that, I am exhausted. When I don’t listen to my body, I make myself even more drained by continuing on when I really need some quiet time to restore my energy. But, that begs the question, how did I even realize I am an introvert? Let me introduce you to the world of personality and strengths tests. And I don’t mean those on Facebook. Those are fun, but not backed by science!
Myers Briggs Personality Test
The Myers Briggs test puts you into one of 16 personalities. This one can help you understand if you’re an introvert or extrovert, how you make decisions, and how you relate to others. If you hear people quoting that they are 4 letters (for example, I am an ISFJ), it is the Myers Briggs test that tells you that about yourself. You get a description like the following of your personality type. The below is mine for ISFJ:
Quiet, friendly, responsible, and conscientious. Committed and steady in meeting their obligations. Thorough, painstaking, and accurate. Loyal, considerate, notice and remember specifics about people who are important to them, concerned with how others feel. Strive to create an orderly and harmonious environment at work and at home.
I love Myers Briggs as it can help you understand why you react a certain way to situations, and can even help guide you on potential career paths that would be well suited to your personality. You can take the official test here or take the free test here.
Strengthsfinder is a book and a test to identify your strengths. The whole idea behind Strengthsfinder is that you should build on your strengths in order to be successful vs. spending your time trying to “fix” your weaknesses. The test gives you the top 5 themes of your talents and a description of what makes these strengths stand out. It also gives you an action planning guide to help you to know what’s next. You’ll get something like mine below:
- Futuristic: People who are especially talented in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and what could be. They inspire others with their visions of the future.
- Achiever: People who are especially talented in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.
- Focus: People who are especially talented in the Focus theme can take a direction, follow through, and make the corrections necessary to stay on track. They prioritize, then act.
- Input: People who are especially talented in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.
- Individualization: People who are especially talented in the Individualization theme are intrigued with the unique qualities of each person. They have a gift for figuring out how people who are different can work together productively.
In order to get access to the test, you need to buy the Strengthsfinder 2.0 book to get an access code to the online test. I’ve reread my results multiple times when I feel stuck so I highly recommend investing in this one!
Phone a Friend
This is not an official test, but if you want to know who you are, ask your friends and family. I know this can feel uncomfortable, but you’ll feel so good when you get responses and you are likely to see themes emerge from the responses. You can email them and ask them to name 5 positive characteristics about you. If you feel uncomfortable, you can even offer to do the same in return for them! Yes, I’ve actually done this.
My general themes from the responses were: organized, positive, approachable, generous, and empathetic.
Wouldn’t it feel good to hear about your strengths from the people you love? This one is free and just takes some guts to ask.
If you’re currently at the place where you feel stuck or lost, I would highly recommend trying this out. It’s amazing what really knowing yourself does to help you move forward in many areas of your life. Happy test taking!