The Personality Test Crisis

I’ve never been a big one for personality tests. In all honesty, most I felt like ended up giving the result that the taker “wanted” to get. Let’s not all lie to ourselves, how many of us picked the answers that we thought we should have? How many of us wanted a specific result so we picked the answer we thought would get us that result (I’m looking at you Meyers-Briggs). Sure, I’ve had to take personality tests before for a job and I would like to think I answered honestly on those, but it’s human nature when confronted with a complex or divisive question to pick the answer “society” expects. Or is it?

This is a story about how one personality test turned my whole Sunday Night upside down.

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You may have heard a while back about a new personality test going around called the Enneagram. I had heard of it, but as you can guess from the above, was not interested in taking it. I’m a fairly confident person, sure of who I am and what I want in life. I may have had a passing interest in the concept of the Enneagram, but I hadn’t fully “bought into” the concept. Plus, from my understanding, this test was accurate and was brutal about your weaknesses/detractors. Who wants to know all of that or just have it thrust back in your face after painfully tucking it away?

After this test had been circulated through, and having multiple friends suggest I take it/ask what my results were (kudos to my friend Tes for being the final person to push me into the test…and then soothe my soul/help me navigate haha), I figured what the hell. Maybe I should take it. This, my friends, turned into a whole night spent in crisis (I kid…kind of).

The Enneagram is one of the most…detailed and in depth that I’ve seen go around. Not only is it exhaustive in its descriptions and details for the 9 types, but it goes beyond and details out more specifics “wings” that work alongside your dominant type. I’ve not seen a test not only so detailed, but so spot on (in the end- once I got there). The actual Enneagram Institute Website goes into such incredible detail about the test, the types, the wings, the levels; every detail that you could think of (you can find that HERE).

There are many, many, many Enneagram tests circulating on the internet, free and charged. I took three. They all seem to follow along the same vain, you either are selecting which trait is the most like/unlike you, or you are presented with a series of phrases that you determine is most like/unlike you. Now, I took three because the first two gave me different results. The third was to be my conclusive test. It wasn’t.

At this point, I suppose I should tell you what I actually scored, huh? At the end of the day I am a 9w1 living at a healthy Level 2/3. So, what does that actually mean? It means that my entire life is played out in this link…

When I took all the tests, I tested at both a Type 2 and a Type 9 (actually one of the most frequent mistypes is between these two types). This led me to that little mini crisis that I mentioned and was only semi kidding about. There are a few main differences between a 2 and a 9, one being humble/proud, another being giving to give/giving to receive. It’s much more complicated than that, but those are the gist of the two. I did an extensive (almost embarrassing) amount of reading, googling, meme-ing, even the Sleeping At Last playlist on Spotify, just to understand. To try and figure out what I ACTUALLY was. I don’t know why it was so important to me, but having the conclusive answer just was.

After spending a bit of time doing research (and yet another test), I looked on the actual Enneagram Institute website. I read through the entirety of the Type 9 (which is what was the best fit for me after the previous amount of reading/listening/meme-ing I had done) to get a clearer answer. And that is when it became abundantly clear.

Every Type on the Enneagram has various levels. Each level is classified as Healthy, Average, Unhealthy and reading through these levels was like reading through my life over the past 18 years. Seeing the various levels, seeing that the basics of Type 9 to the intricacies of Type 9 solidified everything. The things about Type 9 that didn’t necessarily ring true to who I am now were at different Levels and definitely rang true at some point of my life. Which is why, when I gave my type earlier, I included what level I was currently living at.

Now, is this the end all be all? No. Why did I devote a now almost 820-word blog post to this topic when I don’t think that this whole Personality Test is really all that important? I don’t know. I found it really interesting to read up on and I actually learned some new things about myself, or rather words to describe some of the things that I do. Such as “numbing out” which is a way of living in premature peacefulness. I found a couple of tips or things to work on about myself and my flaws. Overall, it was an interesting thing to research and something really neat to learn about myself.

What do you think? Are you a personality test taker? If you’ve done it…what’s your enneagram? Did you feel like it was accurate?

Let’s Talk Insecurities – A Two Part Challenge : Part 1

Insecurity. We all deal with it. Insecurities. We all have them. Some of us deal with more insecurities than others. They manifest in different area’s of our lives, in different ways, and we all react to them and deal with them differently. I’m a fairly confident and self assured person and I have plenty of them. I know many others deal with them as well. I want to talk about insecurities, delve into them a little- share what my insecurities are and how I deal with them.

I’m thinking this is going to be a two part post and I hope that you will come along on this and participate as well. I think we can all learn from each other, in coping, in feeling better about ourselves and I think even just hearing that someone deals with the same insecurity helps.

This is the first part.

Insecurities is one of those things that we either talk about or don’t talk about. Sometimes giving a voice, words, saying our fears out loud can help. Sometimes it doesn’t. In this first part we are going to talk about our insecurities. I am going to share the parts of myself, both physical and non, that I am insecure about.

Let me be clear- I do not want compliments, I do not want to hear about how it’s silly or anything like that. I am not putting this out there to ask for compliments. I am putting this out there to work on dealing with the insecurity itself. To help others who may be experiencing the same thing or have some of the same insecurities. To be in a space where others can open up and share their insecurities as well in a safe and productive way.

So, let’s get down to the hard part, shall we?

Physical Insecurity

I think the hardest insecurities to deal with can be the one’s concerning our bodies. Sure, we can fix some of them, but some are just DNA or beyond our control and there isn’t much we can do with them. They also seem to be the one’s that we, as a society, fixate on (which is a topic for a whole separate post). In a physical sense I am insecure about my eyebrows (random, I know), my teeth, my really white legs that do not hold a tan (at all, seriously), and my hips/belly area. When I gain weight, I gain it in my hips and belly. One other thing that I do get a little self conscious about (more so than an actual insecurity) is the fact that I am petite. Since I am petite, people often feel like it is more “acceptable” to comment on my body and while none of it is bad, it’s still isn’t right and it can make me a bit insecure at times.

Other Insecurities

Insecurity is not just physical, you can feel a lack of confidence in other area’s as well. For example, I am uncertain at times if I am doing the right thing for my children. Questioning whether are not I am being a good mom. Whether are not I am being to like my parents, and not better.  I am uncertain at times if I am doing the best thing for myself and my family. I face self doubt from time to time , probably more than I have ever admitted to before, where my blogging/social media and sharing is concerned.

I would like to hear about your insecurities (if you are up to sharing, you do not have to if you do not want to). I feel like just talking about the things that we are insecure about that already can take some of the weight off of our shoulders. The next part of this challenge will be to figure how to work through the insecurities, how to push them aside, or recognize when we are letting them control our everyday.

Time to Stop Reflecting and Start Doing

I feel like when we are in a rut or having a tough time, we tend to focus on where we are at. What is going on with ourselves. Why are we in this rut. What has caused this tough time. In fact, I feel like this is something that we do a lot in general. There is A LOT of self reflection going on in our world these days. Reflecting on who we are, how we’ve gotten where we are at, what we want to do, the list goes on and on.

While I am not opposed to a little self reflection and spending time sorting ourselves and our feelings out, I feel like I am starting to see a bit of a problem. The problem where we spend to much time reflecting and not enough (or really any) time DOING. A lot of times we will sit in our thoughts and feelings and try to work through all of our problems and we forget that to work through our problems we have to…well WORK THROUGH our problems.

Thinking can only get us so far. Doing is the next step. And sometimes, sometimes we over think when we should just jump.

Now, I don’t mean let’s just throw rational thought and decision making out the window. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t think things through at all and I’m not saying that we should never reflect on who we are, what we are doing and how we are living.

What I am saying is that there is a time and place. There is a moment that we should reflect, but there is also a moment where we need to stop.

If we are constantly searching for who we are, constantly looking within ourselves that does not leave anything left to experience. It does not leave space for us to explore and truly find ourselves in other situations, in other instances, in other people. There is a whole world out there and we need to go experience it. For we do not truly know who we are until we have lived our lives.

I do not mean to get all personal development-y/serious/meditative here, but this is something that I am seeing more and more of and it is aggravating.

We don’t all need to always be trying to find ourselves. I’m not saying that growth and change do not occur, we are ALWAYS growing and changing (you can see my many blog posts on this), but 90% of this time that growth comes from new experiences, new situations, new people. Only about 10% of our personal growth comes from self reflection. (These are not scientific numbers or study results or anything like that, just my own opinion)

All this to say, that self reflection is good and is something that we all should do from time to time, but it is not something that needs to be taking over our lives. Self Reflection should not be stopping you from living life to the fullest. Make sure that you are not constantly looking inward and trying to find yourself. Sometimes we can only find ourselves by living life.

 

Personal Development Book Challenge: Update 1

Good morning! You may remember at the beginning of last month, I posted about doing a Personal Development book challenge. I asked for recommendations and boy did yall give me some! You can see that original blog post HERE.

Today I am going to share the books that I picked out of the recommendations, as well as share my thoughts on the two that I have read so far.

The Books that I picked:

I picked a total of 5 as that is what I think is a reasonable amount to give me a jumping off spot. There were a couple that, to be honest, I had no interest in based on what I know or have read about them, but the few that I did pick I was excited about.

  1. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
  2. The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha
  3. Mastering Your Mean Girl by Melissa Ambrosini
  4. Boss Bitch by Nicole Lapin
  5. The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

As of writing this first update, I have read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and I am halfway through The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor. So far, I am finding that a lot of Personal Development books are about taking what you want to take from them and discarding everything else.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (the same person who wrote Eat, Pray, Love) is about not letting fear get in your way in the realm of creativity. I’m going to be honest, there were parts of this book that I rolled my eyes at. That is just on a personal level, but on the whole I actually did take some things away from the points she was making. The biggest take away being, to create as if no one is consuming. I have a major fear of failure (one that gets in the way of me accomplishing a lot of things I think I could) and while I try to practice the whole “Dance as if no one is watching” it was something to realize how much I wasn’t doing that. So, a good one for the challenge and a book that on the whole I think is good.

I’m currently (as of writing this) halfway through The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor. I’m going to be brutally honest here, this book is a bit of a letdown. I’m applying the concept of take what you take, discard the rest and I’m not really taking much away from it. It’s a bit cold in reading it, a bit scientific. It vaguely reminds me of Quiet (however I loved that book), but not in a good way. So far it is listing quite a few studies and finding of things that I already know. I’m only halfway through, so we will see if it goes up from here. I think this one (and The Book of Awesome) may have been one of my tops from my list and so I think that is playing into my disappointment level as well.

So, that is my first update! I will try to update every couple books or so until I finish them. I may continue on here and there to talk about books that I am reading in future posts as well.

The Personal Development/ Motivational Book Challenge

Alright, I’m going to admit this one very unpopular opinion…I’m not the biggest fan of “self help”/personal development or motivational books. Maybe I’ve only gotten duds, but they always feel just a bit off to me. I get the whole “ra ra get your life together” feeling, but in the same book it also will make almost excuses for everything else going on. I’m more of a swift kick in the ass kinda person (haha kidding…maybe). Sometimes all we need is a blunt approach, rather than a soft it’s ok, you can accomplish it all now doing it this way. IT ALL DEPENDS ON THE PERSON, SITUATION AND MINDSET.

With all of that being said, I feel like maybe I’ve just gotten a couple of duds of self help and motivational books. With the year coming to an end, and everyone doing some reflection and planning for next year, I figured now may be as good a time as any to re evaluate my thoughts on Self Help and Motivational Books.

Here’s what I want to do…a challenge of sorts for the next month-ish. Tell me in the comments below, in comments on my Social Media Post, in an email or direct message, whatever, what is a self help or motivational style book that has changed your life. That you really found meaningful, was chock full of knowledge, that just changed your outlook. I will make a deal to read 5 of the most commented books over the next month (or two depending on how long they take).

If I haven’t read it, I will add it to a short reading list and I’ll start reading the books that you’ve recommended! With each book read, I’ll make a blog post detailing the recommendation, what the book focuses on, and my thoughts about it. Help me find some motivational reading that will change my life!