Know Thyself

The Myers-Briggs, StrengthFinder, Big Five Personality Test, the Enneagram, even the Four Humors. I know them all.

Millennials, you have probably taken one of these tests in high school or college. Some of you probably loved the test, some of you probably disliked it. And a lot of you probably completely forgot it.

My advice: Whichever test you take start to take it seriously. I’ve taken so many assessments of my talents, strengths or personality that they have all started to run together. Part of my nature is to continually explore, but I’ve decided to take a different approach: I chose to actually believe my personality assessments.

I’m a person who struggles with routine. I’ve accepted this. I’m not a concrete thinker. My eyes glaze over when a conversation turns to the specifics instead of the “big idea”. It is what it is.

I’ve noticed that people tend to take for granted their natural talents. A person who is structured, thinks everyone is naturally structured. Personally, I grew up being called “so creative”. It wasn’t until I reached my mid-twenties that I realized, that not everyone is creative. Instead of focusing on “why can’t I be as comfortable with routine as my schoolteacher or nursing friends?” I started to think “How can I use my creativity in a way that will be helpful to others, and not wear me out with a strict regulated schedule?” Luckily I knew my talents well enough in college to choose Graphic Design as my major in college, and I haven’t regretted it.

Part of “knowing thyself” is finally accepting who you are. Maybe I was waiting to wake up someday to be a concrete-sequential planner and doer. It’s not going to happen, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have other abilities that I can use. Also as StrengthFinder says, using your natural talents is better leverage than trying to cultivate ones that exhaust you.

lightbulbAnyway, if you’re interested, here is a glimpse into who I am:

-My Myers-Briggs type is usually INTP, but I’ve scored out a Feeler in the past.

-A couple of my StrengthFinder “Top 5” are: 1.Intellection, and 5. Ideation.

-A couple standouts on my Big Five are: 90% Openness, and 65% Neuroticism. Great 😉

-My Enneagram  is sort of all over: 5, 4 & 7.

-The humor I resonate with the most is Melancholy.

Of course, Millennials, tests are not the only way to figure out who you are, but pay attention to them. See how they apply day to day, and accept it. What is your personality or Strengths? If you’re a personality test fanatic feel free to share yours.

8 thoughts on “Know Thyself

  1. Agreed. Although none of the personality tests, even Myers-Briggs are scientific, I still find it useful to take them seriously. I’ve taken Myers-Briggs twice in my life, once in freshman year of high school a decade ago, and once last year. Both times I got INTJ, and both times I felt it made perfect sense.

    My weaknesses are the typical INTJ weaknesses: Difficulty connecting with others, social cues not coming as naturally, sometimes tend to overlook details, spend too much time in my own head

    My strengths are the typical INTJ strengths: Ability to see the big picture and apply that knowledge, have high standards of knowledge and intelligence, understand new ideas fairly quickly

    I found this specific portion of that link interesting since you are an INTP: “Unlike the INTP, they do not follow an idea as far as they possibly can, seeking only to understand it fully”

    Seems like that description of INTP molds perfectly well with your description of being a creative person

  2. Interesting! Yea, my husband is an INTJ, and he gets sort of bored if as I continually talk an idea out, to understand it in all it’s complexity. He wants to understand enough of it so he can apply it. I’m like apply? who said anything about applying?

    Yes, I have accepted that “as soon as I figure out a problem” I’m done, and I move on. I don’t care about implementation. Very hard in an -STJ world, but luckily graphic design and writing isn’t implementation, rather idea-oriented. I also have an Feeler side too, so it makes me interested in how people work rather than just hard science. Works for me! INTJs have an edge in leadership, as they are interested in how to APPLY ideas– I can see this very much in my husband.

    I’ve noticed in a teamwork setting it can be stressful when MBTI tests AREN’T taken seriously, because it’s not recognized who is good at what. StrengthsFinder is an even better test for teams. If you haven’t taken that I highly recommend it. It goes beyond MBTI to help you discover what you’re actually good at.

    My husband (and another INTJ I know) have the strength “Strategic”. Also, IMO, Obama is an INTJ.

      • I think it was my experience in highly-structured vs. flexible/unpredictable environments, and a ridiculous amount of feedback from personality tests. Another one of my strengths is “Adaptability”.. AND INTPs are very adaptive/flexible. I score very high on “Openness” (Big5) which needs a lot of variety and gets bored. Also, being affirmed by co-workers, employers about creativity, flexibility, being a fast-paced worker, allowed me to be ok with the fact that I don’t do well in highly- structured environments. Finally, my line of work (graphic design) has allowed me to be flexible, unlike being a surgeon or something.

  3. Rachel:

    I am putting together an event on several trends, one of them is about how the consumer of today is changing the way media is delivered. Think second screening, apps, peer-reviews, etc..
    One of the gaps I am attempting to fill is about how personality tests might show trending personality types from one generation to another. I imagine a timeline that shows the generations (with their cusps) and how personality types trends may have shifted from one generation to the next.
    Have you seen anything like this?


    • Hi sorry for late reply. I’ve been on the road. I don’t know any hard data, or research on Millennial trends concerning personality as a generation. However, I remember reading Howe&Strauss book Generations (I think) about how the 4 archetypes line up with other personality tests. Ex: Myers Briggs, 4 Humors. The 4 generational archetypes are under Generation Cycles Theory page. It’s a very soft science, but let me know if that helps.

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