Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Know Thyself. Also, progress!

I think it can be very important and eye opening for people to know their strengths, weaknesses, and personality types. Sometimes knowing a little bit about yourself can help you understand your behavior, find the best job suited for you, help you navigate difficult situations, understand and/or overcome your weaknesses, and more.

I have compiled some personality tests and strengths finders that I have found to be generally well accepted and accurate. Have fun, take them, see what you learn. I posted my results just for fun. You will have gotten to know Samurai Girl just a little bit better after this post. Lucky you. :รพ

Myers Briggs or Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) - pretty much everyone has heard of the Myers Briggs personality test. There are 16 different personality types according to four different behavioral indicators. Extrovert vs. Introvert, Sensing vs. Intuitive, Feeling vs. Thinking, and Judging vs Perception. Based on a series of questions the test is designed to determine which side of the spectrum you are on the four dynamics and give you your type, which is usually abbreviated with one letter from each type. For example, I'm an INFJ, which stands for Introvert Intuitive Feeling Judgement. and Wikipedia have good breakdowns of the types and their descriptions. You can take the Myers Briggs Personality Test here ALWAYS go with your first response/initial reaction when answering these types of yes-no or multiple choice questions.

My Results: INFJ is the rarest of types, usually accounted as being between 1–3% of the population.

INFJs are conscientious and value-driven. They seek meaning in relationships, ideas, and events, with an eye toward better understanding themselves and others. Using their intuitive skills, they develop a clear and confident vision, which they then set out to execute, aiming to better the lives of others. Like their INTJ counterparts, INFJs regard problems as opportunities to design and implement creative solutions.
INFJs have been mistaken for extroverts, as they tend to possess multiple personalities due to their complex inner life; however, they are true introverts. INFJs are private individuals who prefer to exercise their influence behind the scenes. Though they are very independent, INFJs are intensely interested in the well-being of others. INFJs prefer one-on-one relationships to large groups. Sensitive and complex, they are adept at understanding complicated issues and driven to resolve differences in a cooperative and creative manner.
INFJs have a rich, vivid inner life that they may be reluctant to share with those around them. Nevertheless, they are congenial in their interactions and perceptive of the emotions of others. Generally well liked by their peers, they may often be considered close friends and confidants by most other types; however, they are guarded in expressing their own feelings, especially to new people, and tend to establish close relationships slowly. INFJs tend to be easily hurt, though they may not reveal it (except to their closest companions). INFJs may "silently withdraw as a way of setting limits" rather than expressing their wounded feelings—a behavior that may leave others confused and upset.
INFJs tend to be sensitive, quiet leaders with a great depth of personality. They are intricately, deeply woven, mysterious, highly complex, and often puzzling, even to themselves. They have an orderly view toward the world but are internally arranged in a complex way that only they can understand. Abstract in communicating, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities. With a natural affinity for art, INFJs tend to be creative and easily inspired, yet they may also do well in the sciences, aided by their intuition.

What I can learn from this: Not everyone feels things as intensely as I do, so I need to give myself a safe space and time to express and feel emotions accordingly. Large group settings are not where I am a viking, and that is ok; it also probably wouldn't hurt to express to people that I am an introvert and/or that I am uncomfortable and need a moment to get some air instead of just withdrawing quietly or disappearing. This can help avoid confusion and hurt feelings. I need creativity and meaning in my world to feel content and I need to be solving problems to feel successful.

As a side note I find it pretty interesting to note that some of my closest friends are INTJs or ENTJs. We're very close in some ideas and behaviors except for the emotional aspects. I'm the 'feeler' of my group as it were, which also makes it very easy for me to be guilt tripped and/or emotionally manipulated, which I need to watch out for. 

Gallup Strengths Finder  -  This test you do have to pay for, but I think to take the test it is probably $10. It is really good at assessing your strengths. This is meant more to help direct you in the work force to allow you to find a good job and a good position for you, but understanding your strengths and drives can also greatly help you understand your behaviors in your personal life as well. It can also show you your weaknesses and give you tips on areas of improvement or things to look for. There are 34 total strengths and taking the test will give you your top five. Here is the direct link to the gallup strengths finder quiz purchase page. 

My results were:
Input, Learner, Responsibility, Restorative, and Empathy. These roughly break down like the following

Input - loves collecting knowledge and information
Learner - loves to learn
Responsibility - has an inherent need to take responsibility and be responsible for my actions, etc.
Restorative - has an inherent need to fix things, especially my own mistakes. (I think this goes hand in hand with Responsibility. It makes sense I have both, really.)
Empathy - can intuitively understand the feelings and the needs of others and sympathize. 

Equilibria Personality Type -  I like this test a little more than the straight up single color personality profiles because it gives you a dual color result rather than just "blue" or "yellow". This test is free and can be taken on the Equilibria website.

My Results Were:

Blue/Red - The Doing Relater

I am an industrious person who focuses on goals and proceeds full speed ahead. I am willing to be supportive of others if it helps me achieve my objectives. I do have a genuine desire to complete tasks from start to finish, preferably by myself.
I am highly focused and sometimes forget to ask or seek other people's opinions. I have a tendency to say 'I' instead of 'we.’
I am competitive and find it difficult to delegate tasks and jobs.
My tendencies include:
  • I dislike being told what to do or when or how to do something
  • I am reluctant to change what I think or how I feel
  • I will only delegate tasks when absolutely necessary
  • I like to make sure that production is completed on schedule
  • I depend a lot on plans for action and follow up routines
  • I become tenacious and even more anxious when under pressure
My Potential Limiters:
With tasks: Because I am so focused, I could benefit by broadening my perspectives. I need to learn to be effective outside my comfort zone by considering different points of view and finding other ways to achieve my goals. All too often, I am in the 'either / or' mode in my decision making and need to practice flexibility.
With people: I must start to show confidence in others by delegating and giving people tasks that will be fulfilling for them. I can also benefit by creating more free time and space in my life, as well as generally appreciating and tolerating differences among people.
  • I should ask others to share their ideas on how to accomplish tasks and how to satisfy their needs and expectations.
  • I should be more genuinely open with others by revealing my feelings and addressing theirs.
  • I should be less afraid to seek guidance or ask for help.

What I can learn:  I think that a lot of the quiz's recommendations for me to basically open up to people more stem from my introvertedness. After discussing my personality type with my mom, I discovered that I actually started life as an extrovert and through a lot of bullying and bad teacher experiences throughout the course of my childhood I withdrew, grew a shell, and turned into an introvert. It's interesting that my initial reactions to it being suggested is to scoff and think "But you don't know what people are really like!" Which means I probably do need to work on opening up a little more. It's not that I'm not genuine or sincere with people that I don't know well, it's just that I'm very guarded and initially distrustful. I need to be more soft when it comes to dealing with others.

Well, there you have it. I encourage you to take time for introspection and reflection.

As I've mentioned before I haven't been posting regularly because I've been having some difficulty with finding direction and motivation in life. Nick and I have had some pretty involved conversations lately regarding this and I feel like we've finally broken some ground. Understanding what it is that drives me, what I respond well to, and what I don't, has been instrumental in helping me get out of my slump.

Oklahoma has been a difficult learning experience for me, but I'm glad that I moved down. I've had some really good experiences and Nick has helped me through a lot. On the whole though I am really looking forward to moving forward in my life and tackling the next thing.

The move to back to Colorado will be a great reset. (For both Nick and I) I'm looking forward to going back to school. I've decided to become a Massage Therapist, which will allow me some freedom with my schedule once I am able to work on my own, and this can later be incorporated into Nick's martial arts school if desired. It's a quick 9 months and then I'll be done with school and into the work force.

There are several excellent martial arts schools (and people) to study with in Colorado, which both Nick and I are looking forward to.

Colorado is a healthier state and it will be much more enjoyable to be in the great outdoors, hiking and camping in the mountains, etc, instead of dealing with the extreme heat, humidity and allergies of Oklahoma.

To name just a few of the things we are looking forward to.

Hopefully I should be back into the swing of things fairly quickly and can get back to posting good Martial Arts, Health, Fitness, and Violence related posts again in the near future. Thanks for bearing with me, this last year has been especially difficult, but I feel like things are finally looking up and moving forward. I feel very positive and uplifted for the first time in a long time. Like a great weight has (finally) been lifted off my back.

Wishing you all the best,

Samurai Girl

P.S. if anyone has any particularly good suggestions for places to study at (or at least visit) in Colorado I would be happy to hear them. We are going to be in the Denver area. Currently on our list is Nippon Kan Aikido (also Domo), I think Nick is going to at least check out Bob Orlando's school in Lakewood, and hopefully we can also get down to visit Marc MacYoung's school in Castle Rock before too long as well. Other suggestions are welcome in the comments below. 

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