There are hundreds of factors in your life that will determine how fulfilled you are, how happy your relationships tend to be, and how much success you will experience. However, I happen to think that one of those factors trumps every other one, almost to the point that if you don’t do this one thing, you might as well forget the rest. That one factor is knowing yourself. We can gain all the knowledge we want on how the world works or how others behave, but if we don’t learn to know who we are at the core of our personality, we’ll never truly reach our full potential.
When you really get to know yourself, you not only discover ways to be happier and more successful, but you can also prevent many of life’s speed bumps like mid-life crises and later-in-life divorces. Most of the unhappy people I meet in my business and in life got that way because they continually strive for things that don’t end up making them happy. They’re constantly wondering why they’re never satisfied, why their relationships keep crumbling, or their successes end up feeling hollow. I honestly think all of this can be chalked up to them not taking the time to get to know their own true nature and how it relates to their relationships and overall life goals.
Recommended Personality Tests
So how do you figure out your personality? While this is something I think should be taught in every school in the world, it usually isn’t and most have to seek out the information on their own. I have taken a number of personality tests in my life and given them to most of my clients. I’ve found that these three tests tend to be the most valuable, especially if you’re just starting on your self-knowledge quest.
Myers Briggs Myers Briggs is one of the most popular and widely-used personality tests around. You’ll find out where you fall on the spectrum when it comes to introversion versus extroversion, thinking versus feeling, judging versus perceiving, and sensing versus intuition. From this test, you will get a four-letter personality profile which will help you discover how you relate to people, changes, new information, and hundreds of other aspects of life.
16 Personalities This test is quite similar to Myers Briggs, but there are some subtle differences that I think makes this one valuable. Many people like taking Myers Briggs and then taking the 16 Personalities test to see if they get the same four-letter profile. You’ll also get a ‘name’ to go with your type. For example, as an ENFP in Myers Briggs, I’m ‘The Campaigner’ on 16 Personalities.
Kolbe Index The Kolbe Index personality tests will help you see how you respond to change, the initiative you take in life, and the best way to tackle any project. For example, I am an ‘Innovator’ according to Kolbe and am very high in ‘quick start’. This means I trust my instincts, but that I can be dismissive of others who take a more methodical approach.
How to Use Your Personality Type Information
Once you discover your personality type, it opens up a world of possibilities. Here are just a few ways to use the information:
Capitalize on Your Strengths It’s pretty tough to capitalize on your strengths when you don’t really know what they are. Once you complete your personality profiles, you’ll have concrete information on what you’re really good at. I know that I’m great at vision, but not so great at step-by-step planning. So guess what? I put myself in situations that call for imagination and delegate the planning to someone who has strengths in that area.
Manage Your Weaknesses This is the flipside of capitalizing on your strengths and just as important. So many of us are mired in careers or projects that are consistently demanding we do things we simply are not good at. And we wonder why we feel insecure and unaccomplished! Once you know what you don’t excel at, you can stop pushing yourself to be someone you’re not and focus on something more fulfilling.
Help Others Understand You When you know yourself, you can help those close to you understand you as well. I’ve been able to take my relationship with my wife, my kids, and my co-workers to a whole new level by showing them why I react to things the way I do and providing them with tools and tips to both manage and support the type of person I am.
Understand Others The great thing about getting to know yourself is you realize how different we all are. When you take these tests and see how many combinations are out there in the world, you see that most of us are just doing what comes natural to us. This helps you not take things so personally and actually try to understand others’ motivations and reactions.
Getting to know yourself is a vital step in the process of creating your absolute best life. Use the above personality tests as a jumping off point in your journey of self-discovery, but don’t stop there. Once you start really figuring yourself out, it will lead to a never-ending quest of knowledge and improvement that will make your life a much richer experience. Want to talk more about the personality and knowing yourself? Please reach out. I’m always happy to chat.
Patrick Tucker, the owner of True Measure Wealth Management, has over 20 years experience in the industry and has spent the last 15 years learning the ins and outs of the fee-only advisory business. He focuses on client behaviors and what ‘wealth’ means for each individual client to provide caregiving plans that lead to a mindful fulfillment of financial goals. A lifelong learner, Patrick uses his continued knowledge to become a valued partner for his clients and help them explore the wisdom of true wealth.