Knowing yourself is the beginning of wisdom – Aristotle.
Personality tests are interesting, I’ve always been very intrigued by them. They can reveal certain parts of our brain or certain aspects of how we act. Most of them are not science based but are instead observational. There is one personality test that has any scientific backing, and that is called the “Big Five”. We’re not discussing that one today, but that one does have some research behind it. Keep in mind, though, just because it’s observational and not scientifically based, doesn’t mean they’re untrue. UC Davis’s Psychologist Dr. Vazire says “It’s fairly easy to reach some level of validity. If I were to ask you to make a questionnaire on extroversion, you would probably do a pretty good job. It’s because we are all judges of character. And we often do well at intuiting, whom to date or hire, or who we are. If the process seems confusing, or if the question veers into abstract, that’s a red flag. Personality is not that mysterious. There are often others who scoff at personality tests and even call them dangerous. Of course, mistakes can be made and there are limits in place to how much personality tests can tell about ourselves. They are based in opinion of the writer. They do have some biases built into them. But they also can be valuable if put into their proper perspective. They point out aspects of our personality that may give us insight of how we work and how we think. Today we’ll talk about two tests, and specifically speak about what motivates you to act. Since we’ve been working on goals and trying to put things into action. personalities are often double-edged swords; our strengths are reflections of our weaknesses. Maybe you’re very nice. But maybe that also means you get walked on by others. If you’re highly skeptical. That means you have a keen mind and can sort truth from not true. But it might mean that you’re tearing down good things in your life, because you can’t find any evidence or validity in them from other sources. The key is to take your strengths and push them. Then take your weaknesses and try to reduce them. You can you be nice without being taken advantage of? Can you be creative and ordered prior to take all those different aspects of yourself and sharpen them. Two tests that we will discuss will help us move towards our goals.
At one point I was pondering why it was I was able to help customers do any tasks. I was diligent about getting them done. But why is it I can’t get myself to exercise simple things just for myself. I also noticed that when a friend would ask if I could help them garden or work on a project, I would jump at the chance of doing it. But I would never garden for myself. What was that I was trying to figure out why it was that I’m so good at some things and so terrible at others. I just realized it’s because someone else is asking me to do it. At that point, I hired a personal trainer and told her just asked me to exercise and expect that I would do it. And every once in a while check to make sure I did. And I would do it. She told me at some point that if I didn’t exercise she would be able to tell. And I said never tell me if that’s true or not. Those words that she said, Put me on the right path to motivation.
Gretchen Rubin and the Four Tendencies
This is a few years before Gretchen Rubin came out with her book, the Four Tendencies: The indispensable personal profiles that reveal how to make your life better and other people’s lives better too. I am very into this book, spent a great deal of time in her community on our website and really love the information that it gave because it made something very clear to me, that I do things because other people asked me to do those things. But she explains how this works, and how to really dig into this personality type to make it work. She got into her theory by observing people who were able to get things done and other people who were not people who were able to do certain things, but not other things. She said, “As I consider these questions, I tried to make sense of certain patterns that I saw. So many people told me, ‘I can take time for other people, but I can never take time for myself.’ Other people told me. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions because January 1 is an arbitrary date.’ And still others tell me ‘When someone tells me to do something I immediately don’t want to do it.'” She goes on later to say by asking one simple question ‘How do I respond to expectations?’ we get insight into ourselves. When we look at how other people respond to expectations, we understand them far more effectively as well. Knowing our tendency can help us set up situations in ways that make it more likely we will achieve our aims. We can make better decisions, meet deadlines, meet our promises to ourselves, suffer less stress and engage more deeply with others.” This was really true for me. When I started reading her book and realizing how her scheme fit into my life, I realized how I could really not only succeed with my own goals but help my friends and others around me succeeded. there’s because now I understood them better. She breaks up all tasks into two different types of tasks, outer expectations, those are things like going to work, doing your homework, going to the doctor, getting a request from a friend, then there’s inner expectations, practicing meditation, or cleaning your house or exercising or eating the right foods. Things that are intrinsic are inside of us. And then she breaks people up into four personality types. The first one is Upholders. They just write something down and they do it. They can do resolutions; they can do tasks for themselves and for other people. They just really take to things. But on the downside, sometimes they won’t take on new tasks because they worry about the obligation. They know they will uphold it. They know they will obsess about it getting done. And it could become quickly overwhelming to do everything that you have as expectations for yourself. Then there’s Questioners who question everything. They’ll do something if they think they understand it correctly if it meets their own standard of truth. When I first heard about this theory, I thought I was a questioner. I do I question everything. A downside of this personality can be that they can talk themselves out of doing something that’s really working for them, because they can’t find evidence that it’s truthful. It’s good to know the truth. But sometimes a little bit of fantasy can help us get through life too. Then there’s Obligers, they meet outer expectations, but struggle with inner expectations. Obligers will do anything for anyone. They will have no problem when someone is expecting them with a deadline or something to do. But they would struggle to do the very same activity for themselves. Because there’s no expectation there’s no oversight, no accountability, and they can just feel burned out and overworked and sometimes quite honestly being taken advantage of. This is where I fit in. I used to think knowing the truth about things motivates me. But instead, obligation motivates me. Knowing that someone is expecting me to do something that will get me in line right away, no matter how much I understand it, or don’t understand it. My endless questioning and learning were just a form of procrastination. There’s also something called Obliger Rebellion. And I think that comes along, at least it does for me, when you feel like someone may be taking advantage of your ability to accomplish things for other people. You always come through for them. There can be kind of a flash of anger that comes in there. You have to be really careful with your Obliger friends. Then there comes Rebel, they resist all expectations inner, outer, they don’t want to do anything anyone expects to them. They want to be a unique person, they want to be independent, and they hate to do the mundane. And so a lot of times, the way they get themselves and other people get them to do things, is by insisting it’s not important, Insisting that they don’t even have to do it if they don’t want to. This test taught me how I need to get things done. I need accountability. That might be telling someone else what I’m doing so that they can hold me accountable. The other interesting thing about the personality test is my friend who’s the upholder always wondered about me. She just never understood why I struggled so many times to get things done. Just put it on checklist and you’ll get it done. Just write it down and just do it already. Gretchen has classes and books on our website. She also has a podcast and an app, and the app is there where she breaks people up into their personality types so they can help each other. Again, for Obligers. There’s a lot of accountability groups in there. For Upholders. It’s about really how to throttle
The next test I want to talk about is called Enneagrams. This test is used by a variety of groups and businesses. It’s finding out how you motivate by based on what you are compelled by and what you fear. This test puts people into nine categories and reports the top three attributes. For example, the type 1 personality wants to be right wanted to strike for a higher ideal, it’s very important to them that they are doing things wise and noble and heroic. They fear being wrong or being bad. personality type number 2 wants to be loved. And their fear is really being unwanted. 3’s are self-assured and charming, and they have the fear of not being valuable or not being successful. Type 4 is that they want to be authentic and unique. And their fear is not really having an identity or not being significant in their own way. 5 love intellectual understanding of things, they like to be competent, and they fear not knowing something 6’s like to be safe, be self-sufficient, non-demanding. They really fear being unsupported or being without that good friendship. 7’s like to be upbeat, and they also enjoy contentment. But they fear pain, they fear being deprived, 8’s, they are independent, and they are scared by being controlled by others. And 9’s would like to be at peace, and they fear, conflict and separation. I’m a seven to nine. I seek contentment primarily. I also love future plans. I think about the possibilities that are out there. My second number means I crave to be with others.
So how can I use this personality test to help me achieve my goals? First thing is I love thinking about what I will do in the future. I plan things I know that when I have a trip coming up, like an adventurous trip, it motivates me. I had a big hiking trip to England, I exercise like crazy, I also saved money. But as I get older, if I don’t take care of myself by eating healthy by sleeping well, by getting exercise, I will eventually lose my ability to have adventures that’s motivating to me. Type 2, where I crave being with other people and having great relationships. When I look at that, I want to think of all the fun things I will do with my friends in the future. But if I can’t do those things, I could be left out. You’ll have to take the tests on your own and determine what could be motivating to you.
Quick & Free Test (not as good as the paid tests)
Our last personality type, since you don’t really need a test, are Chronotypes which have to do with whether you are an Owl or a Lark, and I know for years, this was highly controversial. Scientists didn’t used to think that night owls and larks existed, it was just a matter of laziness. People who slept in later, and went to bed later, were lazy. Even though they were getting the same number of hours of sleep. Remember, the early bird gets the worm. Morning people or larks are able to just get a ton of stuff done in the morning, they’re able to just get up and exercise and do things before work. It’s really pretty amazing. But you also have to realize that by early evening, they’re spent. They’re ready to relax and watch TV or read a book. They like to go to bed earlier. The key here is to know yourself and matching your goals to your schedule. This is where you have to know what really works for you. If you’re at Owl, does it work you to exercise before you’re barely awake? Because you don’t even really have energy to fight yourself? Or do you prefer to do it in the afternoon? You’re a morning person, can you get up and exercise and do all the things that are part of your goals early on before the day takes its toll on it. It’s nice to be a person in the morning, because the longer the day goes on, the more chances you have to decide you’re not going to do a thing. Let me give you an example. If I were decided to get up in the morning and exercise at a time, I do not like at least I get it done. But as that day goes on, I think well maybe I should work out at lunch. Well, no lunch is pretty busy. I’m not going to work out at lunch. Well, maybe I’ll exercise after work. While work really knocked it out of me. I’m pretty tired, and I just want to go home and watch some TV. I missed all my opportunities through excuses to actually get my exercise done. I think again, you have to analyze what really works for you. In the end personality tests are interesting and possibly informative. Realize that they’re not exact science, so be careful with them.
The best advice I can give you is to use ways to pick apart your personality. Know yourself. Once we break apart our personalities and are able to dissect how we get things done. We will know what triggers work for us. How you do one thing is how you do everything.
- Go find some personality tests and see if you can learn a little bit more about yourself
2. It doesn’t take a personality test to necessarily learn about what your personality is. Start writing down time. When you thought you were able to get things done, what motivated you? How did you accomplish those things, really look into what has been successful to you in the past? Can you draw string between them and realize key factors to what makes you do things or when you find it hard to do things? Just by observing our own life, we should be able to come to conclusions about ourselves.
3. Once you’ve taken some personality test, jot down those key factors that really made sense to you.
Start this reflection of your personality, take the personality test, write down, what makes you motivated and what stops you. Here’s our fun quote of the day, you know,
“It may be hard to believe what, with my obvious charm and good looks, but people used to think I was a monster. for a long time, I believed them. But after a while, you learn to ignore the names that people call you and you just trust who you are.”
That is from our wise green fellow Shrek. And what Shrek knows is that when we learn our personalities, and we learn about ourselves, not only does it empower us to be ourselves, but it also stops the people who are trying to bring us down by telling us things that are not true about ourselves and we can fend them off. T
Thanks a lot for listening.
I hope you’re enjoying the podcast. Please give me feedback, leave a review. Tell your friends, join any of my social media and let me know how you’re doing. Are you able to pick a particular task that you’ve been working on? Have you learned to say no, thank you and have a great week.