Wednesday, 19 June 2013

The Dreamer (Personality Tests)

As you grow up, the desire to define yourself becomes a bigger and bigger part of your life. 
It becomes such an overwhelming drive that we will let just about anything have the power to change what we see ourselves as. 
If -insert some authoritative figure- says I'm not leadership material, then I must not be then. If -insert friend here- thinks I'm goofy then I guess I have to be the clown for the rest of my life!
No. You define yourself. Nobody knows you better than you and just because everybody's arrogant and wants to pretend like everything they say is factually true, that does not give them the right to tell you who you are! Ignore them.

When I used to feel lost about who I was, I went through dozens of internet personality tests in the hopes of somebody else (anonymous and behind a screen) defining me, essentially boxing me into a personality type that was based on something ridiculous from said person's imagination. I knew that those tests were for entertainment purposes only but at the same time I couldn't help but let them influence me. I think saved myself by finding a test that was extensive and not constricting in the way it was presented. It defined me in a positive and reliable way that has really helped me be happy with who I am and introduce ways for me to constructively improve myself. Yes, the Myer Briggs test that I'm sure many of you know of and have tried. If you haven't? Try it! (if you're put off by the registration process, this version is also very extensive)

After doing this test (multiple times for the past year) , I have come out as an INFP again and again. This stands for someone who is more Introverted (rather than extroverted), relies on iNtuition (rather than sensing), Feeling (rather than thinking) and Perceiving (rather than judging). By providing four categories to separate different parts of your personality, it makes the breakdown more personalised and relatable for people as there are so many different combinations of letters you can get. As I read through the description provided, I could not help nodding along to all the similarities I felt in my own personality. 
"INFPs (dreamers) are introspective, private, creative and highly idealistic individuals that have a constant desire to be on a meaningful path. They are driven by their values and seek peace. Empathetic and compassionate, they want to help others and humanity as a whole. INFPs are imaginative, artistic and often have a talent for language and writing..." 
From that point onwards, by having a scientifically approved (as much as a test on the internet can be) way of determining who I am, I have been constantly improving my flaws based on that information. I'm not saying I have let this personality test define me, but it has certainly helped me find myself and is important in letting me know objectively where my weaknesses lie.
However if the test does not give you a desirable result, don't worry! Here's an interesting idea for you. 
Do the test as someone that you want to be. Perhaps who you see yourself in 5 or 10 years. Read through the results and know specifically what you're striving for, and start changing yourself from there rather than feeling unsatisfied with who you are and being unable to do anything but complain. Remember though, don't make changing your personality an obsession, I've been there. (story for another time?) At the end of the day only you can balance what you inherit and what you alter to become the best you that you can be and that's good enough. There's always a place out there for everybody, whoever they are.

P.S I'm not in any ways affiliated with the Myer Briggs personality test and to be honest they should pay me for free advertising