Excited to have Anna Reel from Anna Motion as a guest blogger! Enjoy!
Have you ever felt discouraged by a lack of understanding of who you are? A weight presses in your head and spreads to your gut as you try to make sense of the world around you and how you fit into the puzzle of life. It consumes your mind and your every action. Who am I? Why am I like this? Where do I fit in?
I’ve been there. I’ve been in the depths of misunderstanding and have questioned (even cried over) why I am the way that I am.
I don’t know when I first learned of the term “introvert”, but I know I had many negative misconceptions about if for years because of the media and the way the people around me treated seemingly “introverted” qualities. People would use it like a foul word, like “stop being such an introvert!” But wait…I was an introvert. Did that mean that I was bad? Did being an introvert mean that I was somehow lesser than?
I already could see the differences between myself and many of the people around me. Everyone seemed so much quicker to speak, spouting off witty banter faster than I could process. Subjects of conversation were changed before I could even contribute. People interrupting and overlapping one another without consideration. They spent long periods of time with each other without missing a beat nor becoming weary.
But I was different. And I knew it.
Then I came across a book called The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World by Marti Olsen Laney. It changed my whole perspective! She spoke of strengths that introverts had that were weaknesses for most extroverts. She talked about how to work with your weaknesses and maximize your strengths. For once I felt empowered by my introversion. For once I felt like I did have strengths. For once I felt like my personality type wasn’t lesser and that it had value…that I had value.
But then that feeling of empowerment slowly faded because I found myself not relating to many of the introverted people I met. But wait, we were both introverts…so how could we be so different? I began to feel like an alien even among the introvert friends I so loved. This confused me. This once again made me feel very much alone–like I was different and, therefore, some kind of freak.
Ultimately I knew my identity was in Christ, so no matter what, this gave me strength and hope…but it can still hurt when you fail to understand the other deep intricacies of yourself that have such a huge impact on your life and the way you live it.
But then I learned about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and I took a free online version of the test. The results came on my screen: I N F J
These four little letters would completely change my life and how I viewed myself.
I began reading the information they had about this personality type called the “INFJ” and it was like a breath of fresh air! They understood me. Every single line I read reflected a truth about me. It was a feeling like coming home. I felt understood. I felt normal; I wasn’t a freak! They actually had a label for my way of seeing the world. I learned that only 2% or less of the population are INFJs; we’re the rarest personality type. No wonder I had such a hard time finding anyone who thought the way I did!
As I went through this life changing process of learning more about my personality and what that means (the strengths, the weaknesses, the tendencies, etc.), I began to grow as a person even more. I firmly believe that the more we understand about ourselves (what motivates us, what time we are most productive, our strengths, our weaknesses, our fears, our dreams, etc.), the more we can grow.
My encouragement to you:
1. Find out your MBTI.
I know so many people who gained new insights about themselves by taking this test.
2. Don’t be discouraged if the MBTI results don’t match you.
We are all unique human beings and while this test seems to be accurate for most, that doesn’t mean it will be accurate for all. We’re too beautiful and unique to all fit into neat, tidy boxes. And that’s ok! That’s wonderful! Perhaps still look into the explanations of each letter (I vs E, N vs S, T vs F, and J vs P). You may be able to discover a little about yourself. It’s also valuable in understanding the way other people see and respond to the world differently than you.
3. Learn more about yourself every day.
Pay attention to your words, self-talk, actions, energy, and emotions. These can all provide valuable insight into yourself. Perhaps even talk it over with a friend or a counselor or coach. Sometimes it can be scary what we find and it helps to process with someone we trust.
4. Apply what you learn.
So you learn that you communicate better through writing? Then write and enjoy yourself or perhaps challenge yourself by speaking in public. So you learn your brain seems to work better in the morning? Maximize that by doing the hardest brain work in the morning; you’ll get a lot more done! Learning to work around or strengthen your weaknesses, as well as maximizing your strengths is a sure way to grow as a person.
5. Know that no matter who you are, you are valuable, you are unique, and you have great strength!
Another reason why I love finding out what other people’s MBTI types are is that I get to learn more about what makes each person so unique and wonderful. Human beings are so beautiful! That includes YOU!
If you liked this post, check out: There’s A Reason You Love Social Media’s Personality Quizzes
She is currently working towards a relaunch and rebranding as TheReelAnna.com. The new website will launch on September 1st with a month long celebration to follow and over $300 worth in prizes! Check out her Facebook page or subscribe to her email list through her website to find out more.