Number 30 – Embrace Your Personality Type
Personality types can be slightly controversial things. Many people find the Myers-Briggs tests and personality types wildly inaccurate and unhelpful, too prescriptive and too reductive. I absolutely agree that we shouldn’t treat these personality types as Gospel and we most certainly can change over time, but I do think that they can be a helpful tool to make sure we are placing our efforts in the right places. Are we making the most of what we do naturally?
In my case, I am an ENFP or Champion. As soon as I learnt this, I realised its truth. I am absolutely at my best when I am championing other people – helping them believe in themselves, giving them ownership over their creativity and allowing them to realise the value of their skillset. Learning that I am an ENFP helped me accept that it is not only good for me but better for everyone, if I put my efforts into building other people up and letting them go out and make things happen.
Over the past couple of months, I have put my focus into giving to other people. By this I mean, looking at how I can help other people achieve their aims and ambitions. How can my skills and experience help them to succeed? As soon as I have done this, opportunities and potential projects have sprung up all over the place! I’m suddenly juggling a whole host of exciting and creatively fulfilling projects. Some of which are paying me already and some of which have the potential to pay me in the future.
The other remarkable thing about this shift is that I feel incredibly energised by it! It doesn’t feel too much like work. Yes, my brain is buzzing with possibilities and ideas. Yes, I’ve got more emails and correspondence to keep up with. But these things are bringing me energy, rather than taking my energy.
By contrast, when I put all my efforts into pushing projects forward personally, the going is much tougher. I can do it – I have done it on many occasions - but it is hard work, and it is exhausting. I am not in my natural flow. More to the point, my natural ability to champion others is impacted. I can’t focus on other people so much because I have too much to do myself. The net result isn’t bad (generally, it’s pretty good!) but it’s not as good or as enjoyable as it could have been.
So, take a moment to explore your personality type. Take it with a pinch of salt and remember that you might not always be the best judge of your own behaviour. But if the results resonate, listen to them. They may be the key to unlocking a more fulfilling and more productive approach to work.