I have a confession to make – I'm a personality profiling junkie! I love personality tests and programs and have done many different ones through the years. But the reason I do them is because each test, each program, gives me new insight into who I am and why I do what I do. I get a little more personal freedom and less shame each time.
This ancient Socrates quote, Know Thyself, that was supposedly engraved on the Temple of Apollo, is so well-known I think it has lost its power. But I believe they are very wise words!
I have found that getting to know who I am, and who other people are, has been one of the biggest things that have helped me emotionally as an adult. I no longer get offended or annoyed with other people like I used to because I now understand where they are coming from and why they do what they do. I'm able to appreciate the way other people do things and get along better with my friends and family. Not to mention, the shame and stress I no longer deal with now that I understand myself! Do you want to know my secret? Well, I'll give you a hint “Dressing Your Truth” more on that later.
I was taught that self-help isn't for Christians…
I grew up as a Christian is taught that studying ourselves is humanistic, not Christian. That self-help books and teachers led us away from God. It was well-meaning advice, that God is the one worth knowing and not ourselves because He knows everything. But what they didn't understand is that God created us with unique personalities and callings, gifts, talents and if we don't understand our ourselves, we can make decisions that are not in our best interest, or take us away from our calling and purpose.
And I truly believe now that by getting to know ourselves, we ARE getting to know the very nature of God. Because He dwells within us, we are in Him and He is in us. His divine spirit is everywhere – and nothing can separate us from Him and His love.
It even impacts daily decisions as simple as how you like your coffee, or what clothes you decide to wear. If you don't know yourself, those everyday decisions can be stressful if you are going against your own nature. If you LOVE to be comfortable but wear stiff, formal clothes because you think that's how you're supposed to look, then you'll be uncomfortable all day and not feeling like yourself. It's a constant state of stress, which as we all know, starts to lead to disease and other problems.
Understanding Yourself Releases Shame
I'll never forget the first personal development conference I went to in Orlando, Florida. They had us separate into sections according to our personality type. She spent the next few hours addressing each of the four sections telling us about our personality. I cried, and laughed, and cried again.
For the first time in my life, I able to understand myself and to release a ton on of shame I had heaped upon myself for many years. I thought I was:
- Too driven
- Too bold
- Not able to be successful (because of the aforementioned qualities!)
- Too emotional
When in reality, all it was is that I am (according to her program) a Sapphire/Ruby. Which means I'm motivated by fun and success, have a ton of new ideas, love people, move quickly from one thing to the next (not flighty), and because my energy is so high and my mind moves very quickly, I can tend to have a messier house. What I once saw as air-headed, I realized is my gift to lighten the mood, bring fresh ideas to the table, and have fun. Fun is an actual GIFT! I thought it was not something I needed in my adult life anymore and had suppressed it, even as a mom.
I'm able to make friends easily and put a smile on people's faces, which I now own proudly (and wasn't aware of before). I could go on and on about the things I once saw as flaws and now realize are just the nature God gave me.
The World Needs ALL Types
It is a beautiful thing to realize you are not broken or messed up – that you are actually designed to be a certain way because the world needs ALL different types! We need balance, we need varied skills. Not everyone is supposed to be ambitious, or be entrepreneurs, or be organized and orderly, or sit still, or be outgoing and friendly. It truly is best for the world when we live true to our nature, or things get really out of whack. Do you remember my hint “Dressing Your Truth”?
Carol Tuttle's Dressing Your Truth Program
One of my favorite personality profiling systems is actually an energy profiling system – Dressing Your Truth. Carol has a FREE course and I highly recommend watching all of it and reading her book, “It's Just My Nature.” Her program takes all of the other programs I've done to a whole new level!
Learned Behaviors vs. Your Nature
It can often be hard to tell the difference between your true nature and learned behaviors, and therefore, hard to profile yourself. For instance, I was raised by two very strong Type 4's, which means they are a slower movement, very methodical, deliberate, logical, and orderly. I'm pretty much the opposite of that, which had many benefits because I learned a lot of behaviors that have helped to balance out my Type 3/1 nature, which is a very high energy, fast-paced, determined, bubbly, nature. But I also had a hard time figuring out my own personality and way as a young adult because there were hardly any people in my family like me. Which isn't a problem, I look back now and see how awesome it was for me to learn things I never would've learned if I grew up with parents who were just like me! Gave me a much more rich experience.
Among many things, my parents taught me how to be organized and keep a clean house, but it is not in my nature to do so, it is a learned behavior. I could take a personality test and end up profiling myself incorrectly, thinking I am organized and orderly. But it's a learned behavior, not my true nature.
So I love Carol's program because it uses more than behaviors to profile people – it looks at the movement of the person – the way we walk, hand gestures, voice tone and infection, facial expressions, and facial shape and movement.
Knowing the Personality of Yourself and Your Children Makes Life MUCH Easier!
Understanding myself has helped to release SO much stress in my life. I no longer fret, worry and feel guilty about having a messy house, or not remembering details, or being able to keep up with appointments well, or forgetting to get groceries, or losing things around the house. I'm able to just let it go and tell myself, of course, you lost your keys again, Sara! (Yes, I talk to myself! Do you?) It makes total sense with the way my brain works – I move very quickly from one thought to the next and am not methodical or deliberate in anything I do. And that's okay! I am able to let the things I don't do well go and ask for help from others who do those things well, and then own my strengths instead.
Sometimes we have parents who don't understand our nature and raise us to be more like them. Most have the best of intentions, but just don't understand that we all have different natures. Thankfully my parents also loved me just the way I am and they didn't try to make me be like them, so I am very lucky that way as I'm sure many of you have not had the same experience.
Carol Tuttle has created so many other useful resources like Dressing Your Truth. If you are a parent, I highly recommend Carol Tuttle's podcast – The Child Whisperer, and her book, “The Child Whisperer.” It is SO empowering to know the nature's of our children so that we can support them in the way they were created and helped them to thrive. Again, it relieves so much stress and worry in raising children.
See my other inspirational posts here:
- How I Stopped Striving and Found Peace
- How to Break Free from Comparison and Find Peace
- How to Let Go and Surrender
- How I Found Emotional Freedom (Top 10 Tips)
- Seven Powerful Statements and Oils to Use to Crush Negative Thinking
- How to Stop Beating Yourself Up
- How to Not Take Things Personally
- Why We are More than Our Labels