Be who you want to be

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Stop relying on personality tests and start shaping your identity

 

Myers-Briggs, 16personalities, Big Five, the odd Buzzfeed “Which Disney character are you?” test… A lot of us — me definitely included — have at some point tried to figure out who we are. Either for ourselves, for someone else, or for a job.

Personality tests are a fun way to engage with yourself and then get a nicely written result about your personality type. You might say: Oh yeah, sounds like me. And why wouldn’t it? You just answered a bunch of questions that led to that result.

When it comes to the application of the test results though, it’s time to stop:

  • Trying to build teams or any kind of group based on the “fact” of being an ENFJ or ISTP, a blue or a red person, Goofy or Mickey
  • Choosing friends or potential lovers according to their personality type
  • Resting on the fact that one’s own personality type is fixed and you’re always going to be that way

I’ve seen all of the above happening — rigidly — and it keeps people from being who they can be or who they want to be. It limits our belief in what we can achieve by learning and putting in the effort. Every one of us is able to grow beyond who we are today — personally and professionally.

Don’t let yourself be put into a bucket — or at least don’t believe it’s too high to climb out of it. Also, when you think of the 16personalities example: There are currently 7.8 billion people in the world. How do they all fit into 16 personality boxes?

So, if we stop doing personality tests — what do we do instead?

Invest time in thinking and writing about who you strive to be.

Use writing prompts like: If I were able to live my life backward, what would I like to look back to? Which steps would I have taken to reach that point?

Then try it out and imagine yourself in the future: 

You’re old. You generally feel happy and content that you used the time you had in a satisfying way. What did you do?

Immerse yourself into the person you would be when you’re old…

  • How do they think?
  • How do they see the world?
  • How do they see themselves?
  • What do they value most?

This will give your an idea about the identity you will start adopting today.
And it also works for specific areas for the kind of person you want to be as:

  • A friend
  • A partner
  • A colleague, a boss, a founder

Ask yourself every day:

What would future me think and do?

Write it down. Writing will help you to get your thoughts and ideas straight. It will manifest them from something fleeting to something real.

Try to act as your future self and gradually you will become who you are

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