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TOP TIPS FOR
I’m not perfect.
Shocker, I know.
Spoiler alert : none of us are perfect, although many of us surely think we must be. We can all always improve personally, though.
I’ve been on a journey of self improvement so I thought I’d share with you my top tips for improving you. We rise, we fall. We live and learn. Hindsight is 20/20 and all that jazz. But how do we stop making so many mistakes or get unstuck and start getting to where we need to be? I’ve been asking myself this question for years. Not very long ago, though, I stumbled upon some information that really helped me understand myself more.
I remember in junior high when our class took the Keirsey temperament exam that was supposed to tell us the careers our personalities were matched to. My results were varied : Counselor, Professor, Author, Nun (!?), Designer, Photographer. I was pleasantly surprised that most of the results seemed accurate for things which sounded interesting to me (minus nun – lol).
I found it fascinating that a test could determine things about me so accurately. By the time I was graduating high school I thought I’d end up as an English professor and maybe even also an author of some sort. Eventually I did become a designer and then a photographer, too, so this test was always kept in mind.
A few years ago I took another similar personality quiz that is based upon the same principles as the Keirsey test. They are both based upon the Myers-Briggs format. There are 16 different personality types defined by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator approach which is based upon Carl Jun’s theory that people experience the world using four principal psychological functions – sensation, intuition, feeling, and thinking.
My type is INFJ. It’s the least common type group in the world with only 1% of the population as members. A few famous INFJs include Martin Luther King, Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt, Nelson Mandela, Saint Mother Theresa and Ghandi. Other famous INFJs are even said to include Osama Bin Laden and Adolf Hitler! Oh my! Talk about two different ends of the spectrum in one personality type (eek) …
Intriguing Facts About INFJ’s
Reading information on the research surrounding your own type can be very interesting. It certainly was to me anyway. I learned lots of intriguing facts about INFJ types. For example, no one personality type is guaranteed to make you a saint like Mother Teresa, but INFJs are the most commonly known type to be very just, fair and peaceful (though opinionated). They normally seek the greater good for all people involved rather than just themselves. They can be difficult to get to know although they can read strangers with eerie accuracy. They also may seem very wise and can be very stern in their moral expectations of others.
The list of traits related to INFJs is very long. Two that stand out to me most are the way we are fascinated with understanding the motives and feelings behind #1 : our own behaviors and #2: those of others. That’s probably why Carl Jung, another famous INFJ, completed studies that led to the assisted creation of the very personality tests I’ve mentioned!
INFJ’s also are known to crave the fulfillment of our greater purpose and often feel we haven’t lived up to our personal potential. Learning this made so much sense to me… It describes me perfectly. That is when I was first inspired to improve myself through learning about my faults as an INFJ type. No matter what your personality type is, understanding your weak points can help you to work on the areas in your behavior specifically most needed.
Recognizing Your Flaws
For me, self perfectionism is likely my greatest flaw. I am constantly filled with inspiration and ideas but I lack the ability to accomplish much because I’m so critical of myself and my own work. If I can’t do something near perfectly, I’m likely to not even attempt it at all. Or, otherwise, I am apt to give up easily in adversity. I know that this has to be an area that working on would greatly improve my life.
One great example of this is my blogging ‘career’. I’ve wanted to launch my blogs for many years. I have owned the domain name for two blogs for two years but I spent months delaying my first post trying to have the entire blog schedule on paper. It’s impossible to get very far with anything when your feet are firmly planted in the sand! It was in my reading about INFJs that I stumbled upon a realization somewhere that stuck in my head and pushed me to push myself: “Perfection is impossible and a little progress is better than a perfect plan. Take action.”
You will have your own set of interesting facts and flaws and quirks to discover.
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from: A Beautiful Mess
What’s Your Type?
There are several different sites and quizzes based upon the Carl Jung and Isabella Briggs Myers typology. I honestly have taken most of them repeatedly just to see which seems most accurate. The free one I like best is the Humanetrics test. You can also try the 16personalties site test. (I’m not getting commission from either of these sites, I’ve just used them both.)
I encourage you to take one of these tests and explore the known traits of your type and those of your loved ones. Sometimes the key to improving relationships can simply be that you are able to empathize or at least understand another’s thought process. I’ve had most of my loved ones take the quizzes. I love finding out which type they are. It’s usually just confirmation of things I already knew about them but sometimes it’s surprising and always fun!
Who Knows You Best?
Perfection Is Not A Thing
Another way to discover more about your weak areas is to simply ask people who know you well. This can be tricky if you aren’t prepared for constructive criticism, though. Learning the truth from another’s perspective can be extremely helpful in bettering ourselves as long as we don’t become offended. Try to remember that no one is perfect and we all have flaws we haven’t fully accepted. Perfection is not a thing!
It’s also good to simply ask yourself what your weakest traits are. You must be honest with yourself and remember that “I can’t change ____” (insert quirk there) is not an appropriate answer. Any habits, behaviors or ways of thinking can be changed if you truly desire to do so. (Don’t read sexual orientation in there as a ‘behavior’. That’s NOT what I mean.)
Grab A Pencil
A good way to begin to identify faults on your own is to begin jotting down your ‘Problem Areas’: things that frustrate you, delay you or seem to never get done as they should. My list would include: Not being organized; Never able to find anything when I need it; Always having too much to do / being rushed with too little time; Feeling like I haven’t accomplished enough.
To identify your problem personality traits, you need to look for ways that you could personally change the outcome of your frustrations. For everything you’ve written under Problem Areas, begin exploring the reasons behind those events which YOU can change.
For example, instead of saying to myself, “I have too much to do but I can’t change that because no one helps like they should around the house”, I should instead focus on things that I directly can change. It may well be true that I don’t have enough help but for this exercise I need to concentrate on things I can do personally to improve my problem. I should write, “I have too much to do because I don’t manage my time well”, or, “I’m not well organized because I have too much stuff.”
Finally, begin to consider ways to change the negative outcomes. If you don’t manage your time well then perhaps you need to set a schedule for yourself. If you have too much stuff, it’s time to cut clutter.
Don’t Play The Victim
Don’t misunderstand me here. Sometimes we have problems and failures that we honestly can’t avoid through no fault of our own. But sometimes we are lacking in areas because we are in our own way and there are times that we just don’t want to admit it. So I’m encouraging you to pledge as you look at yourself to not be a victim. Don’t blame situations when there are alternate solutions.
For example, the problem I have with feeling as though I haven’t accomplished enough could have been explored several ways. I could have said, “I haven’t accomplished enough with my blog because I’m a busy mom and I only have time for my family.” That sort of blames my family for my failure. Or, I could dig a little deeper and admit that I haven’t accomplished as much as I wish because I haven’t pushed myself hard enough professionally.
I also could have said, “I haven’t started my blogs because I don’t have the resources to start them as nicely as I want them to be.” That statement blames my finances instead of me. Instead, I chose to go with the solution finding answer which truthfully was : “I haven’t started my blogs because I’m a perfectionist with a fear of failing.”
The solution to that problem was easy to find once I admitted it – I had to just take the plunge and learn to get over my quirk / flaw / issue.
I’d love to hear if you’ve also sought to improve yourself recently and how you went about doing so. Have you even done it with the help of typology as I did? Also, if you’ve just taken the personality test for the first time then I’d love to read your thoughts about it. Leave me a comment.