March Series: Uncovering Your Authentic Self
Who Am I?
Last week we talked about the foundation of who we are: values, priorities, experiences, and beliefs. (https://kathystoddardtorrey.wordpress.com/2017/03/07/define-your-frame-of-reference/) This week, let’s dig a little deeper.
Back when I was trying to figure out who I was and what I liked, I wasn’t getting much information from me. I just seemed to be a big empty vessel with no answers. So, I decided to look outwards.
I did the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) as part of my facilitation training. According to the MBTI, I am an INTJ. This means that I get my energy from being alone; I am a big-picture thinker; fairness and consistency are important to me; and I like to make lists and check things off the lists. There are a bunch of books about MBTI personality types with descriptions, and I read through a lot of them.
For the most part, I agreed with the descriptions about me and the books’ assessments of what I probably liked to do. I would photocopy pages and mark off the things that I didn’t agree with in the assessment. It was easier for me to say yes or no to things rather than make them up myself.
After the MBTI, I went on to the Enneagram. There are nine types, and if you really get into it, you’ll uncover extra wings. I am an 8. Here is brief description from the Enneagram Institute:
“Eights are self-confident, strong, and assertive. Protective, resourceful, straight-talking, and decisive, but can also be ego-centric and domineering. Eights feel they must control their environment, especially people, sometimes becoming confrontational and intimidating. Eights typically have problems with their tempers and with allowing themselves to be vulnerable. At their best: self- mastering, they use their strength to improve others’ lives, becoming heroic, magnanimous, and inspiring.”
Cool. I can get behind most of that. I especially like the goal of becoming heroic, magnanimous, and inspiring.
Then, I tried the DISC. I’m a D – Dominant. Hmmm. There seems to be a theme here. However, before I started correlating the information, I did one more – my astrological sign.
I’m an Aries (the Ram). Here’s a description:
“You love to be the one who thinks up the bright ideas and has other people carry them out. Not only the most competitive of the Zodiac, you are also the first sign and love to be first at whatever you do. You thrive when you’re on top of your game. Happy with a challenge and ambitious, you have the courage it takes to be a leader in your field. Tempering your fiery attitude with patience is the test of the can-do Aries. Knowing when to move on and when to follow through requires careful thought and planning for ultimate success. No doubt, you can be a winner all the way!”
By now, I’m beginning to understand why my mother described me as “bossy” in elementary school. She meant that I had leadership potential!
Leading is one of my superpowers. We all have superpowers! Think of things that you can do faster and more easily than other people. Those are your superpowers. It took me years to figure out that writing and publishing newsletters is one of my superpowers. I created newsletters for various groups through the years, but it wasn’t until I saw the time and effort that it took other people to do the same task that I realized that I’m good and fast at newsletters.
I have friends whose superpower is to nurture others through cooking and food. That is not one of my superpowers. Others can pull colors together in their home and wardrobe, which is also not one of my superpowers. Some people have a knack for details and numbers. I love those people! They fill a skill gap for me.
If you have trouble naming your superpowers, then think about the things that others ask you to do. Better yet, ask people who know you what they think your superpowers are. Through feedback, I learned that I’m good at taking complex ideas and making them easy to understand. I don’t think I would’ve figured out that one on my own.
There is an assessment on my website that you can begin this week. It’s the Wheel of Life. The first two pages help you to get a snapshot of who you are now and how satisfied you are with various categories of life. The third page is about goals regarding where you want to go and who you want to be. That’s the topic for next week!
Have fun finding out who you are! There are a lot of free personality assessments online. Don’t take any assessment results too seriously. Remember, you are the expert on you and you get to decide what applies and what does not. You can print the things that you like and put them in a folder or binder. I have a binder labeled “Kathy.” I look back through it now and then when I’m feeling a little lost or not in the flow of things. Having it all in one place makes it easier to find yourself in the future.
For a little bit of fun leadership development, join 53 Leadership Challenges at KathyStoddardTorrey.com.
Want to go further with your professional development? Check out the courses offered at PositiveEffectLeadership.com.
If you are interested in taking your career to the next level quickly, contact me for a sample coaching session at KSTorrey@tapferconsulting.com.