In my work teaching adult students, I continue to be surprised at how little self-awareness many have. As we work on resumes or talk about communicating their strengths, nuggets about valuable traits trickle out as a casual afterthought or I point out connections instead of their realization that they have valuable skills and experiences.

Knowing yourself — your strengths, deficiencies, dislikes, and triggers — is truly a competitive advantage. The things that make us who we are — and different from others — can be superpowers if you are aware of them.

One way to learn about yourself is to complete assessments that help illuminate and clarify personality traits. There are dozens of options available to target different characteristics, but all provide insight that can help increase understanding of how you prefer to operate and how you interact with others. (I have compiled a sampling of assessment examples that can serve as a starting point if you wish to explore.)

I still vividly remember taking the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator when I was in a college leadership class. It gave language to my introversion and validated that I was not the only one whose energy was depleted by being in social situations. This knowledge not only gave me comfort; it also gave me the power to choose staff to complement me, pick aspects of work that kept me out of the spotlight and gave additional urgency to self-care and time alone. I shudder to think of the missteps I would have made without this self-understanding.

Learning about yourself is a continual journey. Take advantage of reflection or assessments to reveal the nuances that help you articulate your authentic self.

4 comments

  1. How true!

    Your line – “It gave language to my introversion and validated that I was not the only one whose energy was depleted by being in social situations” – is exactly what I experienced during one of my courses with you. Validation is liberating and empowering. And it has brought me back to a truer me. A me that I had spent a lifetime trying to change in order to fit. And that’s the beautiful thing about these assessments – they open the door to a much better place to live within.

  2. So true!
    So many today have come to buy-into the idea that their personality is just the result of random social interactions mixed with some education. In reality each individual is fearfully & wonderfully made! Everyone has a unique mix of common traits, woven together with beautiful threads of social interactions which are carefully honed by a marvelous Creator to form the exact revelation of who that person is. The sooner we learn and appreciate our own uniqueness, the sooner we can take part in improving the quality of the world around us in ways that we each bring to the table set before us.

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