Monday, December 18, 2017

A class I had in college required us to take the Myers Briggs Type Assessment to see what our personality type was. It was rather brilliant, actually. The test requires you to answer an assortment of questions about yourself in different scenarios. Based off your answers, the test will categorize you into a personality type. My results told me that I was an ENFP: Extroversion, Intuition, Feeling, and Perception.

After we all took the test, the professor separated us into different corners of the room, depending on what our personality type was. It was then that the world made sense to me. My personality type was different than 98% of the people in the class. I remember standing in the corner alongside my fellow ENFP, and I instantly realized why we got along so well. In the same sense, I looked at the other side of the room to the ISTJ's and had a better understanding of why we might not have connected the same way with each other. What's funny, though, is that those are the people that I admired and who inspired me the most. Proof that opposites really do attract.

The class that I was taking was Individual in the Organization. The purpose of the exercise was to provide us, future leaders, with insight on how to effectively communicate and manage people within an organization. The class emphasized the importance of recognizing each person as an individual, and training us to be cognizant of that while being in leadership positions within a company.

I am sure that I am boring many of you by now, but I promise there is a reason for me telling this story. For many years, I have struggled to find my place in this world. While looking across the room at the people with personality types that were different than mine, I couldn't help but wish I was standing on the other side of the room with them. I wanted to be more logical, instead of being the free-spirited, emotional person that I am (A classic ENFP trait). It was then that my professor expressed that each personality type has a place in the world, and that each one of them is needed for very specific purposes.

I took that class almost two years ago, but I have spent a lot of time thinking about this. What makes me happy? What makes me unhappy? How can I use my strengths? How can I better my weaknesses?

I am a creative person at my core. I love to write, dance, paint, play my ukulele, and have emotional, deep connections with people; however, I have been living my life in a way that is not congruent with those things at all. I have not been using the talents that the Lord has given me. I have spent so much time trying to fit into a box that I will never fit into without being unhappy. I want to embrace who the Lord made me, and begin using the unique gifts that I have to glorify Him.

I challenge you to think about this. Did God give you the gift of loving to be around people? Then why, oh why, are you pursuing a job as an Accountant where you will be sitting behind a computer isolated from people all day? Do you like to be creative? Then why are you working a data entry job that is repetitive and has no place for creativity? Do you hate being around people? Then why are you working at Starbucks, being forced to talk to people all day?

It is important to play off our strengths, and to work on our weaknesses. The first step is to just simply be mindful of them.

If you find yourself in a rut, I would recommend reading the book Emotional Intelligence, as well as taking the MBTI (link below).


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