When you are driving a car, you’ve to be careful of blind spots – those areas you miss when looking in the side mirrors. The same applies to your personality. It is tough to live a victorious life being blind to parts of your character, no matter how uncomfortable those parts may make you feel. When I coach people, I always ask, “How well do you know about yourself? Isn’t it better to know what other people already know about you? Why stay blind to how you are perceived?”
Learn more about your personality by asking people for their opinions and feedback. You could take a personality test or use a psychometric assessment tool such as the MBTI, or DISC. Typically based on you completing a questionnaire, the results can be very revealing.
“Man’s main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is. The most important product of his effort is his own personality.” – Erich Fromm
Once you know more and better about yourself, you will be able to optimize your personality through maximizing your strengths and managing your weaknesses. We each have some natural or developed powers in how we interact, work or communicate. Make the best use of these powers and ensure that they do not become your weaknesses. Confidence, for example, can be an enormous advantage but you’ve to ensure that it does not tip over into arrogance.
Weaker areas of our personality can be hard to eliminate. We can all be impatient, over-sensitive and emotional at times, and these are not natural personality traits to change. The secret is to be careful in situations where a weakness might undermine you. Learn to recognize when you need to make an extra effort to be patient or thick-skinned.
Assess your personality
When was the last time did you look at your personality? Spend a moment now to review your unique combination of behaviors, traits, psyche, style, and mindset. Every day people around you observe and experience these things when interacting with you. Now it is the time for you to reflect on what they see.
How would your family, friend, and colleagues describe you if I were to ask them to explain to you? Are you:
- outgoing and extrovert or quiet and reflective?
- impulsive or measured?
- emotional or rational?
- a good listener or someone who loves hearing their voice?
- confident and happy or easily depressed by adverse events happening around you?
It’s more than likely that you exhibit different personalities in different situations. Many of us have a character at home and another at work. Try to understand how people in different contexts see you.
While you are reviewing your personality traits, be aware that whenever you do something that involves other people or emotions, you will reveal different elements of your personality – for example, when:
- put under stress by your boss
- driving in a traffic jam
- asked to lead a problematic meeting
- giving someone bad news
- speaking in public to a large group
Other people can be very good at describing us. Those closest to us can be frightening in how well they know us. The million-dollar question is how well do you know about yourself? Tell me what do you think about yourself in the comments below. I would love to know about you.