“OMG! That’s so me!” Have you ever said this after getting your results from a personality test? If you look around the digital space, you’ll see people identifying themselves by their personality types in all kinds of situations, from business to dating. Whether it’s their Myers-Briggs personality type, their DISC personality, their Enneagram type, or even their zodiac sign, personality types have become a way for people to showcase who they are to others.
Here’s where that becomes problematic—identifying too heavily with your personality can disconnect you from who you are. You are not your personality; you have a personality. Your personality grows and evolves with you. That’s why often you’ll hear people say, “I’m not the same person I was five years ago.”
Humans have a deep need to understand and reflect who they are to other people, and personality tests allow people to feel seen, heard, and understood, while also giving people a way to share that information with others. This can serve as a point of connection, but it can also serve to hold you back or can create barriers in your relationships.
Knowledge doesn’t facilitate change
Knowing your personality type is a useful tool. These tests diagnose your strengths and weakness and can even predict your attitudes and behaviors. This information is powerful because it can point you to where change needs to happen in your life. But the problem comes in when knowledge becomes the stopping point.
The reason people learn isn’t to become more knowledgeable. It’s to apply that knowledge in a way that makes life better. So simply becoming aware of your personality, strengths, and weaknesses won’t shift your attitude or behavior. Creating change in your life requires the implementation of transformational techniques and exercises so you can become the best version of yourself.
Here are some transformational techniques that can help you take the insights you glean from personality tests and turn them into catalysts for unleashing your potential.
1. Transformational Meditation
When I was certified to teach the Enneagram in 1994, in my presentation to Don Riso and Russ Hudson (the foremost authors and teachers of the Enneagram) I took a person in the class who was struggling with one of the common limitations of her personality type. In order to shift the belief system that was holding her back, I took her through the Transformational Meditation™ technique.
Transformational Meditation™ is a spiritual NLP technique that uses a Higher Power to transform limiting beliefs, negative emotions, and to break through someone’s obstacles to performance. By the end of the exercise, her belief system had completely shifted.
The personality test results pointed to where she needed support so that she could take action and shift the things that were holding her back. Transformational Meditation™ was the tool that she used to make the changes she wished to see within herself.
2. Learning and implementing structure
This may be a surprising technique for changing your life, but structure corrals chaotic energy. When you don’t have structure in your life, it can lead to things like procrastination, stress, and overwhelm. Some personalities are more attuned to structure and organization than others. So when you have a personality type that doesn’t naturally excel at processes, systems, and frameworks, that’s a skill that you can build. The stronger you become at implementing positive structure in your life, the easier it will become to continuously grow.
Structure speaks to your ability to be disciplined and keep your word to yourself. When you have the power to do those two things, you unlock the code to creating profound change because you will have conditioned yourself to keep going when the new habit or standard becomes challenging.
“First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.” – Napoleon Hill
3. Cultivating awareness and making empowered choices
When looking to transform your life, you must first understand where you want to implement change. What are the patterns and cycles that are holding you back or sabotaging your progress? If you haven’t identified these things, then you can’t address them.
In order to cultivate more awareness, you need to create a regular practice, where you go within to explore your actions, emotions, and thought patterns. How did those things play out throughout your day? Write them down in a journal and then ask yourself, “Have these things helped me take a step closer to my goals, or have they pushed me away from my goals?” Once you have those answers, ask yourself if those are patterns that you’d like to continue.
Having the awareness of what’s not working for you and making an empowered choice to change will revolutionize your growth. Let’s define what making an empowered choice is. Empowered choices happen when you take time to weigh the options and decide which path is the right one for you instead of knee-jerk reacting to situations.
How these all work together
Meditation helps you to cultivate awareness and structure helps you to develop the discipline to make empowered choices that transform your life. These elements flow into one another to help you shift your life instead of getting stuck in personality traits that keep you from your goals. Life is too short for a personality test to dictate your destiny. You’re more powerful than that.