Finding The “Real” You
Understanding Your Type
Whatever the circumstances of your life,
the understanding of type can make your
perceptions clearer, your judgments sounder,
and your life closer to your heart’s desire.
– Isabel Briggs Myers
Although we are all taught to focus on our individuality, we all have much more in common than is generally discussed. Because of our intense focus on personal achievement, we often are hesitant to discuss our similarities and so we are left wondering if there are any other people out there having similar thoughts, emotions, etc. I, for instance, used to think that I was alone in my thinking style until I came across a shortened version of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®. After finding my type and reading through some of the available literature, I came to some pretty large realizations: While my “type” is fairly rare (1-3% of the population), that leaves 70 to 211 million people (as of the time of this writing) with an affinity to think just as I do. Below, I’ve copied some of the basics for you. After you have read through the material, I’ll explain how this information can be used to achieve peace in your life.
MBTI® Personality Type
The following information copied with permission from: Myers & Briggs Foundation. (2003). MBTI Basics®. Retrieved August 19th, 2013, from http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/.
The purpose of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) personality inventory is to make the theory of psychological types described by C. G. Jung understandable and useful in people’s lives. The essence of the theory is that much seemingly random variation in the behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic differences in the ways individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment.
“Perception involves all the ways of becoming aware of things, people, happenings, or ideas. Judgment involves all the ways of coming to conclusions about what has been perceived. If people differ systematically in what they perceive and in how they reach conclusions, then it is only reasonable for them to differ correspondingly in their interests, reactions, values, motivations, and skills.”
Type in Personal Growth
The following information copied with permission from: Myers & Briggs Foundation. (2003). Type in Personal Growth. Retrieved August 19th, 2013, from http://www.myersbriggs.org/type-use-for-everyday-life/type-in-personal-growth/.
Knowledge and understanding of the personality type as assessed by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® instrument can be a tool for personal growth, achieving balance, understanding self, and creating possibilities.
Your personality type doesn’t change over time, but each preference helps you in different ways, and to different degrees, as you move through your life. Type development is a lifelong process and understanding type can help you overcome challenges at various stages of life including youth, midlife, retirement, and aging.
Balancing Work and Play is another important part of our daily lives and an awareness of personality type can assist in creating the harmony between work life and leisure activities.
Knowledge of type can help people express their spirituality in ways that are comfortable and rewarding. For people who are already active spiritually, an understanding of type can direct them toward new more satisfying practices.
And finally, taking care of your own health or the health of others can be greatly influenced by the knowledge of personality type.
It is always important that personality type is not the answer to everything, just one more tool to help you grow, achieve, and prosper in your life.
End of copied content.
About My Results
My personal type is labeled as INTJ (introversion, intuition, thinking, judgment) and the results I found online varied in length and complexity. However, there are certain elements that were so “me” that it was almost scary. That a simple test could reveal so much about me was a little frightening, but ultimately enlightening. These illuminating results have helped me to know myself better and to therefore find more peace within my life. I even found results on various sites about my preference for drab clothing, my unusual gait (walking style), and my specific body type. All were totally accurate and impossible to attribute arbitrarily (as many horoscopes can be). How could a test about preference of thought possibly know that my stomach is placed ahead of my chest giving me that “characteristic posture” for instance? Unreal! They key to using your results toward achieving peace is to realize where your strengths and weaknesses lie. If you do this with a great deal of attention, you can greatly magnify your positive attributes and work towards developing your weaker areas.
Another great way to use this tool is to have your friends and family take the test as well. In this way, you can study their results and learn what makes them tick. For somebody like me who tends to take everything quiet literally, it’s helpful to get an “insider’s view” of another person via their MBTI test. By simply reading about the way another person tends to think, you can adapt your behavior and speech pattern to better communicate with them. As we’ll get into in more detail with information on mirroring, learning to adapt your speech pattern and body language gives you access to a few powerful tools of communication which can be used to create stronger personal bonds.
Above All Else
If you do nothing else with this knowledge, let it be a reminder to always be yourself. There is no “correct type” and we should not try to change ourselves to fit a pre-conceived mold. By familiarizing ourselves with the tendency we have to think in a certain way, we can begin to understand ourselves better so that we can continue the process of fine tuning our mind and our spirit. In this way, we can remove the garbage that is getting in the way of our best selves. As the legendary martial artist, actor, martial arts instructor, and filmmaker Bruce Lee said:
“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”
Taking the Test
Following are three ways you can take the test for yourself:
- You can go to http://www.myersbriggs.org and find a referral to a “Master Practitioner” to guarantee accurate results. However, there is a cost associated with doing this and the amount will depend on who and what exactly you choose to do.
- You can go directly to https://www.mbticomplete.com/en/index.aspx and take the test online for $49.95 (as of the writing of this book).
- There are also free versions you can find online by searching for “Myers Briggs short test free.” I have done this personally a number of times over a few years and I have received the same result each and every time. Assuming the URL remains constant, you can find the version I last used here: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp. In fact, I just tried that very one again to make sure it was working. It took me 3:46 minutes to finish and I got the same answer as always … INTJ.