Trying to be an extrovert used to trip me up so much – I’d be tired all the time, panicking that I was missing the mark, and be wholly unsatisfied no matter how much I was doing. It was awful! One of the most freeing things I could have learned about myself was that I am a classic introvert. I started to enjoy being on my own when I needed it instead of dwelling in guilt. It made me so much more effective at work, play, and in my friendships and relationships. Once that foundation was laid, I started reading and researching all that I could about introversion and how I can function well especially being a people-lover. That started a snow ball of figuring out more and more of who I am created to be. It has been so fulfilling that I dedicate much of my life to helping other’s know themselves better to find more freedom!
Here are some of my favorite self-discovery tools that I have personally used (this doesn’t include those quizzes going around social media that tell you where you should really live, etc. Although those can be really fun, too!).
- MBTI or the Myers/Briggs Type Indicator: I first came across this extensive questionnaire during my undergrad studies. Learning how you fit on the four preference areas helps you improve how you communicate, work, learn, and relate with others. Consequently, I am an INFJ!
- Strengthsfinder 2.0: As the name suggests, this assessment taps into your top 5 strengths on a scale of 34. My favorite part is that it suggests different ways you could apply your strengths in the real world. I started to write publically because of my strengths results. Buy the book on Amazon. It gives you a code you use on the website to take the test. When you get your results, highlight your top 5 in the book and read up on them!
- Values Discovery Process – Along with a life coach, this can be such a cementing process of reflection. I recently completed this process for the first time and I have so much more of a sense of why and what motivates the things that I do and the choices that I make. The biggest obstacle for me most of the time is comparison (more on this soon). Instead of accepting myself for the unique way in which I was created, I tend to look at other’s lives and get stuck. Find a good coach and get out of these ruts and create a better sense of self!
- The 5 Love Languages – The way we receive and give love is also unique to us. Keep your ‘Love Tank’ full! Which one grabs at you right away? Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Physical Touch, & Acts of Service. Find out and get Loved up! 🙂
- Ask Around – Ofcourse, almost my favorite way to understand who I am in relation to others is just to ask safe friends and acquaintances close to me. It can be awkward to start, but once people understand why you’re asking, they are more than willing to tell you! Go outside of your parents and siblings to challenge yourself even more! Start with a question like, “What do you think my strengths are?’
Who doesn’t want to know who they are? We get enough negative feedback from outside sources and often from our own minds. Why not invest in yourself so that you can have a more wholesome, joy-filled life!
I recently read an excellent book on this subject entitled, “Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted
Culture” by Adam S. McHugh. I got it on loan from the Glendale-Pasadena library catalog, so I didn’t need to buy it. The whole thesis of the book is that many, if not most churches, expect everyone to be an extrovert. The book was written by an introverted pastor. I highly recommend it to you. If you don’t have a Glendale or Pasadena library card, it’s easy to et one at any branch and you don’t even need to lie in Glendale or Pasadena. I also read the best selling secular book, “Quiet,” but it didn’t hit me as much as some other books did on this subject. I come on as an extrovert, but I am very much an introvert and I simply cannot go-go-go all day with people, so I really understand what you are saying in this blog post.
Thanks for the recommendations, Diane! I’ll definitely take a look at the McHugh book. I’ve read Quiet as well, and like you, besides bringing light to the subject of Introversion it didn’t do much else for me. The one I would highly recommend is “Quiet Influence” by Jennifer Kahnweiller – such a great guide for Introverts. It has helped me capitalize on my time so much more!
Thank you. The book you suggested is at the Pasadena library and I put a hold on it so it should be delivered to my branch library here in Glendale in a few days.