Your personality is the combination of personal qualities that make you unique. No two people are exactly alike, and our personalities are a large part of the reason why. All of the things we experience in our day-to-day lives stem from our perceptions of the world around us, and our personality helps shape those perceptions.
But have you considered how your personality might also influence your decision-making? Your nature provides clues into why you choose to do the things that you do. Because your circles of influence, beliefs, values, and desires also reveal much about your personality, a lot can be learned about who you are through the choices you make.
Do you make good decisions? Are your choices generally a reflection of your desires?
If the answer is yes, there’s a good chance that you allow elements of your personality to guide your decisions. You know yourself well enough that you know what it takes to keep you in alignment with the life you’re searching for.
On the other hand, if you struggle to make good choices, there’s a good chance that you are not taking your personality into account.
Driving from the Core: 3 Ways Your Personality Should Guide Your Life
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.
– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Deep within all of us is a set of tools that help guide the choices we make. Whether you struggle or not, it might be in your best interest to become more intentional about the way you understand your personality.
I encourage you not to judge or be a critical about your personality as you proceed. Quite possibly the most important message here is that the path of least resistance towards a life of good choices and fulfillment is the result of you listening to your heart. Understanding yourself at a deeper level is a practical way to do that.
Remember, your personality has nothing to do with who you wish you were; it’s about understanding who you are and using that information to make effective decisions.
What were you born with?
You are predisposed to having certain qualities and being good in certain areas. Why fight this?
Don’t believe me? Think about someone you look up to, preferably someone you’ve followed for a long time. How many facts could you list about that person that would label them as out of the ordinary? Steve Jobs was notoriously demanding, and sometimes mean, to his employees. Gary Vaynerchuk may go off the handle at times, but his personality makes his message motivational without much effort. There are endless examples in the worlds of business, sports, and pop culture.
Icons in our culture have found the key to balancing their high levels of skill in their chosen arena with an authentic display of who they are at a deep level.
No two journeys are the same. You’re going to lead, perform, and execute differently than anyone else, because you’re different from everyone else. Even if you’re chasing something that someone else has, your path to that result will be different. When you stop trying to do what everyone else is doing, you free yourself to be something truly special.
- Are you naturally introverted or extroverted? If you are energized by people, in what settings, and for how long before that no longer is the case?
- Are you usually an optimist or a pessimist?
- Are you more reactive or proactive? How does this help or hurt you?
- How do you naturally perform or achieve? In the past when you’ve been successful, how have you felt or acted?
- Do you prefer to work in chunks, or get everything done at once?
- What activities or action items that will help you achieve your goals align with your natural personality? What, if anything, is holding you back from using them?
Based on these answers, choose activities and goals that reflect your natural tendencies, and shy away from things that will cause more trouble than they are worth.
What are you subjecting yourself to?
Much of our decision-making can be attributed to how we naturally respond to our environment. The world around us is shaped by contrasting personalities, all unique in their own way. Because this is true regardless of who you are, you should regularly be auditing your surroundings. Based on your personality and who you are at a deep level, what environment will be conducive to your success?
As with traits, following your heart is often the path of least resistance. You usually know when you’re in the right situation that will move you closer to your goals.
Take a moment to audit your surroundings. Are the people you spend the majority of your week with in alignment with who you’d like to be?
- Where do you spend the majority of your week?
- Who are you spending the majority of your week with?
- How are the personalities around you influencing you?
- Are you making decisions that align with other people’s personalities?
- Are the people around you introverted or extroverted? Optimistic or pessimistic?
- Where are the people closest to you going in life? Will you be happy if you end up going there too?
Are you giving yourself a fighting chance? If your time could be spent elsewhere based on these answers, make those changes.
3. Meaningful goals
What do you want to have happen?
Forget about what you want to achieve for a moment, and focus on the why — the meaning you’ve attached to that outcome.
It can take years of hard work to realize that the dream you’re chasing isn’t something you truly want. Maybe mom and dad told you becoming a doctor was the dream, so you convinced yourself it was. Maybe you are motivated by a vision that the media portrayed of the rich and famous
It seems like common sense to actually want what you tell yourself you want. But common sense isn’t common, so take a step back.
- What will reaching your goal give you that you don’t currently have?
- What elements of your personality emanate from your desires?
- Do your natural tendencies and traits align with your goal?
- Do the environments you put yourself in align with your goal?
Know yourself. Regularly make sure your surroundings are conducive to making good choices, and always keep your goals at the forefront of your mind. Question yourself until you understand enough to achieve the peace of mind that comes from self-realization.
You are unique, and so is your personality. Keep it in mind while making the choices that will determine whether or not you achieve your goals.