To Thine Own Self Be True
Can I be honest with you? I am a sucker for almost any online “personality” test, and I use the term personality loosely because let’s be honest the only thing remotely illuminating about a test called “which Friends character are you”? Or one called “Are you actually a nice person”? Is that I need to use my time wisely and resist click bait.
One of the reasons why these websites work to draw millions of people in is because we have an innate desire to know ourselves better or at the very least we want to know people we share life with better. That and those darn catchy quiz titles. In recent years, the idea of getting to know ourselves better is not as ludicrous or indolent as it would have been to our grandparents. I am thankful that we as African women have become more aware of the importance of taking care of ourselves, and the role a well-balanced mental health plays in our overall health. Thus it isn’t too farfetched to preach the value of learning what makes us tick right?
Imagine we had intimate knowledge of ourselves, our motivations, natural proclivities and eccentricities, we would be unstoppable! Now the question now is how? How do we learn about ourselves? We could go the Julia Roberts route from “Runaway Bride” in the scene where she orders eggs made about 6 different ways, because she has no idea how she likes her eggs so she decides to try them all to figure out her favorite. Great strategy, only it could get expensive and likely won’t work help with understanding why you don’t like parties or why you cannot bring yourself to watch or read horror movies. I believe this is where a valid, personality test comes in.
They can help to organize and interpret things we already knew about ourselves, like I’ve always known that I am conflict averse that I will avoid any situation that might potentially end in conflict. As a 9 on the Enneagram Personality Descriptor - we are the peace makers, we are receptive, reassuring, and complacent and resigned, I think our motto would be “cant everyone just get along”? Now this is not to say I now have a built in excuse for not stepping up and having difficult conversations, but now I know that the hives I get are not simply because I need to “grow a pair” but because I’m fighting harder against my nature if you will.
I challenge you ladies to take it upon yourselves to make self knowledge a priority, personality tests may not be your thing, just know this - you may be shocked that some of the things you uncover are unpleasant, but take heart, because knowledge is power! According to Lao Tzu
“Mastering Others Is Strength, Mastering Yourself Is True Power”.
Thumbnail Image -- Mario Epanya
Image -- The Enligtenment Journal