We have been ‘taught all wrong’ about personality assessments and identity work.
You were not supposed to take the quizzes or read all the books JUST to check off participating in a social fad or have the ability to laugh at a meme on social media. You were supposed to get taught how to apply the knowledge you discovered about yourself to the areas of life you are struggling most it.
The problems I have witnessed as a former service provider and the solutions I propose as a now full-time content creator.
Figuring out your results from the Myers Briggs quiz or doing the math to help you discover your life path number was a fun pass time for you as it trended online or in school amongst peers. A lot of these assessments and quizzes have been a “one and done” activity done because of the novice experience of finding out the results so you could tell others. In a way, it helped with fitting in or keeping up with trends so it was not taken very seriously.
In recent years, some online entrepreneurs have created coaching programs and services around helping individuals use personality assessments or spiritual tools based on ones’ birth chart. I have been one of these online professionals who claimed a position in the Brand and Marketing world helping entrepreneurs get clear on their brand identity.
It felt so good to watch clients LIGHT UP with self development work, as they got new information handed to them about why they like X,Y,Z or identify with blah blah blah. But then I would watch the sparks fizzle out, along with the interest to continue investing time or money into running with the inner work.
The truth, my mentors said, was that “clients would rather pay upfront for a done-for-you report about themselves than dive into a mastermind or membership that took long term (over 4 weeks) commitment to doing inner work and self improvement activities that required more commitment on their part than on mine” as a provider. — Jean Grey, @jeangrey_rising
While I can agree that most clients wanted a novice experience that was short term, I can also say it is because we all have been trained throughout school and work to detach our individuality from whatever we were working on. Only the art and humanities students, that are now exploring freelancing, owning a creative small business, or blogging, have spent time deepening their authenticity and self expression.
What I want to teach people is that your entire business and lifestyle should be centered around who you are as an individual. As I have talked about in previous articles here on my Medium account, individuality is the backbone for success for the years to come. We are shifting into a new Era that resembles the Renaissance period and it is all about authenticity.
Taking personality assessment, quizzes, and delving into your birth chart will give you the opportunity to really get to know yourself. My point of view of all of these tools is that they are useful for creating dialogue with yourself about the different areas of your life. You will realize how often you have done things, agreed to things, people pleased, or been in jobs/scenarios that were not actually good for you. Regardless of if you are a spiritual person, religious, or science-based in your thinking — these questions that will come up will allow you to address your own emotions, boundaries, dreams, goals, and desires.
When I first dove into my birth chart (Human design and astrology) back in Fall of 2019, I was immersed in the spiritual community groups on Facebook. I felt like I was sitting on the fence with my own beliefs around religion and spirituality to be honest with you. I just really craved learning about systems and human behavior, matching up with my interest in Psychology and Gender studies in my college years prior. So I dove into all the books, videos, and websites I could find.
In September of 2020, I took a training course on becoming a coach using Human Design and Astrology to help online entrepreneurs better understand their own charts. I both studied my own chart constantly for content and dove into charts with people via video call to guide them. I felt like a natural when explaining the concepts and visuals to my clients and it brought me so much JOY to do it. I guided over 200 people via 1:1s, including group calls to help business teams understand how to work better together based on what roles best suited each member. Drawing aspects from each of their charts, I was able to redirect individuals towards roles better suited for them and help them each find a more organic way to organize those suited roles/services they provided.
It was GREAT. But it was also pretty draining on me energy wise. I was also creating PDFs that were a breakdown for clients to receive and use on their own. What I noticed from my time doing this work for clients was that their interest in using the information wasn’t fully there. I thought back then that they were just seeking out a basic, toe in the water experience of an exciting topic. What I realize now is that we all were no really taught the value of learning about ourselves. Looking back, I see the ways I should have spent more time learning and implementing information about my own identity into what I did before diving into creating services for people.
Not that what I did was too hasty — but I see now how I could have provided a more clear and intentional service to others by creating a membership or private long term program that provided tools to help them implement the chart into different areas of their lives… not just read it and have short term satisfaction or epiphanies, but major shifts in their lives over a period of time more suited for that kind of change.
Here’s the thing. Becoming your authentic self does take a lot of time. Not because you are learning how to become someone more or better, but because you are actually using the time to decondition yourself and remove things from your life.
Once you start to embody what you discover about yourself, there literally is no way for you to remain living the way you had been prior. You change in the way you view everything around you. The people, the time you spend on things, your job, your interests, your fears… you really start to become so self aware and analyzing of all the choices you made that led you to your current lifestyle.
This is Identity Work.
I spent the next year and a half really applying what I learned about myself from Human Design, Astrology, 16Personalities, the Entrepreneurial Archetype quiz, inner child and inner teen work, shadow work, and delving into my own mental health diagnosis.
This past winter of 2021 my life had some major shifts and it felt like a complete factory-reset for me after all that work. I shed people, I left my home state, I ended relationships, I got off social media for a long chunk of time, and I just fell into silence. In these last few months I have really worked on honoring who I am and what my life needs to look like in order to honor who I am best.
I have been using all of these visual activities to break down my personality assessment results and birth chart information into useful notes & reminders all over my office wall. I shared a video onto my Tiktok account, which is now picking up traction.
So how should you be using personality assessment results and identity studies in your own life?
The key to finding out who you are is really focusing on what your own past experiences say about who you are not. Think back to the jobs you hated, the struggles you have had in business or what interests you have had that faded out from your life because you really did not get joy from them. Think back to the friendships that were not so good, the issues you have had in saying yes too often or being everyone’s go-to for all of their emotional or physical needs.
BE SURE OF YOUR ANSWERS.
As you dive into the results of all these quizzes and information, you are going to have the opportunity to ask yourself what has felt really unaligned for YEARS. And that is when all the good stuff starts coming out. It is when you have these epiphanies and realizations about what is better suited for you. You are also going to start thinking about the people in your life who ever discouraged you, pressured you, or tried to convince you that what you wanted was not a good idea or not something you were capable of.
For some, realizing your own people-pleasing tendencies will reveal a whole lot about who you actually are when no one else is around. This is where you can build upon who you would be if no one else had a say or criticized it.
I think credible personality assessments are gold because the breakdown of the results touch on different areas of your life and how you would prefer it to be/look like according to the accuracy of your results. All you have to do is be really honest in how you answer each question. What I mean is I want you to answer BOLDLY, not with any wishy washy “neutral” or “less likely” / “more likely” crap. Be sure of your YES and your NO answers. Never leave any question as a neutral opinion, because that only means you have not explored that topic vulnerably enough.
BE INTENTIONAL WITH YOUR NOTES
As you receive your results from these quizzes and/or birth chart, crack open one of those many (blank or scattered) notebooks you currently own. Sit down with this information and break it into categories. The goal is not to just read everything in one sitting. This is not a high school social studies test where you have to absorb as much as possible and then blindly dump info. The results are usually downloadable and will be sent to you via email. Do both.
You are going to write down a title on the top of each page you use to take notes. Use a full page for one title at a time, per sitting. Example: Page 1, “Key aspects of my personality type”; Page 2, “How I express myself”; Page 3, “Relationship”; Page 4, “Careers” etc. You are going to read each section of the results, but the notes you will take will actually be based on your own life experiences. You can bullet point, make little shapes and fill them with info, write in straight lines and do subtitles, etc. Whatever works for you naturally as a note taker, do that! I tend to doodle squares and rectangles, filling the shape up with sentences or bullet points.
Drawing from life experiences, your emotions, your own relationships, past struggles, and the dreams you have consistently had since you were young in regards to career and lifestyle will be useful in these exercises to allow you to see yourself on the pages. Because it is not about writing out the exact info the test is telling you. It is about reframing that information to make it work for you.
ASTROLOGY / BIRTH CHART INFORMATION
The information you will pull up from your birth chart will feel really intense to interpret at first. But when you understand what each planet/sign means towards your personality, you will have an easier time breaking it down.
What I do when breaking down the charts is use index cards as well as fill out worksheets. I have designed so many for clients in the last 2 years and now I am revamping these visual activities for my online digital product shop! When those products are ready, I will be releasing a new article about them and how to use each product to your benefit when doing identity work!
If you are eager to dive into astrology, get yourself index cards and colorful pens! You can create cheat sheet notes to put at your desk or pin to your wall that will help you actually remember your chart. The benefit of using your charts? Where do I even begin? Astrology and Human Design were major break throughs for me when diving into my own authenticity journey!
I had to ignore the social media gossip and many differences of opinions when it came to looking up Astrology + HD, because as you will learn — listening to others can be really overwhelming and unhelpful. What I decided to do was treat this information like anything else I have learned regarding human behaviors and psychology. I understood that all of the information I learned was best used to help me shuffle through my own life experiences, my own views, my own preferences, and my own emotions.
“There quite literally is no room for anyone else's take on systems and assessments when you are on this identity journey. You are in this to learn your own discernment, draw from your own experiences, and expand the way you see the world around you.” Jean Grey, jeangrey_rising
WHAT ARE THE AREAS OF YOUR LIFE YOU SHOULD GET CLEAR ON?
Identity work is meant to have you examine the way you are within your every day environment. How you interact with others, what you are interested in doing for fun, what kind of things you like to do, and how you spend your time are important categories to examine. Then there are the generic topics most personality assessments will break down for you.
A general overview — Your results will break down what makes up your personality. To take really good notes in this area, come up with examples of how you have been like the description you are reading over. Come up with examples of how you have been like that personality type and then how you could be even more aligned in your lifestyle if you were to focus more on X,Y,Z.
Self Expression — What ways do you dress, present yourself, form your views, and share your thoughts with others? How do you express your character? More importantly within this identity work, I want you to take notes on how you hold back from expressing how you really feel and think in order to fit in or not upset the people around you. This includes friends and peers, your partner/spouse, and family members in your life who may make you feel like you have to be quiet or walk on egg shells. This is a very good indicator that you may hold back from expressing yourself often — something that has to be worked on in order to have big break throughs in your identity and self expression.
Careers/jobs — What jobs have you had in the last decade (or two) and how did you get hired? What did you like and what did you dislike about those positions? Did those jobs compliment your natural way of interacting with people or highlight skills that came natural to you? Do you currently run a business as an entrepreneur or freelance with the skills you have learned? What ways do your services and/or methods of making money align with this personality type? If you are in between jobs and situations or looking to quit what you are doing for money in order to do something for fulfillment, then this is an important area for you to study so you can build an aligned plan for creating a business you absolutely love!
Relationships — This area can be challenging because it is going to have you essentially evaluate your current relationships, which you may currently be still clinging onto out of having a history with them or feeling an obligation to keep the connection still. The area of life I think changes the most when we do identity work is our relationships. This is for two major reasons which I will get into in another article more deeply. But basically, we hold onto relationships for a long time through our life experiences. So you may have friends still from childhood, from your teen years, from your college years, or from prior jobs. You may still associate at least on an acquaintance level with a lot of these people via social media. As you get more clear on who you are from this kind of self development, you will find that you start to distance yourself from a lot of people. Like wise, a lot of people might become more distant from you. This is part of the process of growing and shifting, but it can feel uncomfortable because we would all like to believe that our relationships will withstand big challenges. As you become more expressive and authentic, not everyone will like it. And that is OKAY. It is part of the process that you will have to trust so you can find the relationships that align with who you are when you are unapologetic about it.
Parenting — If you are a parent, you probably already realized that parenting is one of the many areas of our lives that does not come with instructions but should. The amazing thing about identity work is it is the gift that keeps on giving — as you realize more about yourself, you identify the ways you parent your kids and where those methods stem from. As you connect your mental health, generational trauma, and inner child healing… it is just chef’s kiss. You will be able to lean into being a parent in a more authentic and loving way as you pull apart the layers of how you were not parented to meet your own needs as a child! It will allow you to better listen to your child, pay attention to who they are as individuals, and lean into showing the love and respect they need in order to develop self love and individuality.
Strengths and weaknesses — I like to call this category trial and error, because honestly there are no weaknesses … and strengths are really just the things you find most easy and exciting to focus on. So what you will want to write down is based on what you want to experiment more with. Are you interested in certain topics that you wish you could dive into more? Are there potential hobbies to be made? Are there skills you can further develop? These are strengths because you already have an interest and just need to practice more! What have you absolutely hated or felt was really difficult to follow through with? Was it hard to follow through because of lack of focus or drive? Was it because you just could not see through the skill level or amount of labor/energy it took? If you examine what you think you have failed at or struggled with in the past, you will discover that it just drained your energy, focus, or interest! So nothing is really a weakness, just an area that is not aligned with how you want to spend your time, brain power, or passionate drive in!
GOAL SETTING USING PERSONALITY ASSESSMENTS & YOUR BIRTH CHART
If you have taken the time to dive into different personality assessments as well as your birth chart, this time with the method of taking notes about your own life in connection to those results, then you are ready to set some goals. I know we are all used to the personal development AND business industries telling us to set goals that are based on a specific length of time to achieve it OR based on what monetary goals one has. I am going to ask you to STOP thinking about goal setting that way when it comes to Identity Work. With self discovery using personality assessments and birth chart information, you are going to set goals by working backwards.
What the heck does that mean? It means the art of reflection! You will have some major realizations after taking notes about your own personality thus far, realizing a lot about what you have experienced was shaped around what other people told you to do and how others told you to behave. Moving forward you are going to set up ways to lean into your own authenticity and then reflect on how it felt. For example: You realized you always say yes to everyone around you and are busy helping out constantly with other people’s needs. So you set a boundary that after certain times in the day or for certain days a week you are off limits to everyone which also means saying NO to stick to that. Do that for a week and reflect on how it went. Do that again for a few weeks straight and write down or voice memo in your phone notes how that helped you or made you feel about your energy and alone time. Reflection is where you will discover what really served you so you can keep on doing it and even improve on it!
Your birth chart and personality assessments are all really pointing to key aspects of your personality and how you express it in different areas of your life. If you were to be asked about yourself prior to identity work, chances are most of your answers would be intertwined with the conditioned beliefs and buried emotional turmoil due to trying to blend in with others or please them. Aside from giving you categories and labels to run with, these assessments and the information you discover also put into words what you are likely feeling underneath it all! It gives you a language and visuals to help conceptualize how you view your world, how you experience joy, what desires you have and what passions you are drawn to! This is what you need to set goals around. But think of it more as setting intentions to honor your own personality.
Feeling inspired to take (or retake) some personality assessments?
Here are my favorites:
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