I have found personality tests to be a helpful tool in being more aware of my own strengths and struggles. Lately, I’ve been really intrigued by the Enneagram. It’s actually been around for a while, but lately you may have heard more about it. If not, message me and I’ll point you in the direction of some resources/books.
There are 9 types, and I scored high for type 1 (perfectionist), wing 2 (helper). When I was taking the test, I actually thought “I identify strongly with ‘helper’ but I’m not always the best at it”—of course, my results showed I’m a helper who never feels she is good enough—ha!
Learning more about my type has helped me understand how this helps me (setting high standards for myself in school, work, etc.), and how it hurts me (living with a critical “voice” in my head always telling me how I fall short.) Having a helper “wing” basically means I long to direct this energy into caring for others.
Being aware of how you think and see the world helps you better understand your unique gifts, how you relate with others, and what can easily bring you down. It helps you know what to pray for and what areas of growth you may need to work on.
Living with a critical voice in my head 24/7 makes me drawn to study more about God’s love, God’s grace, and God’s acceptance of me. Love “keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13), so when I keep a record of my own wrongs, I know this isn’t driven by love. God is love and does not keep a record of my wrongs. Rather than turning me into a critical person, it makes me more sensitive to NOT being a critical voice in others’ lives, knowing how that voice can bring me down. Also, knowing I set high standards for myself means being careful of how many things I commit myself to. If I commit myself to too many things, knowing I give >100% effort in everything I do, it creates anxiety when I cannot keep up. It also means learning to let myself “off the hook” when things aren’t perfect, and taking action when things aren’t “perfectly” prepared.
These are a few examples of how the Enneagram has been helpful to me. You may wonder “Dana, what does this have to do with health?” Our mindset affects our health, and taking care of our whole selves includes taking care of how we think and see the world.
(Later addendum: I’m actually a 9 wing 1!)Follow me on social media: