When I first joined PALM Health, I was encouraged to take a personality assessment called the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). This assessment involves answering a couple hundred questions that reminded me of the Myers-Briggs test but this test breaks personality into two main categories: Temperament and Character. Under these categories are sub-categories/traits such as novelty seeking, harm avoidance, persistence, self-directedness, and cooperativeness, among others. Through participating in the 8-week program, I am hoping to use the outcomes of the TCI to learn more about myself, understand how to use my innate traits to help me grow personally and professionally, and discover what makes me thrive.
I am currently reading The Tao of Pooh and the following quote reminded me of some of the points that were discussed with me after taking the assessment. What I learned is that we don’t necessarily want to change our personality entirely, we just want to understand the different aspects of our personality and how to work with them effectively in all situations.
“Sooner or later, we are bound to discover some things about ourselves that we don’t like. But once we see they’re there, we can decide what we want to do with them. Do we want to get rid of them completely, change them into other things, or use them in beneficial ways? The last two approaches are often especially Useful, since they avoid head on conflict, and therefore minimize struggle. Also, they allow those transformed characteristics to be added to the list of things we have that help us out” – The Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff
For example, introversion is not a less desirable trait than extroversion. It just demonstrates how we tend to interact with others and influences what activities we choose to participate in. Traits such as avoiding harm may be useful in some situations but can hinder the way we handle other situations. Therefore, we must learn how to make our traits useful.
Be you. Don’t try to change yourself to fit a more desirable mold because you may find that your traits help you greatly. If there is a quality that you don’t like about yourself, think of a few ways in which that quality is positive and would be of benefit to yourself and to others.