Tools for Self Awareness

Last month we began talking about the importance of self-awareness. (If you missed that post you can find it here: The Journey Towards Self Awareness) In particular, we looked at how self-awareness not only helps us know ourselves and know God, but that those two things are inextricably linked. John Calvin said, “Without knowledge of God there is no knowledge of self, but without knowledge of self there is no knowledge of God.”

We finished that post with a promise for some tools to help us grow in our self-awareness. There are so many tools that I have had to split it into two sections. Part 1 is a list of tests and personality assessments, to help us get a base understanding ourselves. Part 2, which will be posted in 2 weeks time, will have tools to sustain us on the journey of self awareness.

Each of these tests I have used to help me better understand myself and all of them are free. If you want to find out some others that are great but that you have to pay for, leave me a message in the comments below and I will point you in the right direction.

We’ll be going through what these tests are, why I love it and of course a link to the resource for you.

16 Personalities

Firstly we have 16 personalities, this is a slightly modified Myers Briggs Personality Type testing. It has types such as Introversion and Extroversion, which is more than whether you like people, but rather where you get your energy from; whether you prefer high stimuli, high interaction environments or low stimuli, low interaction environments. One of the differences this personality testing has is an extra section on Turbulent and Assertive types, which is all about identity and the confidence in our own decisions.

I love 16 personalities because this test helps us understand how we interact with the world around us, how we make our decisions, and how we deal with our emotions. All really important things for us to understand about ourselves and about others.

For example, my fiancé and I are on different ends of the spectrum when it comes to Introversion and Extroversion; she loves high stimuli environments, I get easily distracted by them. We both love to go out to dinner together, but if there is a TV at the restaurant I have to sit with my back to it, doesn’t matter if it’s Home and Away on the TV, the movement and the talking will distract me. Once we understood that difference about each other we were able to make changes, but also show each other grace.

The link to do this test is here: 16 Personalities Test

Enneagram

This test might freak a few people out, and when you have a look at the symbol it can feel a bit new age, but this test is steeped in Christian tradition and thought. (There is a good book here if you want to find out more: Bookwitty – Search Richard Rohr – The Enneagram

This is my favourite tool for self awareness, because it takes the journey a lot deeper than 16 personalities. While 16 personalities dealt with a lot of the way we interact with the world around us, the Enneagram takes us to our deep motivations, what is driving us to act, desire and do the things that we do.

For example, I am an 8 on the Enneagram, which is a group of people that is concerned with strength, power and leadership. I had a realisation about this the other day when I realised that the way that I was engaging with the world was through a lens of everyone and everything being against me, and that life was a constant battle to show my strength and power. I mean, some of you are looking at that and going, how tiring. Yet I would say, it fuelled me, it gave me the drive, passion, and focus to do so many of the things that I have wanted to do. But yes, it has been tiring at times and it has meant that I have thought those closest to me have been against me, when in reality they have been so for me.

The best way to do this is not to do a test. Tests around our motivations are often impacted by what we wish we were, or who we want to be like. For example a lot of Christians can idealise types 2 and 9 because they seem the most like Jesus. Therefore, their answers reflect that and you can get the wrong result. The best way is to download the EnneaApp and then read the types and find the one that you resonate with, and then get a spouse, partner or close friend to read it and confirm.

Then you can even sign up for daily thoughts from the Enneagram Institute to provide daily reflective quotes.

These first two tools have been accessible for anyone, but there are a couple more that are more focused on those that would identify as Christian.

Spiritual Gift Test

This is a test to see what it is that God has gifted us with, to use in ministry, in serving his church and to help others.

These are things such as teaching, leadership, wisdom, hospitality. I believe this is an area that often goes lacking in our journey towards self-awareness. Understanding what we are good at, and why we are good at it.

Often we want to understand the things that we find frustrating about ourselves, but when we don’t understand the gifts that we have, and how to use them I think we miss out on our purpose in a big way, leaving us feeling less fruitful than we would desire.

For me, when I was a younger pastor, I always felt that I didn’t have much to contribute, or say. Whenever I would get up to preach, particularly to people older than me I would often doubt myself, my words and whether it was worth my time, and everyone else’s time. Doing a spiritual gift test, I realised that I had the gift of wisdom and teaching, amongst others. These two stood out to me though, because it was this that helped me grow in my confidence. I realised I did have something to say, because God had given me the gifts to make that possible. Understanding my strengths, helped me understand who God had made me to be.

This test is a great way to find out some of the gifts God has given us and to then use those gifts to help others, and to build God’s church.

This website was a great tool; Spiritual Gifts Test is 105 questions which I felt was thorough but not over the top as the questions are quick and easy to answer.

Finding out our God given gifts is an important area of self-awareness.

THE JOURNEY TOWARDS SELF AWARENESS

The journey towards Self Awareness is not an easy one, but it is a vitally important one. We can either choose to engage with it and actively become the people that we were made to be, finding freedom from our issues, having vibrant and life-giving relationships, in jobs that bring us life and with people that inspire us. Or we can ignore it, deal with the same issues over and over again, fail to understand why our relationships fall apart, find ourselves in jobs that we hate, hanging out with people who don’t inspire or encourage us.

I know what I would choose every day of the week, and that option comes to those who commit to the journey of self-awareness.

I hope you will commit to it too.

I’d love to connect with you in the comments, so when you find out your types come and share them and let’s dialogue. Maybe this can be a place of community for you too, I hope it can be.

Don’t forget to subscribe below so you never miss a post that will help you grow! Because in two weeks time we have part 2, which is all about tools we have to sustain us on the journey of self awareness. We are going to be looking at tools that sustain and cause us to continue to look inward and understand ourselves, each and every day. While these tests begin the journey, the next post will be to sustain it.

Keep growing,

Ben Dainton

 

 

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