I'm an introverted Aries (and other 'truths' that limited my growth!)

There's a fine line between using tools to understand ourselves, and using those same tools to define and limit ourselves. 

Wondering what I'm talking about? Stick with me for a minute and I'll lay it alllll out. 

About three years ago I embarked on a journey to get to know myself more. I was committed to getting in touch with my intuition, claiming clarity for myself and my future, and doing things the way I wanted - rather than the way I was being told to do them. 

That sounds lovely and freeing, doesn't it? What most people don't tell you is that the reason so many people live by the status quo is because going against it is really hard. Sometimes it's nice to have someone else telling you what to do all the time, because it means you're not required to think. You can check out, mind your own business, and not be actively engaged in life. 

Well, I decided to screw that. And I'm so glad I did - but this journey has been much more difficult than I anticipated. Suddenly, I was the one responsible for figuring out what I wanted, how I wanted to work, and most importantly - how I wanted to feel. 

I turned to every mode of understanding I knew about (and many that were new to me). I did personality tests, I read my horoscope, I had my birth chart done, I asked for divine guidance in meditation. I prayed. I asked my trusted mentors and best friends. I was seeking direction from anyone and everyone, hoping that some bit of insight would suddenly click and help me understand who I was. 

I thought I was opening myself up to new potential. And I was, in a way. What I didn't see was that I was also doing exactly what I said I didn't want - allowing others to tell me what to do and who I was. It was just in a sneakier, less obvious way. It was cloaked in the appeal of wellness and new age sparkle, rather than the traditional corporate model I was used to rebelling against.

There's a fine line between using tools to help you understand yourself, and allowing those same tools to define you.

I now knew that I was an introverted Aries with a penchant for creativity and a desire to do good, and that my struggles were likely to be mostly internal. I discovered that I was a classic martyr archetype mixed with a Taurus rising sign. I knew which crystals were designed to heal my root chakra, and why I needed to be doing ten minutes of meditation and tapping everyday. The problem? I still didn't feel KNOWN. Deep down. 

All of this 'self knowledge' just became another distraction - and it created it's own limitations. After all, one can't be an introverted Aries, right? If that's what I was, then I must be broken. The archetypes couldn't be wrong!

The psychological phenomenon whereby people accept general personality interpretations (Barnum profiles) as accurate descriptions of their own unique personalities has been given the name “the Barnum effect” after P. T. Barnum, a famous circus owner whose formula for success was always to have a little something for everybody (Snyder & Shenkel, 1976). Barnum profiles consist of a variety of statements: “Vague, e.g., ‘you enjoy a certain amount of change and variety in life’; Double-headed, e.g., ‘you are generally cheerful and optimistic but get depressed at times’; Modal characteristics of the subject’s group, e.g., ‘you find that study is not always easy’; favorable, e.g., ‘you are forceful and well-liked by others’” (Sundberg, 1955).
— THE 'BARNUM EFFECT' IN PERSONALITY ASSESSMENT: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE' DICKSON & KELLY 1985


If you're going on a self-knowledge crusade and feel overwhelmed, consider this your permission to stop. To rest. To know yourself as the quiet, searching soul, and to let that be enough.

 
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Personality tests can be fun, but they also create limiting beliefs when we accept them as truth - instead, we need to learn to define and celebrate ourselves, for ourselves. Read more on The Well Supported Woman's blog!
 
Personality tests can be fun, but they also create limiting beliefs when we accept them as truth - instead, we need to learn to define and celebrate ourselves, for ourselves. Read more on The Well Supported Woman's blog!
Personality tests can be fun, but they also create limiting beliefs when we accept them as truth - instead, we need to learn to define and celebrate ourselves, for ourselves. Read more on The Well Supported Woman's blog!
Personality tests can be fun, but they also create limiting beliefs when we accept them as truth - instead, we need to learn to define and celebrate ourselves, for ourselves. Read more on The Well Supported Woman's blog!