Learning to surface and bring to life the personality traits that already exist within us, is the key to unlocking our full potential...
Last week I met a very dear friend for a cup of coffee. Not to talk about anything in particular - it was just a lovely ‘catch-up’ with someone I care about that made me feel warm and happy, although the latte and huge slab of chocolate cake might have had something to do with it!
We’ve been friends for a long time and I like to think we know each other very well. As a result we casually compliment each other in conversation, as lots of friends do, about the things we like about each other. However last week my friend gave me an unexpected compliment that took me by surprise. She said that I was very good at remembering and recalling past experiences and learning from them to make decisions in the present.
Now, that’s great, but I see myself as a very forward-looking person. In fact I purposely I try not to look back, but forward. I focus on the path ahead. I set goals and try to achieve them. So, at first I thought that this was completely wrong. But once we had said goodbye and gone our separate ways, I really began to think about what she had said. You see, I’ve kept a daily diary since I was 15. Sometimes I write a lot, sometimes just one line – but every day I record something. Why do I do it? Why else than be able to remember, to reference back and to have a record which can influence what I do in the present?
I like to think I am very self-aware, working for Insights has that effect! But I guess the point I’m trying to make is that there are things I learn about my personality, like this, that still come as a surprise now and again.
The relationship with ourselves is probably the most important one we’ll ever have, which is why it’s so important to keep developing it. In fact, genuinely liking yourself is something that a lot of people struggle to achieve in their lifetime. Yet it’s widely recognised that being at ease with yourself is the first step on the path to a happy and successful life.
The key to liking yourself is firstly being able to understand yourself. Otherwise you don’t know what it is that you are choosing to like! Insights Discovery lays the foundations of self-understanding that enables individuals to do this. Deeper Discovery can take this level of understanding to a much deeper level, uncovering the more surprising and sometimes contradictory parts of your personality. This is done by exploring archetypes.
I’m a Reforming Director on the Discovery wheel. I lead with Fiery Red energy which means my preference at work is to be driven, decisive and industrious. I enjoy working at a high, strategic level which is why my role at Insights fits me so perfectly. However I’ve always been aware that there are deeper, inherent behaviours within me that don’t necessarily fit neatly within this description, like the one my friend picked up on last week.
So, when I completed the Deeper Discovery evaluator and discovered my top ten archetypes, the first one didn’t really come as a surprise because it sits in the Fiery Red part of the wheel; Conqueror - ‘Constantly strives for achievement, building on previous successes’.
However, two of the other archetypes in my top ten are Mother, which leads with Earth Green energy - ‘Embodies warmth, encouragement and nourishment while being fully prepared, with cold clarity to protect those in their care.’ And also, Jester which leads with Sunshine Yellow energy -‘Fearlessly uses humour to facilitate openness, noticing and internalising others’ reactions’.
It means I can draw parallels with different archetypes across the wheel that show up in different ways in different parts of my life. And now that I take time to really examine it, they highlight my natural attributes that I need to appreciate to make me a good all-round leader and a valuable member of my team.
It’s also helped me to realise that we’re all full of so much potential. We have a preferred way of doing things, but that’s not to say we’re not capable of much, much more. We have inherent characteristics within us that can be tapped into and developed as far as we choose to take them.
The hard part, once we’ve identified these characteristics, can be choosing which ones to invest our time and energy in. Deeper Discovery can help with this - by helping us to identify our hopes, our fears and our legacy through the lens of our own particular archetypes.
The lesson I’ve learned through my experience with Deeper Discovery so far, is that it’s important to stay open-minded about where your true potential lies. Even if you think you know yourself pretty well already. And listen carefully to people close to you, they might see things that you don’t, which could open up possibilities in your life that you never expected.