Personality tools have a key place in my coaching practice. With my higher end clients I spend up to a full-day just diving into key aspects of their personality in order to help them understand themselves at a level that they might have previously thought impossible.
Through personality tools and assessments, we affirm their talents and gifts, and key challenges they will encounter in their unique design. In most cases, during our session we can confirm and identify what they really desire to create in their life compared to where they are in their current circumstances. Oftentimes, there’s a wide gap.
It’s common for human beings to create goals that are driven by external factors. They create a vision based on what others want for them, to keep up with the Joneses, or with the hope of experiencing a feeling that they want to feel. But in many cases they don’t know why they want what they want, and they can’t articulate to me why their goal or target makes sense for them. When we dive into their personality traits, we can expose what they are really after that they already know but refuse to embrace.
Robert is a financial professional from Georgia. He came up to spend an entire day with me. When we began working together, he said that he just wasn’t satisfied with his life and felt that he was missing something. He acknowledged that he had a family, wealth, and health, but something was still missing. He was part of a huge financial conglomerate and was miserable in his career. Robert also acknowledged that he loved the financial industry and wealth creation.
“What do you want to do?” I asked as we met for the first time after agreeing to work together the week before.
“I love the financial industry, but I feel a constant state of angst and dissatisfaction,” Robert stated with ease.
I responded, “Tell me about all of your positions, start at the beginning and work forward.”
Robert began telling me of all of the positions and roles in the financial sector that he held over the course of 25 years in industry. He held leadership and key contributor roles in some of the largest financial firms in New York, Los Angeles, London, and Atlanta. He lived all over the world and traveled continent to continent to drive the growth of some of the top funds in the world.
“What does the word community mean to you?” I asked after Robert spoke for about 30 minutes in detail.
“Community is everything,” he said quickly. “I’m constantly searching for community in my business and personal lives.”
As I dug into Robert’s design, genetic makeup, and his personality tools, the theme of community recurred over and over. The assessments and tools stated that he most desired to be surrounded by a narrow band of like-minded people who viewed him as leader and allowed him to grow their impact and sphere of influence. He didn’t want to lead many, but he desired a few key players who allowed him to trust, feel safe, and walk forward with them to create something spectacular to serve the greater good.
“I moved from position to position chasing community. When I accept a new role, it’s always because of the prospect that they have established a community, then when I realize that that is not the case, I leave in search of another established group to lead. It’s been a chase my entire career,” Robert confessed.
“Well that has made you a lot of money, and it might have allowed you to recognize that if you want a community you might need to build it,” I said confidently that we were on to the source of Robert’s angst.
“That makes sense. And I guess I didn’t mention that I have a side project in process to build a community of…” Robert continued.
He began to describe that for years he has been working to develop a web platform that will bring like-minded people to him so that he can lead them and grow them in a powerful cause, while allowing him to stay connected with the financial industry and his passion for managing wealth. Over the coming hours we discovered that for the next 12 months our work together would be spent not on helping him become satisfied with his current role but helping him to build the community to a point in which would support his personal financial objectives and his itch for leading a community.
Robert knew what he really wanted, he just didn’t understand that the signals he had been receiving for years were his own internal compass and his own due north. All we need to do is pay attention to our internal signals. Our own intuition is always right—we just don’t trust it enough to surrender to it.
Self-awareness is more than just tools. Personality tools and assessments only validate what you already know, but they might allow you to realize that you always knew what was right for you. Self-awareness fuels happiness. Our brain is based on scarcity and fear, so it will keep us captive and hostage to our current reality or keep us wanting more of what we already have—even if it is more of what we already have that has not satisfied us to this point. The brain always says more is the answer. We need to move past relying on the brain for guidance.
Our soul—that internal feeling which sometimes tries to pull us in another complete direction—knows exactly where we can discover happiness. Happiness cannot be found in things we don’t love, but if we don’t trust ourselves and are not self-aware enough about our talents, gifts, and desires, we’ll tread water our entire lives.
When we fine-tune our inner knowing, we’ll shift our focus and actions on things that will really bring us peace and happiness, and our visions and dreams. We just have to be self-aware enough to see past the brain’s short-sightedness and painful filtering system. When we trust our inner knower, completely surrendered to our own self-awareness, the fears and doubts of the life you “should” live will fall away to life you desire to live.