Raise your hand if you’ve heard of The Enneagram, The Myer-Briggs, The Color Code, The Love Languages….?
All of the above (plus many more) are personality assessments that typically fascinate self-development enthusiasts like you and me.
I am a 6 – Loyalist (Enneagram)
I am an INFJ (Myer-Briggs)
I am almost entirely blue and not at all yellow (Color Code)
My love language is quality time.
6, INFJ, blue, time = me in a nutshell
Take those assessments and you’ll get the same kind of bio to share – a collection of attributes and traits that make up a pretty accurate version of what you can expect from yourself and what others – if they are in on the results – can expect from you.
I love that stuff. It provides a springboard of self-knowledge that increases your understanding of who you are and what makes you tick.
And you know I’m all in for anything that improves your relationship with you.
Tests like those are fascinating and fun.
Until they aren’t.
Like when you use the results to convince yourself that something you’d like to do or be will be very challenging – or maybe even impossible.
And that Bees, is where I draw the line.
Because you and I both know that “bees don’t care what humans think is impossible.”
Take this example:
I am almost 100% blue according to The Color Code.
I also consistently score close to 0% yellow.
If I were to take those scores at face value – interpreting the results as immoveable facts about me – here’s what I’d have to believe about myself:
I am a deep, deep, deep feeler who can never, ever, ever have any fun.
Planning fun stuff and being spontaneous are not allowable. I’d do better to sit and emote with my journal and Taylor Swift’s latest album on repeat. It’s what a Blue would do.
OTHER people – the yellows – get to drive to the lake on a random Wednesday and order something they’ve never tried off the menu of a restaurant they decided to try out on a whim.
Blues don’t do that. They remember birthdays and cut past the small talk to the very essence of every person they converse with.
Sounds extreme, I know.
But I hear my clients tell me stuff like that all the time.
“Well, I’m an introvert. So, you know, I couldn’t go to that event all alone. I’m. An. Introvert.”
“He’s a 7, so that’d never work.”
“The kisses just don’t land with me. My love language is words of affirmation.”
As your coach, I’m not here to take any of your stories about yourself or your personality assessments away from you.
Keep any of them that you love.
Just promise me that you’ll take a closer look at any externally generated label that you’re using as a reason to prevent yourself from being the exact type of woman and wife you want to be.
What if introverts CAN go on their own to something they really, really want to attend?
What if the number 7 doesn’t have to mean ANYTHING about the way your husband is likely to respond?
What if you could figure out a way to appreciate the kisses and pull closer to this guy you chose to spend forever with – even if he’s not a wordsmith?
Would you want to?
You know better than me how you want to show up in the world. Just make sure it’s YOU doing the deciding – not some (possibly limiting) label you’ve adopted from a book, website, coach or psychologist.
And PS – all of the above goes for husband too. He may say gifts are the way to his heart (love language) or consistently show up in a way that screams “2!!!!” (Enneagram). Even so, when the label you’re giving him creates distance in a relationship you’d prefer to be close, check yourself to make sure your belief that his traits are set in stone is worth what you might be missing if you were a little more open to seeing him in a variety of lights.
Could be freeing.
Worth a shot.