Personality is defined as a combination of characteristics that form a persons’ individual character. It’s your nature, your persona, your identity.
But how does that get defined? What shapes it?
Clearly there are hundreds of scientific and psychological studies into this question, but today I don’t want to go that deep. Instead, I want to know, how do we understand what it is that defines us? How do we see ourselves as other people do, and by doing this, what can we learn from it?
I think it’s really important to understand and know what it is that makes you, you.
To have a self-awareness and respect for the person you are. To be authentic by knowing your strengths, flaws and unique quirks.
I believe it’s also important to know, how do you want to be remembered? What is it that you want to be known for? How will people describe you?
I asked people in my immediate family and circle to describe me in three words. I would recommend that you do the same, to discover how others currently perceive you. If I had the chance, I would have tried to ask people who know me less well, to get a different perspective.
‘Intelligent, fun and small’ – Sister – Lauren
‘Smart, caring and polite’ – Sister – Angharad
‘Short, focused, loving’ – Dad – Alan
‘Clever, thoughtful, tolerant’ – Mother in Law – Angela
‘Precise, intelligent, cat-mum’ – Brother in Law – Ross
‘Prepared, considerate, successful’ – Brother in Law – Aaron
‘Intelligent, creative, lovely’ – Husband – Kyran
‘Thoughtful, creative, influential’ – Best Friend, Sarah
So what does this mean?
For me, my top priorities in life, as you may have read from my previous posts, are (in no particular order):
- Spending time with my husband, family friends and cats.
- Travel as much as possible
- Write, read and learn. Never stop being curious.
- Be successful in a career I love.
Fortunately, it seems that the quick, three word reflections of those closest to me are in line with my priorities. Oh, and my height seems to be a defining feature!
Longer term, I hope that the creativity my husband and best friend have called out becomes more of a focus. I have practiced photography for over a decade, and really enjoy creating new content. It may be in the form of an article, or a photo to capture the beauty of a place. I don’t think people really see me in this way right now.
I additionally would like to see more words that reflect my growth in confidence or boldness in a decade’s time. I am really working hard on a journey towards having more confidence, being braver in social situations and being more ‘fun’.
Lastly, people observe me as very prepared, organised and thoughtful. It’s a natural trait of mine to be primed for any situation. In the future, I am going to try and stretch myself to be a little more spontaneous.
Who knows what I am missing out on because it’s not in my plan or itinerary? I also need to accept that it’s okay for things to not go to plan, and relax my inner control freak tendency to freak out when things take on an unexpected direction.
Do you know how people perceive you? Ask people today. All it takes is a quick text, conversation or call.
As Aristotle, put it.
‘Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom’.
By doing this exercise, it will open your eyes to how the world receives you. Then you yourself will know if this is something you are content with, or something you need to keep working on.
Often we don’t ask because we are scared to know the answer. Don’t be.
Know yourself, accept yourself, and be the best at what you do. It’s so important.