Discovering Your Strengths {Tool 20}

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
How precious are your thoughts about me,[b] O God.
They cannot be numbered!
Psalm 139:13-17

God designed each of us, inside and out, before we were born. Into us he crafted a personality, strengths and weaknesses, and the ability to reflect him in our own unique way.

A valuable part of understanding and appreciating how he designed me has been using tools created to discover what those unique aspects about me are. Today I want to highlight some because there’s nothing like reading a description of a personality and saying, “Oh my word, that’s me!” to make you feel seen and give you confidence to follow the calling God has given you.

Myers-Briggs Personality Test 
This is a 16-personality type test that focuses on four different elements of personality. You can read about it here. I find that understanding who I am as a personality gives me permission to be that person and not someone else. I have been able to recognize my tendencies (for good or bad!) and not blame myself for areas I’m not gifted in. It has helped me a lot with my interpersonal relationships, showing me the reasons why I conflict with certain people and connect with others. It is sometimes as simple as personality differences.

Day 20

Photo cred: Jenny Myers Photography

For those wondering, I am a classic ESFJ, Extroverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging are my top ways of viewing the world. Again, you can learn more about this at the following websites.
Free Test and Descriptions
Free Test
Personality Descriptions

Strengths Finder Test

This test by Gallup has a fee to take it (currently $19.99), but I’ve found it to be worth it. Gallup created this test to help people discover their strengths in order to use them better. We as a society often focus on the areas we are weak, to try to improve those. God designed us with strengths, and intends for us to apply those and use them to serve him and others. Certainly we may need to develop in other areas, but to focus all our attention there isn’t helpful. When I learned that my top strengths were Harmony, Winning Others Over, Communication, Developer, and Empathy, I began to see why I’d been leading others the way I’ve been all my life. I could see why certain things frustrated me. And I could see the value of how I am uniquely able to help others.

One note about taking these tests: Answer the way you feel instinctively, not the way you wish you were. Go with your gut, so to speak. Answer quickly without overthinking. Otherwise you’re less likely to get accurate answers.

Strengths Finder Test 

Like Your Life eCourse
This last recommendation is an eCourse, Like Your Life, designed to help you find out who you are, what your specific purpose and calling is, and how to live that out in everyday life. Created by world traveler, author, mom and entrepreneur Tsh Oxenreider, who focuses her brand on simple living, this course is fun and creative and you can go as in depth or as light as you’d like with it.

From the beginning, Tsh walks you through journaling exercises like describing your perfect day, and then dissecting WHY that would be your perfect day and what that says about you. She recommends personality tests like the ones I described above. And she helps you define a life mission statement.

Doing this eCourse last year helped me jumpstart my journey of finding myself again after half a decade of survival mode living. Tsh is a practical, no nonsense teacher who makes the process easy and enjoyable. I highly recommend it.

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There is so much value in discovering the unique pieces of who God made you to be. I’ve found freedom to be myself and let others be themselves. I’ve come to appreciate my strengths and abilities and understand much better how to thrive in life.

 

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