Why knowing yourself is the first step of your journey.
Today we have Joel Mark Witt and Antonia Dodge from Personality Hacker speaking to us on the importance of knowing yourself.
They understand the mental wiring of the mind and how you can use it to create success in your personal life and relationships. Gain control of your life by understanding yourself better. Start your journey in becoming the best version of yourself.
In this Interview Learn:
How you can become the best version of yourself
Importance of understanding your Personality Type
Why people Stereotype others
How understanding personality types can bring down stereotypes
Can you tell us your background?
Antonia: So as a teenager, I always felt like the odd man out in almost every way. Not the sense of being unwelcomed, but going to the party and feeling that I couldn’t find a place to fit in.
When I was 15, I found a book on Meyers Briggs typology, David Keirsey’s “Please Understand Me.” Basically the book talks about observable patterns in nature and society. There are predictable trends and patterns found in human behavior and personality. One of those trends described me perfectly and really resonated.
That started my journey and desire to understand myself and other people more in depth. I gobbled up everything I could on Typology and later discovered Jungian Typology and Cognitive Function. I realized that in the “Meyer’s Briggs” world, there is this high barrier of entry into it as well as graduating from it. There is a bit of an “elitist” mentality there. It’s like it is secret information that only members of an exclusive club can have. And if you don’t have their level of understanding, you’re just a lower level human with stunted growth.
But there is only so much that the 4 letter word typing can do for you without proper understanding. You get to a point where you know there is more to learn but it’s difficult to find out that information and apply it to your life.
Finding out about Cognitive Functions was life changing for me and I wished I had known about it sooner. So I wanted to create a resource for people that’s easy to understand and easy to apply in their lives and grow. I wanted to lower the barrier of entry into the typology world.
That’s how our business came to life.
Joel: For me, growing up, I always wanted to do things different from the status quo. Doing things off beat and off season as I was a different type of thinker. I always had this drive to do things to it’s fullest ultimate level, not half assed.
Since my teenage years, I’ve always had an interest in personal development and studied how I could be a better person. And become better at things I wanted to do, like business, relationships, or my career. I was always looking for a way to do things better.
And I remember reading books that would tell me how to do things to achieve success in my life. I would follow them but it never totally felt “right.” The business books would say something like, you have to make a list and do it this way, etc. I would try it and it would kind of work for me but it wouldn’t really match how I would show up to the world.
Something was always a bit “off.”
What discovering personality typing did was give me a tool set for personal growth. Even business development and relationships are not all created equal. There are different ways to go about personal growth or business in our lives based on how we are “wired” as individuals.
It also gave me a path of achievement and personal growth that I would not have had without understanding my personality type.
I realized how powerful a tool personality typing can be in the personal growth process, in achievement, in business, healing, and transcending barriers. In all these things we do in life, we can use it as a tool to help us become better versions of ourselves.
So taking our passion for personal growth, we’ve taken Jungian typology and made a business out of it as there is a large unfilled market need. We want to help people understand how they are “wired” as a person. Doing it in a way they can understand and apply in every aspect of their lives, from business to personal.
For people unaware of their personality types. What kind of impact can it have and why is it important to understand your individual type?
Joel: Everybody categorizes people in their lives without thinking about it. We do this all the time. We look at people of a different gender or race and put them in a category in our mind. A policeman is put in one category, and a professional at a bank is put in another.
So we’re already thinking of people in terms of personalities and different categories in general.
What understanding personality typing does, is that it gives us clarity.
It gives us a clear language of what we are already sort of doing in our minds. But we don’t have a lot of skill around it. We don’t have a methodology for it. So we end up creating stereotypes and over simplifying people, putting them in a box.
“All women are this way, or all black people act like this, or all white people act this way.”
We do this all the time.
Personality typing gives us fidelity, much more nuances, and an understanding of how people are as individuals. It brings down barriers and stereotypes. We can begin to see people by their personality rather than their skin color or gender.
It gives us a greater understanding of how other people are showing up to the world. It gives us a clear language for something that we didn’t have a language for. What we already were sort of getting an idea about in our unconscious minds.
Antonia: What’s funny is that the argument Joel just made, that personality types prevents us from stereotyping people. And the number one resistance that people have against personality typing and psychology, is that they think it will put them in a box.
But it’s funny to notice how often we willingly put ourselves in boxes all the time. And how often we put other people in boxes.
People are constantly working with stereotypes. The reason why is that other human beings are just too much information. We ourselves are just too much information to fully comprehend. The level of nuances that each human has is overwhelming, so people have to predefine and put others in simple “boxes” and categories. Or else they will have information overload.
We unconsciously vett people on things like what they’re wearing or their appearance. We are profiling other people all the time.
So what personality typing does, is that it creates more sophisticated patterns of human behavior. It allows us to understand aspects of people that we would not have otherwise grasped. It helps us understand aspects of ourselves from the perspective of an outside observer. It can give us a third person view.
These personality, psychology tools, give us patterns about ourselves. When we first read them, we go, “Yes, that’s totally me!” And we may have had inklings of it before, but because we didn’t have the right language, we could have missed important components that come with our type. We have a tendency to oversee our good parts in a shining way and tend to dismiss our bad traits and excuse them away.
So typology helps us to see all of those parts, not in a good or bad way, just as the way people show up. So if we’ve been given messages that the way we show up is not acceptable for some reason, it’s very validating and encouraging to know that, “Nope, that’s just the way my personality type shows up.”
It’s validating in that I don’t have to demonize and feel guilty over a certain trait or aspect of myself. That’s just how I’m wired. That’s okay, and I can just begin to accept that.
When we see the good parts, it gives us a compass in where we need to go to build upon our talents. Because we have natural skill in that direction and hold interest there. It helps guide the process of figuring out which road we should be traveling down, which skills we should be honing and working on.
What are the things we really need to feed and nourish our minds?
What are the things that gives us energy and what are the things that drain our energy reserves?
How can we manage our energies to present ourselves the best possible way?
How do we deal with confrontations and how can we cope with extremely stressful situations?
What kind of healing do we need?
You can contextualize so many different aspects of your journey to yourself without having to become a big mess. These are vetted models.
I like Alfred Korzybski’s saying,
“The map is not the territory.”
He argued that human knowledge of the world is limited both by the human nervous system and the languages humans have developed. So no one can have direct access to reality in totality. Because the most that we can know is filtered through our brain’s responses to reality.
These models and patterns that we see in the world are not empirical truth. They aren’t the true map of reality.
“I am the map.”
When I say that I’m an ENTP in the Meyer’s Brigg system, that’s a misnomer. I’m actually not an ENTP. But I evidence ENTP trending behaviors. So you don’t have to over identify with any of these patterns. You don’t have to be limited by these models. But you can use them as a tool set to help get a better understanding of yourself. When they cease to serve you, you can let them go.
It’s just a way to help understand reality. It’s not empirical truth. If you can use it as a tool for understanding how things work, use it as a map, being careful not to over value it as absolute truth or the only reality, then it can be incredibly helpful as a guide.
That’s all it is, a map. Maps are guides to help us get through our journey to our destination. Understanding your personality type is a way of guiding you through all the different terrains and obstacles you face in life.
Joel: People may not understand that personality typing can be used as an effective tool for personal development.
Like Jack Kornfield says,
“Every facet, every department of your mind, is to be programmed by you. And unless you assume your rightful responsibility, and begin to program your own mind, the world will program it for you.”
Our goal isn’t to dissect the system for its own sake, but rather to utilize the system in order to reprogram our own minds. We want to make it easy for you to understand your own type. To know how you can best grow and how to practically apply it in areas of your life.
You can find out your personality type for personal growth here.
Continue to – “Personalities and Making Decisions”