I recently completed a Myers Briggs Personality Test, which indicated that I was an "ISFJ" type. It is said that these results are never set in stone and I am an example that they have a tendency to shift throughout time. All my life I have loved performing for and interacting with people. Up until about a year ago, I would have described myself as an absolute extrovert. After all, I am majoring in Broadcast Journalism because one of my strengths has always been communicating with others. Lately, this has not been the case. I have felt extremely depressed and have chosen to isolate myself from others, as it feels more comfortable to be alone. I now realize that this "I," or introvert, trait is in many respects actually an asset because it has allowed me to focus my attention on my most inner thoughts and feelings and to deeply evaluate the present. By exercising such introversion over the last few weeks, I came to recognize that pursuing a second major at this time is not the right path for me to follow.
This brings me to my next letter "S," which indicates I am the "sensing" type. I like to focus on the present, the reality of a situation. Looking ahead at the two additional years of course work I had left to complete in order to attain an Education degree was completely overwhelming. It was as if I was crawling through a narrow tunnel without any light at its end. For me, glancing that far into the distance without a clear and concrete vision caused great distress. Initially, I added the education major with the idea that down the road when I one day start a family, the hours and demands of a teaching position would be more conducive in comparison to working as a reporter or producer. Yet the reality is that my goal is to enter into the Communications field when I graduate and I can earn my education certification through a one-year program, if and when the time comes that I want to make that transition. I had to redirect my focus back to the present and determine what would be most effective and efficient for my well being at this point in time.
The next letter of my reported type was "F," which stands for "feeling." Clearly, I am a very emotional person and I find great meaning in reflecting on my emotions. I tried for a while to convince myself that it logically made the most sense to continue my education for another two years because I had already started working toward the degree and acquiring credits. However, my heart is lacking passion for Penn State and this student life I am living. As I frequently do, I also began to consider the thoughts and feelings of my family and mentors in deciding what course of action to take. I knew that they would support my decision because it was in the best interest of my health, happiness, and let us not forget in my parent's case, their wallets! I opened my mind, heart, and soul and discovered that a change of plans was critical during this time laden with despair.
The final and strongest trait reported on my evaluation was "J," or "judging." I find that I have a strong, inherent need for stability and consistency. Whether it is in setting a long-term goal or just looking ahead to the next day, I am someone who always takes a planned and organized approach. For example, every night I create an agenda for the next day that hour by hour indicates what I need to accomplish. I like to feel a sense of control, as it is empowering and provides security. While I had mapped out a plan to earn a second degree in Education, it had no definitive end and in moving forward to achieve that goal, I began to feel out of control in other aspects of my life. This quickly conveyed that a change was needed to restore order in my life and to revive my spiritual, emotional, and mental health.
Personality is how you present yourself to the world; it is how people see you. This public persona is the means for either attracting or dissuading others. In order to be an effective leader, one must strengthen this outward image so that others feel confident in following. The trick is that it must remain true and genuine to whom you are and not become simply a façade. While there is no perfect formula for the personality of a great leader, the key is to embrace and emphasize the qualities you possess by molding them to your advantage. I am utilizing my current trait types of introversion, sensing, feeling, and judging by allowing them to guide me in making life changing decisions and in taking the lead of my future.