7 Awesome Self-Awareness Systems that are not Myers-Briggs

(Apologies to Myers-Briggs. Nothing personal.) 

Personality profiling has come a long way in terms of reaching our awareness in recent years. 

Valuable models such as the enneagram, the chakra system and ayurvedic body typing have made their way into mainstream.

So what can such self-knowledge systems do for you?

Basically, they empower us by shedding light on our fears and motivations, helping us discover the tools we need to transform our health, and overcome limitations so we can advance in our personal and professional lives. 

Below is an overview of 7 of the most enlightening self-awareness systems available to a wellbeing warrior today.

Happy self-discovery!

The enneagram

Super sophisticated tool for personal and spiritual growth. A very basic assessment:

  • There are nine distinct personality types (numbered 1-9) and though we may have characteristics from all of them, we all have an overriding type. 
  • Each personality type is either a (1) a mind or head type, (2) a feeling type or (3) an instinctual type. The categorization is indicative of ‘your (largely unconscious) emotional response to the loss of contact with the core of your self’. Yeah. 
  • Each of (1), (2) and (3) has a dominant emotion – fear (1), anger/rage (3), or shame (2). Each personality type has a default way of dealing with the emotion. For example, I am a ‘7’, and therefore a mind/head type, and my dominant emotion is fear. My default way of dealing with the emotion of fear is distracting myself from my inner world.
  • Each type has a ‘wing’ (or two wings) – one of the other nine personalty types that they embody the traits of.
  • Finally, there are levels of development within each personalty type.

Benefits

It is the most detailed psychological profiling tool available. There are enough layers and complexities to it to really identify and target how we can become unstuck professionally and personally.

The enneagram is the most detailed psychological profiling tool available Click To Tweet

Limitations?

As you have probably gathered, it is complex. You will probably either need to study or hire a coach to benefit from this system fully.

Ways to benefit from enneagram awareness now

Discover which of the 9 personality types you are.  

Further information

The Enneagram Institute has some free resources on its site. 

Adversity quotient 

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An adversity quotient is a score that measures the ability of a person to deal with adversity. The term was coined by Paul Stoltz in his book Adversity Quotient: Turning Obstacles Into Opportunities.

You take a test which has four ‘CORE’ dimensions that describe your pattern of response to adversity: 

  • Control – the extent to which you perceive that you can influence whatever happens next.
  • Ownership – the likelihood that you will actually do anything to improve the situation, regardless of your formal responsibilities.
  • Reach – the extent to which you perceive an adversity will ‘reach into’ and affect other aspects of the situation or beyond.
  • Endurance – the length of time you perceive the situation/adversity will last.

Benefits

As grit and resilience is constantly identified as significant in today’s world, it is worth getting to know yours. Plus, the system helps you to improve your resilience levels. 

As resilience levels are identified as key in life mastery, it is worth knowing your adversity quotient Click To Tweet

Limitations?

Compared with the enneagram (for e.g.), it is relatively one dimensional. Human beings are not.

Ways to benefit from AQ awareness now

  • Take the test.
  • Whenever you read an article or engage in a conversation, turn on your CORE radar. The more you apply it, the more aware and accurate you will become.

Further information 

Check out Peak Learning.

Ayurveda

Likened to the somatotype that was developed in the 1940s by American psychologist William Herbert Sheldon to categorize the human physique, Ayurveda identifies three physical types and defining characteristics (including character traits). The fundamentals:

  • There are strong links between various body types, personalities, and emotional traits.
  • The three types (called ‘dosha’ types) are vata, pita and kapha.
  • Each type has its strengths and weaknesses.
  • Once you know your type, you can make diet and lifestyle adaptations to help to bring you into balance more.

Benefits

It’s a holistic approach to body typing that emphasizes how connected our minds and bodies are. 

Limitations?

Ayurvedic suggestions do not factor in possibly the most important aspect of wellbeing – the psychological limitations that cause us to become out of balance. However, treated in terms of a pure body awareness tool, it has its uses.

Ways to benefit from ayurveda awareness today

Identify your dosha by taking the quiz. 

Consider doing some dosha specific suggestions to make yourself more balanced. For e.g., if you’re vata, go meditate. If you’re predominately pita, go detox. If you’re kapha, up your exercise.

Further information

I really love the Life Spa site for all things Ayurveda. Also, check out my previous article on the subject.  

Chakra system

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Chakras are energy centers within the human body that help to regulate all its processes, from organ function to to the immune system and emotions.

There are 7 chakras positioned throughout your body, from the base of your spine to the crown of your head. I discuss this more in depth here. 

Benefits

The chakra system can help us to discover where we are holding ourselves back and blocking ourselves off from life. Using the knowledge, we can restore optimal health and wellbeing and deal with unconscious emotional habits that have become deeply ingrained.

The chakra system can help us to discover emotional blockages which may manifest in health conditions Click To Tweet

Limitations?

None – except that it takes a degree of openness and willingness to dig deep to use the chakra system. For that reason, a lot of us just wont.

Ways to benefit from chakra awareness today

Take a little tour of the health of each of your chakras. Have problems expressing yourself? That’s a throat chakra under-expression. Closed off emotionally? You could have heart chakra issues.

Devote some attention to balancing your chakras. You will find myriad suggestions for doing so online. 

Further information

My previous article – plus anything written by Judith Anodea. 

Numerology

This one is interesting. 

Numerology is the study of numbers and how they reflect certain aptitudes and character tendencies ‘as an integral part of the cosmic plan’. The sum of the numbers in your birth date and the sum of value derived from the letters in the name provide your number (here is an explanation of how to discover yours). 

These numbers are purported to show a great deal about character, purpose in life, what motivates, and where talents may lie. 

Benefits

It is astrology’s grown up cousin. Unlike the other systems, it offers an ‘environmental’ perspective – a way of forecasting potential challenges, and optimal times for implementing life change.  

Numerology offers an environmental dimension for assessing our challenges and growth opportunities Click To Tweet

Limitations?

It is very difficult for a western, heavy left brained mind to rationalize. 

Ways to benefit from numerology awareness today

Work out what your personal year number is for 2016 and see whether anything resonates!

  • Take your birth day (month and year). For e.g. June 18. 
  • Add the numbers up separately. (So for me that is 6+1+8=15).
  • Add the number 9 (15+9 = 24). If you get a two value number, add up the numbers again (6).

That’s your number for the year. Here is a breakdown of what the year numbers mean. 

Further information

Read the Numerology Guidebook. 

Love languages

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Gary Chapman’s life changing system, which helps us to to know our primary ways of receiving and expressing love. Many couples have credited the system with saving their marriages! 

Benefits

This is a really easy to grasp awareness system that you can use not only to know yourself better, but to improve all of the relationships in your life.

Limitations?

None, except that you still need to be skilled at communicating your needs. It is a life changing awareness, but will not change your life unless you practice it. 

Love Languages is a life and relationship changing awareness Click To Tweet

Ways to benefit from love languages awareness today

Take the Love Languages quiz. Use it to make demands on the people you love today! 

(Not really.)

Further information 

Read Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages. 

Desire-mapping

Danielle LaPorte’s uber useful mapping system which helps you to know what really makes you tick. There are no set categories – there are simply an unlimited number of words to choose from to attribute your ‘core desired feelings’.

Benefits

The desire-mapping system asks you to draw on the heart’s intelligence. After years of shunning our hearts in favor of ‘mind intelligence’, we could all do with being more attuned with our hearts.  

The value of the desire-mapping system rests on your ability to tap into what drives you on a deep level Click To Tweet

Limitations?

Desire-mapping is mostly useful for goal-setting. However, you could use the process to help you to become more authentic with your relationship choices too. 

Ways to benefit from desire-mapping awareness today

Map your core desired feelings. Read my previous article for how to do that. 

Further information

Read Danielle LaPorte’s book.

Final thoughts

These models are all valuable in their own way. The enneagram and chakra systems in particular have the potential to unlock huge amounts of personal freedom for you. 

The most important self-awareness system of all? Your innate one Click To Tweet

However, the best self-awareness system of all is probably your innate one. Becoming increasingly conscious of your decisions, behaviors and beliefs across your life areas should give you clues as to where you have been either hiding, selling out on yourself, or limiting your life.

Here’s to digging deep, guys. It pays off.