Growth Mindset, ENFJ status, and Empowering the Personal Story
That awkward moment when an old friend or acquaintance comes back into your life in some way and tells you this wonderful memory they have of you. A memory they have associated with you for years, and you don’t even remember it. Is it time to question your sanity? You have absolutely no recollection of this moment that defined you in this person’s mind for years. This person identifies you as someone completely different than what you envision yourself to be. I’m not saying that this person’s perception is correct, I’m saying maybe, just maybe, how we remember events and emotions and how we view ourselves and tell our story might be skewed. Without doing some work; self-reflection, personality assessments, etc, we might never know.
How I have collected and prioritized memories that define me is how I would designate my personal narrative. What I’ve subconsciously held dear versus what I’ve tossed out as useless, is key to how my story unfolds. Those memories I have chosen to forget, but have defined my heart and soul, should probably be unblocked and sorted through. Our values and morals that were at play during our upbringing will no doubt decide what memories and people are important. The memories we hold dear have so much to do with the personality traits we develop and how we encourage them.
Why do we need to do the work and empower our personal story?
Stemming from a project at work about a year ago, I took a pretty comprehensive online personality assessment. It helped to break down the elements of my personality (ENFJ status!). This assessment, along with an incredible writing workshop, helped me to understand my path and choices. Of course, much of this I was aware of, but it did help me to understand and focus on where I derive happiness and how those traits require nurturing as opposed to being starved out. Ignoring your authenticity, staying closed off is a rejection of the growth-mindset we all need to survive and ward off depression.
I have met people who believe working on yourself is foolish, self-absorbed, or immature. Wouldn’t it be a shame to go through life with blinders on, rejecting most things around you? I’m well aware that there is a difference between needs and wants and that to be a responsible adult, one must do what needs to be done, but at a certain point or age, needs and wants should align more than not.
Two summers ago, I took a two-hour crochet class at a craft store. I then followed up with watching youtube tutorials about different stitches and techniques. This, along with other arts and crafts, help feed my need to create that I don’t necessarily find in my day job. Adult learning is an exciting thing. According to an NPR interview with neurosurgeon, Sanjay Gupta, it’s been proven that you can actually grow and connect new brain neurons when you learn something new. You can help to keep your brain cells fresh and healthy as you age. It’s not just about crossword puzzles anymore. (thank god for me). Something to think about for those of us that have dementia or Alzheimer’s in our family. Not only the neurons, but also new memories connect to the old and feed the traits you have that need to be nurtured.
What we know about ourselves and our potential is constantly changing. Consider doing that self-reflective work and to understand what truly gives you joy. Give your life story the opportunity to transform. We are all students until the day we die. Don’t assume you know yourself so well that you can’t discover something new, so quench that thirst and live well in the story that you curate.