The Myers-Briggs Personality Type model has helped countless people discover the unique nature of individual preferences and behaviors. Such knowledge has aided personal growth and enhanced relationships in numerous ways. However, while embarking on a personal growth journey many additional methods and approaches are still needed.
Knowledge of personality types can greatly aid personal growth through achieving balance, understanding self, and creating possibilities. People can develop their personalities by supporting their dominant and secondary functions while practicing tertiary and least-preferred functions where needed.
While people do change and grow over time, personality and preference typically remain fairly constant. Still, there are many ways to engage in personality growth through personal development. Join us as we discuss personality growth and what this learning journey entails according to the Myers Briggs Type Indicator instrument and model.
According to Myers Briggs, personality itself does not necessarily change over time, even though it is technically possible for an individual to fall within more than one type throughout their life. In these cases, the predominant preferences remain the same. Thus, the individual’s principal function would remain the same as well.
The essence of the personality type development process is gaining comfort and command of preferences, information interpretation, and decision-making processes. These processes will affect ultimate conclusions and actions made by individuals of various personality types and will influence their lives in countless ways.
While individuals will likely have the same personality throughout their lives, they can still take proactive approaches to develop their personality to become more effective, happy, and healthy on a holistic scale. The areas where type can be of assistance greatly rely on applying psychological type to personal growth roadmaps.
Personality types can help individuals in various ways throughout numerous stages in their lives. Personality type development is a lifelong process that will take dedication to commitment and learning. Understanding type can assist personal development goals during some of the most challenging timeframes, including youth, midlife, and retirement.
How Personality Develops
Jung firmly believed that all functions that make up a personality type are predominantly unconscious and are usually developed from a very young age. As humans age and grow with life experiences, these functions develop in addition to different functions as well.
The growth and development of these functions have been researched and studied by numerous professionals over the years. The consensus concluded by those who have researched personality and function development can be outlined by the following general conclusions:
The dominant function will typically develop up until the age of 7 years old.
The auxiliary function will develop up until the age of 20 years old.
The tertiary function will develop during the ages of 30 and 40 years old.
The inferior function will develop in midlife or old age.
Since all individuals have a blend of all four functions or type groups outlined by the four quadrants researched hundreds of years ago, all functions are present in every human to some degree. However, the dominant and auxiliary or secondary type is used to assess preferences against types.
How The Dominant Function Affects Personality
As humans develop these functions, the way that the world is viewed changes, as does the behavior of individuals within that perceived world. Behaviors generally broaden and change, but the dominant and auxiliary functions typically form the base for self-understanding and self-esteem.
If the environment does not support the dominant and auxiliary function, it will most likely bubble up beneath the surface over time. Myers Briggs compared this scenario to holding a beach ball underwater, as it will naturally push against the environment or conditions in order to reach the surface.
Individuals may become stressed and frustrated when these functions are not embraced, supported, and nurtured by environments and lifestyles. The tertiary and least-preferred functions can still offer benefits when practiced later in life, but the dominant functions will always remain the core of one’s conscious personality.
How To Grow Personality
The trickiest part of personality growth is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution or roadmap to happiness, health, or success. No single formula defines the path to personal success, as every individual has unique goals, priorities, preferred activities, and attitudes.
Every personality type has natural strengths and shortcomings to consider as well. To take charge of an individual personality type, people must act consciously by developing their dominant function. Developing a function requires differentiating it from all others, practicing it, and becoming more proficient with the function in everyday life.
Individuals can practice supporting their dominant and secondary functions in various ways, whether it be in professional or personal capacities. Attention should be given to the following four areas when embarking on personality growth journeys, as these areas have proven to be most influential throughout life.
It’s incredibly important for individuals to find a working balance between their career’s responsibilities or obligations and recreational time. Balancing work and play are an integral necessity of daily life for all people. Becoming aware of personality type can greatly aid in creating a harmonious relationship between work life and leisure.
Regardless of belief systems or religion, knowledge of personality type can help individuals express their spirituality in rewarding and comfortable ways. Understanding one’s unique personality type and dominant preferences can guide people toward more satisfying practices, even for those who already partake in spiritual activities.
Coping with losses is one of the most certain aspects of life, whether it be dealing with failure, personal battles, or grief after losing a loved one. Understanding personality type is incredibly useful for these areas in particular, as it can be applied in profound ways to assist these challenging times.
The fundamental practice of personality type and grief concerns recognizing emotion and expression. It helps people understand why certain grievance processes or expressions are better suited to their personal journeys in even the most challenging, anxiety-inducing, or heartbreaking times.
Attaining and maintaining good health is already complex and challenging for just about everyone, as this area is riddled with confusion and complexities. Staying in shape is never easy, whether your goal is to become more active or well-nourished. There are numerous ways to make sure you stay mentally and physically healthy, many of which rely on developing good habits.
In many cases, some approaches may work for others but not for you, which can become incredibly exhausting and frustrating. Understanding your personality type can greatly aid the process of learning how to take better care of yourself or even the health of others where needed.
Developing a Holistic Personality
Although becoming proficient in one’s dominant and secondary functions will assist the personality growth journey and lead to greater fulfillment, the predominant functions are not suited to all circumstances and situations. This is one of the reasons why humans cannot exist in isolation, as cohesion and harmony will always demand every individual quadrant.
For example, there may be a situation that demands compassion and empathy, which would entail the Feeling function. This may be challenging if your predominant function is Thinking, entailing logic and reason. Using Thinking in such a situation can lead to conflict and other problems, which is not conducive to personality growth or healthy relationships.
It’s important for people to embrace, practice, and support their naturally preferred functions without solely relying on them in everyday life. Once the dominant core functions are being practiced and supported, it is important to give some attention to the tertiary and least-preferred functions as well.
Allowing oneself to lean on dominant and auxiliary functions while engaging in all four quadrants will afford a more well-rounded and versatile personality. These approaches to the personality growth journey will allow individuals to open up even further and practice all functions to various degrees where it is deemed suitable.
Professional Personality Growth Approaches
Developing one’s personality by taking charge of preferences and consciously working to command functions is incredibly complex and time-consuming. Many people find the process overwhelming, and it’s easy to get caught up in the process’s complexities.
Many individuals seek professional assistance to guide them in their personality growth journeys, as it can be one of the best ways to make sure they stay on track. Numerous psychologists, counselors, and coaches use the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator and related theory with their clients, which can prove useful to those hoping to take control of their preferences, behaviors, and actions.
The professional you choose will need to know your type to help you along your personal growth journey. So, you will need to communicate with them if you are already aware of your type. Otherwise, many professionals can introduce you to your Myers Briggs Personality Type to help you discover more about yourself.
From this point, the roadmap will be based on your personal development goals, existing challenges, and life experiences. Your professional can assess your challenges against your personality type to help you identify practical ways to apply personality type theory to your unique situation.
Personality growth is a lifelong journey, requiring much commitment to practicing certain habits and approaches on a daily basis. Still, it does not have to be stressful or confusing with the right methodology. Find out what your personality type’s dominant and auxiliary functions are to understand where your personality growth journey should start.