Thursday, August 13, 2009

Because I'm Larry

Why don't you blog anymore?

Holli Swank

Yeah, I know. I keep blathering on and on about how I need to be more regimented in this, but nothing ever comes of it. Discipline, even with the little stuff like this, is one of the hardest things for me to come by.

I'm made a certain way. I took a Myers-Briggs personality test yesterday, and it scored me as an ENFP: extroverted, intuitive, feeling, and perceiving. Every time I ever take this test I score it either as an ENFP or an INFP, depending on the day. The difference between extroversion and introversion for me is almost always minimal to the point of being non-existent, though: I want to be around people, but I don't need to be around people. It's a subtle but important difference.

Fortunately, the Kiersey Temperament Sorter is a simple tool that's broken down with introversion and extroversion at the end of its scale. Type NFP people are called Advocates by the Kiersey Temperament Sorter. That Advocate itself is a subset of the Idealists, who are in turn a subset of the Introspectives, the first division of personalities as based on the scale. Advocates. Depending again on the day of the test, there's one last division on whether I'm feeling expressive and extroverted or reserved and introverted. The former puts me into the final classification of Champion, as I was scored yesterday, and the latter has me as a Healer, which is how I was slotted the last time I took one of these.

Champion. Healer. Those are great words. Someone who picks up the cause for another and tries to change things for the better. Someone who tries to heal the hurts of the world and those around him. What's wrong with that, right? That's awesome.

Yet despite the awesome way in which God made me, I used the very first paragraph of this post to bemoan my lack of discipline.

I can go through the Myers-Briggs test, look at the questions, and pick out a cornucopia of things I dislike about myself. I'm disorganized. I'm flighty. I'm a starter, not necessarily a finisher. I'm undiciplined. It's hard for me to focus. I can't even remember to write a simple blog post every few days.

And yet, that same test would tell you that all of those things are side effects of the unique qualities that God knit into me in the womb. And it's because of those unique qualities - the very ENFP-itude of Larry - that Kiersey's scale would classify me as a "Champion." Kiersey described Champions as follows:

"Champions delight in novelty. They are optimistic, enthusiastic, and vivacious, craving expressions of strong emotion. With a dramatic flair, they share their experiences with others, hoping to reveal some universal truth or win others over in support of a cause. Attuned to possibilities, Champions scan their environment, probing the emotions, needs, and motivations of others. This sensitivity sometimes conflicts with their intense drive for personal authenticity. Spontaneous and personable, they attract others to their company."

None of that sounds bad in any way, and honestly, I think most people that know me would suggest that's a reasonable description of me. I have such a hard time seeing the good in it, though, saying that if I could just be a little less flighty, a little more focused, I could be better. Would I really be better, though, or would I just not be Larry anymore? And if I worked to change the very "flaws" that make me expressive, sensitive, optimistic and enthusiastic, would I just be shaking my fist at the Lord and suggesting that maybe He didn't make me quite right?

I've struggled with self-confidence all my life. I've always wanted to be something different than I was. As I age, though, I'm starting to understand that self-confidence doesn't come from becoming something else. It comes from being happy with how God made me and refining, not changing, what I am. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go find something to Champion.

1 comment:

Beth said...

"I'm starting to understand that self-confidence doesn't come from becoming something else. It comes from being happy with how God made me and refining, not changing, what I am."

I really like that!! If we had no weaknesses and could make ourselves "better" on our own, there would be no need for God, would there?? When we are weak...he gets to be strong. :)