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Selfie or self-awareness?

How many photos of you are on your phone right now?

It’s not just that people love taking selfies, we also love viewing other people’s selfies. And when we examine the images that other people post of themselves, we get an insight into their world.

Beyond the surface data we collect about a person’s appearance, selfies also provide us with information about how people want to define themselves: they are saying ‘this is who I want you to see me as’.

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And it’s an industry out there! We have a proliferation of websites explaining just how to get the best selfie: from angles highlighting your cheekbones to rule of thirds, from ambient lighting to providing context, it certainly takes some hard work to get the perfect shot.

It just exemplifies our obsession with how we want others to see us and our need for approval.

But do selfies really provide the kind of information we need to lead a satisfactory life?

Not so much.

This requires a different kind of self-awareness (selfie-awareness).

Many of us go through our lives without entirely understanding ourselves. This is why humans make the same mistakes—over and over again.

No more same-same

barrel_of_monkeys.jpgUncovering who we really are allows us to make better choices for ourselves and find the right circumstances to align with. This works for every aspect of our lives, including our relationships and careers.

And one more thing: don’t believe the hype that some ‘types’ are better than others. We are not all monkeys in a barrel. Knowing who we are gives us self-determination and individuality. Instead of being part of a tangled wreck of monkeys, pluck yourself out of the pile of anonymity.

Various tools allow people to get a clearer profile of their personality attributes, but one of the more popular methods is through the Myers-Briggs personality test.

This measure turns the theories of Carl Jung, the founder of modern-day psychology, into a practical tool designed to help people understand themselves and each other better.

The Vocational Personality Radar Test is a good place to start—and it’s free. Only 48 questions long, it is much shorter than the full version of the Myers-Briggs test and should take less than 20 minutes to complete.

It will give you a summary of your personality type (one of 16 separate types), and explain the four different dominant and auxiliary ‘functions’. Without needing to delve into the theory too much, these give you a summary of your tendencies for thinking and behaving.

Armed with this information and the descriptions of your personality type, you may, for the first time, realise why you do what you do, and why you feel strongly about certain things.

Link your personality to your job

Some websites will give your great in-depth information about core values and motivations for each of the 16 personality types. Most importantly, you can see how your personality suits some relationships and careers better than others.

Below you’ll see mine (check out the tabs: overview, careers and relationships).

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By researching your personality type, your core motivations will become clearer to you. Similarly, you will understand other people in your life better. (While some people equate Myers-Briggs to a horoscope, you may just find that it gives you a few ah-hah moments!)

You will find that you have gifts specific to your personality type that are not natural strengths for others. Giving your strengths greater credence helps you find your place in the world and greater contentment in your role.

Are you cut out to be a personal care assistant? A disability support or mental health carer? An allied health assistant? Or would you be more suited to working in hospitality or business?

Grow into your full potential. Be the happiest, most successful person that you can become.

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