The 21-year-old me worked in a public service job she loathed, dreaming of the day she would fulfill her goal to be a journalist. She was assertive and driven but lacked confidence.
Almost 20 years later, the 40-year-old me has created a business, which includes working as a journalist, around her life and family. She is passionate and confident but still struggles with her self-esteem.
A training course I completed as part of my public service role required me to take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality test, with the view to understanding how to work with and serve other personality types. My type was INTP (Introversion Intuition Thinking Perceiving). At the time I questioned the introversion aspect because I considered myself to be an extrovert, but the other parts of my type seemed accurate.
Nearly 10 years later I took the same personality test while working as a marketing manager in the UK. No type was determined from my results; they were so scattered nothing concrete would stick. That describes my life at the time, really.
Last week I took the test again after seeing a friend discussing her result on Facebook. I was surprised to see my result had changed significantly to ENFJ (Extroversion Intuition Feeling Judging), but after reading the type explanation I agreed it described me.
So, it would seem that the quote, “people don’t change, they reveal who they really are,” is untrue and that not only can personalities change, they evolve. As Elizabeth Bernstein wrote, “Several large research studies conducted over the past few years show that a person’s personality naturally changes over the course of adulthood, in response to life events such as entering a committed relationship or advancing in a career”.
As we mature and notch up more of life’s experiences, some of those rough edges are smoothed. Happiness grows as we achieve goals and set new ones; and our responsibilities build with new commitments, allowing some personality traits to come to the fore and others to develop.
Has your personality evolved throughout life?