So, what is a personality, and why do you need such a special one? A personality is the sum total of your individual traits all admixed in ways both known and unknown, folded one on and into another, stirred by time and relationship, education and experience, as well as all of your emotional, psychological, attitudinal, and spiritual specialness, that together distinguish you as you.
We believe that we are unique, one-of-a-kind creatures, yet most of us are quite unaware of how this uniqueness gets translated into our everyday reality. Here then, is the purpose, the singular task of your personality:
Your personality never stops communicating the uniqueness of you, never stops expressing your specialness … your gifts … your strengths. Everything about you is processed through and expressed by, your personality, every word, gesture, action, faux pas, insinuation, attitude, insight, outlook, thought, feeling, and choice is a product of your personality. The total specialness of you is made by, and filtered through, the various screens or filters of your personality. But how does your personality accomplish all of this? The overall purpose of your personality, communicating the uniqueness of you, is carried out by these six functions of your personality.
1. Your Believing function:
What you think your life should be like
Together your beliefs make-up what is called your belief core, the sum total of your ‘truth.’ Your beliefs include your values and your attitudes, as well as your assumptions about life, and whatever principles you live by. Here is the depository of all that you hold to be true about everything; it’s your conception of the world according to you.
Your beliefs are like the data operating system in your computer. . Your beliefs are like that; you wouldn’t be able to ‘read’ the world around you, or inside you for that matter, if you didn’t first have an ‘operating system’ called your belief core.
2. Your Perceiving function:
Where you place your focus
When you look out your window, you’re confronted with lots of stimuli. You ‘pick-up’ these stimuli and convert them, or perceive them as data with your senses, what you can see, taste, hear, touch, and smell.
Psychologists tell us that we only pick-up a small percentage of the data available to us. What makes us focus on some things and reject, or pass over others? We tend to focus mostly on two categories of data; those that we are familiar and agree with, and those that we don’t. Critics focus on the later, while lovers; it’s said focus on the former.
The meaning you make from your perceptions
How often do you think? How often do you ‘make meaning’ from all those data that are bombarding you continuously? Thoughts are your cognitions, the internal evaluations or assessments you make about the data you perceive. If you didn’t have thoughts you couldn’t make any sense of the calliope of data that are constantly buzzing, whining, screaming, and demanding to be noticed.
4. Your Feeling function:
The automatic emotions that flow from your thoughts
Feelings are the affective consequence of the thoughts you give yourself. If your thoughts are continuously negative, critical, offensive, or judging, then your immediate emotional reactions, or feelings, will be the same. Your feelings are a perfect reflection of your thinking, whatever meaning you make from the data that you allow into your cognitive system, will automatically determine your feelings.
The choices you make about your life based on your feelings
It’s been said that your life is made up of decisions, decisions, and more decisions. The fact is that you must make decisions; if you stop making decisions then your forward growth movement also stops. Decisions are said to originate from your free will, yet there are many people who forfeit their free will to other forces or persons outside themselves.
Your behavior …what you actually do!
Here in the acting function is where you put together all your ‘work’ from your previous five personality functions and form your unique behavior; you act in reality … you ‘do’ something. The product of this function is what the world sees of you; the world doesn’t take note of your believing, perceiving, thinking, feeling, and deciding ‘work,’ the world can’t see these, it can only see your behavior … what you actually do.
Learn more about your personality … Take the Spiritual Strengths Profile!