Have you noticed just how many different personality tests are available now? It’s easy to lose count. When trying to understand yourself better, how in the world can you decide which test results can actually give you reliable and helpful information? What’s more, is there a difference between personality versus temperament? With an endless number of sources on the matter, let’s start with defining personality, temperament and their important differences.
Your personality changes.
Consider personality versus temperament. The best place to start is by stating an important fact. Personality changes. Temperament does not change. Personality addresses how you’re relating to your outside world. But your temperament informs your inner world and doesn’t change with external circumstances. It’s your “hard-wiring.” In fact, it’s your temperament (your inner design) that’s the source of your inner urges, drives and strengths.
LET’S SAY…YOU HAD A BAD DAY AT WORK.
You went to work in a good enough mood. And you also had a great lunch-time break, catching up with some colleagues and being your natural outgoing, optimistic self. Personality: Happy, inspired and creative.
Then, the “Boss Bomb” went off around 4:00pm. Right before you were planning to check a very important item off your list and leave for the day, your boss left you with an impossible deadline. Your natural optimism deflated and the good corporate citizen in you put your head down and begrudgingly got the work done without another word to anyone. Personality: Grumpy, negative and frustrated.
Even with a messy ending to your workday, all wasn’t lost. Your “always-happy-to-see-you” furry friend saved your day. Who doesn’t perk up when a kind and loyal friend greets you at the door? Personality: Pleased, relieved and ready to enjoy the evening.
By the time your enthusiastic and fun-loving personality showed up to dinner with friends, they never knew just how varied and “diverse” you were throughout the day.
Personality is changeable.
Personality versus Temperament
With all the information available to you regarding personality, does knowing your temperament even matter?
The short answer is YES! In fact, temperament is the one thing you must know about yourself. It’s your inner design – the part of you that doesn’t change with external circumstances – that serves as a blueprint for reaching your highest potential.
If you had a compass that shifted its due north setting every time the weather changed, would it be a useful tool in finding your way? If you say, “no,” then you’ll agree that your changeable personality cannot be a useful guide to understanding your real self either. However, learning to follow the drives and uniquely express the inner strengths of your temperament leads to a highly customized path to your fullest potential. To quote Dr. Ray Lincoln, “Your own path is much more successful than traveling a public highway to an average goal.”
The Real You is a Reliable Guide
Changes in your personality happen because you want to present yourself differently depending on the circumstances. But your temperament or inner design is a pattern that you live — your life expressing itself every moment of every day. It’s like a strong current running through your inner self that doesn’t shift due to changes in the landscape. Even though you can change the manner in which you are expressing your inner drives and strengths, your design does not change. Therefore, it’s a very reliable blueprint for knowing and becoming your true self.
Two and one half millennia of research, with tens of millions of people, have confirmed the undeniable patterns after which each of us is fashioned. And understanding yourself as much as possible is a major step on a reliable path to your success and satisfaction. Your InnerKinetics® (or temperament) can lead the way with undeniable clarity.
Learn as much as you can about the reliable compass God’s set within you.
And stay tuned in the next few weeks as we continue to reveal the significant differences between knowing your InnerKinetics (or temperament) and wrestling with the slippery aspects of personality.