Coloring Outside the Lines of Your Personality Type

The power of personal projects

Knowing whether you are introverted or extroverted can help you leverage your strengths in your personal and professional life.

But sometimes these distinctions can feel like limitations. Introverts might feel that by definition, they’re incapable of enjoying public speaking while extroverts might shudder at the thought of quiet time.

In a recent piece on the BBC, Dr. Christian Jarrett, editor of the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest blog, dives into the work of Brian Little, an internationally acclaimed personality psychology expert, who focuses on how we can shed the assumed constraints of our personality types to live a happier life.

The secret? Personality projects. Little believes that these projects enable us to activate a “free trait” — in other words, allow us to behave out of character — as we pursue a deeply meaningful personal goal.

“This is an empowering finding,” Little explains in his book, Me, Myself and Us, “because while your traits describe who you are, your projects describe what you do. Choose the right projects, and approach them in the right way, and you can make your life richer and more enjoyable.”

It’s important to set attainable personal projects. In his book, Little says that having “confidence in achieving projects is an even more important factor for our well-being than how much meaning a project has.”

So why not give a personal project a try? You might be pleasantly surprised with what you learn about yourself.

Read more here.