Your flaws are your Super powers


Oh, humans are interesting, aren’t we? I am always so fascinated as to why we do what we do, and the way we try so hard to hide behind the masks and layers we drape over ourselves like some kind of protective armor. The personas we lay on as if our identities are inextricably tied up in what we do and how we want others to see us: the perfect mother, the bad boy, the woke environmentalist . Whatever keeps us hidden a little, whatever makes us feel worthy and valid. Often, we don’t even understand ourselves. So how can we expect anyone else to? It’s a lonely in a crowd type of predicament.

On top of that, we tend to judge ourselves harshly. We are own worst critics., and we focus on our imperfections. I’ll let you in on a secret: I can be kind of a handful. A little high strung maybe? (actually, no surprises there, who am I kidding?) I am most definitely an over-thinker (one friend once joked that I can over think what someone says to the point where I end up hurting my own feelings), not good at sitting still and a tendency to run on no sleep and coffee ( a vicious cycle it turns out). I have a constant, almost pathological need to be busy. I love intensely, its black and white, never grey. If you are in my circle, you are in. Three strikes, and you are out. But our personalities are fascinating things , aren’t they? Because every so called ‘negative’ trait has a beautiful flip side. My over thinking and over analyzing are great tools for writing. My nervous energy, when I channel it, means I can accomplish a phenomenal amount. My constant busyness means I have developed some rock solid time management skills. I’m passionate about everything I do, and I absolutely am incapable of going halfway with anything. It’s all or nothing, always and forever. Go hard or go home, to my own detriment. My flaws are also my superpowers, and it’s the same for all of us. And no-one is perfect, absolutely no-one. Thats ok though, it's part of being human.There can be no light without a little darkness. We don’t need to be fixed though; we are not broken. If we know and understand ourselves , we can harness those traits, and treat them as the power source that they can be. And, as an added bonus, the more we understand ourselves, the better we can relate to those around us. It’s a win-win for all.

So, how do we get to know ourselves better? By sitting still with our demons. As Charles Bukowski said, ‘Don’t fight your demons. Your demons are here to teach you lessons…Some of them are really very nice’. It’s noticing those feelings of anxiety and darkness, or whatever it is we are struggling with , addressing when we have behaved less than favourably, and asking our selves the hard questions. How can we flip the record on our less traits, and make them a force for good? A great way to get the party started is by doing one of the plethora of personality tests lurking on every corner of the internet. Some are cheesy, some are backed by science (pick those ones), but all will have the same affect: to encourage you to think about what matters to you, and why you behave and react the way you do. It also helps you understand why some relationships work, and others don’t, and why some people bring out the worst in us: two stormy personalities just make one disastrous (albeit oh-so-fun while it lasts) hurricane. Stormy people are better off with what author Sarah Wilson calls ‘Life Naturals’ – those that cruise through life, without psychoanalyzing every last thing. ‘This is what life naturals do’, Sarah says ‘ They see a flower. And find its beautiful, That’s it. They don’t wonder if they are liking it enough, or if the whole experience was a waste because today, they are too stressed to appreciate lovely things like flowers. Nor do they fear the flower won’t last’. Ahh, the calm blue skies to our high-strung gale force winds. Although, a little thunder and lightning can be fun ( as long as it doesn’t destroy you). Life shouldn’t be boring., and neither should love.

Looking for a personality test? They may not always be accurate, but they will make you THINK.

Try these:

  • The Myers Briggs Type Indicator: 16 different personality types based on how you perceive the world and make decisions ( I am an ENFP : making up only 8% of the millions tested)

  • Type A or Type B test. ( I am Type A )

  • Four Tendencies Quiz by Gretchen Rubin: Determines how we respond to inner and outer expectation. ( I am an upholder)

  • Dotting NZ : If you have the opportunity to listen to Amy Scott speak about ‘Dots’ ; the personality profiles that help explain why people act and think they way they do, I would highly recommend it. A great way for finally coming to grips with that annoying co-worker or family member ( and yourself, of course). I am purple primarily.. with yellow.

  • Find your ancient Ayurvedic Dosha with expert Sahara Rose Ketabi . This covers not only personality, but also nutrition and exercise. I am a Vata.

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© 2016 Claire Inkson. All photographs copyright Claire Inkson

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