It’s Not Personal

There’s a certain allure to personality tests, as if answering a few (or a hundred) questions might just finally crack open the complex mystery that is you. We all know they’re not scientific, not in the least, and yet spending a few minutes and actually thinking about our own tendencies, our own desires, our own framework, can help us understand why we do some of the things we do. Why some methods that work for others don’t work for us, or why our processes might not look like others, but aren’t any less valid.

There’s a certain amount of Choose Your Own Adventure about it all, as well, in that by identifying with a certain personality type or astrological sign or Hogwarts house, we tend to hype up those aspects of ourselves, maybe even overemphasize, and occasionally – dangerously – lock ourselves into that box.

But as long as we’re careful about that last bit, having and understanding your personality type can not only be a lot of fun. Here are some of my faves:

Whenever someone asks me what my sign is, I always make them guess first. Usually I get Leo, but sometimes Taurus, Aries, or Scorpio. Which I also love, because that means my clever ruse that I’m more capable and confident than I actually am has been working. Bwahah.

But in truth, I’m an anxious bundle of perfectionism that identifies more solidly with Virgo than any of the other signs. And leaning into my desire for order and understanding instead of fighting it has helped me carve out schedules and pin down goals that work for me. I embrace my tendency to be the group mom and make sure everyone feels loved and appreciated as well as held to the highest standard – I mean, somebody has to.

And I hold myself to the highest standard of them all.

Source
Ah, Hogwarts houses. For the longest time I just threw up my hands in despair because I didn’t really fit into any of them. Which is fine! Perfectly fine!!

…but I was still relieved when fans started mixing and mashing the houses together in fun and inventive ways.

I hem and haw about how I’m still a Hufflepuff somewhere in my heart, but if I’m honest, Slytherclaw is where it’s at. Ambition and an emphasis on knowledge and order? Yes, yes. I am competitive to a fault and ambition is such a part of me that the moment I start feeling complacent with where I am in life, it throws up warning signals – usually it means I’m entering a depressive episode.

I have to be careful with the competitiveness, because not everyone is or wants to be in direct competition with me (nor can they handle it), but finding someone who is only three steps ahead of me in the race of life does wonders for my motivation to keep going, keep trying harder.

I just have to be careful not to pick the person who has already lapped everyone else and only appears to be a short distance away. That’s a fast track to burnout that I’ve learned the hard way, more than once.

 

Seemingly contradictory to the previous two, I’m also a fire tiger. Intense, adventurous, prone to starting big and burning out (pun intended), suspicious yet surprisingly gullible. Claws for days but also warmth. I’ve got the energy, but not always the follow-through.

Which, if you’ve seen the detritus of my abandoned ideas over the years, is pretty easy to believe. It’s something I’ve been working on for a while, and something I know a lot of people struggle with. It’s so easy to get excited about an idea and spend a really intense week or two on it, only to all but give up once you realize it’s actually going to take you a few months – or years.

But the time will pass regardless, so I’ve been learning how to pace myself when this happens. And I’ve also learned to keep an eye out for the warning signs of burn out, that I’ve been pushing myself too hard too quickly.

Doesn’t stop me from doing it – case in point, I’m burning myself out hard right now with final edits and book 1 promo and work – but, well. The first step is being aware of it, yes?

So maybe those fun internet personality quizzes are actually useful –

Or at least that’s what I tell myself as I procrastinate on these edits once again.

The following two tabs change content below.
K.A. Doore writes fantasy – mostly second world, mostly novels – with a touch of horror and a ton of adventure. Now she lives in Michigan with her one (1) small human and one (1) wife, but it's been a long road across the U.S. and back again to get here. Her debut The Perfect Assassin, is the first book in the Chronicles of Ghadid trilogy and will be published March 2019 by Tor.

Latest posts by K.A. Doore (see all)

Leave a Reply