On the odd occasion, like some fellow navel gazers, I have taken psychometric tests. Myers Briggs is the main one people remember, but the last one I did wasn’t theirs – can’t remember what it was called, but it demonstrated an unintended result. No, I’m not a genius, that would be a surprise!
How would you feel if you thought you were pretty good at something and had a test result proclaim you were only classed as ‘moderate’ at it?
That’s what happened. It said I was moderately creative. Only moderately! How very dare it! Perish the thought of looking at the good stuff it had said about my other aptitudes. That’s when I had a mini realisation. Yes, I know about the habits of only concentrating on the negative rather than the positive, but it had not said I was without creativity. I quite simply refuse to believe it’s opinion, as a very creative person, yes, a bit wacky but always known by my closest friends as being as … well … different. Not better, just different, as we all are, so why did this test get under my skin so much? Ego? Yes and that the test result was wrong. Beauty is after all in the eye of the beholder. I went into an art gallery today and saw some (meh!) good and mediocre stuff. Wouldn’t call all of it art, but the artists would – and expect money for it too. Good for them.
Self limiting beliefs are generally thought of as negative things. In fact to believe one can breathe without air and without some form of assistance is crazy. Reality limits most of our beliefs, but how can we decide when something is real or not? When are our perceptions damaging our potential needlessly? What makes it so easy to dent our confidence?
The perception of another person or organisations authority can effect self limiting beliefs. They may not consciously create this effect, but their audience may not be aware of themselves as the most valuable ingredient in the equation. Over dependence on another persons opinion or questionnaire can send us spinning into some very dark places, rendering us helpless at the worst of times, if we are feeling particularly vulnerable. Remember going on the internet with symptoms and scaring yourself to death with the massive list of illnesses? Partial details, incomplete knowledge and a need to be told what to do can cause more issues than we need or are ready to consider, especially when the diagnosis is incorrect.
While some psychometric testing can be useful and even amusing, using it as the unadulterated truth may be a mistake. Different tests come out usurping others with great regularity. I have no opinion on how good they are, but if a set of conditions are put together in varying ways the incidences of certain trends will become apparent and almost become regulated unless sufficient variants in the equation are included. To include every possible variant is actually pretty impossible without weakening the scope of any such test. It would be impractical.
Noting the need for comforting recognition that each of us are members of one herd or another, while catering for the truth that we are all individuals is a balancing act. Trusting our entire identity to an equation like we were a piece of computer software is a dangerous thing for sensitive souls like me. Like you, I have my own sense of whether I am good at something. Some even more sensitive people (I believe sensitivity is very positive) may somehow view such a result as saying “Don’t try too hard, you’re not that special at it”, which would be a a huge mistake.
Authority on ones abilities is not down to a psychometric test (which can be faked if one knows the tricks). Authority to permit all kinds of things has to begin with the individual. You. Don’t give away your authority.
If you believe you can do better in your chosen field of endeavour but keep running into obstacles, they may be learning opportunities. If the learning opportunity has arms and legs and has been a pain in the proverbial, you may need to consider how to improve the situation. Unsure how? You may need a coach.