How Your Personality Test Results Change Over Time
Most of us LOVE a good personality test! From Enneagram to Myers Briggs, we take them all because we love having insight into what makes us tick and works for us.
And today, I want to dig into how — when we shift the way we plan and manage our time — it can actually change some of our innate personality traits and our personality test results.
I will start with a disclaimer that none of what I’m sharing is scientifically based, but rather what I’ve observed in my own life and from other women that have been in my TOP Program community for over two years now.
My Experience With Personality Tests
Recently, my family and I sat down together and did one of the free Myers Briggs online assessments and had some really fun conversations around each of our personality test results.
This is a particular test that I’ve always been a fan of, and if you’ve never taken one, it’s the one where you get four letters as your result (although, this was recently changed to five letters).
The first time I took the Myers Briggs test years ago, I was about as INTJ as they come! This personality type is also called the Advocate and is someone with Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging personality traits.
Then, over the years, my results have slowly shifted, and today, I want to talk about how that happened.
Specifically, we’re going to look at the first letter of the Myers Briggs personality test results (I or E) which stands for Introverted or Extroverted, and the last letter (J or P) which stands for Judging or Prospecting. Because these are the two places where I saw the biggest shift in myself and where I'm seeing changes in others as well.
Introverts Versus Extroverts
The first letter in your Myers Briggs personality test results is probably the one most people are familiar with because we often hear about introverts and extroverts.
However, these terms are commonly misunderstood. People assume introverts are shy, but that’s not always the case. I know this is true for me!
Being an introvert or extrovert has more to do with where you get your energy from.
For example, after a big event, do you feel the need to have some quiet alone time to recharge, OR does being with a lot of people energize and refuel you?
Introverts need that alone time to regroup after events with a lot of people, while extroverts tend to walk away from big gatherings feeling filled up!
The first time I took the Myers Briggs test, I was about a 90% “I”, or introvert. Then, when I retook it about 10 years ago, that percentage had increased to 95%.
At the time, this didn’t surprise me, and looking back now, I can especially see why I really needed that time to recharge and be by myself after big events and activities.
This was before I found a new way of planning and managing my time, and before the TOP framework was born. And at that stage of my life, it was almost impossible for me to get any time to myself — which was why I was so desperate for it all the time.
Currently, I still test as an Introvert, but only at around 65%.
Why has this decreased so much? Well, the massive change that has happened in my life is related to how I prioritize, carve out, and honor having time for myself regularly. I no longer desperately wonder when I’ll find time to relax and refuel.
Now, I will probably always be an introvert because that’s just who I am, but I can plan and manage my time to support that and not feel so starved for alone time because I KNOW when I’m going to have that space for myself.
How Weekly Planning Helps
Step three in the weekly planning process I teach is always to carve out time for yourself. And naturally, the amount of time needed is going to look different for the different women in my program.
True extroverts don’t need as much alone time. While the introverts, like me, need a bit more time in their weekly plans to regroup and recharge.
The point is, we ALL can plan for that time that we need and be proactive in supporting our personality types — even to the extent that over time we can shift our personality type results because we are truly getting what we need each week.
Along with myself, there have been a number of highly introverted women in my TOP Program who have seen that number decrease with weekly planning over time.
Judging Versus Prospecting
The other letters I want to talk about are the ones that come last in the Myers-Briggs personality tests. The “J” or the “P” in your results — these stand for Judging or Prospecting.
Judging personality types tend to like order. We like to schedule things in advance, so we form and express our judgments. We also love lists!
Prospecting personality types tend to act spontaneously and want to postpone decision-making to see what other options are available.
There is obviously a lot of room to be a combination of the two types, but the first time I took a Myers-Briggs test, I was 95% Judging. 10 years ago, it was the same. However, when I recently took the test, I got a result of 55% for Judging — which is a big shift!
Also, when I started asking other women in my program who also used to be very high Js, I heard the same thing from them. Their percentages had all gone down for the Judging trait.
One thing we all had in common was going from brain-dump, to-do list-focused daily planning to structured weekly planning. We were all just fueling that list-loving fire and staying in the J mode of task list operation.
Now, we’ve shifted into bigger-picture planning, and that allows us to function with more ease and flexibility because we know everything is going to be taken care of.
10 years ago, a change in plans would send me into a tailspin. Now, I have the structure and tools to manage it and be less “J” all of the time.
Now, I live differently, and I teach other women to create weekly and monthly plans that make sure we get the most important things done in a stress-free way. We create plans that build in a level of flexibility and needed downtime. And we are learning how to establish clear boundaries that support all of that!
Do lists still make me happy? Yes! I like to have plans. But I also love to be able to be spontaneous and make shifts to accommodate last-minute changes.
I love having a day with nothing on my calendar and being able to say, “What do we feel like doing today?” And that was a luxury I never had before this style of planning.