Know Thyself: Personality Tests to Try

One of the biggest impediments to personal growth is lack of self-awareness in our intentions; those disguised convictions we hold that fuel our decisions. Anyone can analyze their actions, but it takes some deeper reflection to identify them and know the motives behind them. Fine-tuning our weak spots help us minimize behaviors that hold us back from being our best self to those we love. Additionally, identifying our strengths and seeing how our lives benefit the world is extraordinarily motivating and satisfying. 

One of the most enlightening tools I have found to provoke growth in the areas I am working on are personality examinations. There are a few below that I have found most useful to turn back to when I fall into a rut and lose sight of my goals and motivations. 

The Enneagram

BASIS: The test was developed by Don Riso and Russ Hudson of The Enneagram Institute. The free version is a great first step into understanding their method of personality examination. 

BEST PART: The test results offer nine levels: your healthiest self, your average self, and your unhealthy self, which are remarkably helpful in seeing specific pathways of our behavior. Videos accompany each type for additional understanding. 

The Temperament Test

BASIS: The four humors, also known as Hippocrates' study of the four temperaments, was dissected by Art and Laraine Bennett in their book The Temperament God Gave You

BEST PART: After reading through personality attributes, see the spiritual strengths and weaknesses of each. 

Myers-Briggs  / 16  Personalities / Personality Hacker 

BASIS: Based on the work of C.G. Jung and Katharine Cook Briggs, these tests break down personality starting with whether you're introverted or extroverted, intuitive or sensing, thinking or feeling, and judging or perceiving. 

BEST PART: Because of the wide-spread use of these tests in professional settings, knowing your acronym is incredibly useful. In addition, the number of tests that use the Myers-Briggs format give a wider scope into the personality types based on the span of interpretations. I especially love these caricatures designed by 16 Personalities.


Out of all of the personality tests I have taken, and tried to convince my husband to take, the one we found most useful in understanding the pitfalls in our own relationship was with The Enneagram. The section that compares types in a relationship pegged both of us with such clarity, that we were humbled and also grateful. We decided to read each other's respective results out loud, so that each of us would feel like our needs and triumphs could be on the record. Now, we have a deepened our understanding of how to love each other better, and a rubric to return to when we falter. 

Have you had any success with personality tests in your relationships or personal growth?