Improving My Self-Knowledge Became Paramount to My Quest to Achieve Personal Success

Over the past three years, I’ve embarked on a personal development journey, because I wanted to understand and appreciate the man I saw in the mirror and ultimately begin to fall in love with myself. Yes, that’s right, I said fall in love with myself; which I will address later on in the post. Improving my self-knowledge became paramount to my quest to achieve personal success. Now allow me to get into what sparked the flame to start my personal development journey.

In 2010, I remembered lying in bed wondering why I am so withdrawn, why do I isolate myself, and why I’m often misunderstood? This type of behavior can be self-destructive that’s why it’s so important to communicate.  So, I’m lying in bed staring at the window and it came to me the cause of my self-destructive behavior was my biological father.  My dad left my mom with five children well she put him out because he chose the bottle over his family. My dad was a good man, but he was an alcoholic, and me witnessing what alcohol did to him is the very reason I do not indulge.

So one would think that by obtaining the knowledge in 2010, it would have helped me understand the man I have become, but it did not. It caused me to have more pain and more unanswered questions, in fact, it caused me to battle depression like symptoms for five years. I felt angry, lifeless, empty, and restless. I did not walk around looking beat down but on the inside, I lacked confidence, I was hurting, and this caused me to be frustrated with life. I never thought about committing suicide, because that is a coward’s way out. Although I often stated that if this is all life has to offer then why was I born, because this is whack.

In 2012, I was speaking to a friend and he was talking about his visit with his therapist. I questioned him out of curiosity like “why are you seeing a therapist,” man you do not need to see a therapist you’re not crazy. He responded, “I recognized that I needed help and like most black men I’m not going watch life pass me by when I know there is help out there”.  His response changed my perspective on therapy.  Why must we suffer in silence when there is support out there, we just need to make the first step, and that is acknowledging we need help? After that conversation, I spoke with a life coach and she was able to assist me in connecting some dots in my life   She may have helped me crack the code, but I stopped attending because I started questioning myself regarding spending my hard earned cash on a life coach. That’s what most people do we tend to rationalize our self-destructive behavior.  When we get close to the greatness we give up and we start the whole process again forever repeating this vicious cycle.

I stopped seeing the life coach, and then I purchased the book Personal Development for Dummies to try to continue what I had learned from the life coach. Unfortunately, I was not disciplined enough in my studies to continue the reading, although I did read some chapters sporadically. I guess there wasn’t a connection from the book at the time. So my search continued, which caused the frustration and restlessness to intensify. I felt useless; the emptiness inside caused me to believe that being happy was a fantasy. This wasn’t what life was supposed to be like for me I often said to myself. On the inside, I felt like Florida Evans when James died “DAM DAM DAM”!

Later in 2012, I created treystruth.com a blog website, because I felt writing would be the vehicle to help me start expressing how I felt on the inside. So I sent some of my writings to a friend who in turn sent them to Dr. Boyce Watkins, American author, economist, political analyst, and social commentator. He asked if I would be interested in writing for YourBlackWorld.com and BlackBlueDog.Com. This was a great outlet for me and I can never thank Dr. Boyce enough for that opportunity. I will always be eternally grateful. I will always revere him. Although I wasn’t ready to expose my inner most feelings, I did write some good material for his websites. One in particular that will always be near and dear to heart was “Should Black Men Seek Therapy” that can be viewed on treystruth.com.

A year had passed and I was still blogging but the feeling of frustration and helplessness was still there because I wasn’t comfortable with the man inside. I didn’t display sadness I guess one could say that I was a functioning melancholic person. We all know someone that is functioning alcoholic or drug addict. I wasn’t where I wanted to be in life and nothing was making me happy because I wasn’t happy with myself. The saying if you’re not happy with yourself then you definitely can’t make anyone happy no matter how much you try. Later in 2013, I did find someone that I could open up to. The conversation I was having with her energized me but when were done talking I went back to sadness. It was if I was married to sorrow. I was uncomfortable being happy, ironically sadness and being alone mad me more at ease. Although I was alone by choice I learned isolation is never good, remember the old adage an idle mind is a devil’s workshop.  I was at my lowest point because I couldn’t figure out the person inside. Learning the man inside was important to me because it would help me to understand my purpose in life.

On December 6, 2015, I was on my computer perusing different website frustrated as hell until I stumbled upon a personality test. Now usually I don’t waste my time with such flights of fancy, but I decided to take the test. It was a simplified version of the Myers-Briggs theory. For those who don’t know the Myers–Briggs theory is an introspective self-report questionnaire designed to indicate psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. The questionnaire stated that I should answer each question honestly, so I was like what the hell. I answered over 100 questions regarding my preferences. Once I finished it took a few moments for the website to tell me what my personality type was. It came back that I was an INFP, which is an Introverted-Intuitive-Feeling-Perceiving. My jaw dropped when I read the personality report because the INFP description was definitely an accurate depiction of my personality.

It stated my personality type is one of the kindest and most interesting types. It is said that less than 5% of Americans are believed to be INFPs – averaging 4% among men and 5-6% among women according to Myers-Briggs. We are very intuitive and spend far more time engaging in various internal discussions than observing concrete things around them. We tend to focus more on what might happen rather than what is going on. A skill that will keep improving throughout our lives, which makes us bright and imaginative thinkers. INFP personalities are usually perceived as calm, reserved, or even shy. However, such an exterior can be deceptive — even though INFPs can be somewhat cautious, their inner flame and passion is not something to be taken lightly.

People with this personality type are really affectionate, a trait not often seen in other types. This compassion can be really fervent and long lasting — but the INFP will use it quite cautiously, directing their energies towards a few selected people or a worthy cause. Idealism is the banner of INFP personalities — and they are proud of it. Unfortunately, it also means that INFPs can often feel misunderstood and isolated, as they are relatively rare.

People with the INFP personality type have a clear sense of honor, which inspires and motivates them. If someone wants to get to know an INFP, it is crucial to know what drives them, to understand their chosen cause. People with this personality type tend to be very kind, loyal and altruistic — they put others first and are always eager to contribute to a worthy cause. From the INFPs’ perspective, authenticity and self-realization are far more important than materialistic rewards, and people should not be afraid to commit to something they truly believe in.

Reading my personality type helped me to understand why I am the way that I am. Now the real work begins. Understanding myself is the first step.

The writer would like to note that a portion of the post was taken from PersonalityPage.com, a website about Psychological Type, created in large part by the view from the shoulders of Carl G. Jung, and the work of Isabel Briggs Myers, creator of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

Myers–Briggs Type Indicator – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myers-Briggs_Type_Indicator

My name is Trey Coleman. I’m blogging to give some insight on politics, music, and entertainment. I’m a Republican, and I believe in capitalism. Contact me on my website Treystruth.com or follow me on twitter at @Treyce43 (Treys Truth).