I believe that one of the main ways that people get hung up or stuck is trying to be someone they are not. We seem subconsciously programmed to look at our neighbor, co-worker, or friend and decide that they are “better” than we are. We buy into the lie that we are not good enough and we set out to be like that person over there to prove, to ourselves (and everyone else), that we really are good enough.
I am on a mission to rescue you from the “not enough” mindset. It is crippling and ultimately self destructive to your soul to stay in a constant state of comparing yourself to other people. I want you to be both comfortable and confident in who you are.
One of the first steps to being okay with who you are is to understand your personality. There are a ton of personality tests out there but one of my favorites is Personality Plus. Personality Plus was made popular by Florence Littauer in her book by the same name. In it she unpacks the unique characteristics of four personality types – Choleric, Sanguine, Melancholy and Phlegmatic. The idea of these four temperaments was actually first conceived by Hippocrates hundreds of years ago but Florence Littauer built on that work, including creating a test to help you uncover your basic temperament. Over the next three blog posts I will be sharing about the four temperaments and also providing you with a copy of the test so you can discover your own temperament.
Today I’m going to cover two of the temperaments, the Choleric and the Sanguine; I will share about the other two next time. As we begin this discussion, I want you to keep in mind that no one temperament is better than any other. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. The point is for you to gain some insight into how you are naturally wired so maybe you can stop wishing you were someone else and start celebrating all the things that are wonderful about you.
Cholerics have very strong personalities and are sometimes described as “a bull in a china shop”. They are the ones who walk into a room and without even trying they start leading and taking control. The natural tendency of the choleric to move quickly to accomplish a task, can cause them to come across as bossy and very demanding. However, they still naturally motivate people into action. They make up about 10% of the population.
- Natural born leader
- Goal Oriented
- Strong willed and very decisive
- Sees the whole picture
- Independent and self-sufficient
- Thrives on competition
- May be rude or tactless
- Demanding of others
Good examples of the Choleric personality are: Captain America, Captain Kirk, the Apostle Paul and Harry Potter
Sanguines are the life of the party. They have never met a stranger and when they walk into a room, they immediately take up space by their mere presence. The motto of the Sanguine is the more the merrier; there is no such thing as too much of anything. They are very talkative and because of this, they often err on the side of exaggerating things beyond what is actually true. They make up about 25-30% of the population.
- Great storytellers
- Energetic and enthusiastic
- Incredibly charming
- Very likeable
- Makes friends easily
- Thrives on accomplishments
- Compulsive talker
- Exaggerates and elaborates
- Has a loud voice
- Easily distracted
- Interrupts and tend not to be good listeners
Good examples of the Sanguine personality are: Iron Man, Joey from Friends, Simon Peter from the Bible, and Howard Wolowitz from The Big Bang Theory
We will discuss the Melancholy and the Phlegmatic next time. You’ll also get a copy of the test next time. I want to cover all four temperaments before having you take the test. In the meantime, do you see yourself yet? Do you think you have the Choleric or Sanguine temperament? How about someone in your family or one of your friends? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.