Who Am I - Observations, Personal Learning And Action Planarising From An Analysis Of My Self-Concept

Broad overview of my self-concept

Who am I? Caring, practical, loyal and observant would the first characteristics that spring to mind when I am asked to describe my personality. As an aspiring project manager, I am highly interested in adequately investigating my self-concept as I want to ensure that I will be successful in my future career. I have conducted a thorough investigation into identifying my personality type and traits. I utilised the MBTI, the Big Five and NHS Emotional Intelligence test (EQ) to determine my personality type and to assess my current strengths and developmental needs. My main personality characteristics mentioned across the three tests were sensitive, reserved and conservative. Also, they suggest that I have excellent analytical abilities, strong social relationship skills and I am open to help facilitate change. Following on from this interpretation of results, I will investigate my strengths and weaknesses to help define who I am. Then I will provide an overview on how I aim to develop one of my weaker traits.


According to the MBTI test, my personality type is ISFJ, or to give myself a title I am the ‘Defender’. To paint a clearer picture, I am considered to be the ‘Beyoncé’ or ‘Kate Middleton’ of the world. When looking at this broad picture, I would say that I am content with this personality comparison as they are two strong, influential women. Overall, my MBTI profile description is scarily precise as I agree with the characteristics listed. To get more of an insight on whether this test was accurate, I asked my dad and a friend to fill out the MBTI about me. Below are the results they received in comparison to mine. Their findings suggest that I have higher extrovert tendencies than my findings. Reflecting on this difference, I think that it comes down to my mindset while taking this test. I completed this test with a work setting mindset; however, this is something I failed to mention to my dad and friend. I believe that they were thinking of me in a social context.

The Big Five

This test identifies factors that relate to traits and characteristics within an individual’s personality. I noticed some similarities in my profile to the results I received in the MBTI and EQ assessment. My profile is the ‘Practical Caretaker’ meaning that I am practical, compassionate and that I can manage strong relationships.

Openness: I received a low score of 37. 5%. Upon reflection, I question whether this score is accurate. While I do associate myself as being conventional, practical and down to earth I would not have said that these traits overshadowed my creative and curious side. In work scenarios, I tend to offer fresh ideas at meetings and would be open to change.

Conscientiousness: At 48% I am on an average/balanced scale. I agree that I can be flexible when it comes to being organised versus disorganised. There are aspects in my life that I tend to prioritise more, e. g. my education over things that are not as important, e. g. the ‘floordrobe’ in my room.

Extraversion: I scored 54% in this section, and while reflecting on this result in comparison to my MBTI result, I now consider myself an Ambivert. An ambivert has introvert and extrovert traits. I tailor my level of energy output depending on my surroundings. While I enjoy interacting with new people on a social level, I would be quieter in voicing my opinions/thoughts while in a formal meeting due to my analytical nature.

Agreeableness: This area is very high at 80%. I get along with others due to my compliant and soft-hearted nature; however, I tend to put other’s feelings and thoughts first. When examining this trait alongside the MBTI and EQ, it is clear that my strengths lie within people management and empathy.

Neuroticism: When examining this section and comparing it to the EQ assessment it is clear that I do not have a high level of emotional self-control hence why I scored highly in this section. After receiving criticism from friends or colleagues, I have a high tendency to feel guilt, shame and anxiety. These traits are related to my level of self-management in the EQ assessment. I seem to lack the ability to motivate myself to look past negative impacts. I recognise that I need to develop a ‘carefree’ attitude.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

It has been easy for me to interlink my results from this assessment into the results I received in the above two tests. A thorough investigation indicates that my strengths include self-awareness, empathy and social skill. However, I scored lower in the ‘self-management’ section. I feel that this is directly correlated to my high level of neuroticism and agreeableness when dealing with others.

Clear identification of my core strengths and developmental needs

‘We often need to know our strengths in order to know where we belong’.

While reading Drucker’s paper about ‘Managing Oneself’ in the workforce, I came across this statement, and it struck a chord with me. After completing my master's degree, I will be re-entering the workforce after almost a year and a half break from the ‘real world’. Gehring (2007) argues that project managers must be aware of their core competencies and their personality traits to be successful. I intend to adequately address and identify what areas I am strong/weak in so that I can succeed as a project manager. From the three tests mentioned above, I have collected information, and now I can analyse who I am through the strengths and developmental needs they have presented.

Strengths: It is clear that I have an excellent sense of people management and relationship building skills. My MBTI, Big Five and EQ results suggest that I am a supportive individual who tends to invest time and energy in others. I choose to empathise with people rather than judge them. Due to my observant personality trait, I can sense and feel what others are experiencing and accordingly show compassion, understanding and loyalty. It is evident that I do value creating relationships, and I do this by showcasing empathy, interest and sympathy towards individuals.

Developmental needs: However, it is interesting as some of my strengths intertwine with my downfalls. The MBTI suggests that I am too humble and shy allowing for people’s feelings to overshadow my thoughts. Due to my level of shyness, I internalise my emotions/feelings in fear of overstepping a boundary where I may hurt other’s opinions. This leads to negative emotional outbursts when I get overwhelmed by stressful situations. According to the Big Five assessment, I have a high level of neuroticism. I am a susceptible individual, and I tend to take things too personally. Therefore, any criticism I receive is hard to process leading me to feel guilty or ashamed. Because I have low emotional self-control, my ability to monitor and control these emotional outbursts needs to be improved.

A clear identification, justification and reflection on current perceived developmental needs

The issue I need to developProject management is crucial to achieving business initiatives. Therefore, project managers are essential to any organisation as they are the key drivers in creating and managing successful projects. Mullaly and Thomas (2009) indicate that the IST personality type would make a good project manager. This MBTI type is similar to my MBTI result; the only difference is between the thinking and feeling dimension. My primary developmental need is to improve my emotional self-control. I have a high tendency to react to situations based on my feelings and emotions. I think that it is essential that I learn how to deal with my feelings appropriately to avoid irrational decision making. Supplementary detail to understand why I behave in this manner.

When an individual has complete emotional self-control, they avoid distressful and disruptive feelings. Therefore, when faced with stressful situations they remain unfazed and can restrain from lashing out. In the past, I have not reacted in the best way to stressful events, and I believe that this is due to my low level of emotional self-control. Tense situations cause me distress, and sometimes I act too quickly if I feel overwhelmed. Mainly these situations occur in social settings rather than work settings as I know that there is a professional boundary that I should not cross. Through developing my emotional self-control, I hope to get better in social contexts and prevent any emotional outbursts in the work setting. To explore my low emotional self-control, I will provide an example where I hastily acted based on my feelings in the heat of the moment. This example involves individuals withholding sensitive information from me that directly affected me. When I eventually heard the news, I felt like an outsider to the group, and I felt extremely hurt. This surge of negative emotions led me to act quickly, without processing this information or considering alternative actions, and I let those individuals know how upset I was with them. Unfortunately, they were less than understanding, and it had a ripple effect which caused more tension where my character got attacked.

Why did I react in this way? Their actions hurt me, and I was blinded to alternate ways to express myself. Emotions dictate how individuals think, act and interpret different situations leading to irrational behaviour. As repeatedly mentioned in this essay, I am a loyal, caring and compassionate individual. When dealing with friends and family, I expect them to be open, caring and to show loyalty to me in return. However, in this example, I felt that the individuals were not acting how I expected them to. While this was an unfortunate situation, it was a huge learning curve for me. I have mentally revised this situation through writing this essay and it has opened my eyes to other ways of dealing with this circumstance. I have been able to enhance my self-awareness and learn how to harness my emotional-control.

How I aim to develop

According to Mooney et al. (2005), there are five ways to help improve your level of emotional self-control, and they include self-evaluation, self-monitoring, strategy instruction techniques, self-instruction techniques and multiple-component interventions. Based on this reading, I will self-monitor and self-evaluate my emotions when I encounter difficult circumstances, and below I will outline my plan for refining my emotional self-control.

My Plan

Clinical psychologist Dr Carmen Harra (2013) suggests six steps that individuals can take to help manage and control their emotions in stressing situations. They include

  1. not acting immediately,
  2. finding a positive solution,
  3. releasing the tension elsewhere,
  4. seeing the bigger picture,
  5. replacing negative thoughts
  6. forgiving.

I plan to put these steps into action starting today, and I hope to utilise them when I find myself in unfavourable circumstances. The primary person involved in kickstarting this plan is me, and I hope to get feedback from family and friends if they notice a shift in my ability to deal with conflictual events.

  1. When I next find myself in a tense situation I will try to step back from the situation so that I can accurately assess my emotions before acting. I will gain a better perspective and understanding before proceeding to deal with the event.
  2. When I feel calm and collected, I will look for a positive way to solve my situation. After stepping away from the tense situation, maybe I will have gained a better understanding of the other person’s criticism, and I can use positive thoughts to improve it.
  3. Instead of repressing my feelings, I will find a way to release the tension. For example, I can channel it through exercise or I will talk it out with someone.
  4. Perhaps then I will be able to see the bigger picture and will be able to look at the issue through the other individual’s perspective.
  5. Whenever I find these negative emotions controlling my mental state, I will try replacing it with a different thought. I recognise that this will take practice, but it will be advantageous in my long-term mental health as I will be able to reduce my neuroticism level.
  6. Finally, I will aim to develop a ‘carefree’ attitude that enables me to forgive my emotional triggers. I will be able to detach from the negative energy and separate from the harsh feelings about me.

Learning how to improve my emotional self-control is a self-concordant goal. It is of high interest to me as I want to be a successful project manager. I will put a lot of effort into achieving my goal on a long-term basis. According to Judge et al. (2005), this goal will be attainable because I am self-motivated and fully committed to improving my self-concept.

15 April 2020
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