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I recently took a “self-knowledge” assessment. I’ve taken a number over the years: OCEAN, MBTI, ideal work, ideal geography, which Hogwarts house I’d be in, what kind of cheese is best for me to eat on a new moon…you get the drift.

This one was pretty short, and my results were narrowed to my top or most important personality traits: tenderness, reverence, and resilience.

I know myself pretty well, so nothing described in each word’s blurb was a surprise. In fact, this particular assessment is best for those who haven’t spent years of introspection and answered hundreds of questions about preferences and what-would-you-dos.

Still, while I knew these traits were present, I didn’t expect resilience in my top three. I couldn’t find a list of traits, so I’m not sure what my “options” were. I know there were quite a few, as several friends volunteered different results, but my guess is result options were under ten.

Still. Resilience.

If you’ve read my memoir, you may wonder why I have any surprise around this.

The truth is, there are other traits I privilege over resilience. I’ve always thought of myself as creative, optimistic, and principled. After that, I might say strong, curious, and complex. Maybe brave? Adventurous? These are words I’d use to describe myself. But are they personality traits? Or do they just hint at underlying traits? I am comparing adjectives and nouns, but they could easily translate one direction or another. I’m not sure how they come out in the end, but it doesn’t really matter.

Words do have power, and they are important, but nothing is more important than the words you use about yourself. It’s good to get information. It’s good to explore. It’s good to figure out which Marvel Comics superhero you would be. Yet in the end, how you think about yourself is the most important. This is the difference between feeling guilty or ashamed, and peace or love.

So, no matter what results you get from an assessment, take it with a grain of salt. It’s just an assessment. If it helps you understand yourself better, great! If not, no big deal. As long as you accept and love you, it’s good. As long as you use words that build you up, I think you’re set.

What words do you like to use? Have any favorite quizzes? Share them in a comment below!

Alexis Donkin

Alexis Donkin is a life coach and intuitive helping creatives build lives based in unconditional love. She is the creator of The Compassion Letter weekly newsletter, and the online course, The Heart Unboxed: How to Love the Unloveable, as well as host of the Intentional Writer Interview Series and author of over 17 books.
What words do you use?
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