Self-discovery tools can change your life

5 self-discovery tools to uncover hidden potential

Use these self-discovery tools, personality tests and assessments to start living an awesome life

If you’re not quite happy with life’s outcomes, or you need to get your life together and make improvements, it pays to know exactly what you’re dealing with (that’s you).

Above all, a better understanding of your traits helps you create a new phase of your life taking advantage of your strengths, whilst being aware of how your weaknesses could be holding you back.

Other benefits of using self-discovery tools

  • Looking for your passion? You could discover it by exploring the landscape of your personality.
  • If you want to aim ‘higher’,  it may be absolutely necessary to uncover hidden talents, and see where you might need support from others.
  • When you understand the differences in people, your relationships naturally improve.
  • A reminder of your virtues helps you value yourself in times when you’re feeling low or need a motivation boost.

Insights that could change your life

Imagine you’re taking a questionnaire and you’re asked to score yourself on “I am an approachable person”. If you mark it “strongly disagree”, you could suddenly become aware of why you’re having trouble meeting a partner.

If you were to score highly on the ‘agreeableness’ scale, that could be an insight as to why people tend to take advantage of you.

Making life decisions

When making big life decisions it pays to be self-aware.

Choosing a career

Are there aspects of your personality that could help you choose a career that keeps you interested and challenged?

Where to live

Would you really be happy moving from the big city to a remote village in the country? Plenty of people have done that and regretted it.

Choosing a partner

Say you have a gregarious character and find yourself attracted by someone quiet. Opposites may attract, but how would this play out in a long term relationship or marriage?

Starting a business

A ‘laptop’ lifestyle may sound very appealing, but would it really suit you to be working alone most of the time?

With a bit of self-research, you can be more honest with yourself before making choices that affect your long-term future.

What are you like..? Get to know thyself with our top 5 self-discovery tools

Getting to know yourself can be one of the most valuable things you can do, especially when considering big life changes. Here are some self-discovery tools to aid your research.

1. Wingfinder by Red Bull (free)

Wingfinder is a 30 minute assessment which uncovers strengths that you can leverage in your career. They have chosen the four areas most influential than any others as components of employability and career success.

  • Connections measures how well you manage relationships and how well you work independently.
  • Thinking measures the ability to reason abstractly and solve complex problems using spatial and numerical reasoning.
  • Creativity measures how original and innovative your thinking is, or how logical and analytical it is.
  • Drive measures your level of ambition.

Developed by Red Bull and a team of psychology professors from University College London and Columbia University New York, Wingfinder is based on 30 years of psychological research to highlight your strengths and help you watch out for your weaknesses, so that you can grow, develop and succeed.

Take the test here:

2. MBTI – Myers Briggs Type Indicator (Free)

Although more than 80 years have passed since it was published, the Myers Briggs test is still the most popular personality test in existence. If you’ve heard people say “I’m an ISFJ” or “I’m an ENTJ”– they’re talking about their Myers Briggs result.

The code is determined from your preferences in each of these 4 areas:

Favorite world
Do you prefer to focus on the outer world (Extraversion) or on your own inner world (Introversion)?

Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in (sensing) or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning (intuition)?

When you make decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency (thinking) or first look at the people and special circumstances (feeling)?

In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided (judging) or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options (perceiving)?

Depending on your preference in each category, you have your own personality type, written as a four letter code.

The test was based on Carl Jung’s work on personality types, and was written to help women find suitable war-time jobs.

Although the test has its critics, I think it is an incredibly useful questionnaire to open your eyes to the potential you have. And it’s a lot of fun.

Take the (unofficial) test for free online:

“Good type development can be achieved at any age by anyone who cares to understand his or her own gifts and the appropriate use of those gifts.”

Isabel Briggs Myers

3. The Big Five, or the Five Factor Model (Free)

If you’re looking for something more academically robust, the “Big Five” is the most valid personality scale. Used by clinical psychologists it’s the most reliable in terms of results.

It measures these 5 factors:

Openness to experience:
Extremely open people can be scattered and overwhelmed by their thoughts and ideas. On the opposite end: narrow and inflexible.

Exceptionally conscientious people can be obsessive about order, judgemental and rigid. On the opposite end: undisciplined and careless.

Extremely sociable, extraverted people can be dominant and impulsive. On the opposite end: introverted people can become isolated and depressed.  

Extremely agreeable people may never stand up for themselves. On the opposite end: aggressive, callous and bullying.

Neuroticism (emotional stability):
People very high in emotional stability may engage in risky behavior. On the opposite end: so anxious that they are unable to function.

Here is where you can take the test for free. There is a short version (10-20 minutes) or a long version (30-40 minutes)

4. Take the Big 5 even further with Jordan Peterson

World famous clinical psychologist, Jordan Peterson and his team have used the Big 5 as the basis of a self-improvement programme.

The Past, Present & Future Authoring programmes force you to examine your negative traits and positive traits. The ‘Present’ programme helps you understand and rectify your faults and understand and develop your virtues.

The programme is completed online, in your own time. It costs $29.90 USD.

5. Johari Window – an outsider’s perspective (Free)

One of the most eye-opening (and perhaps eye-watering!) things you can do is ask friends or family what they think about you.

Personality tests don’t measure everything. For example, none of them measure how funny you are. Humour is an incredibly valuable trait, but you may not realise you have it.

By not knowing how others see you, you could be missing a trick. A way of finding out is to use the ‘Johari Window’ with a friend. All you need is a piece of paper, and the instructions here:

Be brave! By plotting your self perception against the perception that others have of you, you’ll gain much greater insights and maybe even uncover talents that can be put to good use in a new career.

What next?

How could you use insights from these self-discovery tools to live an awesome life?

If you want to make the most of your new-found self-awareness, click here to speak with a life coach to see where it could take you.

Gabrielle Collard

Gabrielle Collard
Verified Coach
Verified for professional standards and commitment to clients. Read more Close

I’m a Marketing Consultant and Strategic Business Coach from London. For enquiries email or connect with me on LinkedIn.

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