You are what you believe | INFJ Forum

You are what you believe

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by TinyBubbles, Nov 14, 2009.

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  1. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    Do you believe that? that whatever image you have in your head of who you are, accurate or not, will shape your behavior into better fitting that mold in the future.. that's why I sometimes think the MBTI and other personality theories are a bad idea, because once ventured into with any sort of commitment, they become a part of your identity, and acting "outside" of the mold you've accepted would become increasingly difficult the more you believed you were this one person, this "INFJ" (or INTP in my case). i've read books which perhaps accurately assess personality theories as being fundamentally dangerous to the human psyche, because once you know you're acting introverted or extroverted, intuiting or sensing, etc.etc, it's hard to not recognize you doing that anymore. it's hard to be spontaneous and just adapt to the situation at hand, rather than stepping back and judging your own actions (which is often irrelevant and can be limiting). it could stilt your own progress, your own freedom in constructing your life the way you desire, because whenever you need to take an action which is against your recognized type, you might say "that's not me. I don't do that" and not do it.
    I don't know.. this is kind of stupid and probably doesn't make sense, but what are your thoughts?
     
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  2. Faye

    Faye ^_^
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    I think its a good question. I don't think that I am what I believe. I am not worried about this limiting me because really if someone lets this limit them, then they are really just using it as a justification to not do something that they did not want to do anyway (if that makes sense).
     
  3. dvslil1

    dvslil1 Regular Poster

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    I believe that if I confine myself to believng only what I think of myself then it has the power to become self prophesising. To resign oneself to an opinion of oneself leaves little room for any contrary opinion to dominate. Having said that, ones thought can always be hijacked by reality.
    As for the MBTI being a mechanism for pidgeon holing ones personality, well it's an indicator and as such is subjective. The full Myer Briggs test is still subjective and and only indicates your preferences for that point in time. Who is to say your preferences for the functioning aspect of your personality cannot change? Will I always be INFJ? I dunno, maybe I'll become more extroverted in my latter years and cease to be so stuck in my head. Should I let four little letters dictate what I'm spposed be like or are they just a representation of how my personality appears to be?
     
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  4. IndigoSensor

    IndigoSensor Product Obtained
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    Yes I do believe this, to a degree. Believing you are one way, even if it is different then who you are, can effect your overall persona. However, you can't will your self to be completely different from who you naturally are. The human mind is powerful and we are able to shift out of our neutral state if we tell ourselves things (natural or not).
     
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  5. Puck

    Puck Perilous Pixie
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    Yes, how you perceive yourself is important. It won't change your innate personality, but if you focus and practise on certain traits you want to bring to the fore, encouraging yourself with positive thoughts and mental imagery, you can change aspects of your behaviour, that may make you appear to be a totally different person from an outside perspective, and even though you are still fundamentally the same, you will project something slightly different.

    This is particularly useful knowledge for those of us who have felt somewhat stifled during our developmental years, through the influence of others or external forces beyond our control. Although it is hard work (making consistent efforts over a considerable period of time) in adult life to effect lasting behavioural changes, it is quite possible.
     
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  6. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    In my opinion, some people are more what others tell them, other people are more what they tell themselves. And there isn't a right and a wrong way, just different inclinations of interest gathering the information about self-image.

    I agree that no matter which way your mind builds that image, the mind image shapes what you actually are, significantly, especially in society (though it won't make you a real giraffe, if you believe you are a giraffe; but it would make you stretch your neck, and you may look like a person with longer neck than you are).
    :m078:
    About personality theories turning out to be dangerous for your growth - yes, it seems so. Even if they are true. Self-awareness might drive you crazy, because you want to correct yourself too much, unsuccessfully etc. It's harder to freely explore and enjoy your self anymore, once you were told what your self is.
     
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  7. Pristinegirl

    Pristinegirl Well-known member

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    I think that when we believe we are something, it is kind of self fulfilling to a certain degree. I think Intuitives are especially prone to having this inner vision of who they really are, which may or may not be visible in reality that much. So it goes both ways.
     
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  8. DefectiveCreative

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    If someone pigeon-holes their own behaviour in this way, then that's the fault of the user, not the system. Personality theories can be misused, but they can also be a great force for self-liberation and growth. It's really in the hands of the individual how they choose to use them.

    In answer to your question though, yes, I believe that you can shape your behaviour by adopting different thought patterns. In fact, I'd say that things like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy prove this to be so.

    However, when it comes to changing behavioural patterns your success (or at least the ease of your success) can depend heavily on whether you actually like these behaviours or not. If you're gaining satisfaction or enjoyment from them, then it'll be harder to replace those behaviours with new ones, because secretly you don't want to change. And if you refuse to acknowledge these desires and try instead to suppress them, then they will still probably act on you and effect your behaviour through your subconscious.

    I also think that there might be some thought patterns (Intraversion and Extraversion, for example) that are so deeply ingrained in our psyches that it may be impossible to "overwrite" them with new patterns, at least within the space of a human lifetime.
     
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  9. sookie

    On Holiday

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    I think that some things happen to mirror ourselves in our daily life. We see ourselves mirrored by our friends, by our belief system, by what we observe about the world. Our beliefs about ourselfs limit us so horribly. I actally, this week, was taught an accupressure technique to change negative beliefs about myself. It is wonderful and effective for me. I can't remember what it is called...
     
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  10. Ria

    Ria Snow White over the ocean

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    It has been my experience in life that to not take chances and step outside my comfort zone has caused me trouble when it could have been avoided if I had chosen another course that was less familiar or comfortable.

    So no, I do not believe that it's healthy to limit ourselves to only being a familiar way. It's easy to stay stuck in a certain pattern of being that is simply natural for us, yet while at times familiarity is great, there are times where it's more beneficial to live differently if it helps improve the big picture in your life as the ripple effect might benefit others as well...
     
  11. krooler

    krooler Community Member

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    I think the answer to your question depends on who you are! :p
     
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  12. Roger

    Roger ...

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    Yes, i believe in this. I know i am the creator of my destiny. I am responsible for whatever i am feeling right now.
     
  13. sassafras

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    No, hun, this is not stupid and you've explained yourself quite clearly. I've had this same conversation with a number of people and I have to say, I agree. There is definitely the danger of crawling into a box and closing yourself off from all other potential just because you build your identity around what someone says its supposed to be, as opposed to what it is and what it could be.

    MBTI and other categorical personality systems are just that: systems. Models and representations based on observations and a few educated guesses. They can be used a tool to better understand what makes you tick right now and what you need to work on. The goal is always, always to push yourself to become a fully rounded individual.

    But it all comes down to how individuals approach these models and how they apply them in real life. I think people who actually do build their identities around their existing MBTI type or, alternatively, their ideal MBTI type probably would have a tremendous lack of confidence in themselves. MBTI provides an existing blueprint and the reassurance that there are other people out there with a similar outlook and similar traits. There's no need to become your own person so long as you belong to a group; your MBTI type. It's a security blanket, in a way. If you know what you're supposed to be, what you're supposed to act like, and there are other people who act and think like you, that makes your job as a person easier. Even if it might end up stifling your progress in the end.

    Unfortunately, this isn't something that you can point out to the people who are caught in this loop. I've come to learn that you can't tell people what to believe or think, or even point out those beliefs which hold them back. They got to come to these conclusions themselves.

    Because where an individual's psyche is concerned, only they and they alone can make progress... or fall behind. Just make sure to keep an eye out for any of your own negative or stifling beliefs that might be holding you back. After all, you're the author, editor and publisher of your own life and your life alone.
     
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