Is your personality perfect for your studying?
Short answer? Nope!
Don’t panic though! No matter what we’re learning, there will be facets of our personality that make things easier or smoother for us, and parts of our personality that make things tougher for us.
What topics / subjects do you enjoy studying, and which don’t you enjoy?
Some peoples’ personalities will naturally be more inclined to calculations and formulae, and some personalities prefer more abstract thinking, communication etc.
The fact that you struggle with a subject might have far more to do with your personality than your intelligence!
What do I mean by 'matching' personality and studying?
Individual differences in characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving.
Why does this matter?
Remember The Amazing Race?
It was a TV show competition where a bunch of couples 'race' around the world, picking up clues along the way. They have no idea where they're going, may go to the wrong place if they get the clues wrong and they're ALWAYS under time pressure,
The fact that there’s a $1million prize would NOT be enough to convince me to do something like this. For my personality, this feels like something from my worst nightmares!
My husband, on the other hand, thinks it would be a great adventure, and would LOVE to do it. “Think how much fun it would be!”
No thanks. I can already feel the stomach ulcers growing!
How does this relate to your studying?
There are facets of our personalities that are totally different here. So, think of the elements of an exam, compared to something like this.
Exams are ALWAYS unknown, often have time pressures, and you have no real way of preparing for the questions, because there’s such a VAST set of topics, examples etc to choose from.
Someone like my husband finds that kinda exciting. Who KNOWS what will come up! Let’s see how it goes! Let’s do this!
For me? Again, worst nightmare. I don’t see ‘not knowing’ stuff as an adventure. I want to know what’s coming. I want to know I have the solution to the problem BEFORE you give it to me!
To start with, our stress levels in our preparation would be totally different. I’d be hyperventilating, and he’s kinda giggling at my anxiety. “What’s the big problem? Either you can get it, or not… what’s the worst that could happen!?”.
Our preparation itself would be different too. I’d focus on trying to collect as many possible examples so I can learn all the possible answers, so that I could be prepared for whatever they ask. His approach MIGHT be complacent. “I’ll just take it as it comes… no big deal”, so he may study way less than me.
No personality is 'right' or 'wrong'
Some personalities are more suited to different fields, skills or specialisms. We tend to gravitate towards areas that fit into our personality profiles. It’s smoother, easier, more natural.
I don’t want you thinking of your personality as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ for your studying… some of your traits will make your journey smoother, and some will make it tougher.
As you progress in your career, the stuff that makes you ‘weird’ and different, are generally the stuff that gives us our competitive advantage.
So if you feel abnormal… it’s just a matter of time before you’ll turn this into your advantage!
"What do I do with this Yvonne?"
For now, awareness is super-important. I want you to think of your last few lectures, tests, study sessions.
I don’t want you to ‘change’ your personality. You’re awesome just the way you are!
However, if we’re aware of the impact these things have, we can create solutions that can improve our studying and exams…
We can’t change the way we feel about it, but we CAN change the way we respond to these things!
Give this some thought... I'll be sharing more on this, and more specific stuff about our personalities... but let me know your thoughts!