If you want to overcome your excuses, it’s helpful to understand the language they speak. In your daily life, what typically dictates most of your actions— your head or your heart? The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a self-reporting questionnaire exploring an individual’s psychological preferences, and can be an insightful tool in the journey of “knowing thyself.” This test will also help you figure out where you are on the thinker/feeler spectrum.
Thinkers are experts in rationalizing their way out of change. Their minds are oriented to find the nearest escape route if “necessary”, and the messages they tell themselves can be pretty convincing. Here are some examples of “Thinker” excuses:
“Most people who lose weight end up gaining it back anyway. It’s not worth my time to put in the effort. I could use my focus for better things.”
“I only drink two or three glasses of wine a night, max. Gerry drinks nearly two bottles each day. He’s the one with the real problem, not me.”
“Work’s really busy at the moment. I don’t think I’ll have time to get to the gym regularly and commit to a personal trainer.”
Feelers may sometimes allow their emotions to dictate their lives. Consistency is particularly difficult for them because they’re easily swept away by the stirrings in their heart. “Feeler” excuses sound something like this:
“I’m feeling depressed today. There’s no point in writing because my mood is low and I won’t be able to produce anything worthwhile.” (I am personally acquainted with this excuse!)
“I can’t believe Harriet did that to me—it’s too upsetting to even think about. I know I said I wasn’t going to drink this month, but I deserve a martini just for putting up with her b.s.”
“I promised myself that I was going to go running this evening, but there’s a party I want to check out and I’d rather do that.”
By exploring our own natural tendencies, we become better equipped to recognize our traps as they arise. Self-knowledge fuels the power to make change.
Read up on your type, and write down any insights that you find helpful from your research.
What thinking or feeling excuses am I using that may be sabotaging my well-being?
Thanks for reading! This is post #5 in a series on Habit Change. Have you taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator before? If so, how has it helped you? Can you recognize the thinking or feeling excuses that you usually tell yourself? Leave your comments below.