Does this wiring make my butt look fat?
Today’s Wisdom Bite about temperament types helps you consider your natural wiring and how it affects your weight. Traits and skills tend to cluster, creating a temperament type. While you’ll recognize aspects of yourself in all four of the temperament types above, which word cloud seems the most familiar to you? This is likely your dominant (or highest) type. Which word cloud is more foreign to you? This is likely your growth (or lowest) type. What’s intriguing is your inner saboteur and weight loss struggle are intimately connected to an overdependence on your dominant type and resistance of your growth type. Balance these two types, and you balance your life and your body.
Excess weight means you’re hiding out in your comfort zone and playing small…
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Here’s what you need to know
Excess weight means you’re hiding out in your comfort zone and playing small. Without understanding your temperament types, you might not even realize you’re doing this. I say types (plural) because most temperament assessment tools slot you into a single type. It’s more useful to see yourself as a spectrum of types, so that you can appreciate your dominant and growth types.
Your dominant type is where your innate strengths are found. Depend on this too much though and it becomes a weakness: your comfort zone. You might perceive your growth type as a weakness but it’s just a cluster of underdeveloped skills. Nonetheless, developing these skills can be awkward so you resist them to avoid the discomfort. Hiding out and playing small this way might be frustrating for you but it’s just your saboteur doing its job of keeping you safe from harm, small in scope and protected from any unknowns.
- Have your temperament types led to excess weight? If your dominant and growth types are out of balance, then yes. Refer to the word clouds and consider someone who has too much Empathy but is shying away from being Bold. This person will likely lose themselves to taking care of others and not have the nerve to say no when they need to take care of themselves. How about someone who’s all about Visioning but cringes at the thought of Accountability? This person may have great ideas for a healthy lifestyle but they keep moving the goal posts so they never seem to get started. You get the idea?
- How are your temperament types affecting your weight loss journey? The key takeaway from understanding your types is there is no one type better at permanent weight loss than another. Everybody has to learn to balance their types. I emphasize permanent because some people are more Plan-oriented or Physically-oriented and can get weight off their body quickly – the ‘outer work’. But those same people will often struggle to do the ‘inner work’ that comes easily to those who are more Emotionally-oriented or Learning-oriented. Without the inner work, the weight will always be at risk of coming back. Everybody has to do the inner work and outer work.
- How can your temperament types work for you instead of against you? Beyond being able to balance your types, knowing your wiring also helps you to satisfy your needs and do so without apology. For example, someone who is more Social does better with the support and compassion of others. The person who is more Intellectual often needs independent time to absorb and process the knowledge they gather. Someone who is more Organized might need reliability and punctuality for themselves and from others. And the person who is more Creative can benefit when they satisfy their needs for spontaneity and adventure.
When you’re depending too much on your dominant type you feel stuck. If this is what your weight loss efforts feel like, your breakthroughs are not going to come by doubling down on these efforts. Those breakthroughs will happen by exploring your growth type.
Dialing down your dominant type will make your efforts more fun and enjoyable as you get some momentum going again. Dialing up your growth type brings feelings of aliveness and fulfillment – what I affectionately call fearlessness. You’ll come to realize the best way to experience weight loss is with a sense of fun AND fearlessness.
Here’s what you can practice
Refer to the word clouds and the guesstimate you made at the beginning of this Wisdom Bite. Or, if you want something more definitive, try Googling True Colors, MBTI, DISC, Enneagram, Big Five…the assessment tools and their labels are less important than the spectrum of traits and skills they reveal about you. Complete more than one and remember, you’re looking for your highest and lowest scoring types.
Once you have some consensus on your dominant and growth types, ask a trusted friend which specific strength of yours would be helpful to relax and which underdeveloped skill needs a boost right now (keep your focus narrow to start; you can work on other skills later). Yes, you can do this on your own but your friend will have more objectivity about the Ego preferences that keep you doing what you already know vs. the Soul stretches that open you up to new possibilities.
Finally, watch for the first inklings of stress in your life – before those inklings are too big to overwhelm you – and practice balancing your skills. The balance needed for weight loss comes from balancing your skills, especially under stress, when you’re most likely to retreat to your comfort zone. As you practice, be prepared for awkward first tries. That messiness just means you’re evolving. Before long, you’ll begin to feel more peace and inner strength in areas that were once problematic for you.
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How did it go for you?
Your natural wiring is the way you came into this world. You may feel like you’ve come far and accomplished much, yet somehow those same strengths are not working for you with your weight loss. The beauty is, your wiring doesn’t have to limit how you choose to experience things going forward. With some work, it can become the very thing that expands your world and creates the success you’re after.
Select a simple moment where you stepped out of your comfort zone and share it in the Members-Only Comments section below.
Did you discover that small steps like this, in the service of your growth, can feel like huge victories?
Be sure to check back in too, to let us know how it’s going!
Conscious Weight Loss®