Are you a Type B personality? How to embrace your unique gifts

type b

Are you a Type B personality?

Maybe you’ve never heard of a Type B personality. That’s because our society tacitly endorses Type A qualities like drive and ambition.

For this reason, I’ve felt as though my desire to take things slow constituted laziness. And my lack of competitiveness made me wimpy.

In truth, the Type B has so many sought-after qualities, we should be shouting our status from the rooftops.

What is a Type B personality?

According to Wikipedia:

Type B personality, by definition, are noted to live at lower stress levels. They typically work steadily, and may enjoy achievement, although they have a greater tendency to disregard physical or mental stress when they do not achieve.

When faced with competition, they may focus less on winning or losing than their Type A counterparts, and more on enjoying the game regardless of winning or losing.

Type B personality types are more tolerant than individuals in the Type A category. This can be evident through their relationship style that members of upper management prefer.

Type B individuals can “…see things from a global perspective, encourage teamwork, and exercise patience in decision making…”

So, you see the life of a Type B is much more relational and enjoyable. Why would anyone feel guilty about that?

Because the world tells us that getting along is not as important as winning. And that reduced stress levels are less important than achievement.

Family patterns

Another reason you might feel guilty about doing less comes from your family of origin.

Children raised in families that did a lot but never talked about their interior lives tend to perceive achievement as their only value. Love is something they must earn.

In this way, compulsive achievement can mask feelings of inadequacy. We feel we’re not enough so we do more to prove our value. While, if we loved ourselves we’d recognize our value as intrinsic.

Compulsive achievement can be a mask for feelings of inadequacy. Click To Tweet

When we talk more about what we did rather than how we feel, it creates distance between us. And makes us feel bad if we’re not doing enough.

Societal shift

Yet another reason Type Bs might feel less than is the way society has changed since the sexual revolution.

With it came a rise in two-income households and “quality time” with children.

Everyday togetherness has been usurped by an overvaluing of less frequent but more intricate plans.

The pressure is on to create the experience of a lifetime for our kids and the important goal of family bonding gets lost.

Spending money becomes essential in order to bond with your children. And earning that money requires more doing.

An integrated family life means bonding comes in the everyday. But in our modern families, even bonding has become a matter of achievement.

It takes tremendous courage to reject this notion of quality time and see value in time spent doing nothing with your children.

Sitting on the couch together or eating dinner at the table are simpler ways to stay connected.

How to embrace your Type B gifts

So, how do you resist our culture’s subtle and not-so-subtle message that striving and achieving are the superior path?

For me, the shift came when I read the story of Mary and Martha in the Bible.

Jesus praised Mary for sitting at his feet and soaking up his teaching. He admonished her sister Martha for prioritizing meal preparation over Mary’s choice to simply enter Jesus’ presence.

I felt so seen and validated by this passage! To find that everything I’d resisted about myself was actually the better way.

The ability to sit still and receive came as a gift not everyone knew. Sharing our thoughts and feelings more important than sharing a nine-course meal.

When you have the compulsion to do more, ask yourself why. Is it feeling worthless that’s driving you?

Are you kowtowing to societal expectations? If so, remind yourself of what Jesus sees as most important.

Decisions become easier when you do these three simple things

decisions

Do you find it difficult to make decisions? Can the fear of making the wrong decision paralyze you so you delay doing anything at all?

Maybe you get bogged down in pro and con lists. And what happens if there’s an equal number of them?

You’ve heard about a gut instinct but struggle to trust yours and wonder if you even have one.

If you’re an introvert, HSP, or Type B personality, you probably take longer to make decisions. You might second guess yourself and spend a lot of time and energy fretting over what to do.

If you’re a person who avoids conflict or a people pleaser, you cringe at the thought of making a decision that rubs people the wrong way.

i'm really bad at making decisions gif | WiffleGif

As a person who struggled her whole life with making decisions, I noticed they became easier when I made certain changes.

Here are the three simple ways to eliminate all the stress around making decisions.

Do these 3 things to eliminate stress around making decisions. Click To Tweet

1. Embrace minimalism

When you get rid of the stuff you don’t need or use, decisions become easier because you have fewer options to choose from. Sounds obvious, right?

Start by decluttering your house and car. This might sound overwhelming and won’t happen overnight.

Organize a drawer and reward yourself. Then, move on to your closet.

When you declutter your wardrobe, you have fewer items to choose from. You’re left with only the items you love and that fit, so the decision becomes more pleasant.

You’ve created a stress-free morning by simplifying your decisions about what to wear that day.

After the house and car, work on decluttering other aspects of your life. Say no to things that stress you out and set boundaries to protect your time.

This will help clear your head from internal chaos. Instead of reacting and feeling overwhelmed, you’ll be calm and empowered.

Making decisions from a clear and cool head is so much easier than the alternative. And the decisions you make will be more authentic because they’re coming from a place of peace.

Rather than people pleasing, you’re making decisions that are best for you and your family.

2. Practice patience

A little known fact about decisions is that they sometimes make themselves. Waiting before jumping in with both feet can have positive results.

Now, this is not an excuse for procrastination or paralysis.

But if you avoid making a rash decision and wait a beat, you might be surprised at the outcome. If you feel unsure and wait before taking action, the issue might resolve itself.

One year, my daughter struggled with a difficult classmate who smothered and manipulated her.

During the summer, we prayed for God to work on this girl’s heart and help my daughter set appropriate boundaries. On the first day of school, I waited to hear how things went.

“She moved!” my daughter exclaimed.

God can work in ways we never even imagine with our limited scope of reference. He sees the whole picture while we just see our tiny corner.

Again, there’s a difference between passivity and patience. Or avoidance and caution.

Putting off decision-making because you’re paralyzed with fear is not what we’re talking about here.

3. Set a deadline for making decisions

This might sound contradictory to the previous point, but hear me out. If your problem is procrastination rather than patience, you need some accountability.

Giving yourself a deadline to make a decision is different than taking impulsive action. Make your decision by a certain hour or day, depending on the urgency of the situation.

Giving yourself a deadline to make a decision is different than impulsive action. Click To Tweet

Sometimes, as in #2 above, the issue will have been resolved before the deadline. Or you will have given yourself enough time to experience peace about your decision.

You might fear making the wrong decision if you don’t brood over it endlessly. But this is rarely the case.

Perhaps it’s your fear of changing your mind that’s putting so much pressure on your decision-making process. But very few decisions are irrevocable.

Maybe you’re too hard on yourself and feel that once a decision is made there’s no going back.

How about giving yourself a little grace? Even big decisions like a move can be reversed if necessary. You’re rarely stuck with a decision you made just because you made it.

Have the self-compassion to say we’ll try it this way for now. And if it doesn’t work out we can redirect or even go back to the old way.

If you refuse to make a decision, chances are you won’t have to change. But ask yourself if that’s what’s best for you.

Your money: 3 important ways to lose the scarcity mentality

money personal growth

Like many families, mine never taught me how to make money, how to save money, or how to budget money.

When I first moved out on my own, I went into credit card debt to pay for clothes I couldn’t afford. I lacked the self-discipline to spend responsibly.

Paying off that debt came as a hard lesson in spending less than what you earn.

Maybe you can relate to the feeling of never having enough to do the things you want to do. You rarely eat out at restaurants or go on vacation.

Your mantra seems to be “I can’t afford it,” even while you earn a reasonable income.

Psychology of money scarcity

There is a psychology behind this feeling of financial scarcity. When you grow up in a family that struggled financially, you see money as a finite resource, something that can run out.

When you grow up in a family that struggled financially, you see money as a finite resource. Click To Tweet

Women who grow up in wealthy families, however, trust that money will always be there for them, there is lots of it, and many ways to get it.

Maybe you find ways to sabotage yourself when it comes to money. Like the lottery winners who end up broke after a year, you can’t seem to get rid of money fast enough.

Struggling with self-sabotage? Download the first chapter of It’s Not Your Fault free.

Maybe you find it difficult to talk about money or even think about it. For this reason, you have little knowledge of your true financial situation.

Rather than follow a budget, you spend until the money runs out. There is always more month than money at your house.

This was my situation, too, until I made some changes that improved my financial outlook immeasurably.

You don’t need a huge increase in income to gain financial freedom. Or live like a pauper until retirement.

Here are three changes that led to more peace and security around my finances. Even without a big change in income.

1. Trust God with your money

Give without expecting anything in return. And watch the law of sowing and reaping in action.

Instead of holding tightly to the money you have, give more generously. This will lead to a feeling of abundance that translates into an improved financial outlook.

Trust God as your provider rather than your employer. Your job has you on a fixed income but God can pay you in ways you neither predict nor imagine.

Open yourself up to the opportunities He puts in front of you and watch your financial mindset start to change. You’ll find more creative ways to make money and increase your streams of income.

2. Learn how to invest

I attended a free conference that taught women financial independence through real estate investing.

Rather than pay for expensive seminars, I educated myself by reading library books on the topic.

I attended free or low cost meetup groups and learned from others’ mistakes and successes. Then applied this new knowledge to make an investment that ended up paying off.

Becoming a landlord was an amazing learning opportunity and increased my confidence.

The experience changed my mindset to one more comfortable taking risks and thinking outside the box. It helped minimize my fear around my finances.

3. Adopt a minimalist mindset

When you decide to downsize your life, you reduce the cost of living in tangible ways. Less square footage translates into lower rent or mortgage payments.

When you decide to downsize, you reduce the cost of living in tangible ways. Click To Tweet

Driving a fuel efficient car or choosing to use transit if you live in a city also saves money.

When you declutter your home, you can earn money by selling those quality items you no longer need or use. You save money by shopping less because you no longer want to bring things into your home that will clutter it up.

If you do a good declutter of your clothes closet you earn money selling items online or on consignment.

Streamlining your closet transforms your life by taking all the stress out of choosing outfits. It will save you incredible amounts of money as you become more mindful about shopping.

4 benefits of decluttering your home including reduced stress

benefits of decluttering
Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

I discovered the benefits of decluttering when I moved from a house to a condo in 2013.

As a divorced mom, the upkeep of a three-story dwelling had taken its toll on me both physically and financially.

I loved the idea of pushing garbage down a chute rather than lugging huge bins to the curb every week.

And no more snow shoveling in winter sounded too good to be true.

Only problem, we would have to downsize our possessions to fit comfortably into the new space.

The more we purged, the easier it became to say goodbye to things that had outlived their usefulness.

The more we purged, the easier it became to say goodbye to things that had outlived their usefulness. Click To Tweet

The truth that downsizing and decluttering only improved our lives came as a big surprise. There was no down side.

4 benefits of decluttering

Many people acknowledge that the clutter in their homes causes undue stress. But they have no time to do anything about it.

I believe if more people knew the life-changing benefits of decluttering they would find the time, and experience balance in all areas of their lives.

Here are just four of the many benefits of decluttering your home.

1. Reduced stress

It’s hard to relax in a cluttered room. Trying to decompress after a hard day in a space strewn with stuff is all but impossible.

You spend your down time reorganizing junk or putting things away, rather than putting your feet up. And that builds frustration, the opposite of what you want when your goal is to unwind.

Every day you experience the tension of time spent looking for items. Kids are late for school because they can’t find their shoes or books.

That pressure trickles down to your loved ones who bear the brunt of your annoyance. Not to mention the effect on your own peace of mind.

Clutter in your surroundings hurts your ability to focus. The extraneous items in your field of vision take you away from the task at hand.

Clutter in your surroundings hurts your ability to focus. Click To Tweet

Whether you have to physically clear the items, or simply take note of them in your mind, clutter divides your attention.

In this way it can negatively impact your productivity as well. Clearing the clutter for good alleviates all these stressors.

2. Improved confidence

Successful decluttering of your space feels like a major achievement, because it is! You’ve done something most people lack the self-discipline to carry out.

You’re facing an issue head on and refusing to settle for less than you deserve. You’ve made tough decisions about what stays or what goes.

As you decide what to keep or donate, you get more clear on your values. You get to know yourself better as you discover your likes and dislikes.

As you decide what to keep or donate, you get more clear on your values. Click To Tweet

When you look around and see a space you feel proud to call your own, your confidence increases. You feel in control of your space and your life.

3. Financial rewards

When you take the time to declutter your home, you reap financial rewards. You can sell quality brand name items on Craigslist or Kijiji.

When you clean out your closet, those designer clothes you no longer wear will fetch you a good price online or at the consignment store.

You’ll find bills inside pockets of clothes you haven’t worn in months or years.

When you clean up your files, you find credit balances on card statements or bank accounts you forgot about.

Hosting a garage sale will net you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Your newly organized life could inspire you to create a budget each month (or download an app). Now you’ll see long-term financial benefits of decluttering.

4. Improved family time

When you live in a cluttered house, you and your family spend too much time clearing up messes and not enough time enjoying one another.

Rather than spending time outdoors together, you waste Saturday afternoons cleaning out the garage. And because of clutter creep, it needs doing over and over.

Your frustration over a messy environment means you yell at your kids to tidy up. Then you feel guilty or angry at them for having to be told the same thing again and again.

When you get serious about decluttering and stop merely managing the mess, peace ensues.

3 challenges of minimalism and how to overcome them

challenges of minimalism, simplicity, personal growth, boundaries, toxic family
Photo by tu tu on Unsplash

I wrote about the four major benefits of decluttering in a previous post. In the interest of balance, I’d like to address some of the challenges of minimalism you might encounter on your journey.

Convincing your family to get on board is just one of the challenges of minimalism you might experience.

On your way toward a simpler life, there are three major obstacles. They take courage to overcome but here’s how to deal with them and come out victorious.

1. Family

You know all the benefits of minimalism. You’re looking forward to embarking on a deep decluttering journey.

To your surprise, your family doesn’t share your passion for downsizing. They’re scared you’re trying to take away their prized possessions.

Here are a few tips for getting your family on side when it comes to minimalism.

Give them control

Assure them you’ll get their permission before giving away any of their possessions. And stick to your promise.

Give them control over their own space, like their bedrooms, which they can declutter to their own comfort level. You get to tackle the common areas like living room and kitchen.

Show them the rewards

Demonstrate the rewards of decluttering. Rather than a dozen mediocre birthday presents, they can enjoy an amazing experience like a day trip.

Spending less on things will enable you to go on vacation or pay off debt faster. Tangible rewards incentivize your family by showing them decluttering is in their best interest.

2. Culture

Another of the major challenges of minimalism is the culture we live in. It’s become more popular in recent years, but minimalism still goes against the cultural grain.

It's become more popular in recent years, but minimalism still goes against the cultural grain. Click To Tweet

Our culture has moved away from the good stewardship it once valued. Now, we’re taught to covet material things, seek out brand names, and buy fast fashion.

Here are tips for dealing with the cultural challenges of minimalism.

Shift your mindset

When you struggle with feelings of inadequacy as you pare down your wardrobe, think about French women. Their closets consist of a few quality items they mix and match and wear again and again.

Who’s more fashionable than the French? Your streamlined wardrobe is simply more carefully edited. You’ve chosen quality over quantity.

Take pride in good stewardship

Rather than shame over your old iPhone, feel proud that you refuse to upgrade when the current model works just fine.

Even if you’re not a green warrior, consuming less is fantastic for the environment. This is true on a global scale, but also within your own home.

For instance, making your own cleaning products with simple ingredients rather than buying commercial brands, has a huge impact on your health. It clears the air and helps you breathe better, literally.

3. Yourself

Of all the challenges of minimalism, this one might be the hardest. You’re up against a lifetime of faulty programming.

Your fear of change. Your fear of disappointing people. Fear of standing up for your own needs.

Downsizing and decluttering is more than physical. The deeper you go in the process, the more boundaries you’ll have to set.

It might seem easier to stay the same. You may feel very alone at times.

Here are tips for dealing with your own tendency to stay stuck and resist the good change downsizing promotes in your life.

Have the hard conversations

If you have family members or friends who balk at your new commitment to a clutter-free lifestyle, talk to them about it.

Well before Christmas have a serious discussion about your expectations around gift-giving. Be clear about what you will and will not accept.

Tell them they can give one gift per family member (or whatever number you decide). If they ignore your wishes, let them know the children will pick one and give the rest away to a worthwhile cause.

Write down your top 5 values

Deciding what to keep and let go of helps you get clear on what you value. As a result you might find there are things in your life that don’t align with those values.

It’s possible you’ve lived your whole life misaligned with your values and this has caused you a great deal of pain. The disconnect has made you seek escape through unhelpful habits or even addictions.

When you get clear on your values and live by them, your sense of peace and fulfillment increases exponentially. You don’t have to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms like shopping or excess wine to make you feel better.

When you get clear on your values and live by them, your sense of peace and fulfillment increases. Click To Tweet

If you crave connection, for instance, spending most of your time with superficial people is going to harm you. Spend less time with them and cultivate relationships with people who share your desire to go deep.

In the same way, if you value solitude, a full house and constant contact with others will only leave you feeling depleted. Insist on alone time, plan for it, protect it and leave the house to get it when you need to.

Enlist support

Join groups that encourage your new minimalist lifestyle. Spend more time with people who embrace living with less.

Read blogs written by folks who have gone through the downsizing process and are now enjoying the results.

Try the Project 333 wardrobe challenge and wear the same 33 items of clothing for 3 months. Find others online who are doing the same.

Listen to podcasts that celebrate the myriad ways downsizing leads to a better life in all areas.