Do your friends or peers describe you as meticulous, not too spontaneous, and careful? Is your score on the Big Five personality scale high on conscientiousness?
It might not be a bad thing, after all!
By definition, conscientiousness means “being very careful about what you’re supposed to do before doing something”
Your friends may confuse this peculiar behavior with not being too adventurous and being too careful but it turns out that conscientiousness is one of the traits that can lead you to success.
The Big Five Personality Traits namely; openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeable, and neuroticism or OCEAN, are five major traits that can help define your personality but can they affect your behavior and successes?
Please note that scoring high on conscientiousness is not a bad thing or that you somehow lack the other four traits. It just means that being conscientious is your dominant trait while the other traits may score somewhere in the middle.
What Does It Mean To Be Conscientious?
Conscientiousness is more than just being too careful and responsible, it’s about being vigilant and thorough in what you choose to do. It’s also one of the most admirable traits when it comes to the Big 5 personality traits.
People who identify with this trait tend to be self-disciplined, systematic, thoughtful, and have the drive to achieve. Naturally, people with conscientiousness do better than others when it comes to building careers, maintaining strong relationships, and being professional.
In recent studies, it was found that conscientious people are more likely to have fewer health-related risks and have higher job and career satisfaction.
Note that no one is born conscientious, you need to cultivate the trait. Developing this trait may take a lot of time, persistence, and smarts.
Characteristics Of Conscientiousness
If you identify as a conscientious person, you’re typically described by your friends as self-disciplined and self-controlled. You are someone who is not only organized and determined but also able to delay gratification just for the sake of long-term progress.
While there are some drawbacks to being conscientious such as you might be tempted to overthink a situation that might not need overthinking or you may be overly rigid and inflexible. You might also struggle with being spontaneous, perfectionism, or even obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Here are some other common characteristics of conscientiousness that you may find useful:
People with low conscientiousness are often described as casual, relaxed, or laid-back. They don’t prefer scheduling or detailed planning before doing something. While these people may be described as unreliable and irresponsible, they are also more likely to step out of their comfort zone and respond well to last-minute changes.
How Does Conscientiousness Affect Behavior?
If you’ve scored high in conscientiousness, you’re very likely a dependable and organized person who can control your impulses. In many studies, it is shown that conscientious people have good overall health and show higher productivity than others.
Within this personality trait, some sub-traits can be used to describe your personality:
1. You Are Achievement-Oriented
You are a high achiever if you identify with this personality trait. You are always striving to be perfect in whatever you do and are extremely goal-oriented. While others who score low on conscientiousness tend to be viewed as lazy and are happy with minimal responsibilities.
2. You Are Cautious
You are very careful and consider all facts before you come to a decision. You think through most things thoroughly before acting. You might not be impulsive but more analytical. People with low conscientiousness tend to take risks and are impulsive.
3. You Are Reliable
While a person with low conscientiousness might be viewed as irresponsible, you are viewed as someone with a strong sense of obligation and duty. You honor your word and come through when you make a promise.
4. You Thrive On Schedules
Scattered schedules and disorganized behavior may throw you off as you are someone who thrives on schedules and order. You enjoy list-making and planning before you act. Chaos is something you do not associate with.
5. You Are Self-Disciplined
If you’ve scored high on conscientiousness then you are focused and self-disciplined. You stick to your task despite distractions. Others with low conscientiousness may not be as disciplined when it comes to fulfilling a task.
6. You Are Self-Sufficient
You have confidence in yourself and your skills without being too boastful and egotistical. Your ambitious nature makes sure you see through to the end. Low conscientious people tend to feel inadequate as they believe they have no control over their lives.
Understanding conscientiousness and how it affects your behavior may help you know the whys of what you do and how you act but it is not your defining trait. Your personality will have all Big Five personality traits at some level (low, medium, or high). Don’t ignore others in favor of one.
I hope this article helped you understand one aspect of personality traits. If you liked the article, let me know in the comments below or write to us at email@example.com. We’re always here for you!