Quiz time! Which element are you?
1. How would others describe the way you walk?
A. Wandering aimlessly with your head in the clouds, thinking and dreaming.
B. Graceful and flowing like a panther, aware of the people around you.
C. Heavy-footed, taking solid steps as if you’re climbing or hiking.
D. Speedily and with energy, leading from the chest.
2. In terms of physical characteristics, would you say:
A. You’re built in a fairly delicate way, tend to have dry skin, poor circulation and a nervous disposition?
B. There’s a fluidity about your body, but you may feel sluggish and tired often?
C. You have something of a sturdy build with strong thighs?
D. Generally, you are healthy and have a lot of energy. You are likely to get hot and bothered easily?
3. If you were reflecting on your Achilles’ heel, would you say you can:
A. Be difficult to pin down and are changeable?
B. Be easily misled, struggle with boundaries and lose yourself?
C. Be a bit stuck in the mud and lack spontaneity?
D. Burn out or flare up quickly, and lack follow through?
4. What would a friend or colleague who enjoys your company be most likely to say about you?
A. They feel excited by your unique ideas, quick thinking and wit.
B. They appreciate how you can really empathise with them.
C. They find it grounding and reassuring to talk to you because of the practical suggestions you offer.
D. They love your energy and feel fired up by your enthusiasm for things.
5. Which of the following landscapes are you most drawn to, or would best describe your inner world?
A. Remote mountains.
B. Seas, lakes and rivers.
C. Forests or woodlands.
D. Anywhere as long as it’s hot.
6. Which of the following are your greatest set of gifts?
A. Imagining, thinking and communicating.
B. Generosity, intuition and harmonising.
C. Practicality, containing and persevering.
D. Initiating, inspiring and causing excitement.
Your element is AIR
When speaking of someone being a ‘breath of fresh air’, it often refers to the relief of coming into contact with a person who has a new perspective and who is able to offer a sense of relief when others may have become bogged down.
As someone with strong air qualities, you’ll be familiar with this ability to bring fresh ideas and an intellectual detachment to life’s challenges.
At work you’ll be highly regarded for seeing issues with clarity, generating creative solutions and articulating your vision to others. Friends may appreciate your wit and wisdom, and enjoy your free spirit.
It’s also possible you are easily bored, restless, changeable and have a tendency to disappear – especially if feelings (your own or other people’s) become too intense. While you come up with wonderful ideas, it’s likely you need to draw on the strengths of others to action them.
To be in your element: Let your imagination fly.
To balance: Feel where your feet are in contact with the ground and spend some time barefoot.
Your element is WATER
Water flows so it may come as no surprise that those with water qualities have a good flow of conversation and can be flooded with feeling.
These traits are mainly connected to relationships, either with others or with a particular cause. It’s likely, then, that you are sociable and generous in giving affection to others.
At work you’re adaptable and quickly responsive to situations and perhaps find you’re valued for this alongside your ease in connecting with someone else. You’re also likely to enjoy a wide circle of friends and contacts.
You could also be familiar with ignoring your own needs to find harmony with others. Similarly you’ll find you are easily misled in your willingness to go with the flow. Water can also freeze – so it’s possible you have an icy, aloof side.
To be in your element: Go for a swim!
To balance: Implement strong boundaries.
Your element is EARTH
If someone has their feet on the ground, they are someone to rely on. Furthermore, a Mother Earth figure provides a good solid base for their family. As someone with strong earth qualities, it’s likely you are calm, accepting and tend to be forgiving.
At work you might be valued for being particularly good in a crisis or simply that you tend to get the job done. Your boundaries are likely to be firm and you may have a certain dignity.
The flip side of these more positive attributes is that those with earth qualities may get bogged down and be slow to change.
To be in your element: Retreat to a cabin in the woods.
To balance: Try something new and be spontaneous for a change!
Your element is FIRE
If someone is a ‘firecracker’, they have a certain spark, a tremendous energy. Those with fire natures tend to be easy to spot – they are just buzzing.
With predominating fire qualities, you may find you are an initiator and make things happen. At work you’re passionately involved in projects and forging ahead to bring about change. This passion is also likely to be present in your personal life.
Exerting all this energy can lead to burn out, so watch what you put your energy behind. You may also be aware of a tendency to flare up.
To be in your element: Fight for something you believe in.
To balance: In your next challenge or conflict, imagine viewing the issue from the top of a mountain.
FIND YOUR BALANCE
PUT IN CONTEXT
Attempts to classify individuals according to types reach far back into history. Oriental astrologers categorised the signs of the zodiac into four elements, while ancient Greek and Roman physicians saw temperaments corresponding to the balance of the four humours. In the modern workplace profilers based on Carl Jung’s personality typology are standard practice.
The elements model uses language and imagery to get a sense of how we function.
KNOW YOUR TRUE SELF
While one element may dominate our natures, we are all, of course, multi-faceted. And we may have a hidden affinity with one element and find this is not the element which is most seen in us or required from us in the various roles we perform in our lives.
This model is useful in drawing our attention to both the qualities which are more developed within ourselves (so that we may play to our strengths) and the qualities which are less developed, but which challenges in our work and relationships seem to require us to develop.
IT’S OK TO BE UNIQUE
If you find you’re not neatly fitting into any category, remember Jung’s observation: ‘Conformity is one side of man, uniqueness is the other.’
Read more: What role do you play in love?
IN YOUR ELEMENT
We asked Balance readers whether they think they are an air, earth, water or fire type – and why…