Quick definition

Values independent thought and action.

Average user score


Find your score on over 100 traits on Dimensional.



High scorers on Self-direction have a strong desire to chart their own course in life. They are independent thinkers who are motivated by choice and exploration, and think critically about tradition and social norms.

About this trait

Distribution of user scores






Other Traits in Values

Component of:

Healthy Adaptations

These people hold a strong motivation towards competence, mastery of a particular craft, and finding personal meaning in the work that they do. They hold their work in high esteem, and generally struggle to separate personal meaning from their jobs.

Unhealthy Adaptations

High scorers in Self-Direction may struggle in taking direction and generally tend to question authority, making it challenging to find harmony within certain systems. It’s important for these people to pick their battles—they may find themselves socially isolated or emotionally exhausted if they challenge too many systems in their life.

If self-directed people find themselves in environments that require constant compliance, they will feel aggravation, dissatisfaction, and lethargy. These people will be aided in learning to live with some level of required conformity and balancing that out with finding hobbies and work that allow them to exercise creative control in their life with minimal supervision. In a world where compliance often is required for institutional success (e.g., working your way up the corporate ladder), these people might need to take the road less travelled to find their happiness.