Discovering Your Element

What Element Are You?

The quick answer is that you are all of them because we have all five elements in our energetic make-up. However, the natural affinity we have for one of the elements – the club we belong to – colors the way we look at the world and how we interact with everything in our life.

One way to discover your elemental affinity is to determine where you stand on a series of personality attributes and life preferences, then compare that to where each of the elements stand on the same attributes and preferences.

What do you love? What do you hate? What matters to you? How structured is your personality? How do you act when you’re happy or stressed? What are your socialization tendencies? What is your deepest need? Your choice of occupation, and whether you’re happy with it or not, often helps determine your element, too. In truth, knowing your element will help you know yourself better, too.

The quick comparisons below offer an easy first step on the path of knowing your element. And remember, sometimes self-discovery involves the process of elimination. If you don’t relate to a Water, Wood, Fire, or Earth description below, you are probably a Metal. Enjoy!

They Love…

  • Water: Free time, deep discussions, reading.
  • Wood: Challenges, accomplishment, moving forward.
  • Fire: Parties, attention, being busy.
  • Earth: Helping people, family and food, home.
  • Metal: Understanding how things work, precision, being right.

They Hate…

  • Water: Tight schedules, budgets, structure.
  • Wood: Dashed expectations, chaos, being told “No!”
  • Fire: Being ignored, ordinariness, boredom.
  • Earth: Conflict, people suffering, not being needed.
  • Metal: Being wrong, clutter, time running out.

What Matters

  • Water: Deep issues, connecting with something bigger, quiet time
  • Wood: Accomplishment, fairness, productivity
  • Fire: Excitement, attention, connections
  • Earth: Relationships, helping others, inclusiveness
  • Metal: Knowledge, protocol, control

Personality Structure

  • Water: Non-linear, go with the flow, no boundaries unless frozen
  • Wood: Linear, flexibly structured, likes own rules, good boundaries
  • Fire: No structure, easily scatters, hard to control, poor boundaries
  • Earth: Slow structure of moveable matrix, vacillating boundaries
  • Metal: Rigid structure, in control, tight boundaries

Balanced Expressions

  • Water: Optimistic, hopeful, trusting, objective
  • Wood: Decisive, productive, bold, direct
  • Fire: Joyful, enthusiastic, passionate, spontaneous
  • Earth: Caring, compassionate, accepting, patient
  • Metal: Kind, wise, honest, detached

Stress Behaviors

  • Water: Fearful, hopeless, narcissistic, intolerant
  • Wood: Indecisive, frustrated, impatient, angry
  • Fire: Scattered, overwhelmed, anxious, panicked
  • Earth: Needy, clinging, meddling, worried
  • Metal: Critical, confused, inflexible, controlling

Socialization Tendencies

  • Water: Prefers the company of a few like-minded friends.
  • Wood: Will socialize if they have a role to play or it meets a goal.
  • Fire: Always ready to celebrate and connect.
  • Earth: Thrives on the chance to be with those they love.
  • Metal: Needs separateness in any togetherness.

Deepest Need

  • Water: To be part of something bigger than themselves.
  • Wood: To succeed.
  • Fire: Movement and quick connections.
  • Earth: To be needed and help others.
  • Metal: To pursue perfection.

Likely Occupations

  • Water: Authors, intellectuals, philosophers, artists
  • Wood: Business executives, sports heroes, elected officials, fundraisers, trial lawyers
  • Fire: Actors, comedians, motivational speakers, public figures
  • Earth: Nurses, teachers, parents, counselors
  • Metal: Architects, accountants, corporate lawyers, military personnel