Dressing Your Truth, Pt. 2: The Search for My Secondary

Uncovering my secondary movement has been another learning process…. a BIG eye-opening experience! Knowing it plays a HUGE part in creating your own personal style with its supporting role to your primary Type. Just because I am Type 1 does not mean that I will feel comfortable or like every single thing that is a Type 1 garment, accessory, or even all T1 haircuts. It doesn’t mean that we all wear the same exact makeup and clothes. We are all unique and DYT does not change or dismiss that!

Since learning how to dress my truth a few months ago, I have been on the hunt to discover my secondary. I didn’t just want to change my wardrobe – I wanted to have a wardrobe that was entirely unique to me!

But, isn’t everyone’s wardrobe unique to them?

I suppose that depends on how you look at it…

For starters, if you’re not already dressing true to your nature, the real truth of how you move through this world, then you could have an entire closet full of clothes that essentially belong to someone who isn’t you! And let’s say you are starting to dress your truth but you haven’t discovered your secondary flair yet, then you’ve added the right colors but maybe not the right tweak to fabrication, design line, texture, or patterns that express what is essentially a big part of who you are as an individual.

So for the past few months, I’ve been on a mission to discover that part of myself, and it has been HARD! I’ve always thought that I knew everything about myself, that I’d let go of past hurts and experiences and grew into who I was by surviving the gauntlet of my younger years. But searching for my secondary showed me that I had just buried some things along the way, out of sight-out of mind, and I never really dealt with those things.

You see, your past can program you to act a certain way based on a standard set by society, your parents, or by hurts that’s you no longer want to experience. For example, the Marine Corps shaped much of how I react to the world because it trained me to react that way. It suppressed my light, bubbly, random nature because there was no place for it in the harder, sharper world that required structure and unfailing obedience in every facet. Type 1s do not exactly thrive in a military setting because there is a hard drive to get things done, to not take no for an answer, all with zero spontaneity and to do it all within a set of rules and regulations set by people in charge of you. It requires you to be on time for every single thing, and by on time I mean 15 minutes prior to on time. It has expectations for exactly how you should handle yourself in every situation and expects that you reflect only its highest values to the rest of the world. So I learned to follow all of these rules and to become more structured because it was required of me to do so, not necessarily because it came naturally to me.

How does this fit into me finding me Secondary Energy?

Well – am I always on time for things because it is a natural movement for me to do so or because it’s ingrained in me? Do I take charge naturally or because I was trained to be a leader in all things? Do I adjust my teaching style with a class-based on detailed observation or by empathetically understanding whether they are still engaged or not? Was it only the Marine Corps that influenced such things or was it growing up with a Type 4/3 mother who was also very punctual, structured, and driven by results? There are so many things to think about and analyze when you are trying to sift through what comes naturally and what your brain has been reprogrammed to do.


Obsessively intrigued as I was to discover it, I became a Lifestyle Member on the DYT site and have since watched every video, read every article, and have even reread sections in each of the books. Even if the videos were just playing in the background as I worked on other things, I listened and I waited for the epiphany. But said epiphany wasn’t forthcoming as quickly as I would have liked! One challenge of my Type 1 nature is that it’s easy for me to see myself in each Type, as I can easily adapt to situations, environments, and in this case, other energies!

I immediately dismissed having a Type 4 as a secondary. I have both a Type 4 mother and husband, and after observing their inner workings for years, I knew that my movement wasn’t even in the same hemisphere as theirs!

I also dismissed the swift, dynamic movement of a Type 3. While I like to see results and can sometimes be competitive and driven, I’m not driven to get things done; I can easily leave projects, cleaning, (etc) until later and it doesn’t bug me even a little bit. In fact, when we were trying to decide on paint colors for our kitchen, I left 3 different 5×5 color squares on one wall for about 3 months before it drove my Type 4/3 husband to paint it an entirely different color (after communicating, of course! We are a team, after all)! And while I move swiftly, it isn’t really with a punch and when it is, it is with a single result in mind for a specific project.

I also cannot handle the added texture and substance that T3s love in their wardrobe. I prefer smaller pieces of jewelry and lighter, smoother pieces of clothing. I prefer all denim to be on my legs (denim jackets and vests are much more appreciated in the T3 world!) and I never, ever reach for vests, sweaters, or jackets unless I’m snowboarding (enter down/synthetic down vest!) or the jacket/sweater is so light that I can push the sleeves up and it fits so well that I can’t tell that it’s there. Really the only preference that I have towards anything T3 is in haircuts- I prefer my pixie cut to have an edgier, asymmetrical look to it, with lots of shaved edges and varying textured lengths.

So I was left with having a 2 as my secondary movement and I liked the idea! Not too structured. Softer, sweeter, more relaxed, and go with the flow. I have always had an emotional attachment to the world and to people so it made sense to me. I can also read for hours at a time without moving, so it made sense that I would need a stiller movement to follow-up my more upbeat primary. I also tend to be the peacekeeper (or the smooth-things-over person) in my family, so the ability to see the details and negotiate ‘terms and truces’ was also there.

But as much as I was convinced that T2 was right, I still continued to watch the videos and read the articles, searching for SOMETHING that I couldn’t explain to myself. It was quite frustrating!!! Why was I still trying to double, triple check if I was so convinced that I was right?? Because as I watched the videos, and as I listened to the testimonies, I realized that I don’t have a softer, quieter demeanor that comes with a secondary 2 like I observed with T1/2 Expert Stephanie– I can be LOUD and I am more often than not. I also lack the softer S-curves and blending in my features; I have a lot of straight lines. And in a social situation, I observe a group critically and analytically then jump right in! Even if I hold back at first, I never sit by quietly, and rarely do I get overwhelmed in a crowded space. So… maybe not a secondary Type 2 after all…

So what did that leave me with? After breaking down exactly why I wasn’t a 3 and discovering the reasons that I also wasn’t a 2, it left me with re-evaluating a secondary Type 4. And I REALLY struggled with the idea that this could be true! I thought of my husband and my mom and kept thinking, “But I’m not as structured as they are! I’m not as still as a 4 is! My counters are constantly cluttered and I can easily go a few days without sweeping the floor!” Surely a secondary 4 would be better with all of those things??

So I re-watched the secondary videos and it was while doing the dishes with one on in the background that the epiphany came!! I was listening to a panel of Type 1s, each with a different secondary, and it was T1/4 Expert Marcy that pointed it all out to me.

Those paint squares that I had left on the kitchen wall? Left because I couldn’t find the perfect color so I continued to consider it until I could.

Though my structure is nothing like that of my husband or mom, I do appreciate little routines. My toddler and I actually do almost the same exact routine upon waking each morning! I also prefer to be early to things, and at the very least right on time. Being late does not sit well with me.

Simpler jewelry and clothes? An aspect of the Four nature. I also prefer clothes with a more tailored fit or at least one that fits more exactly on my body. Too much flow is too much. Also, I prefer color blocking and fewer patterns! If I do choose to wear a pattern, it is a top OR a bottom, but not both, and it is simple. While I love seeing loud and fun patterns, I prefer seeing them on other people and not on myself. Now, that’s not to say that all those with a secondary 4 have to color block or wear fewer patterns (T1/4 Expert Jaleah wears multiple patterns together and pulls it off awesomely!), but it seems more common than with the other Types.

Leadership comes naturally to me, as it can with any Type, but because I see a ‘bigger picture’ in my head, I prefer to be the one to lead others straight from point A to point B to achieve the goal (though with lots of brainstorming and ideas!). In fact, while in college I preferred to be the leader in all group situations because I knew that if I did then it allowed the project to go in the direction that I saw as getting the highest score, and by taking the lead I was able to oversee that that goal was met. I was able to perfect the projects and get the grade that I wanted for myself and my group. However, it’s also a reason that I don’t mind working by myself on things- when I do it by myself I know that it’ll get done my way and I can control the overall result. I can also get lost in perfecting that result!

Physical features: I have a little more cut to my cheekbones, which are parallel to my jawline. My upper lip, line of my upper teeth, and eyebrows are straight, parallel lines as well. I also have smaller pores than most of my T1 brethren and have had very little problems in terms of acne or blemishes in my life, other than some freckles that come to light when out in the sun.

There are SO MANY more reasons why being a 1/4 is right, but this is getting quite long so I’ll leave it here. So the one secondary movement that I was so quick to dismiss ended up being the one that was correct the whole time! And looking back logically at my life, it makes sense. I spent most of my military career living in my secondary because it was safest and it was the type that conformed best to what they were looking for. With their high standards and expectations, it naturally came to the forefront and helped me survive in an environment where my primary Type 1 was not welcome.

Knowing my secondary has brought a huge sense of relief and tranquility to my life. It feels right and I no longer feel the need to search for that elusive something. I’m excited to really begin the journey to discovering my own unique style! I’m already diving back through my wardrobe and jewelry (slim pickings after Konmari-ing it multiple times!), getting rid of what doesn’t work, seeing what I can re-purpose, and figuring out how to fill in the blank spots. It’s all or nothing with that 4 helping over my shoulder! 😉

I’m also looking forward to some inner healing that I have only recently discovered that I truly need. Because the journey to finding my secondary movement opened my eyes to things that I’m ready to completely let go of, not just shove under the shoes in the closet to deal with later. And no matter what I find along that path, I will greet it with a smile and a wave!

Snow White
I’ve been told on multiple occasions that ‘Snow White’ from Once Upon A Time (Ginnifer Goodwin) is my doppelganger! Quite the compliment! Interesting that my Disney Princess as a Type 1/4 is also Snow White, while the actress herself is a dominant Type 4!


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