Self Discovery

INTJ v INFJI’ve been on a journey of self discovery for a couple of decades now. It’s a life-long process and one I’ve found that I enjoy immensely.

I recently met with a Life Coach named Lisa who specializes in leadership development, and she challenged my perception that I am an INTJ. Although a person’s Myers-Briggs personality type supposedly doesn’t change over time, Lisa pointed out that we may or may not develop according to our natural preferences based on how we were raised. We learn adaptive behaviors according to our environment and may forsake our core preferences.

Although plenty of people have claimed I have no heart or feelings, Lisa believes I may actually be an INFJ – someone who makes decisions based on emotions and how people would be affected. “INFJs find it easy to make connections with others, and have a talent for warm, sensitive language, speaking in human terms, rather than with pure logic and fact.” She thinks I could naturally be an INFJ at my core who developed coping mechanisms as an INTJ due to my military upbringing and chosen career path of engineering.

Lisa wrote to me last week:

You are very quick to make distinctions and identify aspects of yourself. I am leaning with the possibility that you are most naturally INTJ, with a keen self-awareness that there’s value for you to develop your ‘F’ side…  If NT is your dominant temperament, you are waaayy ahead of the curve compared to other NTs. Most of my clients are NT, and they don’t appreciate this until they’re well into their late 40s and early 50s… Give yourself some bonus points for your high level of self-awareness and your commitment to be the best you can be.

Lisa also partners with another woman who does Brain Dominance assessments, examining whether we are more Right-brained or Left-brained, as well as differentiating between Frontal and Basal quadrants. Her assessment of me:

Although I believe your natural preference is most likely Frontal Right [which is the pattern of an artist]… you are quite capable in all of the four thinking styles – unusual, especially for someone your age.

Nice to have it confirmed that I don’t fit the mold… and also that my decision to switch careers is well founded, based on my potentially suppressed natural preferences and talents. I have the heart of an artist and the brain of an engineer – a double-edged sword, to be sure.

Authentically Aurora

12 thoughts on “Self Discovery

  1. Something I found interesting about INFJs is that we frequently ‘mistype’. You may want to check out the site below for further reading.

    It’s also good to keep in mind that the letters are more like sliders. So it’s very possible for certain letters to be fairly matched, adding another level of complexity to the system.

    I’m wishing you luck as you continue on your journey. : )

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey, cool! My F (Feeling) and T (Thinking) are also on-edge. I’ve found I’m more INTJ at work and INFJ with friends and family. Let me know what else your life coach says. Maybe I could piggy-back! 🙂

    I can completely relate to the heart-of-an-artist, brain-of-an-engineer. I definitely have the discipline and consistency of an artist, but I can be staggeringly logical, thorough, and planned-out as well. I appreciate both aspects most days, but sometimes I wish I were more predictable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Honestly, for me, it just confirmed what I already knew to be true. I’m a pretty self-aware individual, and it seems like you are, too, so if you already know yourself (strengths, weaknesses, passions, ways of working with others, talents, etc.), it might not be super helpful. However, I’m an external processor, so having someone who is paid to listen to me talk through my thoughts and dreams re: my career path has been nice. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I can see that actually. I think I know everything that I want and store it in some articles, some mementos, or some thoughts… but being able to express it all at once to someone could be helpful. I’ll definitely think about that as I align for 2015 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • There is something intensely therapeutic about being understood. Discovering my personality type has helped me find others with the same ideas about life. I highly recommend anything that will help you find your niche.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: Mixed Signals | Authentically Aurora

  4. I’m another INTJ with a very close balance on the T and F. I often say I’m an INXJ. But ultimately, I do fall on the INTJ side.

    I agree with your coach that sometimes people are not expressing their authentic type. I make the distinction between what I call the “true type” and the “reactive type.” The true type is what you were born to be. But then let’s say your parents or school or others push you to act differently. You can get into the habit of suppressing part of your true self and appearing to be another type. But you’ll probably never really be at peace until you heal that and get back to your authentic true type.

    By the way I also do life coaching and I have especially worked with INTJ’s and other NT and NF types.


    • Hi Howard! Thanks for stopping by! I am fascinated by the career of life coaching. I imagine that it is both taxing and fulfilling. I’m currently dating a gentleman who is an ENFJ and work and ENFP at home. What are your thoughts on that?


      • Coaching is extremely fulfilling. I just did a session tonight and got some amazing feedback. It’s very rewarding to see the impact you can have on people’s lives if it’s the right calling for you.

        I wouldn’t say a person is ENFJ at work and ENFP at home. We all can be put in situations where we have to compromise somewhat. So if a person is really an ENFP, but at work they are forced to act more like a J, I wouldn’t consider that being an ENFJ. They’re still an ENFP and probably just consciously going against their preference as a compromise.

        When I talk about true type vs. reactive type, I’m talking about when someone has had to deeply suppress certain parts of their personality on an ongoing basis during development to the point where they now mistake this reactive type for being their true type. They’ve actually forgotten who they really are.

        I think an ENFP who is forced to act like a J too much at work could get frustrated with that. If it’s frustrating enough, then it may be worth seeking a better fit. But sometimes the compromise is reasonable and not too detrimental and the pros outweigh the cons of the job. It’s a matter of degree.

        I hope that helps. Feel free to check out my site or get in touch with me if you want to talk more about it.


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