Have you ever fantasized about surprising your friends with an amazing skill they didn’t know you had? Perhaps at night you dream about breaking out a cape, a mask, and saving the world from corruption. We all have dreams, aspirations, and goals. We are all unique individuals with our own set of strengths. But how does your Myers-Briggs® Personality Type affect your strengths and skills? Before I go on, let’s consider two things:
- Your Myers-Briggs personality type can impact your skills
For example, if you’re an ESTP, you’re likely to have strong coordination and physical awareness in crisis situations. This may help you in athletics and is likely why a large percentage of college athletes type as ESTPs.
- Your Myers-Briggs personality type may have nothing to do with your skill
If you have the drive and ambition you can master many skills without it being dependent on your Myers-Briggs® personality type. For example, Richard Branson, an ESFP is an avid and esteemed chess player. Most people associate the ESFP personality with entertaining, being adventurous, and being morally driven. Many people associate INTJs with chess and strategy. This just shows that you can’t stereotype people; just because someone is one type doesn’t mean they won’t excel at something commonly attributed to another type. Many skills can be learned regardless of type. Which is why it’s important to remember that…
Type isn’t everything.
Your type should never limit you or constrain you. You can build any skill or have numerous character qualities that lay outside of the margins of personality type. That said, when you are a healthy version of your type you will have unique gifts and abilities that come naturally to you. When your cognitive functions work together in harmony you can have strengths and abilities that astound and surprise other people. Let’s take a look at what “superpower” each personality type has.
ISTJ – Concentration
ISTJs have a masterful eye for detail and accuracy. They are extremely aware of all the nuances and physical aspects of the project they are working on. While other types flit from idea to idea or can glaze over details, the ISTJ misses nothing. They may not say everything they think or express all their thoughts and plans, but they notice and see everything. If you need someone who can keep an attentive, protective eye on a project or person they care about, you can count on an ISTJ.
Famous ISTJs with This Ability: George Washington, Warren Buffett, Peter Thiel, Morgan Freeman.
ISFJ – Devotion
ISFJs are known for their generosity, compassion, and attention to detail. Throughout history they have been people who guarded the defenseless, attended the sick, and stood up for the less fortunate. They have an astounding memory for details, and they are very attentive to the needs of the people around them. They are the quiet caretakers, the loyal confidantes, and people who deserve much more recognition than they usually receive.
Famous ISFJs With This Ability: Mother Teresa, Rosa Parks, Kate Middleton.
ESTJ – Organization
ESTJs can be surrounded by disaster and disorder and pull everything together in a practical, no-nonsense way. They can easily see a goal, fixate on important details, and lead everyone in the most efficient direction. They are no-nonsense, practical, and have strong leadership skills. According to the MBTI® Manual, ESTJs ranked first of all 16 types in using cognitive coping resources. These leaders can keep a level head and maintain control even when the world is going haywire.
Famous ESTJs With This Ability: Theresa May, Michelle Obama, Sonia Sotomayor, Emma Watson.
ESFJ – Planning
ESFJs know how to organize, prepare, and ensure that everyone is taken care of in a crisis. They are the ones who have anticipated what could go wrong and have a plan to make sure everything is handled with care and concern. When a crisis erupts, these are the ones comforting the downtrodden, fetching practical necessities, and organizing a plan of action so that nobody’s needs go unnoticed.
Famous ESFJs With This Ability: Pope Francis, Harry S. Truman, Andrew Carnegie.
ISTP – Resourcefulness
ISTPs can keep a cool head in the most dire situations. They know how to detach themselves from commotion and turmoil to think of clever, effective solutions. Like the TV secret agent MaGyver, ISTPs are the ones you can count on to create fast, ingenious solutions to the most complex problems. Psychologist David Keirsey calls ISTPs “Masters of tools”. He says that ISTPs “are fearless…risking themselves again and again, despite frequent injury…(they) are most likely to pit themselves or their technique, against chance or odds…Let (them) handle equipment of any complexity and power and see how fast they learn to use it.”
Famous ISTPs With This Ability: Miyamoto Musashi, Clint Eastwood, Bruce Lee.
ISFP – Passion
While on the outside ISFPs may seem sensitive and reserved, inside they have a fiery commitment to their ideals. If someone or something they believe in is threatened, they will fight with a passion and determination that is astounding. They are individualists, artists, and practical dreamers whose passion guides them to be strong in some of the most harrowing circumstances.
Famous ISFPs With This Ability: Thich Nhat Hanh, Bob Dylan, Trent Reznor, Audrey Hepburn.
ESTP – Agility
ESTPs are known for their intense physical awareness, fast reflexes, and keen problem-solving abilities. They not only have physical agility but mental agility; easily maneuvering through physical landmines while finding realistic, logical solutions to the problems at hand. If you need someone who can think quickly on their feet during a crisis, these are the guys (or girls) to have.
Famous ESTPs With This Ability: Alexander the Great, Theodore Roosevelt, George S. Patton, Harry Houdini.
ESFP – Optimism
ESFPs are quick to find a bright side to any hazardous scenario. These energetic, enthusiastic types have a strong determination and zest for life that can encourage and motivate those who are struggling or oppressed. They won’t give up when times get hard, and they won’t wallow in pessimism and self-pity. While they may have moments of despair like any of us do, ESFPs have an unquenchable curiosity and grit that will not only help them, but their friends and comrades.
Famous ESFPs With This Ability: Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, Desmond Tutu.
INTP – Analytical Thinking
INTPs are excellent at organizing logical principles and creating a framework for how things work. They disregard bias or emotional distractions to decide what is most rational, objective, and fair. While other types might lose patience with complex dilemmas, the INTP can effectively dissect the problem to discover creative, ingenious solutions.
Famous INTPs With This Ability: Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Adam Smith, John Le Carre.
INTJ – Strategizing
INTJs easily see the long-range implications of current events. They can quickly navigate through roadblocks and setbacks, constantly re-constructing their vision and re-determining what “will be”. They have a clear, precise view of the future and know how to arrange outer elements so that the desired outcome can be achieved.
Famous INTJs With This Ability: Isaac Newton, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Bobby Fischer, Nikola Tesla.
ENTP – Innovation
ENTPs are creative visionaries who trailblaze new pathways in invention, technology, and science. They are curious, out-of-the-box thinkers who can navigate their way out of the most precarious situations with a blend of charm, intuition, and logical thought. An ENTP can take an “impossible” situation and find inventive, novel solutions that would never occur to other types.
Famous ENTPs With This Ability: Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, Richard Feynman, Steve Wozniak.
ENTJ – Efficiency
ENTJs are decisive, visionary, and determined. These types know how to cast aside useless details or outer emotions and “get the job done”. They know how to keep a level head when calamity strikes and move forward with precision, energy, and intense strategic foresight. They make strong leaders who can rise to any challenge with confidence.
Famous ENTJs With This Ability: Napoleon Bonaparte, Julius Caesar, Alexander Hamilton.
INFP – Integrity
INFPs are known for their strong moral compass and their authentic, compassionate nature. They will not stray into morally ambiguous waters and they will lead with honesty and kindness. They will work tirelessly in the defense of the downtrodden, the outcasts, or the beliefs they stand for. They are passionate, imaginative, and true to their values and ideals.
Famous INFPs With This Ability: Joan of Arc, J.R.R. Tolkien, Hans Christian Andersen, John Milton.
INFJ – Vision
INFJs have an uncanny ability to take current events and foresee where they will lead. They can easily glimpse where people’s choices will take them and how they will affect everyone else in the picture. They have a deep understanding of human nature and use their vision and empathy to make the world a better place for future generations.
Famous INFJs With This Ability: Carl Jung, Mahatma Gandhi, Dante Alighieri, Baruch Spinoza.
ENFP – Imagination
ENFPs aren’t afraid to think outside the box and find imaginative, creative solutions to the most complex dilemmas. They do this while inspiring and encouraging their friends to be optimistic and steadfast. ENFPs can motivate a team to stay strong and seek new avenues, adventures, and innovative ideas.
Famous ENFPs With This Ability: Anne Frank, Michio Kaku, Dr. Seuss, Salvador Dali, J.J. Abrams.
ENFJ – Empathy
ENFJs can instantly absorb the moods and emotions of people around them, feeling their pain and joy intensely. They know how to reach out to people and connect with them on an emotional level. They make people feel heard, cared for, and understood. Their gift of empathy and insight makes them inspirational leaders and powerful counselors.
Famous ENFJs With This Ability: Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou, Oprah Winfrey.