…if they’ve found a cause that sparks their imagination, ENFPs will bring an energy that oftentimes thrusts them into the spotlight, held up by their peers as a leader and a guru – but this isn’t always where independence-loving ENFPs want to be.
-ENFP Profile, 16personalities.com
My 16-year-old son is currently obsessed with the Myers-Brigg personality types, insisting that everyone he knows gets tested. That’s how I found myself confirming what I’ve learned through dozens of online quizzes over the years– that I’m an ENFP-sometimes J–and rereading various profiles, because I genuinely love to read what strangers on the Internet think about who I am as a person.
I read the above quote, and in the blink of an eye the last 18 months of my life made perfect sense.
I have no interest in being a guru, and even the word expert makes me uncomfortable. I have a lot of experience in various fields–maybe even some level of expertise–but the term expert suggests that I have specialized, narrowed my focus down to one thing, and that’s something an ENFP could never do.
I want to know and do all the things.
The world is not set up that way. We’re supposed to pick a ladder and climb it until the ladder gives way to rings for which we’ll leap. But all I can see is that there are so many interesting ladders to choose from! I want a little from column A and a heaping spoonful from column B and to spend weeks swinging from the rings atop column C. I don’t want to run up the diagonal line between X and Y; I want to twirl in and out of concentric circles.
But that is not the route to success, so says They.
And yet, I have met the most amazing people with so many past circles and lives to share. I’ve met a priest who once taught high school math and owned a donut shop and was a high-powered entertainment lawyer. I’ve met a scientist artist and an engineer musician and a real estate broker turned traveling writer. I’m impressed by the heights to which moguls climb, but I’m fascinated and obsessed with these magicians who pull multiple lives from one lifetime.
I care not about impressing myself; I want to be fascinated and obsessed with my days.
I’ve branded myself with a reminder.
When I quit my last job, I teased my husband that I was going to get “don’t hire me” tattooed on my arm because I seem to be incapable of turning down opportunities for which I am only qualified in the short term. But really, I cannot be trusted not to put myself in positions where I can excel but slowly die under the weight of politics and tediousness. So, in part, this new tattoo is a sign to potential employers that I am more creative than corporate and to myself that I must always stay true to my center.
The jobs I’ve held the longest and truly excelled at? Writer. Editor. Teller of stories and creator of communities. That is where my magic happens, and I’m back to owning the shit out of it.
Starting with this blog restart.