In my first post I shared the story of how I realized that the way in which I was called to give back to others should flow from my strengths and personality. I mentioned the freedom that came my way when I embraced interest and passion instead of guilt and compulsion as my motivators to serve.
But this only really helps us if we understand ourselves, our gifts, and our talents. If you don’t feel you have a good grasp of this already, don’t worry. One of the most popular methods of discovering how you’re wired is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.
Once you know your personality type, look below to see the category you fit into and find two phrases that describe your unique abilities. Then begin to brainstorm how to use those gifts to influence those you care about—whether in your own family, the community, or the world at large.
A lighthearted disclaimer: These tests definitely have their limitations. I remember taking my first personality/career test in high school, which assured me that I should go into horse training. I had no experience with or love for horses, and therefore felt quite bemused by my results!
Like anything in life, take the ideas below with a grain of salt. Go along with any that intrigue you and use them to springboard your own thoughts. Don’t think of these as a box to shut you in, but as a platform to launch you off.
Also note that I did not invent any of the below myself, but compiled the information together here using several online Myers-Briggs resources. Enjoy!
Pragmatists are gifted in the realm of the practical: organizing, producing, and improving existing systems and structures. The types within this category may want to serve in ways that allow them to produce tangible results using these skills.
ESTJ – The Supervisor; The Practical Manager
ISTJ – The Inspector; The Productive Realist
ESTP – The Promoter; The Agile Troubleshooter
ISTP – The Crafter; The Adaptable Technician
Caretakers find themselves naturally drawn to meeting the needs of others, but the way in which they do so will be influenced by the uniqueness of their personality—whether introverted or extroverted.
ESFJ – The Giver; The Caring Provider
ISFJ – The Protector; The Sensible Helper
ESFP – The Performer; The Outgoing Entertainer
ISFP – The Composer; The Attentive Artisan
Theorists are always coming up with innovative ways to approach new and existing aspects of life. Expressing and implementing these ideas will be a natural extension of how they reach out others.
ENTJ – The Fieldmarshal; The Driven Director
INTJ – The Chief; The Strategic Mastermind
ENTP – The Innovator; The Inspired Inventor
INTP – The Architect; The Independent Scientist
Empaths are determined to improve the world and influence the lives of others, so these drives naturally lead them to get involved in specific causes.
ENFJ – The Teacher; The Inspiring Guide
INFJ – The Mentor; The Compassionate Counselor
ENFP – The Champion; The Expressive Advocate
INFP – The Healer; The Creative Individualist
(As an INFJ myself, I have to say that the phrases above fit me to a tee—and explain why the chance to write online has been such a gift that allows me to mentor and counsel others.)
ACTIVITIES & QUESTIONS
- Do the descriptions above ring true for you?
- Make a list of all the ways you currently serve your family and others outside your immediate circle.
- Which of these fit deeply with who you are and which don’t? Is it possible to transition some of those that don’t to others who may truly be gifted and passionate in the areas that are weaknesses for you?