Learning I was an INFJ (the personality type—introverted intuitive feeling judging) was one of the biggest lessons I learned about myself last year. As the Greek saying goes: Know thyself. I found being aware of my personality type (and the specific traits that come with it) made a huge difference in terms of how I approached life, work, and relationships.
Did you recently find out you’re an INFJ, too? Or have you known all along? Either way, chances are that your very rare and special personality type will get you far in life.
Here are 16 reasons why INFJs are very likely to go on to be highly successful people.
1. They are great thinkers
I’m pretty sure most of the ancient Greek philosophers, like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, were INFJs. They are great at contemplating and really think through everything from start to finish, considering every possible angle. In their mind, they leave no stone unturned before making a decision. Since they are great at thinking, they naturally spend a lot of time doing it (which probably explains the long discussions about the meaning of life I have every other day with my roommate), which puts them at an advantage in business as well.
2. They are innovators
Their intuition is directed inwards, which means their mind makes a lot of mental connections and recognizes patterns and trends, even when they don’t realize it. This helps INFJs come up with new ideas and solutions to problems just by trusting their instinct of what applies in the real world, because they’re usually right.
3. They love helping people change
INFJs are a rare kind of personality type, which is sad, because they are always looking for ways to help the greater good. They want to see their work make real impacts and transform other people’s lives, which is also the reason why this personality type is often nicknamed counselor or confidant. Since INFJs are able to create an environment that supports sharing one’s feelings and have a knack for helping others through tough times by listening and offering advice, they encourage others to change for the better wherever they can.
4. They can settle disputes easily
Their diplomatic nature makes them shy away from conflicts and try to avoid them as much as possible. That doesn’t stop them from taking initiative though. INFJs shine when it comes to mediating between different parties and when they’re part of the equation, disputes are usually solved very quickly (and to the satisfaction of all parties involved).
5. They build strong connections with people
While they don’t like having lots of people around them, INFJs build much deeper connections than most of their peers. Since they are really picky when it comes to choosing friends and partners, they make sure they really get to know a person. Once they find someone who’s trustworthy and just as good of a confidant as they are, they form strong bonds which usually last for a lifetime. As the old boy scout saying goes: Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold.
6. They like to share their insights
INFJs have a strong desire to be heard. Ever since I started digital coaching, I noticed I get chills when one of my clients reports back to me that they implemented my advice and it worked. I love giving advice, but only to those I trust, sharing what I’ve learned and then seeing my lessons being applied by others. If you’re an INFJ, you’re probably addicted to this feeling too. This is surely one of the better addictions to have if you want to be successful.
7. They consider all possible options
They make decisions quickly, but never lightheartedly. Since INFJs are very strategic and tend to plan ahead a lot, they make sure to consider all possibilities and think of unconventional solutions before picking a path to move on with. This is crucial for success in life, because this helps them avoid opportunity cost (time lost due to choosing one option over the other) and pick better options than most people.
8. They do well at evaluating risks
INFJs do a tremendous job at evaluating risks beforehand. They are decision-makers, and therefore need to minimize risks wherever possible. Lucky for them, they gauge risks well, which means they neither underestimate big changes, nor blow tiny risks out of proportion. This helps them take enough risks to move forward and be innovative, but they don’t leap at every opportunity that might turn into the next horror story in the news.
9. They trust their gut
There is something about INFJs that lets them subconsciously pick up symbols, signs, and the forces at play. So when a time comes to instinctively decide what to do, they have already made up their mind — without even knowing it. Their gut tells what to do, to trust those signs and, good for them, they listen! A somewhat unfortunate side effect of this trait is that they often feel like they don’t belong in the corporate world, since they are always striving to follow their hearts.
10. They plan ahead
Whatever an INFJ takes into his or her hands, while it might not go perfectly, it’ll never fall flat on its face. Why? Planning. They always plan ahead. It makes perfect sense for INFJs to do so, since it lets them play out some of their other core strengths: creativity, considering options, thinking, and then making a decision.
11. Their working style is very structured
The desk is cluttered, the closet looks like a war zone, and the cat went right next to the litter box again? Nope, no way, not with an INFJ. They keep things organized, both at home and at work. They love to use to-do lists, some form of project management system, milestones, deadlines and other productivity tools, to make sure they focus on what matters.
12. They are creative
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying: “Think outside the box.” Well, INFJs think like there is no box. The sky’s the limit and when they dream, they dream big. They are not inhibited by limiting beliefs about what’s possible and that’s why they are able to challenge the status quo.
13. They love to read
Being introverts, most INFJs can think back to a childhood where they were surrounded by books. Packed bookshelves, Kindles, and several library passes are the norm rather than the exception. Have you ever met a successful person who didn’t read a lot? I haven’t. INFJs are definitely on the right track here.
14. They show empathy
Why do INFJs like books so much? Because they can really put themselves into the author’s shoes. Their empathy allows them to not only tolerate, but to really understand other peoples’ emotions and reactions, which is a trait known to be an important quality of successful people.
15. They finish what they start
INFJs are great at planning, but they also don’t fall short when it comes to executing that plan. When they believe what they are doing is the right thing to do, nothing can stop them from accomplishing it.
16. They defy the odds
Did you know that only 1% of the population are INFJs? With 1.5% of all women and 0.5% of all men being INFJs, this is by far the rarest personality type. This means they defy the odds in everything — and isn’t that something all of the world’s most successful people do?