One BIG Difference Between ENFP & INFP
Taking action based in fear or going against it is what really separates people who make their dreams happen and people who are regretful 20-30 years later looking back.
I want to share one big difference I’ve noticed between the INFP and ENFP personality types.
Now, if you’re new here, my name is Dan and I’m the author of way too many books and the creator of The Free Freelancer training program.
In that program, I have worked personally with almost a hundred freelancers and coaches, many, many of which are ENFP and INFP people.
I’ve noticed this one really interesting difference between these two MBTI personality types.
Overall, the ENFP and INFP have a lot in common.
It’s why both types tend to be drawn to my program. They have similar goals of working for themselves, doing something creative, doing work that is actually enjoyable, fulfilling, and serves some kind of purpose.
What’s interesting is how people come to me.
I won’t say this is everyone, but one thing I’ve noticed is the ENFP will often come and say:
Hey, Dan, I’m interested in your program. I had this job I didn’t like, I just quit last week, and I’m going to do my own thing. I’m going to start my business and I’m super excited for it.
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The INFP, on the other hand, I’ve noticed will come with something that’s a little more like:
Hey, Dan, I just got fired from my job last week. And it was such a great bit of news. I’ve wanted to quit for years and now I can finally start my own business. Here are my plans…
It may seem like a little difference, but it’s actually quite a difference.
Campaigner vs Mediator
The ENFP personality tends to take that leap earlier, whereas I’ve noticed – and again, it’s not everyone I’ve worked with – but I’ve noticed the INFP personality tends to be a lot more risk-averse.
Ultimately, the two personality types have a very similar goal, but INFP people have more difficulty pushing themselves to take a big risk, to quit their job or change directions, and actually go for it.
Whereas with the ENFP Campaigner maybe it’s the shiny object syndrome or we’re just a little crazy, but we’re more likely to actually just go for it and take that big risk.
Now, what’s interesting is what happens maybe six months or a year after that initial change and that’s some of those patterns I’ve noticed with ENFPs and INFPs as well a bit.
The ENFP sometimes sticks to it and kicks ass, becomes very successful at what they’re doing and other times they get off course, so ultimately, it’s fear coming in for both the ENFP and INFP.
It’s fear under the surface. This is what fear does to you – not in a nice way, though.
It’s here under the surface kind of bubbling up, but with the ENFP personality type that fear tends to push us towards shiny object syndrome where we’re saying:
I did want to start this business, but I saw this other business opportunity! or maybe
I should go back to school! or
Maybe I can do something different, there’s a better opportunity there!
Whereas the INFP Mediator type I’ve noticed more tends to backtrack a bit to this safer route and lose some of that interest a bit quicker.
And again, this isn’t across the board.
INFP, Prepare and Beat Fear
The reason I’m sharing this with you is:
If you’re an INFP, you can prepare for these mental patterns because having the thought of being six months into your own business and having the thought of:
Maybe I should go back and get a job again!
That’s an okay thought to have. That’s this fear.
But taking action on it or going against it, that’s what really separates people who stick to their dreams and make it happen and people who are regretful 20-30 years later looking back.
So it’s normal to have that feeling of fear. but what I’ve noticed some INFPs will do is then either backtrack and get another job that really isn’t the thing they wanted to be doing.
Or go back to something like education, which is generally a safety net.
It’s not always. There are times when going back to school makes total sense. It may be a smart INFP career move.
But in general, what I’ve noticed, especially in Europe, where education is free, basically, or very cheap, is it can be used as something that feels safer.
And so when we’re starting our own business or some kind of creative pursuit that makes us feel uncomfortable, stressed, and a little worried, then we can think:
Oh, I’ll go back to school! That’s socially acceptable to do, whereas having my own business maybe isn’t as socially acceptable.
So I’ve noticed those differences between the ENFP and INFP personality type.
Have you noticed this, whether it’s with yourself or with an ENFP or an INFP in your life?
If you’re talking about yourself, of course, share your type in the comments below.
I just wanted to share this and am curious to get your input if I’m onto something here.
Check below for the podcast version of this topic: