Podcast – Episode 0314 – Personality FIRM Fixation vs Co-Pilot Development
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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about our FIRM Model fixations and how it can conflict with our personal development work of growing our Co-Pilot function.
In this podcast you’ll find:
- Car Model
- Firm Model
- Our Book
- Many people ask: “What do I do when I’ve already developed my auxiliary function/copilot?”
- You may have developed your Copilot to a certain point, but it is tricky.
- Our FIRM model fixation, is locked in a continuous battle with our Copilot.
- We can trick ourselves into believing we’ve mastered our Copilot, but it is only our FIRM fixation trying to trick us into thinking we don’t have any more work to do so it doesn’t have to face the change it fears.
- FIRM Fixation:
- F = Freedom (all EP types)
- I – Invulnerability (all IJ types)
- R = Rightness (all IP types)
- M = Management (all EJ types)
- Freedom: All EP Types
- Auxiliary function for EFPs is Introverted Feeling “Authenticity”
- Auxiliary function for ETPs is Introverted Thinking “Accuracy”
- EPs Freedom fixation wants all possibilities and options open at any time and the ability to go in any direction at any time.
- Authenticity and Accuracy limit that freedom for EPs.
- They are Introverted Judging processes, and they make choices that limit options.
- Once you say “Yes” to one thing, you are saying “No” to other things.
- That can feel limiting to EPs.
- Introverted Judging = Personal Accountability
- Introverted Thinking gets more sophisticated with development and can’t separate itself from integrity.
- It must be in alignment with the things that make sense, which requires duty and rooting out cognitive dissonance.
- Nothing causes cognitive dissonance more than doing things in a way that contradicts what is meaningful to you as a person.
- As you develop Accuracy and start watching for integrity in yourself and others, it is going to limit your freedom to act.
- As Introverted Feeling gets more sophisticated, it can’t separate itself from its Core Values.
- EFPs waste a lot of time chasing the newest shiny object, but Introverted Feeling brings freedom from being trapped in a meaningless life.
- When people bounce around from thing to thing, they can’t get any traction in life or generate the resource to bring the freedom they want.
- EPs need to be aware of the tendency to shy away from anything that limits their choices.
- Intellectual or emotional dishonesty is a constant pull for EPs.
- Introverted Thinking users need to remember to be more careful with information.
- It is easy for them to assume they have taken in enough info to judge someone else’s data.
- Spend time with your auxiliary, and don’t rush a decision which will usually put you in your tertiary.
- Podcast Cognitive Functions And Time
- Invulnerability: All IJ Types
- Auxiliary function for IFJs is Extraverted Feeling “Harmony”
- Auxiliary function for ITJs is Extraverted Thinking “Effectiveness”
- When IJs get into their extraverted judging function, it forces them into the outer world, and they get real-time feedback from the world that lets them know if they are calibrated correctly or not.
- This is a vulnerable place for IJs.
- IJs are very protective of their energy.
- Work begets work.
- IFJs worry about getting into relationships with people they may conflict with.
- IJs resist the expectations they may create in the outside world.
- For EPs, True freedom comes from knowing what you’re here to do and what matters.
- For IJs, outer world creation can be self-generating and require less work than they think.
- Nothing generates a feeling of vulnerability more than to be caught unprepared.
- IJs understand this the most because they tend to overprepare.
- “Measure twice. Cut once.”
- There’s nothing more vulnerable than putting things you believe are important out into the world.
- That’s what an extraverted judging function does.
- It judges how things should be set up in the outside world, which exposes you to other people’s opinions.
- That’s how IJs build their external structures which can be protective or regenerative.
- In moments of attack, you have built so many structures around you that you’re okay.
- If you’re sitting around doing nothing, you are protecting your energy, but what happens in a moment of calamity?
- You have nothing to help you out.
- So, the outlay of energy in a moment of calamity is crushing.
- Build your safe structures in the world, so when calamity strikes, you have a system in place to prevent overwhelm.
- These systems make you less vulnerable in the end.
- Rightness: All IP Types
- Auxiliary function for INPs is Extraverted Intuition “Exploration”
- Auxiliary function for ISPs is Extraverted Sensing “Sensation”
- If I’m right and I know this to be true (resonate) it gives me a sense of assuredness so that I can move in the outer world with conviction.
- IPs struggle with motivation.
- Individual Rights: The right to feel the way you want to feel. Or think the way you want to think.
- Exploration and Sensation are Perceiving functions
- Perceiving functions are about learning and info gathering
- If IPs are exercising their Extraverted Perceiving copilot, they are getting regular feedback on how wrong they often are.
- If IPs stop taking in info, their inner world wisdom stagnates and gets more myopic.
- The more limited the info and exposure to outer world feedback, the less likely the IP is to be right.
- IPs extraverted Copilot helps them get rooted in how reality works.
- IPs need external feedback to show them:
- How things are (Sensation) vs. how things could be (Exploration)
- Exposure to the world can be scary in the short term because of the possibility to be wrong, but it will help you be right in the long run.
- “You have a right to feel/think that way, but it doesn’t mean you’re right.”
- Recognize you can be wrong.
- You still have the right to feel the way you want to feel, and you can build a bridge between your inner world and the outer world.
- Your feelings aren’t going to impact the outer world unless you can recognize that the outer world will operate very differently from your internal landscape.
- Allow the outer world to impact you and find a way for your inner landscape to impact the outer world.
- IPs worry the outside world won’t honor their individuality.
- ISPs take in the reality of a situation as opposed to inventing something
- INPs make patterns of reality
- IPs are less likely to be marginalized if they are taking in info from the outer world.
- ISPs become more realistic
- INPs see the bigger picture
- IPs know that if they take in info from the outside world, it will change who they are.
- ITPs will have to change their thoughts and how they think about the world
- IFPs will have to change how they feel about themselves, and their very identity may change.
- New info is an identity shift for IPs.
- The world is always changing and shifting.
- Being right is a fantasy.
- Just like with EPs, unfettered freedom is a fantasy.
- For IJs, invulnerability is a fantasy. We are all vulnerable.
- Never lose sight of the power of your auxiliary function.
- Perceiving functions are about learning
- Management: All EJ Types
- Auxiliary function for ENJs is Introverted Intuition “Perspectives”
- Auxiliary function for ESJs is Introverted Sensing “Memory”
- These types are interested in managing the outer world
- EFJs are more interested in social/relational structures
- ETJs are more interested in systems, structures, and resources in the outer world.
- EJs challenge is going inside and facing the uncertainty of their inner world.
- All fixations are about control. They all want control in a specific way.
- Management is about knowing what should be done in the outside world and implementing or getting other people to implement.
- Certainty is required here, and EJs feel robbed of their certainty by going inside themselves.
- If an EJ spends a moment questioning what is happening for someone else, they have to question if they have the right to manage other people.
- “What are the implications of my behavior?”
- “What is the long term damage of what I’m doing?”
- It’s easier to blitz through those questions and just get into action, which is what EJs tend to do.
- EPs fear accountability
- IJs fear other people’s expectations
- IPs fear being marginalized by the world
- EJs fear uncertainty
- EPs fear they are going to get stuck somewhere
- IJs fear exposure to destruction
- IPs fear losing themselves to the outside world
- EJs fear they will lose their power through perpetual questioning.
- All of this is counterintuitive.
- EJs have more power in leadership when they start considering other people’s viewpoints.
- People will instinctively follow a leader who isn’t tyrannical.
- EJs tend to watch for undermining energy, and they fear their Copilot will undermine them.
- Pause and question your decisions. “Measure twice and cut once.”
- EJs waste fewer resources by pausing and considering their actions.
- ENJs: Fuel your mind with more info on how people experience things.
- ESJs: Learn from the mistakes of the past.
- Read high-quality content and increase your knowledge base.
- EJs put themselves in a position of management, whether a team of people, their family, or just themselves.
- Developing your Copilot is not at odds with your fixation.
- It will honor it more honestly.
- We all want to see ourselves as further along than we are in our growth and development.
- We can trick ourselves into believing we are further along than we are by indulging our FIRM fixation.
- Our Copilot is the toughest function to master, but it brings the highest return.
- It will never be complete.
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Showing 7 comments
I’m an INFP. I’d say that for Fi dominants, “Rightness” is not about “being right” but about “right being.” It goes along with what Antonia said about new information changing your identity (which could also explain our reticence to get in to the co-pilot!), and with what Joel said in a different episode about being very careful about what you “let in” to your mind or what you expose yourself to.
Great podcast! I am an ENFJ and I would like you to elaborate on how to grow my copilot. You mention reading good material- what do you mean by this? I’ve already re-listened to the podcast specifically for ENFJ’s and it was helpful.
Also, I notice I really try to manage my external world as far as de clutter and clean a lot when I am not using my copilot as much and I think the compulsion to clean might be a way of managing? But when I am spending alone time developing myself the clutter doesn’t bug me as much. (I have a lot of children so clutter is part of that job for sure)
I’ve got to say this podcast really struck a cord with me. Perhaps, because I just had a situation at work where I resisted building relationships with others through Fe and had conflict as a result. It’s like I see the social protocol I need to follow at work and the downfalls to ignoring them, but I resist it anyway because I think if I check in with others then that means I’m now tied to a responsibility and showing up to the other world. For me personally, a lot of vulnerability around what others think of me is certainly a part of that fear of reaching outward and the energy piece makes a lot of sense too because it’s like “Did I self-care enough?” “Did I prepare enough to go out and give my energy away?” I stumbled upon this podcast at the right time to keep myself accountable at work. Thanks for helping me see a place for growth currently.
– INFJ Luke
To begin with, I’ll warn you that I’m not part of your intended main audience; I’m not listening because I want to do personal development (at least not directly, even though some form of it may follow), but because I want to find/become sure enough of my type. You seem to be the only existing podcast on the topic, and podcast is a good way to take in information while working, not having to spend free time on reading corresponding information (though I do that a lot too).
That said, I have some questions/comments on what you say regarding type, development, and the format of your podcast:
*Doesn’t the law of diminishing returns apply to developing the ‘co-pilot’, or developing in general? In pretty much every episode you say things like ‘keep developing your co-pilot’, ‘you’re never finished with development’ and the like. You also keep saying ‘get out of your comfort zone’. So, you’re telling me to start an uncomfortable project that will never be finished (I.E. ‘get uncomfortable and stay uncomfortable for the rest of your life, because – well, nothing.’). Isn’t that pretty much the definition of a lose-lose situation?
*Regarding previous point, is there any correlation between type and one’s position on endless projects? Some people seem to be motivated by them, but for me it is highly de-motivational. To me it just seems like a Sisyphean task.
*Attempting to use what you say on the the FIRM-model to reverse-engineer (part of) my type, I fail, as I resonate with Invulnerability, Rightness, and to some extent Freedom.
*You often reference to the car model, and direct the listener to read/listen to article/episode on it, and I think you even at some time voiced a concern that the repeated message could be annoying to frequent listeners (it is, somewhat, at least for me). There’s a possibility for a technical solution here: Record a “car model primer” that explains it, and make two versions of each new episode that uses the car model, one for frequent listeners where you just start talking about whatever you’re about to talk about, and one for new listeners where you have inserted the “car model primer” clip at a suitable point right before the knowledge of it is needed.
Thanks for this podcast elaborating on the FIRM model. You say that the fixation that IPs might encounter would be “Rightness” or “Rights” (R in the acronym FIRM).
As I listen to your description of how “Rightness” and “Rights” are experienced, I wonder if a better R word might be “Respect”?
Thanks Joel and Antonia
This contains an obvious contradiction with something you said in your book about how someone may have more of a FIRM fixation associated with their tertiary or inferior function and that “your FIRM fixation doesn’t dictate your type, and your type doesn’t dictate your FIRM fixation”.
IJs may be more fixated on ‘rightness’ or even ‘freedom’ than ‘invulnerability’
IPs may be more fixated on ‘invulnerability’ or even ‘control’ than ‘rightness’
I found this to be the single most interesting thing in the book and really wanted it to be expanded on, so it would be brilliant if it were further explored in another podcast. Admittedly I am more interested in ‘stress-testing’ myers-briggs theories than in ‘type-development’, mainly as I don’t have a myers-briggs type so it doesn’t help me that much. The more nuanced take in the book offers more ‘give’ in the structure.
USE YOUR ENERGY ON YOUR COPILOT IxTJ….I’ve been trying to figure out a system that can serve all of my functions as an INTJ and use of a pubic transit system seems to be the best for me. I feel vulnerable on the bus being in such close proximity to strangers, but the system is too effective.
I use the bus to commute to work and seem a good Fi hit. Every ride I think to myself, “Hey, I’m staying true to my environmental beliefs” and anytime I don’t feel like taking the bus Ni argues for cost savings and that my wallet will feel better. Te also helps get rid of the perspectives-authenticity loop, because the Te clock is ticking while I’m on the bus, so why not be productive and write some code or read an article. As an INTJ and for most of my life, I’ve lived in the mind and not the body (Se being the least developed) so I walk 1 to 3 blocks to catch a ride. I have a work around for the extreme laziness loop too.
What could be more tough than committing your word to something? Committing your resources. So starting last year about once a month I commit financially to a race (and I also make a verbal commitment too). If I commit financially that means I have to commit time. If I commit time that means that I’ll get into action. I started with a 1 mile race, and now I just completed a 10K in 47 mins. Maybe I’m overvaluing my experience, but INTJs and ISTJ’s, the effort into your system will be well worth it.
Keep up the good work PHP crew.