Podcast – Episode 0326 – How Personality Types Stay Motivated While Building Skill

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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about how different personality types can create and sustain motivation while they build skills.

In this podcast you’ll find:

  • The 80s movie “skill-building montage” phenomenon – and how this contrasts with the societal messaging young people receive around building skills today.
    • The disappointment that can come with today’s mindset
    • What’s missing in today’s messaging?
    • The kick-back message from the younger generation
  • Skill development – how is this different from hard work and effort?
    • The idea of skill development to create value
    • Why do people avoid skill development work?
  • Previous podcasts that discuss skill development through models and frameworks:
  • The phases of skill development people go through according to the Competence Model:
    • Unconscious incompetence
    • Conscious incompetence
    • Conscious competence
    • Unconscious competence
  • How can you get through the tough parts of skill development?
    • The importance of tools and motivation
  • What do the 16 personality types need to generate motivation for skill development based on their primary judging function?
  • Accuracy (Ti) – xxTPs:
    • Thoughts on creating clarity
  • Harmony (Fe) – xxFJs:
    • What does healthy support look like?
  • Effectiveness (Te) – xxTJs:
    • The power of having a plan
  • Authenticity (Fi) – xxFPs:
    • Inspiration to create motivation
  • Feedback – why is it an important part of skill development?
    • What does it look like when we reject feedback?
    • The journey to empowerment and positive self esteem


In this episode Joel and Antonia talk about how different personality types can create and sustain motivation while they build skill.

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Showing 18 comments
  • MaryLynne

    I’m INFP. I learned my motivation is inspiration. I get something out of every podcast, but this changed my life. I’ve been building tools for years, doing the work, and being upset with myself because nothing seemed to “stick”. I get great insights, take on huge things, do what I need to do despite every personal feeling to be bored or hemmed in and quit – and then I stop. I knew (after years) it wasn’t laziness or lack of character and it got a little better, but I couldn’t get to the bottom of it.

    When I heard about inspiration, everything clicked. Everything I’ve done was when I was inspired to a bigger purpose. When you told the Clarity people “That is a precious moment. Treasure it, cultivate it,” I got that. I don’t have to wait for lightening to strike to feel inspired, and be left adrift when it’s gone. I can cultivate it, cause it, nurture it. I made a call to repair a relationship I have been avoiding for a year. I couldn’t make myself do it, but she is one of the most inspiring people I know and in the face of that, the discomfort of making the call was nothing. I”ve been in action and lit up (but not frantic) for weeks, and when it starts to fade, I stop and see – am I missing a tool or inspiration? What inspires me about my life and others? I’ve not felt like this in years. THank you!!!!!!!!!!

  • Carole

    This episode is again very interesting. I am a bit uncomfortable with the motivation factor for FJ types. What’s bothering me is that in the opposite of the other, the “support from others” is something external and so it’s not totally in the hand of the FJ person. I totally see how support from others is helpful to keep their motivation high, but telling that they should seek for it to stay motivated seems a bit dangerous to me because they may either not find the right people either not recognize that they are actually supporting them. It’s something they are not totally in control with. The support needs to be found in themselves, not by changing your entourage, but by changing where you look for support and approval and it starts with your own self support.

  • Elise Allan

    I’ve just listened to this for about the third time. I’m an INFP, a painter, art lecturer and creativity coach, and this is great information for all of these strands I work in. Although as a painter I’ve been developing skills for over forty years, for anyone working with creativity there’s never a time for sitting back and being ‘finished’. That sense of having a divine purpose is key, and just mulling over the tools that I have to reconnect, something shifted within a stuckness that’s been there for a considerable while. Meanwhile my three year old Te has been making lists of next steps and plans to keep me going through this dry period.
    But I’m also connecting the information in this podcast with the one on Noble Vices, and intrigued that while my 3 year old will support my motivation, my 10 year old can be a distraction. It doesn’t like the major changes that ‘have to’ happen in my work; it longs to build on yesterday rather than be present in today. Good to see it more clearly! Thank you so much for this work you’re sharing.

  • FI

    “You don’t just need hard work, you also need skills.”
    Me: “well i know that, of course you need skills. seems like this podcast will be more generic than usual”

    *5 mins later*

    “What people don’t know is, you’re going to massively suck for a while and may not even want to do it anymore”
    Me: *feel personally attacked*

    Thanks for this podcast! This made me realized a lot of things, essential things I didn’t want to realize 😂 – infp

  • Ryan

    Hello Joel and Antonia, I was listening to the INFx Interview Podcast and really enjoyed it’s content (as I do with most of your podcasts on my morning ride), so much so that immediately looked for it’s cousin podcast “Personal Lessons From INTP and INTJ Interviews”, but to my dismay, there was nothing to be found. I think it would be really great if you guys could give us a soundbite-like piece of that sweet sweet information from the INTx program.

    ~ M 16 INTP

    • Maria

      I love this! You guys are amazing!! You bring so many new ideas and thoughts combined with what this looks like in real life. Thank you!

  • Fleur

    This is a game changer for me. I’ll admit I have looked to personality typing to find the right ways of doing me. Thinking that once I know the right formula for ‘my good life’, that life will come easy. And I have long felt discord when applying this unrealistic belief to meet the world.
    It makes sense that we are not good at something we have not spent effective time on. And defeating when someone may have told us we are good at something as a child, but as an adult we realise we are not. Great insight 😊 Thankyou 😁

  • David

    What happens if one does a certain skill and gets to the unconscious competence level but doesn’t work on it for a while?

  • Eugene Boeche

    I think those individuals who hold to the Spider-Man philosophy are kidding themselves. Even Spider-Man had to work hard to build his skills. He got bit by the radioactive spider, yes, but that is not the end of his story. He didn’t just bit by the spider and then spend all his time sitting on his butt on the couch and stuffing his face with pizza rolls while watching Netflix all day. He had to work to build his craft of saving his city. He built his web-slingers. He worked on his fighting techniques. He got accustomed to heights and even began to love them. He became the ultimate acrobat, as well as becoming an excellent physical specimen. This idea of, “I got bit by a spider, and now I’m amazing is crap. Anything and everything that is worth doing takes WORK. End of story.

    • Erik Bland

      I agree, but I still think that talent is important. When bitten by the radioactive spider, Spiderman wasn’t motivated to become a math genius. He was motivated to do the things in which he suddenly had innate talent, or the things he was suddenly already good at.

      I think what often happens is that we try some new activity and figure out that we’re talented at it (perhaps because others who are trying it don’t perform as well as us). That early success can motivate us to practice and learn more, so that we can do even better. After all, I think most people probably enjoy being successful and good at something.

      Conversely, if we we try some new activity and we’re bad at it, we’re more likely to give up. We may think that it will take a ton of work to even become average, and may even consider it impossible to become highly skilled.

  • Rebekah

    Hi! Can I message you about your thoughts on feedback loops and their role/how they are used in personality development? Complex systems/feedback mechanisms are a piece of my research and I’d love to talk more about how you guys are trying to use/teach them in your practice.

  • Izzy

    Hello 🙂

    I loved your thoughts around Fe users finding it challenging to do something for themselves, I most definately am motivated by and for others. I do also relate to needing/wanting inspiration though, but maybe for different reasons than an Fi user. The more I allow myself to care and feel for someone or a group of people, the more inspired I am to keep challenging myself. If I am surrounded by people that do not feel the urge to push the limits of what the mind/body/soul in capable of, life starts to become colourless and flat.

    A couple of years ago I got that bored of the sameness of the minds around me, I thought I would start to explore animal minds:-)
    I found a book called “Other Minds”. It had a section in it on the Mimic Octopus….. they are so weird!!
    Their brain is located throughout their whole body, the only solid part of them is their beak, so they can squeeze themselves through impossibly small spaces so long as their beak can fit (and they’re pretty smart).

    I use the mimic octopus as a metaphor for the way I explore minds and the world (especially when trying something new). My core self is the beak, and the rest of my personality remains more fluid and adaptable (like the octopuses body) to trying on new ways of being/feeling/thinking, while I decide if I like them or not. If I have tried on a new way of being and I made an utter idiot of myself or my feelings got hurt, I keep a couple of tentacles attached to a cherished feeling/memory or person while the rest of the tentacles go in and explore and process the meaning behind the feelings before I let them go. Using this method helps me to not get lost in a negative or uncomfortable experience.
    Animal minds are awesome too!

    Anyway, I hope quarantine isn’t treating you all too harshly.
    Best Wishes

    • Raven

      What an insightful comment! I appreciate your thoughts.

  • Leah

    Do you have suggestions/resources on how to reach a point of clarity? It can’t be alchemy. 🙂
    I know the weakness of INTP is seeking to know too much and do too little, but it seems that clarity is a roadblock I consistently encounter and haven’t been able to overcome.

    • drmae

      I also don’t really get what they mean with clarity? Is it a sense of purpose?

  • Madison Hamilton

    As an INFJ who did grow up with the “You can do anything” messaging, this podcast has been incredibly helpful. While conscious incompetence hasn’t completely stopped me, it has drained me of energy and motivation. Just knowing that this is a normal part of the process is completely motivating in itself. It’s like I can channel all of the energy I used to put towards saying “This is so hard, how can I manage to push through when it won’t matter anyway” towards “I can make a plan from recognizing the distance from where I am to where I want to be. And the pain and discomfort doesn’t matter because it doesn’t determine the outcome.”

  • Seely

    As an INFJ who grew up with the opposite of the “you can do anything” message, I find it very useful to pair this podcast with the How to be a Good Critic episode. It can be very difficult as a child to build esteem
    & continue along (or even establish) a trajectory without good support, calibration & modelling. Lacking these, a child can give up striving if nothing is ever good enough & then face underachievement or else internalize the criticism & become a perfectionist. As an adult one then needs to establish healthy boundaries & self-talk & find a kinder & more positive inner circle.

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