I am an ESFJ. For some of you that have your head tilted with a strange confused look on your face, those letters stand for “Extravert, Sensing, Feeling, Judging” in the Myer’s Briggs Personality Test. As I was reading through the description, I was blow away by how accurate it was… I love people, but because of that I have a strong desire to be liked and for everything to be pleasant. I am very dependable and value stability. I am warm and energetic, but I also need approval from others to feel good about myself. These results are really spot on.
In addition, ESFJ’s often change their own manner to be more pleasing to whoever they’re with at that moment. Ugh. Okay Myer's Briggs. You really got me. I have always had this tendency in me. I am a people-pleaser at heart and I change the way I am to help someone feel more comfortable and ultimately like me. This can be a strength and a weakness, and there have been plenty of times where I experienced the joy and severity of both ends.
Being a people-pleaser has caused me to rely heavily on affirmation from people. Sound familiar, worship leaders? When someone lends me a compliment, I am filled up. But whenever I have faced criticism of any kind, I have immediately been tossed in the waves and started to sink. I was once challenged by someone at work to discover myself… hence the personality test. Through this process of discovery, I have realized that the more grounded and anchored I am in myself and who God has called me to be, the better off I will be when criticism comes my way.
I ran by this phrase the other day… “A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.” I was so challenged and encouraged by this phrase. I want to start looking at criticism as constructive and grow from it. I want to become skilled in my craft, and I am not going to get there if I just coast along. I have to face the waves and challenge myself. I also need to know when to throw down my anchor and be confident in who I am and what God has called me to. I encourage you to do the same.
If you are interested in learning about your own personality type, CLICK HERE. Learn who you are, and never be afraid to face the waves that come your way because a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.