Reasons for Uncertainty
The Myers & Briggs Foundation

"It is up to each person to recognize his or her true preferences."
Isabel Briggs Myers
  • Incomplete understanding of the preferences. Review your understanding of the preferences. For example, you may be interpreting Introversion as “shy” and feel it doesn't fit. Examples of other common misunderstandings are that Judging means critical or judgmental, that Intuition means creativity, or that a preference for Sensing means you think only about facts.

  • Lack of trust in the situation in which you took the Indicator. Review the situation under which you took the MBTI® instrument. Is there anything that would cause you to mistrust or question the results? If you have questions or concerns, contact your facilitator.

  • Pressure not to use your real type, particularly from parents, a manager, or a coercive environment that dictates certain behaviors. Ask for assistance from your facilitator in identifying those pressures and seek to understand the influence they may be having on your energy, stress levels, and self-esteem.

  • Stage of life. You may be in your teens or early 20s and therefore still exploring your preferences, or you may be at midlife and working to develop the less-preferred functions. In terms of establishing best-fit type, either situation can confuse the issue. Once again, in-depth discussion with your facilitator will usually bring these things to light and clarify the situation.

  • Stress. You may be under a lot of stress and so not behaving typically. It may be better to think things over and not create more stress by pushing for a decision.

  • Your type. Your type may itself be the source of difficulty in getting to a best-fit type with which you are comfortable. For example, those who prefer Perceiving favor taking in more information rather than coming to a conclusion quickly; those with a preference for Judging on the other hand may rush to conclusions too early. Those who prefer Intuition may engage in too many possibilities; and those who prefer Sensing and Judging may feel the pull of duty to be a certain type.

As you work to discover your best-fit type, remember that an attitude of openness, focus on whole types, respect for your knowledge of self, and valuing the exploration and analysis process will go a long way. Then the best-fit type decision will result in self-understanding and affirmation, the beneficial goals of any type use.

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