How You Get in Your Own Way Based on Personality Type

Around here, we talk A LOT about how to feel good, how to be yourself, how to lean into your strengths, and forget the rest. 

And yet, we all have unique tendencies of getting in our own way. We do these little, sometimes totally secret things that inadvertently sabotage our own progress. Don’t we? I know I do. You know you do too. 

I got thinking about this recently after a session with my coach. I had told her how I saw myself getting sucked into a familiar pattern of self-sabotage. 

It usually looks something like this:

I feel great about my work. Then I check my data dashboard to make sure I’m actually “doing a good job” and not just feeling like I’m succeeding. And the data tells me I’m on track, but then my mind says, “Yeeeah but… you could do better.” 

It’s the same little voice I used to battle in highschool when I’d get a 97 and not a 100. (Yes, I was one of those people.) 

I begin to doubt my own skill when the data tells me I’m doing “okay” but not “above and beyond my wildest dreams.” 

So, in short:

Feeling on track > Check the numbers just to be sure > “Okay, but not above and beyond” > Doubt my own skill > Doubt my own worthiness > Progress stalls in a sea of doubt

See how I’m getting in my own way here? 

But here’s the thing—I know this has been a recurring pattern for me. I know I tend to connect my self-worth to the results I yield. I know this because I’m an ENFJ and this is how we tend to operate. (And all the ENFJs were like, “YUP.”)

Over time, I’ve created ways to avoid getting sucked into it. When I DO get sucked into the self-sabotaging pattern, I know how to spot it early. I see the triggers sooner, rather than later. I manage it before I get to the “sea of doubt,” which then allows me to move forward and make progress faster. 

Even within this session with my coach, I didn’t need to be coached through the self-sabotage. I simply told her, “Hey, I notice I’ve been getting a little obsessive over my data dashboard the last few days. I’m going to back off checking it for the next few days to interrupt the pattern.” And we were done. Nothing more needed. 

So this got me thinking—how do other personality types tend to get in their own way? 

As soon as I began diving into the answer, I knew right away I needed to get this information to you. It’s all here in this article—how your personality type tends to get in their own way and block themselves from success—and I can’t wait to hear your takeaways and unique ah-hah moments as you read through. 

Because here’s the deal:

If you know how you typically get in your own way, you can consciously create ways to STOP self-sabotaging. And when you do start to get sucked into your typical self-sabotaging patterns (because, yes, it’ll still happen from time to time), you can spot the triggers of the pattern sooner, overcome your blocks faster, and move on to making progress and getting results faster. 

If you ask me, this is KEY for an entrepreneur. Because there will be plenty of things that try to get in your way as you build your business. Don’t let one of those things be YOU. 

Once you review your personality type’s insights, ask yourself these three questions to gain better clarity around your next best steps:

  1. Does this sound like me?
  2. If so, what’s a real-life example of I’ve blocked my own success in this way in the past three months? 
  3. What are some things I could do to avoid getting sucked into this self-sabotaging pattern again? 

Okay, let’s get to it. 

First up. 

The Analyst Tribe

INTJINTPENTJENTP

Analysts are intuitive thinking types. They tend to succeed when they’re mixing their intuition with data and logic in order to find the best strategic solution to the problem at hand. There’s a unique “mad scientist” vibe about them when they’re really tapping into their most powerful state. 

Analysts tend to get in their own way when they allow the data to cloud their ability to be creative. With too much focus on the data, they can stunt their ability to be original and think outside the box. 

INTJs

INTJs succeed when they’re utilizing their quick, creative, yet strategic mind to push the envelope and bend the boundaries. Again, that “mad scientist” vibe is strong in the INTJ. 

INTJs get in their own way when they become over-analytical and obsessed with the data. As they focus so much on the numbers, they lose touch with their all-knowing intuition and then tend to get hyper-critical of themselves (and maybe even others). This could leave them in a place of always “tinkering” without ever really giving themselves a chance to succeed. 

Learn more about the INTJ Marketing Personality Type here.

INTPs

INTPs succeed when they’re allowing their imagination to run free and be completely original. Mad scientist with a touch of brilliant spontaneity. 

INTPs get in their own way when they second-guess themselves. Because the INTP has so much stored-up knowledge from doing lots of research, they can easily get trapped in a cycle of comparison, leading them to second-guess themselves and their original idea. Similar to the INTJ, this could leave them in a place of always “tinkering” without ever giving their idea a true chance to succeed. 

Learn more about the INTP Marketing Personality Type here.

ENTJs

ENTJs succeed when they’re directing their most charismatic energy to their best strategies. They’ve got the brains to strategize AND the energy to implement. 

ENTJs get in their own way when they begin to see a weakness or shortcoming in their plan, but refuse to ask for or accept help from others. They pride themselves in their independence, but if they genuinely need help (which at some point in business, they absolutely will) and aren’t willing to accept it, they could find themselves always falling short of their goals. 

Learn more about the ENTJ Marketing Personality Type here.

ENTPs

ENTPs succeed when they’re directing their immense knowledge and boundless energy into a strategy they feel passionate about. They’re true visionaries that can dream big and create a plan for achieving that dream. 

ENTPs get in their own way when they resist the practical matters of their strategy. Since they’re visionairies, it can feel difficult to dig into the details. And if they’re too stubborn to accept help in the more detail-oriented parts of their plan, they could find themselves with a lot of great ideas and zero results. 

Learn more about the ENTP Marketing Personality Type here.


The Diplomat Tribe

INFJINFPENFJENFP

Diplomats are intuitive feeling types. They tend to succeed when they’re mixing their intuition with how they’re feeling to find the best solution for the problem at hand. There’s a unique “trust the process” vibe about them when they’re really tapping into their most powerful state. 

Diplomats tend to get in their own way when they allow the external world to cloud their ability to stay tuned into their own internal state of being. With too much input from outside, their inside tends to get jumbled and unclear.

INFJs

INFJs succeed when they’re focused on their mission, being decisive and sure about where they’re headed. INFJs don’t often think things—they know. And at their best, they trust that knowing.

INFJs get in their own way when they accept nothing but perfection in the pursuit of realizing their vision. And the funny thing is, the INFJ knows perfection isn’t required for progress and that their best, most honest creations were imperfectly birthed through them, rather than nitpicked to the finish line. It’s simply a matter of remembering this again and again so they don’t get stuck in the perpetual realm of perfectionism-driven procrastination. 

Learn more about the INFJ Marketing Personality Type here.

INFPs

INFPs succeed when they’re open to their own internal muse, allowing it to fuel their most natural, innate creativity. They feel most themselves when flowing with their creative urges and trusting the process without the mind’s doubtful chatter.

INFPs get in their own way when they allow others’ opinions to have a louder voice than their own. Sure, INFPs love to stay open to the process, but open to the process and everyone’s opinions can often lead them to a place of intense self-doubt. 

Learn more about the INFP Marketing Personality Type here.

ENFJs

ENFJs succeed when they accept the role of charismatic leader and guide the group to victory. They know they don’t have all the answers, but with passion and heart, they can get the job done. 

ENFJs get in their own way when they allow their self-work to be defined by their “wins” and “losses.” They take great responsibility in their role as leader and without distinct boundaries between themselves and their mission, they could find their state of contentedness completely dependent on factors out of their control. 

Learn more about the ENFJ Marketing Personality Type here.

ENFPs

ENFPs succeed when they’re open to all possibilities and trusting in their own internal hunches as they go. They often seem carefree and they actually are when in a place of trust. 

ENFPs get in their own way when they fixate on thoughts, data, and logic. The moment an ENFP moves out of a place of trust, they can easily find themselves grasping for control and a sense of groundedness. This can lead them to look to the data, logic, or case studies of what others have done before them for reassurance rather than their own, fully capable internal compass. 

Learn more about the ENFP Marketing Personality Type here.


The Sentinel Tribe

ISTJISFJESTJESFJ

Sentinels are observant judging types. They tend to succeed when acknowledging what’s happening around them and making firm decisions about how to move the entire group or enterprise forward. There’s a unique “team player” vibe about them when they’re really tapping into their most powerful state. 

Sentinels tend to get in their own way when they allow every little opinion from others to cloud their own judgment. With too much attention on what’s going on around them, they tend to ignore themselves, their own wants and needs. 

ISTJs

ISTJs succeed when they stay calm, practical, and grounded in their own well-earned knowledge. They’re often the most reliable and loyal in any bunch. 

ISTJs get in their own way when they require everything to go “by the book” without a little wiggle room built in. When they resist the inevitable variability of people, business, and life, they could find themselves in a stagnant, stubborn place with no progress or results to show for it. 

Learn more about the ISTJ Marketing Personality Type here.

ISFJs 

ISFJs succeed when they direct their most enthusiastic energy toward someone or something they deeply care about. They’re true one-on-one types of people who love being hands-on with others. 

ISFJs get in their own way when they repress their own feelings to leave room for others’. With a slight loosening of a boundary, an ISFJ can go from fully in their power to complete doormat in an instant. This can then lead an ISFJ to feel like everyone is reaching their goals and living their best lives EXCEPT for them. 

Learn more about the ISFJ Marketing Personality Type here.

ESTJs

ESTJs succeed when they’re leading their team to victory with patience and efficiency. Their organization skills are unmatched and when paired with a cool head and an eye on the prize, they’re unstoppable. 

ESTJs get in their own way when they repress their own feelings in the name of efficiency and getting the job done. It’s one thing to have a cool head in front of their team—it’s another for an ESTJ to ignore and dismiss their own feelings and needs along the way. 

Learn more about the ESTJ Marketing Personality Type here.

ESFJs

ESFJs succeed when they’re connecting with others with their warm, welcoming energy. You’ve never met a friendlier type. 

ESFJs get in their own way when they become so afraid of conflict that they “water down” their own opinions, ideas, and emotions in order to be liked. While they may like everyone, everyone might not like them and this reality can easily derail an ESFJ if not careful. 

Learn more about the ESFJ Marketing Personality Type here.


The Explorer Tribe

ISTPISFPESTPESFP

Explorers are observant perceiving (or “prospecting”) types. They tend to succeed when acknowledging their surroundings, staying open to the vast possibilities, and allowing themselves to stay in the present moment. There’s a unique “free spirit” vibe about them when they’re really tapping into their most powerful state. 

Explorers tend to get in their own way when they try to plot and plan ahead with too much rigidity. They often feel they must plan ahead because “that’s what everyone else does.” But with too much rigidity in that planning, they lose trust in their own natural creativity and ability to go with the flow. 

ISTPs

ISTPs succeed when it’s down to the wire and they stay calm, practical, and yet still amazingly creative. They may even be the biggest procrastinator you know, while still somehow always creating something brilliant in a flash. 

ISTPs gets in their own way when they allow distractions to knock them off track of their highest priorities. While ISTPs may get bored easily and find themselves tinkering with several projects quite a bit, they’ll stall their most important progress if they lose sight of the one project that really matters most. 

Learn more about the ISTP Marketing Personality Type here.

ISFPs

ISFPs succeed when they allow themselves to be curious, open, and use their imagination. The “free spirit” vibe runs the deepest here in the INFP. 

ISFPs get in their own way when they allow too many outsider opinions to come in and distract them from their creative pursuits. While their creative pursuits might not feel or even look like “work,” they’re still valuable and without proper priority placed on them, an ISFP could feel like they never make real progress. 

Learn more about the ISFP Marketing Personality Type here.

ESTPs

ESTPs succeed when they’re approaching a person, a room, or even a problem boldly and directly. You’ll never need to guess where an ESTP really stands. 

ESTPs get in their own way when they get so fixated on solving one problem, they fail to realize the big picture. Hyper focus is helpful, but can turn detrimental when it derails the progress of the entire project.

Learn more about the ESTP Marketing Personality Type here. 

ESFPs 

ESFPs succeed when they’re creatively expressing their bold, original selves. Often the loudest and funniest in the room, ESFPs can’t help but express themselves. 

ESFPs get in their own way when they become so conflict-averse they avoid the real issue and quickly move onto something more “fun.” After a while of avoiding the real issue, ESFPs can feel they’ve made a lot of people laugh, but haven’t really made the difference they were hoping to make. 

Learn more about the ESFP Marketing Personality Type here.


Now what?

Once you review your personality type’s insights, ask yourself these three questions to gain better clarity around your next best steps:

  1. Does this sound like me?
  2. If so, what’s a real-life example of I’ve blocked my own success in this way in the past three months? 
  3. What are some things I could do to avoid getting sucked into this self-sabotaging pattern again?

And then please share your takeaways. How have you noticed yourself getting in your own way lately? Remember to share your personality type with us so those who have the same type as you can reflect and relate. 

Share in a comment or send me an email – support@marketingpersonalities.com

How to Apply Your Personality Type to Your Marketing Strategy

Here at Marketing Personalities, you might’ve guessed—we marry your personality type with your marketing strategy so you can FEEL GOOD while marketing your products and services. 

We believe when you feel good, your audience feels good. 

Want to see what your best marketing strategy is based on your personality type? 

Click here to find out! 


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How You Get in Your Own Way, based on personality type - from MarketingPersonalities.com

  • (ENFP Here: when I feel like the sentiments I express in this comment, it’s sometimes because the darkest time is just before dawn, and I’m on the cusp, about to have a major breakthrough; I hope and pray so.)
    Yes, but what to do, Brit? My sense of worth has been shaken, I struggle with wanting to quit (I won’t :), all the other personality types around me (irl my husband and friends who aren’t bloggers) are trying to make me be them or feel bad because I don’t value or place importance on the same things they do, telling me (or just making me feel) I’m less-than. I’m depressed by all the external turmoil and influences (plus exhausted from pushing so hard for so long trying to make this work), caring for so many people irl and online with serious problems, and trying to encourage people who are fearful because of all the uncertainty, and I don’t have a good support system of encouragers (my love language is words of affirmation and physical touch – – both in short supply right now). I’ve looked at what others are doing (bad idea) and feel depressed because I can’t and don’t want to do that to succeed. I’m exhausted, and am just plowing ahead, keeping going, doing all the things to try to get ahead again, doing what I know is right, and trying to do what fits my personality, as well, but with no joy, because there’re too many things I’m not good at that have to be done, and I can’t seem to find a VA to take them on, or even have time to look. Aside from that, everything’s great 🙂 I need to trust my intuition.

    • Hey there, Wendy! Thanks for sharing with honesty. First, you’ve answered your own question of, “But what to do?” with, “Trust my intuition.” Second, go back through your comment and honestly look at what you’re speaking into existence. Your thoughts are powerful little buggers and you’ve got some pretty strong thoughts coming through in this comment that (I say this with so much love) are not serving you. How might you examine those thoughts and then choose new ones?

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