These profiles will share the experiences, insights, and ideas of women who have been using their psychological type to explore and express their style.
Hi there! My name is Cathy, I am a 65 year old retired special education teacher. I have been married for 43 years, we have 3 sons, 3 daughters-in-law and 4 grandchildren. I love to travel and explore new places but I also like to spend time at home. I live in a beautiful part of the world, the Central California Coast, with lots of friends and family close by.
My favorite activities usually include something active, I love to ride my bike and hike in beautiful settings. I am also a voracious reader and usually have several books going. My husband recently built a travel trailer, and now that I am retired we go on extended camping trips in the American West.
Recently I have become involved with political issues, I feel like since I have one life to live I want to make it count and leave this world a better place.
I was involved in the beta testing of Imogen and Jill’s new online style and self-discovery program, Your Type of Style – I was one of the women with ENFP preferences who tested the program and gave Jill and Imogen feedback on their amazing online program.
ENFP Fits Me Best
After a lot of thought and trying on of different personality types I have settled on ENFP. I am a bubbly, outgoing person who loves new adventures. I gain energy from people, interacting with ideas, solving problems and brainstorming, (Extroverted Intuition) yet I require opportunities for quiet, reflective solitude (Introverted Feeling).
My job performance reviews usually included terms such a “consensus builder, emotionally intelligent, creative, hard-worker, team player and passionate.”
One description of an ENFP said we always have a plane ticket in our back pocket, ready to go on the next adventure. I have one plane ticket for an overseas trip and ideas for three additional trips in the next year ranging from camping to political campaigning!
What are some highlights from learning about your Style Type?
This is a challenging question! I went through the Beta testing thinking my best fit type might be ENFJ. In my defense we completed a 12 month program in 3 months. I was uncomfortable with some of the descriptions in the ENFJ style report (they didn’t feel quite “me”) but chalked it up to being a result of my dysfunctional childhood rather than not identifying the best fit type and the triggers it can bring to light.
One of the most important results of going through this program was dealing with some issues left over from pain suffered as a child and teen. I had long put my past on a back burner, but the stars aligned with the convergence of this program and having the time and emotional space to deal with my childhood.
My confidence in my style direction improved as I began to understand why I make the choices I make.
What difference has understanding your Style Type made to you — your life, your style, your confidence and sense of and experience of being who you are?
After the Beta testing was over and the official program began to be launched I had a real “Aha” moment about my mistake in type identification. I had enough knowledge to do research on my own and understand the different functions and their place in a function stack.
I have a much better understanding of who I am innately, and additional skills and behaviors that I have learned in my career and relationships.
The funny thing is there is much from the ENFJ report that I made my own and I still carry with me in my style journey.
What does style mean to you? What place does style have in your life?
Style is important to me in the sense that I want how I look to draw people to me, and I want to communicate what is inside me to those that I am with.
When I am comfortable with my style choices I experience a sense of joy and energy that allows me to interact with whatever situation I am in.
Right now, I look at style as something to have fun with, but also something that requires some effort and work. I wish I could just snap my fingers and have a stylish wardrobe!
Are there any style items that have special meaning to you?
I am very sentimental about material things. I usually can remember where I got favorite items and the meaning and memories behind them. Wearing these items makes me feel grounded and happy. This was something that really resonated with me in the ENFJ report and one reason why I thought that was the best fit.
In the ENFP function stack (this is referring to the dynamic nature of type), Introverted Sensing (or Si for short) is my Inferior function. The sense of history and sentimentality that I feel with my memory pieces is most likely a healthy expression of Si.
What style mistakes have you learned the most from?
Impulse and emotional buying has resulted in style mistakes, especially when I have been influenced by a salesperson or a friend and purchased something that I knew deep down inside wasn’t right. I am much more aware of that now, and am forcing myself to follow certain self-created rules.
I have rebelled against rules of color and contrast and have purchased items that once I get them home and wear them I realize they are not helping me look my best. I think that I have seen the possibilities of items, but the reality of my coloring and shape means I can’t always make it work.
In what ways are you traveling your authentic style pathway?
I actually have a sense of excitement about my style pathway right now. I look back on where I have been and feel like it is just a springboard to now enjoying and expressing myself through what I choose to wear. When I have gotten off track, I was trying to fit in to someone else’s rules or expectations and not being me.
Since I am now retired, I have a lot more freedom in what I choose to put on my body. Sometimes what I wear will be just so I can go out and live my life, sometimes it will be a bridge for interacting with others and sometimes it will be meaningful and significant to me alone.
The way I always know if I am on track is if I am feeling joy and energy.
This is linked to my personality type in that I am looking to the future with a glance at the past, the possibilities of what I am going to do with my retirement freedom seems endless and along with that my style will continue to change and evolve. Otherwise it would be boring.
How are your style choices meeting your significant, innate needs including your internal motivations and desires?
Since I made the switch from identifying as preferring ENFJ to preferring ENFP I have had this sense of freedom. One of the pillars in my style report is “Free to dress as I please.”
Recently, I was on a “Bike and Barge” trip in Europe. One event was going to a concert in Vienna that was a private concert for the cruise ship we were traveling on. Several friends were going and the consensus was to wear nice pants and a sweater. I wanted to dress up more, and found a flattering sweater dress that I dressed up with jewelry, a sparkly scarf, leggings and boots. I then persuaded another friend to go dressy. I definitely was dressed more nicely than most, but I felt like I was dressing like I wanted to, I got tons of compliments, and I had that sense of joy, energy and confidence.
I love seeing this. I hope we will see more! Looking forward to an ESFJ.