I have just learned that I am an ESFP personality type. “The ESFP personality type is Extroverted, Sensing, Feeling, and Perceiving, which means they are energized by time with others” or what my mother would call, “a terrible show-off”.

That’s a bit unfair on my mum – she was probably a exhausted by me, 2 other kids, no help at home and a job teaching at my primary school.

Anyway, back to me.

We ESFP’s are also “practical and detail oriented, motivated by empathetic and compassionate instincts, more likely to live in the moment rather than plan ahead. Charming, engaging and supportive, ESFPs love to be in the middle of the action, whether as the life of the party or by meeting the needs of others. ESFPs look on the bright side and do their best to live life to the fullest, but they can be easily bored, avoid conflict even when it’s necessary, and struggle with long-term planning”.

Sarah Lockett with camera crew filming at a conference

This ESFP categorisation comes from the Myers Briggs Personality Assessments, and we make up between 8.5-11% of the population (it’s probably best that there aren’t too many of us, because we are a bit much – we like to be the centre of attention – although we also like to draw out others and help them have a good time).

My point is:

I only came to realise that I need a lot of creativity and stimulation a few years ago, maybe 10 years ago. And that’s OK! So long as you REALISE this, you can try to shape your life to include what you need – lots of new, interesting projects, lots of people around you, social time, creative endeavours: acting, presenting, filming, writing (I do like writing, even though it’s solitary – although I wouldn’t want to do ONLY writing, all the time).

My mum always used to say, when I wailed that I was BORED, “Well, I’m never bored Sarah. We’d all like to be doing interesting things all the time, but sometimes you just have to get on with life.” And so, for a long time I just PUT UP with being a bit bored; a bit unfulfilled, a bit non-creative. And yes, sometimes we do just have to do the washing up or hang the laundry – we can’t be starring in Hollywood blockbusters ALL the time! But now I am much happier when I include in my life, things which I enjoy.

Yes, sometimes I do have to do things for other people, things which are not ALL about me: I have elderly parents and adult children who still need me, quite a lot. But I notice that I don’t have to self-soothe half as much as I used to (with sugar, carbs and emotional eating) because I am self-soothed by my work. My soul is fed by doing activities that lift my heart, bring me energy and positivity, and I enjoy.

It’s a bit obvious when you think about it.

It also doesn’t have to be your work – it could be playing tennis, hiking, getting out in nature, wild swimming, volunteering at a food bank, reaching out and spending time with neighbours. Just notice when you are absorbed in the moment, enjoying yourself – and try to do more of that.

Just call me Sigmund Freud.

PS if you need any Presentation Skills Training, Voice Training, Media Training or Writing Skills Training, I run courses in these (I LOVE helping people become polished, engaging communicators) get in touch 1/2 day or one day courses 🙂

Sarah Lockett

Sarah Lockett is a former BBC News / Sky News anchor who currently presents a variety of content for corporate clients and delivers media training.
She has presented on BBC News and Sky News, plus reported for Channel Four News, 5 News, Reuters and others.
She now hosts webinars and conferences, chairs corporate/academic panel discussions, hosts award ceremonies and events. She writes, presents and produces training videos, as well as voiceovers (both factual and drama/comedy). She has written two books and is also working as an actor.

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