Podcast – Episode 0323 – Building A Foundation On Your Inferior Cognitive Function – Part 1

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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about how to build a strong foundation on your inferior (3-year-old) cognitive function if it is a perceiving function.

In this podcast you’ll find:

  • The metaphor of building a foundation on your 3 Year Old cognitive function.
    • The 3 Year Old as a blind spot
    • The concept of stabilizing this function 
    • How can you leverage your 3 Year Old function?
  • Building a foundation on the four perceiving cognitive functions in the inferior position
  • The sensing functions – what do these generally look like when they’re in the 3 Year Old position?
  • ENxPs – Building a foundation on Memory (Si):
    • How can you overcome resistance to templates?
    • Being attentive to the rhythm of your life
    • How does consistency facilitate creativity?
  • INxJs – Building a foundation on Sensation (Se):
    • What happens if you de-tether from Se?
    • The relationship between Se and action
    • The power of presence
  • The role the intuitive functions play in the 3 Year Old position
  • ESxPs – Building a foundation on Perspectives (Ni):
    • The tendency to avoid thinking about consequences
    • How can you use action now to impact the future?
    • Creating a life of meaning 
  • ISxJs – Building a foundation on Exploration (Ne):
    • The idea of living a “big enough life” to avoid regret
    • Some “what if” questions to ask yourself
    • Making peace with change


In this episode Joel and Antonia talk about how to build a strong foundation on your inferior (3-year-old) cognitive function if it is a perceiving function. #myersbriggs

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Showing 12 comments
  • Tine

    INTJ here. The best quote from this podcast: “That old adage of measure twice cut once? Measure TWICE, don’t measure four hundred times.”
    I need that above my bed. And as a background on my computer. And as a reminder alarm about once an hour…

    Regarding meditation: I found that it does help, but I need a specific type of meditation that focusses on the senses. Like walking in a forrest and trying to count all the different kinds of bird song I can hear. Or sitting down with a cup of tea and nothing else, trying to taste all the nuances of flavour in there. Maybe that’s not what other types traditionally see as “meditation”, but I find it to be one of the best ways to get out of my head and into my body.

  • Addison

    Wow, this was exactly what I needed to hear right now. I’m an 22 year old ISFJ male. I was just furloughed from my job and I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. The hardest part for me is figuring out how to use my Fe to implement change in my life. Before quarantine, I had decided that I need to make some new friends that are more aligned with my values, that I can be open with because they can understand me and I understand them (if that makes sense). I joined a couple sports leagues by myself to meet new people, but sadly they got canceled after the first week. I also travel around the country typically throughout the year to play a sport that I love, which I’m unable to do now. It kind of feels like my Ne foundation that I’m trying to build is falling apart, and that I’m just going to have to wait for quarantine to end in order to start setting up the foundation. I guess now that I’m writing this, I’m realizing that in quarantine I have gotten into some new things, like calisthenics, new tv shows, skateboarding, and meditation. I just don’t know which of all my avenues to pursue at the moment, because I don’t know what I want. I do like the way y’all are putting it – I’m expanding my territory and giving myself more opportunity for a better life. I’ve also been thinking about applying to jobs in different states, because now seems like a good time for it. Joel, thank you for pointing out that I should ask the question – “What am I preserving here?” I will definitely be asking that question in regards to my whole routine to make sure I’m doing what I want and for good reasons. Also, Antonia, what you pointed out really stuck out to me- (Paraphrasing) “ISJ’s are about continuity/comfort. The life we built for ourselves is comfortable because it’s familiar, not because it’s actually comfortable. What’s outside of the system that we built is often a better life.” Wow, I really needed to hear that. In summary, thanks to both of y’all! If there is anything I mentioned that you think I may be looking at in not the best way, please let me know. Also sorry for the jumbled response haha

  • Daniel

    When does the INFP part start? This is all irrelevant to me so far. Could you include timestamps going forward guys? Thanks.

    • Daniel

      I think that was a waste of time, there was no INFP section?

      • Antonia Dodge

        As stated in the title and in the podcast itself, this is Part 1. We began with the perceiving functions. Part 2 will focus on types that lead with judging functions, like INFPs.

        The podcast is freely given, and we prefer it to be consumed by people who deem it worth their time.


  • Fleur

    Funny for me that I, twice!, forgot that I had taken notes on the inferior function Te, and listened again again to both part 1 and 2. 🤣There’s some resistance for ya 🤦‍♂️

    • Antonia Dodge

      I’m totally confused – Where are you finding part 2? We’ve only released part 1 of this series.


      • Fleur

        Argh. Wrong podcast! It was the ‘Your personality 3 year old inferior cognitive function, part 1 and 2. Sorry 😬

        • Antonia Dodge

          Ahhh – they are similar, so I can understand the confusion. 🙂

          This podcast takes a little different tack than the previous.


  • Raven Ford

    I struggle with this issue so much. I’m an INTP woman. I’ve listened now to the first and second parts of the “Building a Foundation on Your Inferior Cognitive Function.” I’m a bartender (out of work due to COVID-19).

    When other bartenders get into the rush and get bogged down, I often become energized. I move around like lightening because I can take the thinking out of the equation and just perform. I actually have a best friend who is ESTP. I’ve learned a lot from him. Even if sometimes he does contemplate more than the average bear, he isn’t paralyzed by it. I, on the other hand, can think, plan, schedule, and make lists all about my future activities. (That part is so much more fun than actually doing!) I think I’ll try writing down my daily activities and forming a schedule around the notes of a seven-day period as Antonia suggested.

  • Caty Lee

    Thank you Joel and Antonia for these ideas. After realizing that I might be an Enneagram four rather than five, I started a daily ritual. I wanted to identify my core principles (and the interests that are a product of them) and to take actions every day that made them manifest, rather than being guided by transitory emotional states.
    Your ideas in this podcast lend even more support to the value of a ritual. I love that you said projects require a long timeline for completion. Previously I’ve been engaging in my ritual on a principled level, but the idea of articulating a goal and using a ritual as its container is quite empowering.
    In Jordan Peterson’s lecture on the psychological significance of the flood, he suggests that the key to contending with the inevitable tragedies of life is the daily pursuit of a meaningful goal. It’s not the fulfillment of a goal that produces dopamine, and instead what are rewarding are the signals that we are moving meaningfully in the direction of what we want.
    I have struggled with perceptions of being ungrounded, untethered, contradictory, but the ritual feels like an antidote. It’s a daily structure that ensures I am moving in a direction that feels meaningful, no matter what other obligations might be involved in a day.
    Thank you so much for sharing all your insights.

  • Ty

    Oooo thank you for this! It helped me have a huge Ah-ha! moment.

    I am an INFJ and I have spent so much time researching and thinking about the best way to make certain changes to my life. I have been going down that rabbit hole for a long, long time without getting very far. I thought one day I would stumble upon the best ideology, my perspective would shift, and then I would FINALLY be in business! But as I’ve journeyed along I’ve begun to notice that “Just do it” was the motto that ended up working for me to most consistently move the needle on the things I’d been wanting to change.

    And even though that has been proven to me time & time again, I STILL want to fight it. It just doesn’t _feel_ right. Like that just _can’t_ be the answer. It’s too simple!

    But now I understand why it feels that way- it’s my Ni/Ti combo resisting my inferior Se.

    Now I can have peace that for me “Just do it” really is the answer sometimes.

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