CAUTION – The Emotional Superpower of an “SJ”

The emotional superpower of caution

Did you know caution is an emotion? Caution isn’t just an emotion; it’s intelligent emotional fuel for many. Do you have a child who’s genuinely concerned about the details of every change? Do you know friends who feel and act very unsettled until there’s a plan in place? You are describing the cautious nature of an “SJ.” Perhaps you are the careful planner and reliable organizer of all life’s important activities. If you are, others have likely noticed this not-so-hidden talent and asked you to make order of their lives too! What’s the source of this unstoppable, steady drive toward order and progress? It’s CAUTION – the emotional superpower of the “SJ.”

Are you a cautious SJ?

SJ is one of the four core inner designs that can drive a human. And just as we all need it to be, SJs represent nearly half of the world’s population. Without a large portion of steady, cautious and reliable SJs in the world, the earth might cease to spin correctly on its axis!

In contrast to SPs (learn about them in the previous post), the caution of an SJ has them flying closer to the ground and more skeptical of change. SJs prefer to learn lessons from the solid experiences of the past. They look backwards to find stability, something in which they can trust. “If it worked in the past, it will work today,” they reason, “and who wants to change what works?!”

(If you want to know more now, start by discovering which one of these four designs is driving and motivating you in your daily life. Click here: Help Me Identify My Inner Design)


What do an SJ’s caution and Superman’s superhuman strength have in common?

It’s a no-brainer to be cautious, right?  Yes. Regardless of whether you are an SJ, caution guards against rash judgments and actions. There’s a reason they use this word on brightly colored tape to alert us to potential danger.

So, regardless of your inner design, can’t you just use caution to keep you out of trouble? Maybe. It’s a good habit for everyone to employ.  But if you are an SJ, you MUST use this healthy emotional fuel to function as the Real You.

Caution cuts both ways. On one hand, it’s the emotional superpower of an SJ (when it’s used the right way). If you are an emotionally healthy SJ and using caution properly, you can create the perfect balance between stability and progress. Whether it’s in the board room, the classroom, or the kitchen, only an SJ can pull this off as brilliantly as they do. However, If caution is used the wrong way, it can be a barrier to needed change. You can get too focused on protecting yourself against the negative possibilities, rather than exploring the positive possibilities that come with change.


Do these sound about right?  You could be an SJ!

  • “If I don’t do this now, I’m worried it won’t get done at all.”
  • “If things can go wrong, they likely will go wrong.”
  • “I need to be prepared . . . so, what’s the plan?”
  • “This worked last time.  Why do you want to change it?!”


The SJ’s QUICK GUIDE to operating with intelligent caution.

Last week, we introduced the InnerKinetics® Quick Guide to Operating with Intelligent Optimism. If you are an SJ, it’s time to upgrade your emotional fuel. Ensure you are using your superpower of CAUTION properly. Here’s how to do it:


  • Look before you leap. You don’t have to pause long, but always take just a moment to count the cost of your choices.
  • Be sure your caution is used to carefully move forward. Never let too much caution prevent necessary renewal and change.


  • Use caution positively! Don’t miss the silver lining in the clouds.
  • Guard against the overuse of caution. Don’t let the fear of change keep you from moving in the right direction and achieving your goals.
  • Keep your eyes open for new opportunities while your feet remain firmly planted in reality. “Realistic” is looking with at least equal time at the positive possibilities as you do at the negative ones. Choose the positive over the negative.


There’s much more to learn about operating with the emotional superpower of CAUTION. Check out these resources:
1. Intelligently Emotional
2. INNERKINETICS – Your Blueprint to Excellence and Happiness


Stay tuned next week as we examine more closely how an “NT” chooses the healthy emotional fuel of CALM.

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