There is a cadre of people who claim to be fearless.

They celebrate not fearing people, animals, uncertainty, or even hopelessness.

I have always found these people fascinating. More because of my curiosity about how people become fearless.

And through research and life’s experience, I believe these people are either anomalies or liars.

Fear seems a natural response for survival in a world filled with ticking time bombs.

For INTJ personality types, fear has been constant and ever-present due to their hypersensitivity to people and potential danger.

It has been said that bravery is experiencing fear and still following through with appropriate action.

Enlightened INTJs use fear as an alert system for life’s minefields.

Nemours Children’s Health posted on its website that:

Fear helps protect us. It makes us alert to danger and prepares us to deal with it. Feeling afraid is very natural — and helpful — in some situations. Fear can be like a warning, a signal that cautions us to be careful. Like all emotions, fear can be mild, medium, or intense, depending on the situation and the person….

Because INTJs have experienced fear throughout their lives from domineering personalities, they gained a sense of power through their academic and intellectual prowess.

Consequently, INTJs came to fear failure and the loss of independence the most.

Achievement and self-reliance have always been the saving grace for INTJs. It is the two life forces that they can depend on.

Education is central to INTJs’ value system, and they generally imagine that academic prowess eventually pays off.

But they had to first get through childhood.

Education would pay off financially and intellectually in later years, but now what had been a tool for power and control became the basis by which they defined themselves.

what do INTJs fear the most

This self-definition of being intelligent and competent turned into a “God complex.”

The more enlightened INTJs worship at the altar of books, data, and facts and envision themselves as co-creators of their reality.

Based on this notion, my mantra became, “I have to be consistently viewed as smart and strong, or I’ll become disempowered. And I will never allow weakness to creep into my life again.”

This notion of co-creators is how enlightened INTJs view their role among brutes and lazy intellectuals who claim dominance in the world.

Things only an INTJ would understand

These musings of INTJs creating a world in their image are sinful for the average individual who delegates self-agency and personal responsibility to outside forces.

The years of solitude, concentration, and self-reflection tied INTJs to the epic heroes of history.

Many enlightened INTJs know this inner dialogue is not exposed to public consumption.

These INTJs are existentialists and accept that life has no meaning except for the purpose they give it.

Where INTJs might have admired those who deem themselves fearless, INTJs now saw themselves as the ones to be feared.

Where mindless brute force would be met with hand-to-hand combat by anti-intellectuals, INTJs would fight their battles with aerial assaults and drone attacks.

In short, INTJs engage in “Smart Wars,” where they attack opponents surreptitiously.

Of course, all of this is figuratively speaking. However, the psychological games in life are won by the most strategic ones.

The many years in the intellectual wilderness trained and prepared INTJs to fight battles at the highest level.

This conceptual framework was best illustrated in a 2014 movie I recently watched called “Nightcrawler,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Gyllenhaal plays Louis Bloom, the ultimate INTJ.

Bloom sets his eyes on achieving success at any cost as a freelance cameraman who looks for the most heinous crimes to videotape and sell to news stations.

Bloom’s motivation is financial success, but more importantly, he craves autonomy and independence.

His years alone as an introvert provides a dystopic viewpoint of the world where all relationships are self-interested and transactional.

Bloom has dissected, analyzed, and synthesized the core of human nature, reminiscent of a sinister social scientist.

He turns fear on its ear by consistently operating two and three steps ahead of competitors.

Ultimately, he achieves his goals with a great deal of emotional carnage left behind.

Despite the decadence, you cheer for Bloom because, as a fellow INTJ, you understand how he got that way.

He is Machiavellian at his core.

Any INTJ watching this movie walks away with a sense that Louis Bloom epitomizes the hardwiring of the archetypical INTJ.

In the end, INTJs turn primal fear into an intellectual challenge.

Fortunately, those who align with brute force continue on their path towards being gunslingers until they meet with a despicable end.

The stakes have been raised in a world of rugged individualism and competing interests.

Charles Darwin’s natural selection and survival of the fittest translate into today’s motto: “The smart shall inherit the earth.”

I still look upon those that claim fearlessness with intrigue. The legions of these brutes seem to swell every day.

As a result, I have become a survivalist. I prepare myself intellectually and physically for any unprovoked attack.

Brutes also carry the baggage of childhood wounds and cry out for the love and attention they might have lacked as children.

But as we lament the vagaries and shortcomings of human experiences, let’s not forget that wounded animals are often the most dangerous.

They strike as a last-ditch effort for self-preservation.

Enlightened INTJs integrate fear into creative strategy.

Will they ever go back to how it used to be?

Not in this life. They know too much.

Just don’t attempt to relieve them of their power and control.

Who is best equipped to help society realize its best despite their fear?

—Sean Michaels


Fears and phobias (n.d.). Kid’s Health. Retrieved from:

“Jake Gyllenhaal Wallpaper” by I heart him is marked with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. Retrieved from:

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