5 Tips for INFJs Who Are Always Trying to Improve Themselves

IntrovertDear.com INFJ self-improvement

Do you ever have days where you find yourself staring into space wondering, “What am I doing with my life?” You think about your current situation; how you got there and where you want to be. You sift through some alternate realities where you are happier: perhaps traveling, enjoying a new hobby, or making more time for yourself. Or maybe you want to be healthier: exercising, eating healthy meals, or spending more time looking inward in order to become more at peace with yourself and more mindful of the present moment.

If you are an INFJ personality type, you probably know what I’m talking about. In some shape or form, you find yourself living a life of assessing and reassessing. Reaching for more or better, always trying to be the best you can be. You seem to never escape that nagging feeling that you just need to improve yourself a little bit more.

Don’t get me wrong – self-improvement can be great! In fact, it’s made you who you are today. You may have used your nagging voice to your advantage, motivating you to live the life you’ve always dreamed of. You’ve probably accomplished many things and feel satisfied with a job well done, as you rightfully should.

But that perpetual need to improve can become a nuisance. The nagging voice may tell you that you’re never good enough and you need to achieve more. It can become an insatiable void that is never filled.

As an INFJ and a highly sensitive person (HSP), I understand what you’re going through. I can be intense and perfectionistic, and have high standards for myself and others. I am often looking to grow, evolve, and improve myself. At times, the amount of improvements I want to make can get overwhelming – which can lead to procrastination or avoidance. The double-edged sword of self-improvement can create anxiety and stress for INFJs if they are not careful.

To aid you in following through with your self-improvement endeavors and quieting that nagging voice,  here are 5 ways to take control:

1. Start a list. This is my go-to tactic for most decisions. It helps me “get out of my head” and lay out my options on paper to feel in control. Try beginning with areas you want to improve and why you want to improve (reasons help motivate change). Or make a pros and cons list to help you decide where to start.

2. Create S.M.A.R.T. goals. I learned this lovely little technique during my child and youth care program. S stands for “specific,” M for “measurable,” A for “attainable,” R for “realistic,” and T for “time-lined.” It is important to use SMART goals to help you create achievable ones. Setting yourself up for failure is a sure fire way to avoid self-improvement. Break a big goal into mini goals to measure the progress you are making. Don’t forget to make a specific timeline of what you want to complete by when to help you measure your progress and stay on track.

3. Rewards, rewards, REWARDS! Dearest INFJs, you spend so much time working hard, helping others, and improving yourselves that you often forget to reward yourself. It is important to take a step back from our busy lives to replenish our energies and find some time for fun. So come up with a list (see step 1) of rewards that will motivate you. These don’t have to be expensive; in fact I encourage self-care rewards, whatever that might mean to you. This can be playing with pets, candlelit bubble baths, spending time in nature, taking time for yourself, etc. In fact, one of your goals may be making more time for self-care. This is very much needed to aid us in living a healthy and happy life.


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4. Make mistakes. Accept that you’re not perfect and that’s okay. Laugh off mistakes and give yourself permission to mess up. Don’t let your missteps bring you down or stop you from trying. Acknowledge that in order to become the best version of yourself, there are going to be occasional setbacks, mistakes, and moments when you feel like giving up. That’s okay, that’s life, do it anyway.

5. Have fun. This is your life — you are the one who is living it! Ensure that you choose goals that interest you, the ones that will help you be the happiest and most fulfilled version of yourself. Smile and thank yourself for taking this time to be open to the opportunity for self-improvement. At the very least, appreciate yourself for being willing to be open to new ideas. Not everyone is.

Feel like sharing? I would love to hear about your journey with self-improvement, be it your achievements, setbacks, or works in progress. They all make up who we are. What helps you? What hinders you? Leave me a comment below.

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Read this: 4 Tips to Deal With Change When You’re an Introvert Who Hates Adjusting to New Things


  • Michael P Gilly

    This is great advice! I’m going through this right now actually, getting overwhelmed with multiple self-improvement “projects” I’m working on. So your article was very timely and helpful! 🙂

  • Thank you Michael! I am happy my article was beneficial to you. I wish you well on your self-improvement journey! Feel free to view my blog for other relevant posts. 🙂

  • I’m a HSP and INFJ as well, and I can totally relate to the “insatiable void” you’re talking about. I voraciously read self-improvement books, but the much harder part is actually putting them into the practice in the long-term. Thanks for all these tips!

  • Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment Grace! If you feel so inclined feel free to visit my blog and connect with me there!

  • Whit

    It is unbelievably satisfying to read something that is sooooo you! Love your blog! Thank you!

  • Melinda

    Thank you for this article. The one I have the hardest time with is having fun.

  • Jacqueline

    Well-written and practical! What a great article 🙂 Thank you for sharing your wisdom and promoting understanding of INFJs. Interestingly enough, this also came to my attention after a bit of a freak out session, I must admit, wherein I was trying to figure out what it is I want to do that will create so much meaning for me and others in life. I often feel this incredible power and urge to change the world in a big way but I just haven’t figured out what that will be…Being an INFJ has meant a difficult path in life at times–being totally indecisive and too much of a perfectionist, stifling my productivity and creativity. I hope we can all start or continue to embrace our powers and strengths and make the world, and all of humanity really, more beautiful and compassionate. Lots of love!

  • April

    I came across this article today and I found it to be some very sage advice. Right now I am going through a major transiton careerwise and am completig some steps in order to best ascertain my goals, mission and how to make best use of my skills and knowledge to help others in a big way. Coming across your article makes me feel that:
    1- I am on the right path and…
    2- It is ok to take a break and recharge a bit.
    So thank you.

  • Veronica

    Most insightful and thoughtful. Can’t wait to see and read more from you.

  • Jolene

    Thank you so much for the great advice Ashley! Even though i am 50% INTJ and a third INFJ, i do find a lot of characteristics of an INFJ in me. I devour self-improvement books like its nothing and am passionate about entering the health care industry. I am always finding ways to improve myself but really need to follow your advice of rewards. I usually brush off rewards because I’m not receptive to rewards but am open to the idea that rewards, especially self-care rewards, are important in maintaining good health. Rewards can help fight off against depression, an illnesss that most introverts and HSPs are prone to.

  • Teagan

    ” Acknowledge that in order to become the best version of yourself, there are going to be occasional setbacks, mistakes, and moments when you feel like giving up. That’s okay, that’s life, do it anyway.” My favourite part! Change takes time and it’s nice you took time to acknowledge this. Always loved your writing! Looking forward to more

  • Laurie Sherfey

    As introverts, we are all about our interior lives. I think one thing I’d like to emphasize (and it is included in the SMART strategy listed above) is that it is not enough for me to read about and plan improvement. I have to change BEHAVIOR – create new habits, discard and replace old, bad habits – or old habits that are no longer working. Intentions are great – self awareness is great. But if there is no progress, no substantive change as a result, then unfortunately all this self-improvement can at times just become well-intentioned self-absorption. What is our purpose or ultimate goal? Why are we changing? Who will it benefit? And what concrete steps can we take in that direction?

    And I do agree some of it should be fun, because real change can also be hard work!

  • Lauren Teresa Smith

    Insightful!! I needed this. Thanks for sharing!