Meaning is the “drug” that pushes INFJs to do great things. But taking — making — the time to rest is key.
Being productive is the new high for many people these days — productivity can be a determinant for self-worth and a sense of pride. But as an INFJ, the rarest of all 16 Myers-Briggs personality types, productivity has a different meaning for me. A productive day in my life is when I don’t feel an overwhelming rush of life passing me by, and don’t feel stressed as I hit my bed at night.
Like anyone, I have many aspirations, but my primary goal is to be as present and as at peace as I can. I derive contentment out of the moments when I sit with a blanket of quietude on my balcony or when I sit alone and dig deeper into what life is all about.
In essence, I need time: I need it to ponder and reflect, to sit and rest. And on days when I am most productive, switching from one task to the next, I feel the most dissatisfied. I’ll still put my all into everything I do (thanks to INFJs being perfectionists, I guess), but a part of me is just annoyed, waiting for some time to disconnect, like a child throwing a tantrum for an ice cream cone.
Working toward my goals is something that I’m passionate about, but as an INFJ, I’m always craving meaning and some downtime to look inward and reflect. Sometimes I feel I lose all the intention and meaning somewhere in my long to-do list and life becomes mechanical. Here are some top INFJ-related struggles I have, and ways I try (try!) to overcome them.
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4 Struggles INFJs Will Relate To — And How to Overcome Them
1. Doing one task after another makes life seem robotic… but a schedule can help.
Life for an INFJ is all about purpose, meaning, and creativity. Although I believe most INFJs do sooner or later realize what they truly want to do, they need some time to just sit and look around while they are journeying toward their destination. I aspire to become an effective counselor, for instance, but assignments and deadlines sometimes leave no room for me to breathe. A fast-paced life can never be satisfying for an INFJ; even when we do meaningful work and something we love, we still need moments of quiet to relax and focus on our intentions.
The solution: Set a schedule. Of course, prioritize the most critical tasks and immediate deadlines, but also schedule some time to relax and indulge in your hobbies. This can help ease any overwhelm you may be feeling and bring a sense of harmony back into your life.
2. The perfectionist in you never takes a back seat… but reminding yourself that nothing is ever perfect can help you move on to your next task.
INFJs are known to be perfectionists, and most of us will agree that this tendency doesn’t always serve us best. Having 10 tasks to do in a day probably won’t make us compromise on the quality of any one of them. We involuntarily try to outdo ourselves at anything (and everything) we do, even if it gets overwhelming. We just can’t not do it perfectly. This over-obsession with acing every task leaves little-to-no room to disconnect and take the much-needed break our overburdened senses need.
The solution: INFJs love to reflect and find things they can do better. This is one place to start. I often review my expectations and keep track of the goals that I’m setting for myself. Taking care of my health first, I try to be realistic, challenge my inner critic, and allow myself to be OK with some things not being done perfectly. After all, there is no such thing as “perfect” when you really think about it.
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3. You have limited energy, so life needs to be about more than just work… be sure to fit in time for calm activities, too.
After a busy week, I can sense mental overwhelm and exhaustion in my body; I don’t vibe with my own energy after a few days of working day and night. Like many other introverts, INFJs have a threshold for energy expenditure, and we are also highly selective with how we spend it. This doesn’t mean that we despise everyday chores or ordinary tasks, but we need space to do at least one activity that recharges us again: a stroll alone in a nearby park, an hour with music on the balcony, or just reading a few pages of a book. Each INFJ probably has their favorite go-to activity that is as significant as air for us to remain composed and productive.
In a society that glorifies being busy, I remind myself of what I hold valuable in life, like checking in with my mental and emotional state, reflecting on my interactions with people, or just digging into some insightful content online. However, I’m not immune to this conditioned thought all the time, and this is why I need time away from work to remind myself of what I truly value and how I want to create space for it.
The solution: We need activities that make us dig deeper, reflecting and extracting more meaning than what makes sense on the surface. I ask myself: “What do I need right now?” while I tell myself that the deadlines can wait. Find at least 30 minutes to do something soothing that’ll recharge your introvert battery. Some of my restorative tasks include decluttering my desk space, taking time to meditate, reflecting on my priorities in my journal, watching self-care videos on YouTube, or going back to a book I left unfinished.
4. You love being there for others, but sometimes, you end up ignoring your own needs… so check in with your body.
INFJs are known to be empaths; we feel others’ pain intensely. This makes us be the go-to person for many people in our lives. We are often the ones our friends and family rely on, especially in times of emotional upheaval. Lending others my shoulder to cry on and being a confidant always brings a sense of meaning to my life; however, many times, the process becomes taxing and there is a shift in my state of mind which I only become aware of later on.
The solution: INFJs, don’t forget to check in with yourself and take notice of both your mental and physical state. Doing this before — and after — talking to someone could be the first step toward this self-care change. Having a clearly defined boundary between our emotions and those of others also helps. Lately, I have tried to reflect on how everyday conversations and interactions make me feel. I also like to journal about the changes my emotional state went through as I had the interactions. This way, I can figure out how much I should participate in such exchanges in the future and which ones I should put on hold (at least until I have enough mental energy for them).
INFJs, what are some challenges you face, and how do you deal with them? Let me know in the comments below.
You might like:
- 21 Signs You’re an INFJ, the Rarest Personality Type
- Self-Employed Career Ideas Based on Your Myers-Briggs Type
- 12 Problems All INFJs Will Understand
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