It’s no secret that INFJs love to make exciting plans about the future. Idealists to the core, we live in our own minds half of the time; cooking up ideas and gathering inspiration for our next project. Still, often those plans never come to fruition: we lose interest, become frustrated, or simply let go.
We could put the blame on a lack of willpower, but INFJs generally have motivation a-plenty. So, what’s stopping us from achieving our creative goals? Usually, it’s the fear of being a beginner. Trying something for the first time means making mistakes, and that can be daunting for an INFJ.
Yet, doing things you may initially be bad at is an important part of exploring your own potential. Keep reading to learn how INFJs can benefit from embracing things they’re bad at.
1. How to stop being so harsh on yourself
How many times have you backed away starting something new because of your perfectionism? For INFJs, the fear of being imperfect and making mistakes is often what stands in the way, between where you are and where you want to be.
As an INFJ myself, I know this struggle all too well. I’ve been meaning to learn embroidery for ages, and every time I set my mind to it, I end up sabotaging myself. I’ll look up pictures of embroidery projects on Pinterest only to shut my laptop moments later, and declare that it is no use in trying. For I’ll never be that good!
Tip: Instead of making ridiculous comparisons, see the path of learning something new as a work in progress. It also helps to be open to the input of others, and to acknowledge that their ideas can be as valuable as your own.
2. How to ask for help when you need it
INFJs are famously terrible at asking for help. Whether it’s because we fear being a burden to others, want to maintain a peaceful environment, or naively think we can handle everything on our own, we rarely reach out for help. And that’s a huge barrier when it comes to starting something new.
When things become challenging, or feel unmanageable, INFJs can become overwhelmed. Our response might be giving up altogether, instead of asking for guidance or advice. INFJs would do well to remember that asking for help isn’t a sign of failure, and it can be useful to reach out for help when your motivation is running low.
Tip: If you’re trying to pick up a new hobby, look for online communities to connect with other newbies. Having someone on the same journey as you might give you that extra dose of motivation and support you may need.
3. How to take the pressure off
Even when we’re talking about creative outlets, INFJs can put a tremendous amount of pressure on themselves. We want to succeed, and avoid failure, so—without even realizing—we might transform something that was supposed to be fun in a source of stress.
INFJs could learn by surrendering a bit to the process of acquiring a new skill. I know—it’s frustrating not to be good at something right away. Every misstep feels like a failure. But let’s be reasonable: no one is perfect, and you can’t master anything without practicing.
Tip: When starting a new activity, think of having fun as your top priority. Remember there’s no rush to learn (you’re the one putting extra pressure), and get excited about completing even the smallest part of a new task.
4. How to step outside of your own stubbornness
INFJs can often feel like the odd one out in a crowd, so it’s natural for us to seek solace in what’s familiar, and in what we know to be true. This mindset leads many INFJs to possess a strong confidence in their convictions, and to shy away from situations that will challenge their vision. In short: we can be stubborn once we’ve made up our minds, and it might take forever to convince us otherwise.
Learning things you may initially be bad at can be a great opportunity for INFJs to change stubborn behaviors and stop limiting themselves.
Say you always wanted to play the ukulele, but you worry it’s not a great fit for you. Why not try it anyways? As an INFJ you often fear rejection, but—without realizing—you might be the one self-rejecting in the first place.
Tip: Your stubbornness may lead you to miss opportunities for growth. So, try to be more mindful of how often your immediate response to something new is ‘no’. You can even ask a friend to keep you on track with this. That way you can gain a broader sense of awareness.
5. How to be self-confident
As an INFJ, your dominant function is Introverted Intuition (Ni). This means that wandering around in your own mind feels comfortable and safe to you.
Yet, sometimes, you can get so caught up in your own thoughts that you struggle to actually take action. Working on a new skill can then be helpful here, as it forces INFJs to get out of their heads and into the real world.
At first, it may be frustrating to realize it can take a long time to get good at the new thing you’re trying. But through experience, you’ll start gaining confidence in your skills. And then boom!—the new thing you’re trying that you’re bad at is not new, and you are not bad at it anymore.
Tip: Break down your goals into smaller achievable steps, and be as concrete as possible. How many times per week will you perform this activity? Where? And will you be joined by someone? Breaking down your goals makes them more manageable, and chances are you won’t give up on them as easily.
The bottom line
As an INFJ you can learn a lot from embracing things you’re bad at. At first it may be difficult to master a beginner mindset, but it’s through experience that you gain more confidence. When you look from the outside-in, it’s easy to assume people are born knowing. But what you don’t see is the learning curve, and all the flops, and mistakes made along the way.
So, don’t be afraid to challenge yourself, and try something new. It might turn out to be a more positive experience than you anticipated!