I’m an infp college student studying animation and illustration and honestly i’ve lost all inspiration, self identity, I’m doubting the path I’m taking - and yet I can’t see myself doing much else. 

I used to be so imaginative before I started my “journey to self-improvement” a few years ago. When ever I got anxious, I could escape in whatever fantasy I could sprout out of nowhere or through the cartoons I binge watched every day. But now that i’ve stopped, started to live in reality and truely began to start facing and dealing with my problems . I can’t connect with people, create my own art or any develop my interests. 

I can still draw well, however what I draw is all pretty disapointing since it has no meaning. I’ve lost my passion and I don’t know what to draw which is not good for my art portfolio for getting into university. I don’t know myself and struggle with creating an indenty due to my self conciousness - I have almost no personality.

My childhood wasn’t the greatest. I got a lot of Critisism - for what I liked, what I did, who I was. Even if it wasn’t said to me, it was said in front of me so even disagreeing with something my mum or sister wanted me to look/be like then it was explained to me that the way I thought was stupid. I am better at dealing with it now and it’s reduced dramatically as those people matured and moved out but I still think it’s important for me to get out of this environment which means it’s vital for me to go to uni. On the other hand my mental state is going to make it hard to live on my own if I can’t connect with people and I can’t do that if I don’t know myself nor know my interests.

Does any infps have any advice with focusing on my own interests and beliefs rather than my being controlled by my self consciousness. 

Note: On any mbti test I would always get infp so i know I’m this type no doubt. I’m not a total sheep, I  don’t go against my morals (being disrespectful, rude, complaining about someone without them knowing) and a naturally sensitive person.) 

Comments

DannyD (not verified) says...

Hi there,

 

Funny to be reading this because I went through a very similarly tramatic experience at my first office job after college. I didn't know how to be around others at all and felt consumed by a self-conciousness that came from not knowing who I was or feeling that I was without personality and so had nothing to offer. I hate to say it now, years later, but I still struggle with these issues. I will say though that over time the worst of that passed. I work hard to focus my energy on the moment and doing what feels pleasurable or right in that particular place, be it watching the birds or kicking rocks or saying the dumb thing I want to say that others may judge me for. I think we INFP's can be really hard judgers of ourselves, and my therapist (I highly recommend psychotherapy btw) has been helping me to "normalize" these sorts of feelings. Such as, it's totally normal to feel a loss of passion as you transition through phases of your life, and it's totally a normal thing to find yourself in an environment that isn't the best for your mental health and feeling the effects of that. What's importnat is looking forward, taking one day at a time, breaking down goals into suuuper small acheivable chunks to get you where you want to be. And being forgiving of yourself throughout the process. Of coarse, easier said than done. But come on, really think about it, you are not personality-less and we don't totally not know ourselves. We just aren't accepting ourselves for being who we are as we struggle through a thing in life. Give yourself a break if you can, try and be your own best friend, accept that you're not maybe at your best, but you are working towards something. One day you will have a passion for something again, one day you will not feel this way, and with the moments in between let those be okay too.

 

Like I said, still working on this stuff actively everyday myself, so if you have any other coping tips I'd be happy to hear 'em. Self acceptance is my biggest goal right now, no matter where I'm at with myself or how successful I'm being with others or the rest of the world. Self celebration next I think, and at that point I will find my people. In the meantime, give yourself all the love you can and follow the moment.

 

You're gonna be okay.

 

-Danielle

Michael W (not verified) says...

Some of these stuggles would best be worked through with a psychologist or therapist. Try to stay away from people who are toxic to your own mental health. A good book I recommend is "Boundries". 

savannah smiles (not verified) says...

Boundaries is a great place to start. Next get the toxic people out of your life, find people that are encouraging and can mentor you in areas that seem overwhelming. Being an INFP, I have had countless UNHELPFUL people try to bog me down with their junk. It wasn't until I learned that to keep balance and harmony in my life, I had to not allow toxic ideas, toxic people, or toxic situations to seep into my journey. I think it is normal to feel less value, because most of the world expresses itself differently. If you are the 1% if the population it is harder to find those that relate. Any transition is hard, and the perfectionist attitude most INFP's have, makes it more challenging. So to combat that, you find where your specific gifts add value, and you discard or avoid people who can't comprehend your choices, your values, your lifestyle. It isn't about them anyway. It is about being authentic-and only YOU can decide what that LOOKS like. They have their own journey to mess up or create, so don't let ANYONE hamper the choices you make. Input is fine, but don't let anyone control your life. 

Guest (not verified) says...

OH dear fellow infp's ..I have struggled with these issues throughout my life and see my INFP daughter struggle as well..if she could see herself she would see a beautiful, thoughtful person who doesn't need to feel bad about herself or her questioning..now I just need to see myself that way too..

Guest (not verified) says...

Hi,

I can totally relate to what you are going through. I don't really have any effective advice 'cause I'm deep in my mess too, but just to let you know that you are not alone with all those confusion and anxiety. 

I was a bit surprised when I came across this thread because I somewhat have the same problem and have been feeling so despair since I think no one would be able to understand, and no one should have to put up with my repeated problems. There always exists this silent fear that if people know what I'm really like, they might leave and I will truly be alone. A little bit off-topic, but I think a lot of my anxiety comes from the stress that I am in my last year of college, and I'm supposed to get things, not totally but somewhat, figured out for myself. Pretty much my whole college life has been circling around visual art, but sometimes I just feel something is missing and find it hard to connect with the stuff I've made (I usually hate them 'cause they seem a bit fake to me..) From time to time, I doubt my ability and feel envious to people who do great works; I feel inferior and ashamed to my friends too, just thinking about how they have found their field, but I'm still so struggling. I talk to myself sometimes 'cause if I keep thinking inside my head, my brain would blow off; anyway, it is usually unhealthy monologue (I think), but it gives my brain a bit of a break although the further it gets the more horrible things I realize about myself ==... like how I kinda play the victim, be passive and yearn for help while thinking that I don't ever blame anything and acting like I can handle my own stuff, well and more (sorry to anyone reading this, I don't mean to rant..) 

On social life, I have even given up on making friends :))) Before I used to make the first move so that others won't feel the awkward silence, now I just don't really care :)) I'm still friendly if people come and talk to me but I guess I just don't want to try anymore since there s no point. And when my problems have gone to the point of being cliche, sometimes I would feel helpless, sometimes I would frown thinking why things look so mundane and ugly, sometimes I would just make fun of myself and laugh it off. 

One day, I was just walking and blabbering, then I thought my world is so wrapped up around myself, and I thought it might have been closed since the start of high school. Usually the way I see the world has a lot to do with my memories and feelings, and I can only understand others' problems/stories if they are connected to my feelings. And of course there are tons of things I haven't experienced before, so there are times I find myself in this sad frustration of not being able to understand. All these great people doing art to engage in the great fight against like racism, gender equality, etc, all the problems of the world, I envy them. I tried to do something to "contribute to make the world better" too, but well, like I said before, I ended up hating everything I made because I felt so fake... Who am I to think so arrogantly that I understand the problems of the world? Yes, I think I'm totally ignorant and detached from everything (I used to fantasize I actually came from somewhere else, not earth :)) it would make sense if it were true though - see, playing the victim - well I try to keep my "theories" under control), and at that point I thought maybe I should try opening up my experiences, maybe I'll do more volunteering (?) ('cause Im fed up with myself). And I'm also lucky because I have supporting parents and few-but-trusted-for-life friends, I guess at this point of life, I would (try to) let loose of the image of how I should be, and just (try to) be honest and be me... (hm, yea, ..) 

I apologize for taking advantage of this to rant about my life, but after all of my roundabout and unoriented texts, I would say try to confront and be honest with yourself (erm, not so helpful, is it..)... Oh one thing, I have always thought that even my closed ones don't really really understand me, but maybe they might know more than I think. Same goes for others too, because sometimes how we look at ourselves is too jammed with thoughts and distraction, we fail to see what's there. 

Anonymous INFP (not verified) says...

College always seems to be rough for INFP's. It was for me. I think the whole environment and all the pressures and descisions really stresses us out. I also struggle with being confident in my own path and interests. I can be pretty confident about something, but when someone disapproves or suggests something else, I question everything. I also struggled a lot with my identity, always trying to find my nich and what "type" of person I was during my first couple of years in college.

Like someone else suggested, it may be a good idea to go to therapy, because feeling sad about your old passions could be a sign of depression. We can't really help others or serve the world to the best of our ability until we know ourselves and have taken care of ourselves. That's not being selfish. You will bring your best work if you are healthy and know what you can do and bring.

This would require a lot of thought, but would you consider taking a gap year to maybe volunteer or something? If you need to get away but aren't ready to start college, a lot of volunteer programs and missions offer room and board for volunteers. If you feel like you need more meaning in your life, devoting time to help others would be an excellent opportunity to do that. If you are seriously doubting your career path, now is an excellent time to step back, think about what you really want to do, and try out other things as well.

But if you know you want to be an animator and others' opinions are getting in the way, just remember that you can't ever please everyone. No matter what you do, there are always critics. Following others' opinions will lead you all over the place.

If people in your family judge you, I'm so sorry. I know that can be really hard. Just because they don't understand you doesn't mean you need to change or be like them. There are so many others, like the ones in this thread, who understand.

INFP here... (not verified) says...

Hiya :)

I am an INFP who also went to school for animation.. unfortunately, I make a horrible student and did not finish. And not for reasons unlike yours.

Going into art school, I questioned the endeavor I was undertaking - mostly due to the notion of inviting random input/influence that would affect something so intimate and personal to me... even if I dearly wanted to improve my technical skills in art. My fears proved themselves true pretty quickly, as I constantly ended up feeling dumb or regretful for trying to incorporate unique or original content, or staying true to my visual "style" as I learned. I realized the environment would likely deconstruct my actual creative ability, while improving my technique.

I am notoriously stubborn, and dropped out. This choice was also swayed by finances(not so great at the time), but it was mostly due to the environment I'd placed myself in. I don't mean(or even feel at all) that you should leave school before you have finished, but do keep in mind that most INFP's are incredibly responsive to the environment(s) that they are placed in on a regular basis. How does your school environment affect you? How do you feel when you leave? Your home environment? Who do you live with and how do these relationships affect you?

I tend to lose interest in my usual passions or feel a depressing loss of creativity when I am placed in an environment that contains more irritants than inspirations for me. I react very negatively to obligatory relationships(co-workers, roommates, clients, etc.), and the more of these I have to maintain, the less meaning everything I do seems to have. I actually begin to feel like a fraud in everything I do if I don't have enough relationships built on some sort of foundation that I value or deem worthy. I'm not sure if you feel this way as an INFP or in your situation at all, but these are things as an INFP, that have made me feel exactly the way you describe feeling.

Sometimes an updated environment, or even complete change of environment is what you may need to feel renewed passion about the things you love and value about yourself. Even a quick weekend jaunt to a nearby town or new lamp can give me a nice little charge! But ultimately, your relationships and environment will keep changing, so I would say this is most likely a phase and things will end up changing themselves. Creativity, I've learned, is fluid - it comes and goes, shrinks and grows, shifts, sparks, and evolves with us - if we should keep it by our side.

Best to ya :)

A Cartoon Character (not verified) says...

The good news is, you really are quite advanced. You could be going through this 30 years from now having stopped your art journey for decades for whatever reason; the most sad of which would be because of what other people said. But your art is not about them - it’s completely about you. You need a lot of courage to sit in that place of feeling that you have no frame of reference.

You are experiencing an existential crisis of self doubt. The bad news is that everyone has them and it's completely natural. Not knowing yourself is exactly where you should be. This is a journey of discovery that hopefully continues as long as you’re breathing. People don’t know themselves or each other. Knowing is the death of learning.

Perseverance wins the day. Just keep showing up and doing. Try to keep yourself in the moment. The moment is terrifying. Most people try to outrun it through distractions from ourselves, our gifts, and others. Stay in the moment. Weather the storm. Just wait and see what happens.

Don’t suffer the fool gladly who makes you feel worse. If they say what you think is stupid, ask yourself, why did I share my thoughts with them? Always notice with whom you are choosing to interact. Stop going down the same alley with the snarling dog. Surround yourself with those who support you. If they are not to be found, be patient, they will find you.

Are you self-sabotaging? Don’t. Try not to betray yourself like that. Hey, it happens. Celebrate it as one more puzzle piece of the greater picture, which we also don’t get to see… thank goodness! Without mystery, life would not be lively. We need structure/stability/predictability, but without mystery, it only leads to boredom, which is a mind killer.

It wouldn’t hurt to find and embrace the absurdity all around and in others, but especially in ourselves, and laugh at it. This laughter is a life preserver. Just remember to be discreet about it, because you don’t want to set off someone else’s existential crisis. It’s important to quickly evolve laughter past the stage of being at the expense of others, which can happen when you’re feeling injured.

What you’re feeling now? Grab it and put it into your art. Don’t like it? Just see it through, see where it leads to… it’s taking you somewhere else, somewhere new. Buckle your seatbelt. You are a channel for your art, so you can stop taking it personally.

It’s often those that show up that get the work. If you happen to be talented, that’s great. But talent is only subjective and popular opinion changes in a flicker. Practice and preparation are invaluable.

In the end, you are you, and the sooner you can appreciate it the better. Would you want to be anyone else? Spoiler alert: someday your answer to that question will be “no.” Stop worrying about what they think of you. You can’t control that. If you draw the curtain aside, you will see that people are more concerned about what others think of them (similar to your concern?).

A lot of work goes into making something appear effortless. If it seems that way, you have missed seeing the struggle it took to get there. Most people miss opportunity because it looks too much like hard work. If you span that work over time, it can indeed feel effortless as well.

Infpjay76 says...

Im 41 yrs old and am glad that you gave a crisp refreshing wake up to some of the talented people that we are. Some of the documentaries I have watched and previous movies are helping inspire me, but I always have captain negative on my shoulder heckling my dreams. Spielberg,  Toilken, Jackson, Rowling, even Snowden all share the inner loneliness, yet can see patterns and anomalies in even the slightest glitch in life, but not knowing who who are or your strengths can be frustrating I know. I spent 8yrs as a automotive technician, 8 years retail, two highest stressful service jobs, door to door for a month was worst job ever. The best advice I'm trying to do myself, is do what you enjoy, and write down what's most fulfilling. For instance being a psychologist and having to go through 8 years of school, not for me. 20 years ago maybe. Cross that off, next up Automotive again, probably small jobs for friends maybe even do as side job, but not have to be pressured to make a living from it. I like electrical and even my father weighed in on my babbling recently. He said stop pipe dreaming (he still is) and get into an apprenticeship program in electrical, get your license then from there I can do service work, or think bigger like custom work, or even blend auto with home with solar power and get these homes off the power grid for 12 hrs. He helped me with that first step. Keep reading and talking to others like us. They will guide you based on their perception combined with your intuition. 

Lost INFP (not verified) says...

Well, when I read these comments I see everything I underwent .

I'm still in the high school but  I think I was dealing with a lot of stress .

It was so much to handle I even went to a counsellor .

I'm still having problems , but I feel a bit better .

But I still dont understand some things going on for example my lost of passion for things .

I argue ( no violence )with my parents that I want to go from the Art but now I doubt it myself as I dont seem to do anything to prove I will have a good future .

I'm still confused about myself and some times I dont seem to be conscious at all about my environment . 

And I have a major exam coming up and I'm still not conscious about it .

I hope I do survive .

But councelling really helped me and I recommend it if you feel lost too.

Mindy96 (not verified) says...

Dear fellow infp!!

when i read what you have written i think of myself! its very normal to feel numb somtimes but often we make the problem worst by judging ourselves for feeling this way. Allow it to past or if you think we are suffering from depression which is a possibility a good therapist can help you. Also when making decisions choosing the morally correct gives us better self esteem and we will feel like we are living with morals that we agree with, this doesnt have to be major moral dilemas just everyday decisions we make. good luck

HomebodyAlien (not verified) says...

I have a bit of a different vein of thought on this one.  I'm a writer who is dating a comic book artist.  These are our passions, yet, not our careers.  We are both INFPs.  As creative people, we have very specific and individual needs as concerns the physical and emotional environments in which we can best create.  Both of us are like this, and our needs are different.  In school, my significant other was constantly breaking the rules and loathed doing any art project which he did not have any personal interest in.  I was the same way in college, with my writing.  The creative process (where actual "good" art is created) often has its own set of parameters that does not adhere well to, or comply with, any other external set of parameters.  For us, it was more about having separate careers we liked that did not put pressure on our creativity to provide for us.  For each of us, putting the "livlihood" pressure on our creativity took all the "fun" out of it, and for both of us, liesure and relaxation, and fun - really just goofing off, are the emotional conditions for our best creativity.  It sounds like you may be that way as well, so I'd encourage you to pursue a career you aren't going to hate, in order to pay the bills, and keep your creativity it's own, sacred thing.  I know this may not be what you want to hear, but, at least for us, it's been the best way for us to have our cake and eat it too.  I hope this helps you.

HomebodyAlien (not verified) says...

Also, we INFPs are just built differently.  Our interests are always changing.  The rest of the world is pretty categorized and repetitive- settling into and making lists of hobbies and interests is something a lot of other people can do pretty easily.  Recently, I realized that the highest value I have is the freedom to do whatever I want to do with my free time and that it never has to be the same.  I don't really care about specific hobbies, though I may enjoy them from time to time, and I don't have to do them with any sort of regular frequency to feel good about my life - unless I'm trying to use them to impress other people - which I try not to do.  That's the way I want it, and that's okay.  There are plenty of ways I've filled my free-time in the past, and they're really varied.  I might do something once and then not do it again for 6 months, not because I didn't like it but just because I didn't feel like doing it again just yet.  That's not easy to communicate to others who are not like us, so I would recommend finding others who are like you.  You're not a neatly packaged personality that can be presented to someone else in a very clear way.  That's one of the halmarks of your existence, and it's a really rad thing.  To attempt to neatly package yourself in order to connect with others would be to limit yourself, and is a recipe for disaster, both for you, and for others, so try not to cram yourself into other people's paradigms.

Share your thoughts

Truity up to date