A Change is Gonna Come: INFJs and Change

Change. It’s a hard concept, a difficult thing to talk about. Most people don’t really handle it very well. But it’s a good thing. From time to time it can be the best thing. I’ve had a lot of change in my life. I have moved halfway across the country a few times. I have worked in several different careers. Some of the change has been so good and some of it has been so hard. But it’s very much a part of life that we have to deal with.

For me as an INFJ, it’s a necessary evil. It’s something that I need from time to time, even if it’s just changing my hair color. I get restless after a while. I need something to look forward to, something to plot and plan. I’m always looking for something to make better in my life, always.

I’m contemplating a big change now. I really want to lose weight, something I’ve been planning for way too long. I know exactly what I need to do, but it’s difficult. It requires me to change a lot. It requires me to give up my loved coping mechanism: chocolate. And it requires me to give up some of my coveted free time to visit the gym more often. I have a love/hate relationship with the gym, so I’m looking forward to that and dreading it at the same time.

Change is Hard

I’m very much a person of routine. I like doing the same thing every day. I like knowing what I’m going to do and being prepared for it and looking forward to it. When there is a change in my routine, even for a day, it’s difficult. But to think about changing my whole routine, turning it completely upside down, it’s really scary!

Change is Good

Change can be a good thing though too. Sometimes I get stuck in my routine and weeks go by before I realize I haven’t really done anything in a while. I wonder if I’m living my life to the fullest, or just sliding by. Will I regret my decisions later? This is a big thing for INFJs. We have this idea that our lives should have a higher purpose. We can’t just accept the normal, everyday things that some people are content with.

I made a decision to move to NC from my home in the Midwest a number of years ago and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It was hard, man was it hard sometimes, but it was such a good thing for me! I’m so glad that I did it.

I moved to Boston as well. That was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, even harder than NC, but I’m so happy now that I did. I love Boston! My life has been so much better since I’ve been here. I’ve learned so much and feel like a whole new person. I think this is another reason I want to lose weight. I feel different and I think it’s time that I look different as well.

So, how do you make this kind of change, a big, life-altering change? What’s the process? And how do you make it work? There are 4 steps to change in my experience: planning, motivation, and rewards.

Planning

Planning has to be my favorite part. This part I can do all by myself. I don’t have to tell anyone about it. There is no bravery involved. It’s just me, sitting in my room or my car or even my office, dreaming about how something could be different. That’s how it starts. Sometimes it’s a crazy “what if,” sometimes it’s something I’ve been thinking about for as long as I can remember, something I’ve always wanted.

I’m a perfectionist, so I like to plan things out in detail. I think about every aspect to an angle and then start all over again and try a different one. I want to know how everything will work out before I tell anyone about it or make any actual changes. If it’s something that I know my friends and family will think is crazy, I want to have my plan well thought about before I present it to them. I want to have all of my reasons and arguments in order before anyone asks me about them.

The planning stage is so important, but the downside is that sometimes I get stuck there. It’s easy and fun to plan. It’s a lot harder to pull the trigger and make a big change.

Motivation

When you are making a change in your life it’s important to know why. What’s going to keep you going when it’s not fun anymore? What is going to keep you on track when it’s hard?

I’ve had different diving forces at different times in my life. There was a time when I was just out of high school that I lost a bunch of weight. It was more about fitting in with the people I was friends with at that time than anything else. Not the healthiest way to lose weight, but it worked.

It’s different now. I’m not doing it for anyone else. It’s just for me. I want to feel better about myself and make my life better for me. That was my motivation for moving to NC and to Boston. I had dreams and I wanted so badly for them to come true.

Some people say making a vision board helps to stay on track. I’ve always had one in my head, an idea that I kept coming back to. I’m thinking of making an actual board though, as one more reminder that I can see every day.

Change

This is the hard part. You’ve made your decision, you have a plan and the motivation, now it’s time to make the change. You know exactly what to do, but sometimes doing it is so hard. It’s a constant battle just to put one foot in front of the other.

I have found that it helps me not to think about the whole change at once. Just think about the next thing. Just do the next thing. That’s all you need to think about. Don’t get overwhelmed by the fact that your whole life is about to change. Just think about the next step.

When I moved to NC for the first time, I threw everything I owned in my car and hit the road. This was before turn-by-turn navigation was something that I had, so I had a printed copy of directions from Google maps. I just looked at the next thing.

I couldn’t think about the fact that I was going to live in a house I hadn’t seen, that I didn’t have a job yet or that I only had $300 to my name. I couldn’t think about those things. I spent the first 2 hours of that journey in tears just thinking about what I had left behind. But I knew what was in front of me was so much better. It was all of my hopes and dreams for the previous 10 years. I just couldn’t keep going without trying to follow those dreams. I had to. So, I did the next thing. That’s it.

Rewards

The whole reason that we make these changes are for the rewards that come with them. I moved to NC to follow my dreams. The rewards were exponential. I learned that I could take care of myself, that my happiness was important and that if you work hard for something you want, your dreams can come true.

Confidence was the most important thing I learned. It’s a reward for nearly every big change that I have made. It means so much to me that I can make a plan to do something and then see it through. It’s an amazing feeling to see your dreams come true. It also makes it easier the next time you have an idea to make that change, knowing how many other big changes you have made successfully.

Change is hard, but it’s so worth it. You can suffer for a short time while you are making the change, or you can live with the regret for the rest of your life. I can’t live with the regret. I always have to make the change and see what happens.

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