Pushing Past Your Limits for INFJs

About 8 weeks ago my favorite podcaster announced that she was hosting a course. She’s hosted this course a few times and every time she does it there’s a week or two of free videos that she does talking about the course. It’s all about how to start a business and make sure that it is what you really want to do with your life. 

I always sign up for the free videos and resign myself to not being able to afford the paid course. It’s expensive and I have a budget. I try to have a budget. It’s hard. 

Anyway, this time around, through the week, I kept listening to what she said. She spoke about limiting ourselves and how we believe the things that we’ve always believed, how that holds us back from doing the things that we want to do. 

The stories you tell yourself

You see, we all have these stories that we tell ourselves. Things that we’ve believed forever, maybe we don’t even know where they came from or why we believe them. I have tons of examples.

I can’t lose weight because it’s really, really hard! Nothing works!!! 

I can’t write a book because I’m terrible at spelling and no one will read it anyway. 

I can’t host a podcast or a YouTube channel because I’m an introvert and I don’t like being on camera. 

I’m not enough because people have told me that I’m wrong my whole life. “You should speak up more. You need more friends. You need to do things with other people. You shouldn’t be so straightforward,” and on and on and on. 

All of these stories are things that we tell ourselves that limit what we think we can do with our lives, i.e. limiting beliefs. They hold us in this comfortable place that we call our lives and keep us safe – or so we like to think. 

You have to ask yourself if you’re really comfortable though. Is there something that’s nagging you, that your intuition is telling you that you should do that your mind is telling you that you can’t do? I’ve been there, many, many times. 

I’ve told you this story about this blog many times. But once more, with feeling. I’ve wanted to start a blog for years. Every December I would start thinking about New Year’s resolutions which would make me think that this was the year I was going to start writing. And I would start. I would make a free blog on WordPress and pour my heart into a blog post. Tears would run down my face as I spoke about the things that were so incredibly important to me. I’d publish it and wait anxiously for someone to read it. Anyone. 

I’d secretly be filled with anxiety that someone would actually read it and then I’d have to answer for all of my thoughts and feelings. After an hour or two the anxiety would take over completely and it would turn to hurt. How could no one, not one person out of 7.7 billion people on Earth read my blog and related to it? I’d anxiously unpublish it and talk myself out of being a writer. It’s so not for me. Until December came around again and I’d start over. 

It was just another way that the world was telling me I’m not enough. That’s the way I saw it anyway. 

In 2018, something changed. I’m not really sure what it was, but it changed. I again wanted to start a blog, but I was tired of giving up. I was tired of being anxious and hurt. I determined to write a blog for me, regardless of anyone else or if they read it or not. 

Challenge those thoughts

So we have these stories that we tell ourselves. Ok, well what can we do about it? The first thing is to challenge those thoughts. Here’s my example:

I can’t write a book because I’m terrible at spelling and no one will read it anyway

Is that 100% true? Is every person who writes a perfect speller? No, they can’t be. Does it matter that I can’t spell very well? Well, I guess not. I mean, there are apps that help, Google saves me a lot. Also, the way that people spell on social media nowadays is treacherous! If people can read that, surely they can deal with me not being able to spell definately… de-fin-itly… definitely? (I’m not gonna lie. I use talk-to-text for that one and so many others!)

Can I still have valuable things to say even if I can’t spell them? Yes!! Absolutely!

I can’t host a podcast or a YouTube channel because I’m an introvert and I don’t like being on camera. 

Are all introverts shy? No. Am I shy? Yes!!! Do I like being on camera or even just an audio recording? No! But, I can learn how to deal with it. I can get used to it and push through the pain (it’s not real pain, but it feels like it sometimes). 

I can and I did. I did both of these things. Now, over 30K people read my blog every month, more than 500K since I started writing it. More than 125K people have downloaded my podcast and listened to it as well! 

How did all of this happen? I changed the story I was telling myself. 

Create a new story

After you challenge the stories you’re telling yourself and see why they aren’t correct, next you have to create a new story to tell yourself. What’s the new story? For me, it’s that I can write a blog even if I’m not a good speller, even if I’m scared that I’m not enough. I can help people even if I’m not perfect. I’ve spent my whole life striving to be the perfect A student, but maybe it’s ok to be the C student now. 

And the new story for my podcast is that I can do hard things, even be on camera. Just because I’m an introvert doesn’t mean that I’m incapable of putting myself out there, challenging myself to do new things. It also doesn’t mean that I can’t be on video. So, even though this is really hard for me, I can do hard things. 

Take action

The next step is just as important as the first two. In order to see a change, you have to take action. Don’t stop to think. Don’t start planning (that’s not action). You have to take real action. Sit down and write a blog post. Create your blog and post something. Record a video for your podcast with your phone. Whatever it is, just do something, take some kind of action to reaffirm your new story and show yourself that you can do hard things. 

It’s easy for us to think about doing something difficult. INFJs are great planners, but we can also get stuck in the perfectionism trap. We want things to be perfect before we start them. We want to know all the things before we move forward. But my question to you is… what is enough? When will you have enough information to start? When will your plan be perfect enough for you to move forward? What is enough? 

Most of the time, there is no enough. There is no perfect scenario. It’s just fear. Fear that is holding you back from making change, telling you that being comfortable with the familiar is so much better. Be willing to let that go. The more willing you are, the easier it will leave you alone. 

And so it is

When you change the story and take action, there’s no going back. It just is. There’s so much relief in that feeling. There’s no more regret or worry, just happiness that you did the thing that you’ve wanted to do for so long. 

I’ve never regretted starting my blog or my podcast. Some people make comments about my spelling. Some people make fun of how I pronounce words on my podcast. That’s ok. The overwhelming majority of people send me wonderful and amazing messages about how thankful that they are that I share my story and tell me how amazing it is to know that they are not alone. 

I want to challenge you right now to think about the limiting beliefs that you have. What is the one that bothers you the most? How can you change that story? What action can you take right now to make that change? 

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