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How to Overcome Impostor Syndrome as an INFJ

As INFJs we struggle a lot with knowing who we are. We have a tendency to be a different version of ourselves around different people, catering to what we think they want. A lot of times this leads us to feeling lost and confused when we try to figure out who we really are. When you don’t know who you are and what you are capable of, it’s easy to feel like an impostor. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you can’t do the things that you want to do and feeling like a fraud when you try. 

This is what we call imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is feeling like you are not enough, feeling like you don’t know enough to share with others. It’s also feeling like you need to know more or be more, more educated, more experienced and have more credentials before you can do the thing that you want to do. 

When I thought about starting my own business this feeling of impostor syndrome hit me hard. Who am I to start a business?? I have no IDEA how to do that or even where to start!!  

It’s easy to say, “No, I can’t do that. It’s too hard.” Or, “I should go back to school and learn more about this subject.” 

But the problem with thinking that way is you won’t get over it by avoiding it or going back to school. Because 2 or 4 or even 6 years later, with all of that education, you will still feel the same way. 

And this could be in the context of a lot of different things, not just starting your own business but writing or anything honestly where you just feel like you’re not enough. Any place where you want to do something new where you just feel like you’re not enough you don’t know enough to be able to do it

How much do you really need to know

How much do you really need to know before it’s enough to share with others? What makes someone an expert? Do you really need to be an expert? Is that what your customers will want? 

I still feel imposter syndrome and I spent 10 years in college. Wouldn’t you think 10 years in college would be enough? But for some reason we still feel like we need to know more before we can share it with other people.

What do they really want? 

Think about the people you want to touch with your blog? Do they really want to hear from somebody who has a doctorate degree who uses really big words that they really can’t relate to and they may not even understand? Or do they want to hear from somebody that they can relate to really well somebody that’s a lot like them that has the same problems and the same issues that they have?

I know when I’m reading a blog or when I’m looking for advice I want to read something from somebody that I can relate to from somebody who’s at the same education level that I’m at. I want to feel seen and heard and understood and that’s the most important thing for me. it doesn’t really matter to me what credentials they have. it only matters to me if they relate to me and if I can relate to them.

Pluralistic ignorance

Pluralistic ignorance is the belief that people know more than you do. They act like they do, so you believe them. I believe them too. They must be the authority because they said that they were. But it’s not always true. In fact, it’s not true most of the time.

We don’t see the behind the scenes. We also don’t see how hard things are for other people so we assume that it’s not hard for them, that whatever they are doing just comes naturally. 

People have a way of selling that front as well. They want you to think it’s easy to make a bunch of money fast with no effort, and that their “natural” makeup look was effortless, when it really took an hour to get there. Just because we don’t see the struggle, doesn’t mean that it isn’t there.

I’m really honest

I know that part of the reason that I lack confidence at times is because I know what I know, but I know what I don’t know as well. If I don’t know something, my first inclination is to say “I don’t know,” rather than acting like I do. I just fall into the assumption that other people know more than I do. But the fact is that a lot of people don’t.

I assume that because it looks like other people know more than I do that they really do. I know of my own failures and insecurities and because of those I feel that I’m not enough. I think that I shouldn’t do the thing I want to do because I may not be perfect at it or because someone else has already done it so much better.

The reality is that is so not true! No one is you. No one can do things the same way that you can or say things the same way that you can. 

Just because someone else has done something doesn’t mean you can’t do the same thing too. It won’t be the same, because you are different. There is plenty of room in this world for millions of people to write books and draw pictures and have an instagram about traveling.

Whatever it is that you want to do, you are enough. You have enough information to share it, you have enough experience to be able to benefit others, you have a special gift that you were born with to share with the world. It is enough.

How to get past impostor syndrome

Awareness that you’re not alone

The first step is to realize that everyone deals with this feeling, even people like Oprah and Beyonce. Just having that knowledge has helped me so very much. Remember that when you are feeling less than or when you are struggling to push forward. I’m right there with you!

Know your why

There is a reason that you set out to do this thing that you want to do. It’s an important reason and for INFJs it usually effects others. We usually have a goal of helping others in some way. Remember that why when the going gets tough. It helps to push through all of the doubts and hard times. 

Make it a habit

Whatever it is that you want to do, make it a habit. Make it something that you do everyday or every week. When I was starting my blog I made a goal to write a post every week. And I was scared and it was messy, but I did it and it got better as I went along. The more you do it the more confidence you will gain.

Connect with people who are doing the same thing

I know this one is hard for us INFJs, but there are lots of ways to connect that aren’t in person. 

Let me take a moment to put in a shameless plug here… I’m in the process of creating a community for INFJs and I want you to be a part of it. This will be an AMAZING place of us to connect and get advice and encouragement from people just like us who understand us. You can sign up to be notified when it launches (very soon) here.

Facebook is a great place to connect with people. You can find groups of people who are interested in just about anything. It’s still a bit intimidating to comment and message people, but it’s so much easier for me to do that than to talk to them in person. 

By connecting with people you can share your wins and losses and get advice from them too. You will feel so much less alone knowing that there are people out there struggling with the same things that you are. 

Remember that you are enough

Most of all I hope you remember that you are enough. You have something special to share with the world that the world needs! You were made this way for a reason. You are not an extra. You are not broken or messed up in any way. 

Your experience and knowledge is valuable. You don’t need more credentials to relate to people and for them to learn from you. You just need to show up. You just need to be real and authentic. You just need to connect with them. That’s it.

Interested in starting your own business? I have another blog that’s all about starting a business for introverts.

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An INFJ That’s All Grown Up, But Not Really

My birthday was last month. I turned 34. I can’t believe that number. I really want to cry. I thought it would be different somehow. I keep wondering when I’m going to feel like an adult though. Like for real. At what age will I feel like I have my life together? When does that happen?

I have a friend who has 5 kids and a husband. She manages so much. I can barely manage to get myself out of bed in the morning and get to work. She’s way more adultier than I am and she’s younger than me. *cringe*

I can’t help but wonder if I missed something somewhere. Was there a class in college that I opted out of? Was there something my mom forgot to tell me? Was it one of those trendy documentaries that everyone was watching and I opted not to because everyone else did? 

OK, so I’m being super honest here, because that’s one of my goals this year. I want to show you the real me. I’m still trying to figure out who that is, but maybe we can figure it out together! So, here’s a few of my biggest struggles. Let me know if you feel them too! 

I want to get married, but I don’t want to date

The struggle is so real. I hate dating. The whole concept just makes my skin crawl. All I can see is rejection and a waste of time. What a painful and miserable thing to torture yourself with! 

Surely there is a better way to figure out your future life partner than endlessly swiping through a bunch of terrible pictures and pathetic one line introductions. No one ever responds to my profiles. Maybe this is why I hate it so much. Here’s what it says:

Looking for the love of my life, not a one night stand. I hate hiking and hanging out with friends. I’m more of a documentary and pizza in my blanket cocoon on the couch kinda person. I like books, podcasts and deep conversations about the meaning of life. I’m also super sarcastic, so no sissies, please. Must be passionate about something and have their own things going on. I need lots of alone time and don’t want someone who texts me 100 times a day. 

I don’t know why people find that intimidating. I think I sound absolutely lovely. *shrugs*

Wanting to be alone but not wanting to be lonely for the rest of my life

I was told that I’m too comfortable being alone. Now I’m worried about it cause I think it’s true. I have this little life full of routines that I enjoy and I don’t want anyone to mess it up. 

But I don’t want to be alone forever. I agree. There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. I am both. Sometimes I enjoy being alone. Sometimes I want to cry because of how painful it is. It’s hard being strong all the time. *sigh*

I can’t keep track of how much money I have…. Details…

OMG. My bank makes so much money off of me. I can’t seem to figure it all out. (I don’t need helpful advice. I just want to complain). I should be smarter than this. I really should be. 

But then I want to be more gentle with myself. The bills do get paid. Nothing has been turned off or repossessed. I haven’t been evicted… yet. 

Confession: my credit score is incredibly low. Like people see it and make comments like, “Oh, I didn’t know it could be a negative number. Huh.” I don’t know why I feel like that’s somehow tied to my worth as a person, but I seem to believe there’s a direct relation. It’s hard to break that habit. 

If you have this belief too, let me reassure you: you are worthy of love if you are broke. You are worthy of love if you have filed bankruptcy or been fired or are homeless. I have been and done all of these things. I’m still here and still worthy of love. It’s a whole new thing that I’m working on, but the more I tell myself these things the more I believe them.

Being forgetful

I’ve noticed recently that I can’t remember anything. I don’t know if it’s age or stress or alzheimer’s, but it’s a thing now. I wandered around Target for an hour the other day trying to remember what I was looking for. It’s bad. I even forgot where I was going on my way to Target. That’s something my mom does all the time!

It’s like look for my phone while I’m holding it bad. And think about something I need to remember, open the notes app on my phone and instantly forgetting the thing I was gonna write down. *Facepalm*

Feeling like my life is a mess

I constantly feel like a mess. Every time I think I have things figured out and now I’m gonna be all adulty and responsible, something else happens. It’s like my adultness is built on a house of cards and and one thing as simple as a cold can bring it down in a flash. 

I don’t like going to the doctor by myself

I had a massive asthma attack last week and I called my mom because that seemed like the thing to do. She told me to go to the doctor, which was super unhelpful advice.

So, I had to schedule a doctor’s appointment ALL BY MYSELF. It was way too hard. It involved calling 5 different people (because they HAD TO HAVE a referral) and trying to remember my schedule and telling them my problem. It felt like way too much. 

Now I have to go by myself too. It just doesn’t feel right. They ask me my problem and I want to look at my mom so she can tell them but she’s not there because she lives 1,500 miles away and I’m 34 and supposed to be able to handle this all by myself. It’s really too much. 

I’m more interested in Netflix than being productive on the weekends

I always have big plans for the weekend. Two whole days to do whatever I want!! That’s usually 16 – 20 solid hours of Grey’s Anatomy. 

I get back to work on Monday and people ask me what I did. I don’t like that question. They just ask so they can tell me what they did. They think it’s fun to go hiking in Vermont or sailing in Rhode Island. I’ll stick to my blanket cocoon, thank you. 

Knowing exactly how to fix everyone else’s problems, but not my own

OMG. It’s a whole thing. I have to imagine that my problem is my friend’s problem and they are asking me for advice. So I come up with some KILLER advice and then I do the same thing that my real friends do when I give them killer advice: completely ignore it. 

I wish I had some answers for you all here. I don’t. Like I said, I don’t know how to solve my own problems. But I want to be more real and honest. The only way that we can feel more understood is by putting it all out there and hearing other people say “OMG ME TOO!!!” So send me the ME TOO’s!! Tell me I’m not the only one who feels like a fake adult, spends too much money and watches Grey’s Anatomy all weekend!

As Glennon Doyle says, “We can do hard things. We can’t do easy things, but we can do hard things.

You’re not doing it wrong. It’s supposed to be hard. But we can do hard things.”

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INFJ All or Nothing Syndrome

Perfectionism is a dangerous thing. It’s something that I see in myself every single day in a variety of ways. The most dangerous of these ways is something I call all or nothing syndrome. This syndrome leads me to believe that I must do everything or nothing. I must be all in or all out. I have to go all the way or none of the way. 

It’s a common INFJ trait as well. We spend a lot of time in our heads thinking about how things should be. Then we put together a plan to match up what is and what we feel should be happening in our lives. We have this amazing ability to dream big and make those things happen. We strive for perfectionism in all areas of our lives, including ourselves. 

I didn’t see a problem with this for the longest time. I thought it was just the way that I was made and it was ok. But my beliefs are changing. I see areas in my life where my all or nothing mentality is a major problem. It’s keeping me from doing some things that I really, really want to do. 

It’s holding me back

This all or nothing syndrome is a limiting belief that holds me back from so much. When you feel like you can’t do something unless you are good at it how do you learn to do anything new? It’s incredibly difficult. It limits the things that I can do to only things that I’m super passionate about or already know how to do. 

Anything new is a challenge. Anything that I can’t do all at once and make work right now is also a challenge. If it takes time, it feels impossible. 

The other problem is that I only have so much time and space in my life to bee all in on something. I just don’t have the capacity to be all in on all of the things I want to accomplish. But do I really need to be all in? Would halfway in be good enough to accomplish what I want to do? 

The question is: how do we move past this all or nothing syndrome and into a healthier mindset? 

Find your why

When you want to make a big change in your life it’s important to know why you want to make that change. Remind yourself of that why every time things get hard. That will keep you on the right path and help you make the decision you ultimately want to make, instead of the decision you want to make right now, in the moment of weakness.

A little goes a long way

Start small. I know, it feels like a lot. I have an example though. When I was moving I moved all by myself and I’m not in the best shape. There were so many stairs and it was SO HOT! I still had a whole car full of stuff, but I was DONE. So I stopped. 

But in the days and weeks that followed every time I went from my car into my apartment I took something with me. It felt so silly at the time, but I kept going every day. Then one day everything was in the house. I was super surprised at how easy it was to do it that way and how fast it got done. It didn’t feel like this big daunting thing. It was easy and it worked. 

Even though I proved to myself that it works well to do things a little at a time I still struggle. But it is effective and I encourage you to give it a try. 

Find balance

Balance feels like a dirty word to me. It’s such a difficult concept to grasp, which is why I left it for last. I look at it like a muscle that needs to be used to keep it’s strength though. It’s not some final destination. It’s something you practice and practice and the more you do it the better at it you get. 

All or nothing syndrome is something that a lot of INFJs deal with, but it doesn’t have to be a part of our personalities. It’s something that we can work on and overcome. You’re not stuck with it for the rest of your life. With a little work and a lot of self-love and compassion, it can get a lot better. 

The INFJ User Guide Book

The INFJ User Guide is all about INFJs. It’s all the things I have spent years Googling and thinking through to figure out my personality. It’s every epiphany from “I’m an INFJ? Yes!!” to “This is how to handle communication problems.” And everything in between.

It’s a must read for every INFJ.

The book will be released April 6, 2020, but you can pre-order it now!

I LOVE to think of things to use as resolutions, things I want to implement to change my life. I have a whole list of them every year.

But how do you keep them? How do you keep going after January has past and the feeling is over?

I’ve put together this ebook that is all about forming lasting habits from those resolutions and making them stick.

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20 things INFJs Need to Accomplish in 2020

Not only is 2020 a new year, but it’s a brand new decade as well. It feels like an even bigger fresh start. It’s a time to sit back and think about where you want to be a year from now and 10 years from now. What needs to change in your life? 

I’ve been thinking about this a lot and I can up with a whole list of things that I’d like to let go of, improve, start doing, and some special things for me as well. 

Things to let go of

1. Let go of other people’s opinions

The first thing that I want to let go of this year is other people’s opinions of me. It’s so easy for us INFJs to take on other people’s feelings and emotions, especially their opinions. When I was younger, if someone told me something I just believed them. I figured it they said it, it must be true. But the older I get the more I listen with a critical ear. Now I analyze things that people tell me to see if they fit within my standards and my beliefs. It’s still hard for me to not accept their opinions of me, but this is something that I’m planning on leaving behind and letting go of. 

2. Leave the past in the past

We have a tendency to reminisce about the past and romanticize it. We remember things better than what they actually were. There are a couple of things in my life that I am sad that I left and wonder if I should go back or try again. But then I have to stop and really think about why I left. There was a good reason. And if I put a little bit of effort into remembering it as it was, usually I can remember why I left in the first place. 

I want to leave this all behind this year and leave the past in the past. No more looking back. I’m not going that way. That door closed for a reason and it’s time to think about what’s in front of me. 

3. Walk away from toxic people

As INFJs we are attracted to toxic people like magnets. We get so used to being treated poorly that we start to believe that we don’t deserve better. This year I want to leave this behind and these people behind as well. 

4. Release those people I’m hanging onto

I tend to go after people that I want to be friends with with a vengeance. Of course, they get scared and run away. Then I’ll just keep running after them, wondering what is wrong with them. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done this. But I’ve learned that in a healthy relationship both parties show up equally. You shouldn’t have to chase your friends. They should want to be friends with you as much as you want to be friends with them. And if they don’t show up, then let them go. 

5. Let go of my expectations of my life

I love to dream about the future. This is a wonderful and amazing thing, but it’s also very dangerous. I’ve been thinking about what my life would be like for so long and I have this grand idea in my head of what it should be. It leads me into so much heartache and disappointment. This year I want to let go of what I think should be and be more open to what is and what could be. 

Things to improve

6. Reduce screen time

Hi, I’m Sarah and I’m a screen time addict. I have my iPhone within an arm’s reach at all times and usually my iPad and MacBook Air as well. I get very wrapped up in the digital world and too concerned about what’s going on in other people’s lives. I want to spend more time doing other things this year. 

7. Make my health a priority

I’m not a spring chicken anymore, as much as I don’t want to admit it. There are things that are already falling apart. It’s high time that I put my health at the top of my list or nothing else really matters. 

8. Spend more time outdoors

I’m not an outdoorsy person. I love air conditioning and a warm, cozy bed. But I know that I feel better when I get outside consistently and soak up some vitamin D from the sunshine. So I’m making that a priority as well. 

9. A routine self-care practice

My self-care practice is sporadic at best. This year I am making a schedule and sticking to it. I know that self-care only works well when it’s consistent, so let’s make it a habit!

10. Communication with the people I care about

I am terrible at communication. I’m just gonna throw that out there. Sometimes my friends call me just to see if I’m still alive, cause it’s been that long since I’ve called them. This year I’m making it a priority to reach out to them more consistently and let them know that I do value them a lot. 

Things to start

11. Making myself a priority

I have a lot of priorities this year, but I’m putting myself on the list as well. All too often I find myself on my own back burner, but this year I’m changing my ways. This year I am armed with the knowledge that I am just as important as everyone else on my list and I deserve better. 

12. Getting control of the things that feel out of control

There are a couple of things that feel out of control in my life. For me it’s the amount of money I spend and what I eat. I feel like if I could get control of those 2 things I could do anything. So I’m putting in the effort to tackle these goals. 

13. Being more accepting of others

As INFJs we are constant contradictions. I find myself being very accepting of people I like but very judgmental of people I don’t like. This year, I want to spread that acceptance and compassion a bit wider and show people more love and understanding. 

14. Living more in the moment

I’m great at future planning, but not so great at being in the moment and enjoying what is going on right now. I’m always wishing for something new or waiting for what I hope is coming. This year I want to be more present and more thankful for what is. 

15. Dreaming big

Like I said, I’m great at dreaming big for my life plans. But I have never seen myself as a business owner until last year. So this year I want to start dreaming big about my business and what it will be in the next couple of years. 

Things to do for me

16. Learn something new

I’m good a getting stuck in a routine that I like, doing the same thing all of the time. I even like to eat the same thing. But this year I want to make an effort to do something new every once in a while. After all, you never know what you could be missing, right?

17. Meet someone new

OMG this is hard for me. I have avoided dating like the PLAGUE for a long time. It’s just so awful and I hate it. But the thing is I want to be married and have a family and that requires meeting new people. Stay tuned for more about this. I’m sure it will be a whole thing. 

18. Putting myself out there more

I love staying at home in my own little bubble and hiding from the world. Last year I dabbled a bit with videos and YouTube but I haven’t done as much as I would like to because I don’t like to be seen. But this year I am facing that fear head on and getting it done. 

19. Get back to me

Someone asked me a while ago, how do you know who you really are? As INFJs we put on this front for everyone, what we think they will like. So when we decide to not do that anymore, it can be difficult because we don’t know who we even are. I want to spend some time figuring that out this year. 

20. Find self-love

My biggest goal this year is to find self-love. It something that I think about everyday and can’t seem to get away from. I want to figure out what it means to me and put it into practice in my everyday life. 

I hope you find some inspiration in my goals for 2020. I really want to see you living your best life as well and doing all of the things you hope for and dream about. 

I LOVE to think of things to use as resolutions, things I want to implement to change my life. I have a whole list of them every year.

But how do you keep them? How do you keep going after January has past and the feeling is over?

I’ve put together this ebook that is all about forming lasting habits from those resolutions and making them stick.

Do you have what it takes to start your own business? Find out now!

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5 Reasons Why INFJs Should Be Entrepreneurs

INFJs are quiet and calm people who aren’t usually thought of as entrepreneurs. While we are capable of leading, most of the time we’d rather leave that responsibility to someone else. But there are multiple reasons that INFJs make exceptional entrepreneurs. Our personality and demeanor are well suited to doing our own thing. 

1. Freedom

There is nothing like the freedom you feel when you get your first car. You can go anywhere all by yourself. No one looking over your shoulder and watching your every move. There’s an even bigger freedom when you move out of your parent’s house. It’s all up to you, every decision you make is only yours. 

That’s the same feeling when you start your own business. You have the freedom to do whatever you want. You can run the business the way that you want to, the way that makes sense to you, rather than having to abide by someone else’s rules. It’s an amazing feeling knowing that you can do whatever you want to do. 

2. Control over your workspace

I’ve worked in a few jobs where the workspace was just awful. It consisted of old, hand-me-down furniture from decades ago, dirty cubicles, loud coworkers roaming the walkways, people yelling on their speaker phones and slamming doors for no reason. 

Over the last few years we’ve seen the rise of the open office. It’s a whole different kind of hell for an introvert who likes to work in quiet concentration. That just doesn’t exist anymore. 

One of the perks of owning your own business is that you get to decide what your office looks like. You get to decide what kind of desk you want and what kind of coworkers you want as well. There’s no more adjusting to your environment. You can adjust the environment to fit what you like and need. 



3. Long term planning

INFJs are amazing at long term planning. We have this amazing ability to see things from the logical perspective and from the emotional perspective. Plus we are killer at thinking things through and seeing what will happen if we go down a certain path. We can see patterns and can predict what will happen based off of those patterns. This gives us an amazing ability for long term planning in our business. 

4. Structure planning

INFJs are also amazing at organizing things in the most efficient and logical manner possible. We consider not only ourselves in these decisions, but also everyone around us. We want things to function well for anyone who has to use them, now or in the future. 

When you work for yourself you can set things up exactly the way that you like them. You don’t have to abide by anyone else’s rules or standards. You don’t have to convince anyone else that you are right and that your way is better. You can simply establish things that way that you want them. 

5. Make a difference

Most jobs have no real purpose to them. You go to work and do your assigned tasks everyday, but does it really make a difference to anyone? Are you changing anyone’s life? Are you providing meaning and purpose where there was none before? 

It’s extremely important for INFJs to do work that is meaningful. We want to help others in whatever way that we can. We want to do something that is really meaningful with our lives. When you own your own business what you do is really up to you. And if you find that your work is not meaningful you have the freedom and the opportunity to shift that work into something that is in line with what you want. 

Being an entrepreneur is perfect for INFJs

When I was younger I never saw myself as an entrepreneur. I never wanted the responsibility of making my own sales and making all of the decisions. I saw working for someone else as being much more stable and reliable. But the older I get the more I realize that’s not true at all. Working for someone else it’s always stable and reliable. It’s possible to get laid off or fired. It’s possible for those things to happen through no fault of your own.

Being an entrepreneur is perfect for INFJs for a lot of reasons, but mostly because you get to be in control. You don’t have to work with people who suck the life out of you. You don’t have to go to a place that you hate every day. You can use your creativity and your desire to help others and make money by doing those things! 

Grow your Instagram following now!!

It’s hard to figure out how to get people to follow you on Instagram, especially when you start an account from nothing. I know, because I struggled for years to do it by myself.

Once I figured out what works though, everything changed! I’ve included my whole strategy in this guide and it works no matter what algorithm Instagram has. I’ve used it to grow my following from 0 to 52K+ followers in a year.

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The Disappointment that Comes with Expectations

Barbie ruined my life. She’s right up there with Hallmark and Disney. They put this idea in your head that every Barbie has a Ken and every Ken buys the perfect Christmas presents. They are thoughtful and meaningful and make Christmas this amazing and joyous time of year. 

It’s all lies. It’s not like that AT ALL. And anyone who tells you it is is lying through their teeth.

Let me tell you what Christmas is actually like. It’s the pressure of buying gifts for people you hardly know. It’s fighting through overcrowded parking lots and stores, just trying not to get ran over. It’s spending way too much money trying to impress people who don’t mean a lot to you. It’s trying to pack all of your love and admiration for your loved ones into one or two perfect gifts and failing miserably because that’s not even realistic or possible. 

It’s spending a lot of time and care and effort doing things for others, decorating, cooking, shopping, wrapping and that sinking feeling of disappointment when you realize that they haven’t done the same for you. 

It’s wishing that everything was like it is in the movies. It’s wishing that your significant other cared for you as much as the Holiday Prince cares for the newly crowned Holiday Princess in those cheesy and terrible, but we still watch them, made for TV movies. 

They are GREAT at marketing. They found our pain point, the thing that bothers us SO MUCH – that Christmas isn’t like that at our house, but we want it to be like that. And they exploit it to the extreme. They crank out more and more of those movies and play them for weeks on end, brainwashing us with unrealistic expectations. 

You know what my Christmas was like? I spent it alone in my new, tiny and gross little apartment. I’m downsizing again because life is expensive and hard. I didn’t have money to go and see my family this year, so I stayed home. There was no prince to save me from myself, no last minute neighbor to invite me to their celebration like the movies suggest. Real life is just so much different.

The problem with Christmas is not that we have a bad day. It’s just not what we expect it to be. We expect magic and meaningful gifts, when it’s really just flashing lights and something someone else didn’t want or something they found on sale at Target yesterday. 

When I look back on all of the past Christmases I see a lot of disappointment. I’m always hoping for a gift that means something to me, something that says to me that the person who gave it to me cares about me and understands me and loves me. But that’s a lot of expectation to put on a gift. I don’t even know what would say that to me honestly. Most of the people in my life don’t know me well enough to even understand me to that level anyway.

This year I decided to stop with all of the expectations and just accept things for what they are. I bought my own presents, the best one being a new Kate Spade handbag that I LOVE. It’s the perfect size and color and it was on sale! 

Just because the people I love didn’t buy me things that I think are meaningful doesn’t mean they don’t love and value me. They might just be terrible at buying gifts. That’s not their thing and that’s ok. Or maybe they show their love in a different way and that’s ok too. 

It’s important to remember that everyone is different. Even INFJs have different love languages. Some of us value gifts more than quality time and vice versa. Different personality types also place different values on gifts as well. Some don’t see the point or value in gifts at all. And though it’s hard for us to deal with during the holidays and our birthdays, it’s important for us to accept them as they are and to understand that that’s just a part of who they are. 

It’s so much easier to let go of those expectations and buy your own meaningful gifts. 

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The INFJ User Guide Book

The INFJ User Guide is all about INFJs. It’s all the things I have spent years Googling and thinking through to figure out my personality. It’s every epiphany from “I’m an INFJ? Yes!!” to “This is how to handle communication problems.” And everything in between.

It’s a must read for every INFJ.

The book will be released April 6, 2020, but you can pre-order it now!

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Top 10 Misconceptions about INFJs

Top 10 Misconceptions about INFJs

INFJs are the rarest MBTI personality type, making up only 1-3% of the population. Because we are so rare there are many misconceptions about us. There is a lot of information out there written by people who aren’t INFJ and they just base it off their theory of how we are. So much of it is incorrect though. It’s best to get the info straight from the source, a real INFJ. 

1. We’re shy

I’ve always thought of myself as shy. It was true for most of my life. But recently my Mom pointed out to me that I’m actually outgoing at times. I like to talk to people in the store and at work. I’m always warm and friendly with them and try to make them feel comfortable. 

While INFJs can be shy, we can also be very warm and friendly. We may not like to be around people all of the time, but we do like people. We like that connection and helping people even if it’s only offering them a smile and a kind word. 

2. We’re sweet and innocent 

INFJs generally look sweet and innocent, but that’s not always what’s going on inside. Once you get to know us we are described as strangely feisty. We love to laugh and joke and throw people off of their game. 

We also love a good debate. We like to flex our brain muscles from time to time and see how fast we can back someone into a corner with our logic and quick thinking abilities. 

3. We think we are better than everyone else

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been accused of being elitist or arrogant. What’s interesting to me is that it usually comes from people that I don’t pay that much attention to. 

INFJs are hyper-focused on things that interest us and tend to not notice anything else. Our focus can give people the impression that we think we are better than them when we are just not paying any attention to them at all.  

4. We are happy all the time

I read that INFJs are happy all the time in a blog somewhere and I cringed. This is not the case for me at all. In fact, I’m sad and melancholy more than I am happy. I woke up happy this morning and felt weird about it. 

INFJs notice a lot that goes on in everyday life and in the world. We spend a lot of time thinking about life’s problems and how to make them better. It’s hard to be happy when you see so much pain and sadness and know that there is no real way to fix a large majority of it. 

5. We think we are psychic

INFJ intuition is an amazing superpower, but it’s not the same as being psychic. In fact, when I tell people about my intuition I always start with “I don’t think that I’m psychic.” I really don’t think that. 

I do get a sense of deja vu sometimes that’s hard to ignore, but it’s certainly not psychic. 

6. We want to be different from others

It really makes me laugh when people say that I WANT to be different from most people. It’s so not true! I would love to be more mainstream, less complicated. But that’s not the life I was given. So instead of trying to be something I’m not, I embrace what I am. 

7. We’re cold

I’ve been accused of being cold on many occasions. But what people don’t see is what’s going on inside my head and heart. Most of the time there’s a lot going on inside that I just don’t want to share with anyone else. 

INFJs keep our emotions to ourselves. They are very personal for us and we don’t want to share them with just anyone. 

8. We’re indecisive 

It’s true that we can be indecisive at times. We see all sides of things because we use both logic and emotion. But this doesn’t mean we can’t make decisions when we need to. We spend so much time thinking about what we want that we usually have it figured out by the time we need to know. We’re planners who like to be prepared well in advance. 

9. We’re always people pleasers

People-pleasing is a natural habit of INFJs. Because we are always aware of the people around us and their emotions we want them to be happy and comfortable. Some INFJs take people-pleasing to an extreme though. A more healthy and knowledgeable INFJ will know where the line is and how to stay away from it. 

10. We’re very emotional all the time

When I first learned that I was INFJ I was devastated. I thought that having a feeling personality made you have outward feelings all of the time and that was the worst possible thing for me. But the more I thought about it I realized that I am an INFJ and I don’t have outward emotions most of the time, so that theory must not be true. You can have a feeling personality and not be overly emotional. It is possible. 

It’s important to remember that while all INFJs are similar we are also all different as well. We all grew up in different places with different families and different influences. All of those things have an impact on who we are as people. 

INFJs are always going to be misunderstood because we are so rare and so different from other types. Most people don’t take the time to get to know us and appreciate our differences. But that’s why it’s important for us to get to know ourselves and appreciate our differences for what they are. 

The INFJ User Guide Book

The INFJ User Guide is all about INFJs. It’s all the things I have spent years Googling and thinking through to figure out my personality. It’s every epiphany from “I’m an INFJ? Yes!!” to “This is how to handle communication problems.” And everything in between.

It’s a must read for every INFJ.

The book will be released April 6, 2020, but you can pre-order it now!

Learn more

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The Manipulative INFJ

Last week I wrote a blog post about the INFJ Mean Streak. I’ve been going through a situation that is all too familiar for me recently. I had a pleasant relationship with someone who I did business with. I went out of my way to be nice and polite to them. But they took that as me being weak and tried to manipulate me when they didn’t get their way. So I pushed back hard. And they got really upset. They even went so far as to call me hostile. 

Continue reading The Manipulative INFJ
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INFJ Strengths & Weaknesses

INFJs are complicated and amazing people. We are so different from others that sometimes we get wrapped up in focusing on those differences instead of focusing on ourselves and seeing the advantages that we have. 

With the good, there is also some not so good. Every personality type has areas that they aren’t as strong in and things that they need to work on. We are no different. Let’s take a look at our strengths and weaknesses. 

INFJ Strengths 

Insightful

INFJs have an amazing intuition that is active all of the time. It operates without us even realizing what is happening. We analyze things in the background of our minds and come to conclusions about people and things very quickly. We can see right through people very soon after meeting them because of this. Manipulation and lies don’t work on us most of the time.

We see how things are connected and can sort through problems very quickly as well. We use our insight so see exactly what’s going on and find creative and efficient ways to fix problems.

Creative

Our creative imagination helps us to solve problems of all kinds. We can see systems as work and analyze them for efficiency and effectiveness.

We can also solve human problems like communication and misunderstandings. We are great at learning the communication style of those around us and being able to understand what they are saying and what they aren’t saying as well. Then we can interpret it for others to resolve issues.



Helpful

Most INFJs are very skilled at understanding the needs of those around them and striving to do whatever they can to help them. We generally have years of practice in this area. We can also use our intuition to pick up on their needs.

Understanding

INFJs have an amazing ability to understand all different kinds of personality types. We are natural empaths who understand things that we have not even experienced ourselves. We can feel the feelings of those close to us. This unique ability helps us to relate to them and literally feel their pain.  

Inspiring

Because we relate so well to others we can easily determine what they need and how to motivate them. We are amazing at connecting with people in this way especially if we are speaking about something that we enjoy and are passionate about. It shines through in our words.

Determined

When an INFJ sets their mind to do something they will pursue it with a passion and determination that will astonish even their closest friends. We are not afraid to dream big dreams and put in the work to accomplish them. INFJs are also not afraid to stand up for what they believe in. This doesn’t always sit well with those around us, but we rarely let that hold us back.

INFJ Weaknesses

Sensitive

Whether we like to admit it or not, INFJs are extremely sensitive. We take words straight to heart, especially criticism. We are quick to shut down in the face of conflict just to process what we are thinking and feeling. When we are pushed too far our reaction can be very uncharacteristic of our normal personality. Our responses can be sharp and brutal as a result of an attack on our values.

Private

INFJs are extremely private. We have very strong and deep emotions that we do not like to share with others. We protect these things fiercely in order to protect ourselves. It takes us a while to open up to new people. It’s a long an complicated process getting to know new people.

Perfectionistic

We like things to be perfect. We spend a lot of time in our heads imagining the perfect future down to the smallest detail. When reality doesn’t match up to that vision it can be hard for us to deal with.

We also get stuck in planning mode. We don’t want to start a project until we have it perfectly planned out and know exactly how it will turn out. This tendency leaves us with lots of plans and not nearly as many actions.



Need lots of alone time

As empaths, INFJs soak up the feelings and emotions of those around them. We take on all of these things as well as our own. The way that we process all of this is by spending time alone. We chose to spend a lot of time alone.

All of this alone time can lead to broken friendships, leaving the INFJ completely alone, if they are not careful.

At the end of the day… 

Although we can’t necessarily choose our personality I know that I am happy to be INFJ. I love that we can see these strengths and weaknesses and figure out how to make the most out of all of them. We may not have chosen to be INFJ, but we can certainly embrace and celebrate it! 

How INFJs Fall In Love

Do INFJs fall in love easily? INFJs fall in love easily sometimes and sometimes they don’t. INFJs have high expectations for their romantic partner. We want more than just surface-level attraction. Sure, we want someone who we find attractive, but they have to be compatible with our personality, morals and values in order for us […]

One Sided Love | INFJ Love Story

“He was never mine, but losing him broke my heart.”  Last week I had a dream about someone that I haven’t thought about in a while. Thinking about him used to be a daily routine for me. I’d wonder what he was doing at the moment, what he was eating for lunch, what he was […]

INFJ Burnout

Being an INFJ can be really difficult at times. I basically have only 2 modes: go and burnout. Go is a great mode. It’s where I am most of the time. I get so much done and feel like I can do anything. Everyone is impressed by how much I can accomplish in a day. […]

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How to Deal with Criticism as an INFJ

As INFJs we have soft and squishy hearts. When someone says something to use we take it straight to heart. There is no natural filter that it passes through. Sometimes the emotional pain of the hit is even physically painful, like a shock or a jolt. It’s brutal. 

Unfortunately, it’s something that we have to deal with. There are times when we are going to do things wrong. There are times when people are going to criticize us even when we don’t do anything wrong. It’s a part of life that we have to find a way to work through. 

How do we find a way to deal with it? Let’s explore a few options. 

Take a survey

When someone says something critical to me or about me I usually panic. It’s my first response. My second response lies in my phone. I have a few trusted friends that I always run things past. It’s usually something like this: 

“OMG you will NOT BELIEVE what this _____ at work said about ME!”

Some of my friends will answer like: “NO” or “What? Why would they say that?!?”

But the few brave souls that really know me will be a LOT more honest. I love their honesty. It’s PAINFUL at times, but also helpful. Sometimes it takes an outside perspective to see what it really going on. 

Is it my truth? 

My friend told me something wonderful that I am going to share with you. When someone says something negative about her she asks herself, “Is this my truth?” She takes a minute to analyze the comment and really say is that really me? Is what they are saying true? 

Sometimes you have to take a step back from the hurt and the jolt and try to be objective. It may be that you need some time before you will be able to be objective about it and that’s ok. Once you are able to be objective you will see whether it is really something that you need to own and work on or if it’s not. 

You have a choice

Remember, when it comes to criticism you always have a choice. Just because one person believes something about you doesn’t mean that it’s true. And just because a whole bunch of people believe it doesn’t mean that it’s true either. What matters is what you believe and how you live your life. You don’t need their approval or respect. You are the only person that you have to live with every day of your life. You are the only person that you need to please as well. 

Be open to the idea

It’s a natural instinct to be defensive when someone says something negative about you. That’s perfectly ok. But when that moment passes your next instinct should be to consider the idea. Just consider it. Sit with it for a moment. Think about if they are actually right and what that feels like. It’s perfectly fine to consider it before you accept or reject it. 

If it’s completely not true, let it go. No need to worry about something that is completely off base. 

But, if it is true for you, then it’s your job to own it. It’s your job to take that information and make some changes in your life or job or how you operate. It could be a blessing in disguise in the long run. 

It’s also a possibility that it’s partially true. And it’s ok to accept part of it and reject the rest. Remember that you have a choice. 

Conclusion

Criticism is always difficult to deal with, whether it comes from someone you don’t like in a mean way or it comes from someone you do like in a loving way. As INFJs we don’t usually come to quick decisions about these things. It takes time to process the experience and this new information. Make sure that you remember that and that you are gentle with yourself in these times. 

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