INFJ: Self-Improvement

Do you ever get those days where you find yourself staring into space wondering, what am I doing with my life? You think about your current situation; how you got there and where you want to be. You sift through some alternate realities where you are happier: perhaps travelling, enjoying a new hobby or making time for yourself. Or you want to be healthier: exercising, eating healthy foods that taste great or spending more time looking inward (trying to become more at peace with yourself and mindful of the present moment).

If you are an INFJ, you know what I’m talking about. In some shape or form you find yourself living a life of assessing and reassessing. Reaching for more or better, trying to be the best you can be! Never escaping that nagging feeling that you just need to improve yourself a little bit more.

Don’t get me wrong – it can be great! In fact, it’s made you who you are today. You may have even tamed your nagging voice to work to your advantage: motivating you to live the life you’ve always dreamed! You may accomplish goals and feel satisfied with a job well done, as you rightfully should.

BUT for some it can be a nuisance. The nagging voice can say “you’re not good enough” or “you need to achieve more”. It can become an insatiable void that never gets filled. Some may start to live their lives trying to ignore or silence the voice that brings them down.

Don’t give up, there is hope!

As an INFJ and HSP (highly sensitive person) I can be intense, a perfectionist, have high standards for myself and others. I am also often looking to grow, evolve and improve myself. At times, the amount of improvements I want to make can get overwhelming and cause the opposite effect – avoiding it altogether.

To aid in following through and quieting the nagging voice I chose 5 ways to take control of your self-improvement:

1. Start a list

My go-to for most decisions. It helps me “get out of my head” and lay out my options on paper to feel in control. Try beginning with areas you want to improve and why (reasons help motivate change). Or make a pros and cons list to help you decide where to start.

2. Create S.M.A.R.T. goals

I learnt this little lovely during my child and youth care program. S – specific, M -measurable, A – attainable, R – realistic, T – time lined. It is important to use SMART goals to help you create achievable ones. Setting yourself up for failure is a sure fire way to avoid self-improvement. Break a big goal into mini goals to measure the progress you are making – and don’t forget to make a specific time line of what you want to complete (by when) to help you measure your progress and stay on track!

3. Rewards, rewards, REWARDS!

Dearest INFJ’s, you spend so much time working hard, helping others and improving yourselves that you forget to reward yourself. It is important to take a step back from our busy lives to replenish our energies and find some time for fun. So come up with a list (see step 1) of rewards that will motivate you. These don’t have to be expensive, in fact I encourage self-care rewards, whatever that might mean to you! This can be playing with pets, candlelit bubble baths, spending time in nature, taking time for yourself, etc. In fact, one of your goals may be taking more time for self-care! This is very much needed to aid us in living a healthy and happy life.

4. Make mistakes

Accept this, it will happen – we’re not perfect and that is okay! Laugh it off, give yourself permission to mess up. Don’t let it bring you down or stop you from trying. Acknowledge that in order to become the best version of yourself, there are going to be set backs, mistakes and moments where you feel like giving up. That’s okay, that’s life, do it anyway.

5. Have fun!

This is your life, you are the one that is living it! Ensure that you choose goals that interest you, the ones that will help you be the happiest and most fulfilled version of yourself. Smile and thank yourself for taking this time to be open to the opportunity for self-improvement that is meaningful to you, or for just being open to new ideas.

Feel like sharing?

I would love to hear about your journey with self-improvement! Be it your achievements, setbacks or works in progress. They all make up who we are. What helps you? What hinders you?

Share your stories friends.
With love, shine on. ♥

Reflection #2: The Struggle Within

There is an old Cherokee teaching I discovered when I was younger. Every so often I am reminded of it and find myself inspired by the value of the story. I want to share it with you.

Two Wolves

wolvestwo

An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

“One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego. The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”

“This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old chief simply replied, “The one you feed.”


This fight happens for everyone, for some the evil wolf may be winning, for others the good. It can be a daily struggle, it can feel hopeless, some stop trying, some blame others for their actions. “They made me this way”, “You wouldn’t understand”, “If only I had..” you fill in the blanks. We’ve heard it all before. We may have even said it ourselves.

It’s true, life is hard. What we are forgetting is that it’s hard for everyone. We excuse ourselves and demand more from strangers. How dare they mess up my order? Cut me off? Make me wait? Look at me like that? Drive so slow? Make me feel inferior? Let their kids scream so much? Wear those clothes? Talk like that? The list goes on.

The great thing about waking up each morning is that it’s a new day. You can’t change your past but you can decide today to feed the good wolf. You get to choose how you react to the obstacles you face. You can realize that strangers are people too, and that each day they struggle with the fight going on inside of them.

Choose kindness. Choose patience. Choose understanding. You may be surprised by how it makes you feel.

Rise and shine, friends.♥

Reflection #1: INFJ

Throughout my adolescence I always felt different. I never felt like I belonged. I was walking through my life uninterested in the social climb, the fashion, the parties. Sure I wanted to belong. I didn’t want to be the loner who got ridiculed for her appearance and wardrobe. I just wasn’t interested in the same things as my peers.

There were clues – not that I knew at the time what they meant. I remembered hearing the predictable “teachers pet”, “nerd”, “emo”. Of course I internalized the bullying, but I didn’t agree with what they said. I didn’t even belong to the labels they put me in. Maybe I was a “freak”. I mean, who doesn’t even fit their labels as a kid?

It hurt, I didn’t want to be an outsider – but what could I do? That’s what I was.. but why did I feel it so much? Why did all the harsh words they threw at me hit me so hard and drown me in emotions? That was what I didn’t get. Looking back I wondered.. despite all that, why didn’t I just play the part? Why didn’t I just do what I had to do to fit in?

The truth is.. despite how much it hurt, it wasn’t who I was – and I always stayed true to who I was, even if I wasn’t sure what that meant.

Years later, I found myself at the end of my Child and Youth Care Diploma. Our teacher asked us to take a test, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), which is based on the typological theory by Carl Jung. My result: INFJ. So what? Some answers put me into a group of letters, big deal. I didn’t give it another thought.

Sometime later, I retook the test (having forgotten my results). There it was again, INFJ. Okay, so what does this mean? I started googling it. Sifting through pages and pages of explanations – and the more I read, the more excited I became. This is who I was! INFJ! How could something so simple describe me so perfect? In such detail? With so many accurate examples? How could it be possible that I belonged somewhere after all? Somewhere that I fit perfectly. Somewhere I could be me, and know what that meant. I exhaled in wonder, this is what I was meant to discover.
Confusion

Now I know who I am. Have you ever felt this way? Do you know your MBTI type? Click here to find out: 16 personalities or Human Metrics. When you get your results post them here and let me know what you think!

With love, friends – shine on. ♥

 

New Beginnings

flower in concrete

Being me, I want what I create to be beautiful and perfect. I want to be great at something as soon as I start. I want it to come naturally and not have to work at it. I also want to be honest and real. I want to reveal things for what they are and shed new light. I want to be inspirational and for people to find meaning in my words.

I waited for inspiration to hit. Then it did. I waited for the perfect words to come to me. Then they did. I started writing and then.. nothing. It was gone as fast as it came. I got frustrated, I shut my laptop and slid it across the floor. I moved on. Days passed, I glanced at my laptop and felt frustration. I failed before I barely even began. Who was I to think I could do this? I’m no writer. I have no experience. People work their whole lives at this and I just thought I could pick it up and glide on through. So I stopped.

Then I came back. I realized that I can do whatever I want. I can create something beautiful. Even if it’s not perfect to me, maybe it will be perfect to someone else. So I will start at the beginning. I created an area on my blog to put my thoughts and feelings into words. Someplace they didn’t have to be perfect, or exceed my expectations; my reflections.

It won’t be perfect, but it will help me grow into myself and be a place to practice for the meaningful and inspirational posts that I will one day create.

It will be real, it will be raw, it will be me.

Scared to Silence

Once there was a little girl
Her skin was white as snow
And everywhere her father hit
A bruise was sure to show
And so he used his words instead
They cut her to the bone
All she dreamed of desperately
was being left alone.

Each day she’d tiptoe lightly
Around her only home
For if she tread too heavily
His words would feel like stone
Smashing through her fragile heart
As though it made of glass
She wished she were invisible
For the fear she felt was vast.

Years went by
The scars grew thick
around her tender heart.
She found the day, she finally would
Get her fresh new start.

Now she wonders to herself
Why did he do her wrong?
She always thought a fathers love
Should be beautiful and strong.
Instead she felt a failure
To this man she called her dad.
For if this was, what love really was
Why did it hurt so bad?

Rise and Shine

Have you ever had the experience where you stumble upon something that changes your outlook on life? This anonymous quote found me at the perfect time and really inspired me, it reads:

“If you only take one piece of advice this should be it. You will always be too much of something for some people, and for others you will not be enough. But please, never shrink yourself for someone else. Never tame your voice. You are a force of nature. Like hurricanes, some will be fascinated by you. Some will spend their whole lives chasing you. Some will lock their doors and hide. What I’m trying to say is that even though storms are beautiful, there will always be those that will run from them, and although you think you can’t live without the ones who do, in time you will come to see that you were created to be extraordinary, and the value of a incredible painting is not decreased by those who cannot see it’s worth.” – Anonymous

Finally. I realized that I am who I am for a reason, a purpose. I was not born into this world to shrink away and crawl through life, unnoticed. The words my mother said to me at the dawn of a new day suddenly had so much meaning, “Rise and Shine”. If I am to inspire people and serve this world I must celebrate myself, with all my strengths and flaws. I accept that there will be exciting adventures and difficult trials to endure, that I will make mistakes and fall.

Ultimately, I trust the universe will take me where I need to go to fulfill my purpose – and I hope you will too.

With love, friends. Shine on and share your stories. ♥