I’ve struggled a lot, wondering if I should even write this article. I coach and talk with dozens of INFJs on a weekly basis, and I get the amazing chance to make their path a little bit easier. But I’m not immune to emotions and feelings that a lot of you can relate with. One of them is being in the so-called INFJ survival mode.
What is the INFJ Survival Mode?
Have you ever felt like all your senses are in a state of constant alertness? As if you are just waiting for something bad to happen, even though everything seems to be okay? If you have, you are officially going through the INFJ survival mode.
This week was extremely tough for me. I struggled to contain my anxiety to an acceptable level. If that wasn’t enough, I felt as if everything that could wrong, would. You see, when your INFJ mind activates its survival mode, everything you are going through is heightened.
I wish that I could say this state of alertness is a good thing, but it’s not. INFJs are already under constant pressure. You might think that our amazing empathy, for example, would be enhanced, which would be so cool by the way! But the truth is, only our worst-case scenario thoughts get triggered.
My INFJ survival mode made me feel as if everything presented danger. I couldn’t focus, sleep, eat properly, but most of all, I couldn’t relax my mind, which was already under major pressure.
The problem with INFJ survival mode is that you can’t prepare yourself for it. It comes unannounced, and you know what that means to a personality type that loves to have everything planned in advance. I felt as if everything around me was collapsing.
However, not all is lost, and the solution can be found in a place we INFJs love to visit often.
Your mind is your ally
When you sense yourself shifting into INFJ survival mode, you don’t have to write, meditate, or google what the experts say. Instead, sit with your own thoughts. I know, easier said than done when your mind is going through a chaotic state of creating a thousand uncontrollable scenarios for every possible situation.
This is why the INFJ brain is such a powerful tool, because as much as it can overthink, it can also find a solution. Why do you think so many scientists and inventors were and are INFJs? Because we have the ability to think under pressure.
Take 30 minutes of your time and sit in silence. Nothing bad is happening. You are in the present moment and no harm is coming. You are in your comfy chair and breathing deeply. This is the only thing going on right now.
All the bad events that the INFJ survival mode amplified don’t exist at this very moment. You are in your home and you are breathing deeply. Sounds so simple, but this is a technique that the Dalai Lama himself talked about in one of his lectures.
INFJs tend to go too far into the future, and think too often about the past, thus allowing that primal survival instinct of ours to take over. But nothing is happening to you as you are reading this, because you are looking at the words I wrote. This is how you can cope with INFJ survival mode.
The ultimate act of self-care
Taking care of yourself and being an INFJ are two things that rarely go together. We dedicate our lives to our friends and families. When my most cherished people are in danger, or if they just need to hear me, I stop everything and even forget about sleep until they feel better.
When you give yourself that half an hour and acknowledge that you are safe at this moment, you reach the level of self-care few do.
The INFJ survival mode is a tricky thing that won’t go away in one day. But when you accept that it’s there, and that you have everything you need to face it, a miraculous change will reveal itself.
You will start taking care of yourself first. And that’s the greatest inner victory an INFJ can accomplish.
Safe Space for all INFJs
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Do you experience INFJ survival mode too? I would love to hear your experience and thoughts! Feel free to share what you think in the comment section below.