If you are an INFJ, you likely find yourself living a life of assessing and reassessing. You constantly reach for more or better, trying to be the best you can be! And you never escape 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 others and myself. 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.
Here are 5 ways self-critical INFJs can silence the nagging voice of perfectionism and follow through on self-improvement goals.
1. Start a list
My go-to for most decisions. Laying out my options on paper helps me to “get out of my head” and 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
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 when to help you measure your progress and stay on track!
3. Rewards, rewards, REWARDS!
Dearest INFJs, 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. I encourage self-care rewards, whatever that might mean to you! This can be playing with pets, candlelit bubble baths, spending time in nature, or taking time for yourself. In fact, one of your goals may be taking more time for self-care! This is very much needed to aid INFJs 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 setbacks, 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. ♥
P.S. You can read more of my INFJ reflections on my blog.
Great article. I have so many goals, and don’t know where to start. The SMART technique is a great tip to remember to start working on my goals. Another thing I like about your article is that you mention that making mistakes is ok. We are only humans and making mistakes is part of our learning process. You are a great writer and keep doing it. Your article help me remember of a goal I want to pursue and keep putting on the back burner. I’ll break it into smaller goals and start working on it. Congrats on your first article on Introvert Springs Ashley.
Hi Amy! Thank you so much for your kind words and support. 🙂 I am very happy that you found the article helpful. I wish you the best of luck with working on your goal. Just break it down until it feels manageable! 🙂
Wonderful! I could stand to read over these suggestions, often. Self improvement. Hmmm. I just realized, I have been doing this, with your gentle reminder. I have so many goals, as I am in my mid 50’s. I have just finished child-rearing stages. I think I have narrowed goals down to: continuing to be a bit of a health foodie (cooking/recipes). Also, painting the house, studying how men think (my husband), fly fishing with my husband, becoming an entrepreneur on computer. Increasing my exercising and studying that, as well. Local trips with one, (INFJ), female friend. Sewing clothing for creativity. Perhaps, writing.
I have found purging possessions to be helpful in reorienting me to my goals. The book (It’s all too much! Peter Walsh) helps me. I might need to get rid of some more books. I already let go of many in 2014. I might need to be willing to not have this many goals. Ha! I need to laugh, at myself, a bit at this goal setting tendency.
I have done very well with working out of my home, in the past. I think that will work for me. I will study more how I think, (INFJ), and what helps me. Perhaps, I should have listed that first? I especially like what you said about rewards. Non-food rewards is where I am heading with this. A walk, in the sunshine, with the dog. A slow walk, looking at plants, without the dog? I have to be willing to try new ways of finding rewards just for me.
Thanks for your comment! It is completely okay to have a lot of goals. Just prioritize them to what is most important to you. I also found reducing my possessions to be helpful. I noticed that I have always done this, even as a child. When I know that I only have things that I really want or need (I don’t have too many “wants”) that I feel more at ease and calm.
Your goals sound wonderful! I really enjoy being in nature as well with loved ones or pets. I will admit, sometimes I feel like I do not deserve to take time for myself to go for a relaxing walk in nature, etc. Since then I have realized that it is okay to do these things for myself and that it will make me more productive and happier in the long run! I hope you are able to partake in some self-care techniques that feel right to you! 🙂
This was a grwat article! I will definately try some of the things suggested. Thanks a lot, Ashley!
Thank you! 🙂