Posts from the ‘Personality’ category

Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway – Susan Jeffers, Ph.D. Notes

If you like the notes on Susan's Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway book I would recommend getting yourself a copy.  Here is the Amazon link

We all have fears.  As they say the two things that rule the world are fear and greed.  This is a great book that deals with fear.

Maybe fear of:

  • speaking
  • being assertive
  • making decisions
  • intimacy
  • changing jobs
  • being alone
  • aging
  • driving
  • losing a loved one
  • ending a relationship
  • staying stuck
  • change
  • success
  • failure
  • living
  • I would add ill health to this list

The problem isn't only in your mind.  You can change.  And you can do that by educating yourself and knowing that fear is simply a fact of life, and not a barrier.

Letting go of fear can allow you to see your life as someone who has a purpose, and experience love.  Rich roll has a great post on the art of living on purpose.

Rich Roll - The art of living on purpose

Here are some of my favorite passages from that post.

“What makes your heart beat hardest?”

Answer this question for yourself.  Then move in that direction with every fiber of your being.  Because in truth, nothing else matters.

Open your eyes and heart to the world.

I never set out to become anything in particular, only to live creatively, and push the scope of my experience. For adventure. And through passion.

Heavy waves, waves with weight. They coax from comfortable routine. Ignite the imagination. Convey some divine spark.  Whisper possibilities.

If I only scrape a livin’, at least it’s a livin’ worth scrapin’. If there’s no future in it, at least its a present worth rememberin’. For fires of happiness. And waves of gratitude. For everything that brought us to that point on Earth at that moment in time. To do something worth rememberin’.

Transcendence.

This is the passion and purpose I seek. 

This is the passion and purpose we should all seek.

I am inspired.

But inspiration is easy.  Implementation and action-based change isn’t.  In fact, it’s the hardest thing imaginable. Fear, logic, ego, friends and family dissuade. Every aspect of the thinking mind in revolt. Because pursuing freedom premised on faith and passion isn’t about thinking — it’s what thinking was designed to prevent. It’s not logical in any way shape or form. It threatens every dark corner of selfhood and status quo.  A terrifying reveal of “identity” as pure fiction — mere stories we tell ourselves about who we are and why we do what we do to comfort us against the paralyzing unknowable — that forces us and others to confront the truth about choices made.  

A truly objective look in the mirror usually isn’t pleasant.  Armed in denial, we go to great lengths to avoid this act.  I know I do.  It takes gigantic balls to quiet external noise. Even bigger balls to quell the internal rebellion — the voice of the mind that destroys imagination, levels wonder and clutches to fear and illusion with an impossible death grip.

Faith stands in denial of reason. In order to pursue a life of passion, the mind must be destroyed.  Comfort in unknowingness.  An embrace of the void.

And fear is not your friend.  Not now, not ever.

 To be clear. I’m also not promising anyone that a heart-based life will result in financial reward or notoriety.  Only that it will infuse your life with meaning and purpose.  Happiness — not in a blissed out unicorns and rainbows sense — but rather a deep satisfaction that your life has value.

And so the question I pose is this: What are you doing with your life?  And more importantly why are you doing it?

A wise man that Rich Roll!

So lets continue to dive deeper into fear using this book.

Whenever we take a chance and enter unfamiliar territory or put ourselves into the world in a new way, we experience fear.  This is the fear that keeps us from moving ahead in life. The trick is to feel the fear and do it anyway.  Do not choose the path that is the most comfortable.  Don't accept excuses for "staying stuck", and take control of your life. This can be done simply by shifting your thinking.

If you're not where you want to be in life something needs to be changed.  And you haven't been able to take the steps until now.  Whatever the circumstances of your life.  You are ready to start taking charge of your life.

It won't be easy, and it takes courage but you will learn:

  • there is no wrong decision
  • let go of negative programming
  • say yes to all circumstances of your life
  • raise your self esteem
  • be more assertive
  • create more love, trust, and satisfaction
  • how to deal with outside resistance
  • make your dreams come true
  • see yourself as having purpose and meaning

There is something inside you that wants to let  all this stuff within you out.  Now is the perfect time to open the door and let love and power in.

Three Levels of Fear

 Level 1 

Those that happen:

  • Aging
  • retirement
  • alone
  • natural disasters
  • loss of money
  • change
  • dying
  • war
  • illness
  • losing a loved one
  • accidents

Those that require action

  • going back to school
  • making decisions
  • changing a career
  • making friends
  • ending or starting a relationship
  • using a telephone (a strange one that I can relate to.. well I can relate to pretty much all of these)
  • being assertive
  • losing weight
  • being interviewed
  • driving
  • public speaking
  • making a mistake
  • intimacy

Level 2 - these are not situational and deal with ego and your inner state of mind. Your sense of self and your ability to handle this world.These fears can greatly impact many areas of your life and could cause you to close out the world around you.

  • rejection
  • success
  • failure
  • being vulnerable
  • being conned
  • helplessness
  • disapproval
  • loss of image

Level 3 - The biggest fear of all that really keeps you stuck.

  • I CAN'T HANDLE IT

At the bottom of every one of your fears is simply the fear that you can't handle whatever life may bring to you. So in level 1 and 2 fears you are basically saying that you can't handle that fear.

If you knew that you could handle anything that came your way, what would you possibly have to fear?  ......... Nothing! 

You cannot control anything outside yourself.  But, what you can control is trusting yourself to deal with whatever comes your way. Whenever you are afraid you are not feeling good about yourself and you need to build yourself back up and trust that you will be able to handle anything.

Fear comes through nature and helps keep us safe from getting eaten by a lion, but it also conditioned in us.  A parent may say "be careful" which says "the world is really dangerous out there" and "you won't be able to handle it."

You see.. that parent is only passing on her lack of trust in her ability to handle what comes her own way.  And if anything happens to you, they will fall apart.

Don't get to stuck on analyzing your mind and where these negative patterns come from. It is almost impossible to figure out, and even if you do know the knowing doesn't change anything.

Simply start from where you are and take the necessary action to change it.

So now you know that lack of trust of yourself is stopping you from getting what you want out of life. Knowing this creates a laser like focus on what needs to be changed.  Don't scatter your energy wondering why.  It doesn't matter.  What matters is that you develop trust in yourself, until you can reach a point and say;

Whatever happens to me, given any situation, I can handle it!

As you begging to take action on small steps you will begin to see some self confidence bloom.  It most likely won't be comfortable and you may fall a few times your confidence in yourself will grow.

The fear will never go away as long as you continue to grow. 

If you keep pushing yourself out into the world, stretch your capabilities, continue to take risks to make your dreams come true, you are going to experience fear.

the fear will never go away.

So if you're waiting for them to go away before taking action on something you will never do it. Consider it a relief that you no longer have to work so hard to get rid of it.  It is not going away so there isn't any need to worry about it. Just keep building your confidence in yourself.

The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it.

This works by the action.  Continually doing something you fear will eventually beat that fear into submission until you no longer fear it.  Again thats not to say you will never have fears.. as when you again transition into a different change you will feel it again. Which is why if you continue to grow you will always have fear.

The only way you will feel better about yourself is to go out and do it. You will feel a sense of accomplishment in pushing through fear and doing things on your own.

Again, to quote Rich Roll;

"Somehow I found the means to cast aside the endless chatter of the thinking mind. To be fair, fear retained a foothold of precious real estate in my consciousness. But I found the wherewithal to nonetheless move forward in the face of it.  And ignore the often unbearable social pressures relentlessly driving to derail me.  I focused on the heart.  I relied on faith.  I got comfortable with the uncomfortable.  I embraced the mystery of not knowing what the next day might bring.  And at every turn, I focused on how I could be of service to others.  Because there is gigantic, undeniable truth in the edict that when you give, you get back tenfold.

As a result, I have somehow persevered. Broken through into a new life.  An impossible astounding life beyond what I previously thought possible."

Not only are you going to experience fear whenever I'm on unfamiliar territory, but so is everyone else.

 

You need to keep telling yourself these things over and over to change you sub conscious mind.

Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness.

The more helpless we fell the more dread there is that comes with knowing there is situations in life over which we have no control.  Such as death, loss of a job, etc.  What if's stay engrained in our minds.  It is far better to take the risk and feel the fear by taking the steps necessary to make them less helpless.

Different ways to hold fear

Pain = helplessness > depression > paralysis

Power = choice > excitement > action

Power means to have power in yourself, your perceptions, how you react to situations, will power, create joy, and act with love. It is a healthy self love.

The key is not to have the power to get other people to do what you want. It is the power to get yourself to do what you need to do.

Becoming powerful you can become your authentic self and loving to those around you.  Love and power go together. Once you have power you can really open your heart.

What can help is the repeat these three phrases

  1. I am powerful and I am loved
  2. I am powerful and I am loving
  3. I am powerful and I love it!

There will always be new experiences that challenge your sense of personal power.  Always ask yourself if the decisions you are making are bringing you closer to pain, or power.

Using certain words can help.

Pain words:

  • I cant
  • I should
  • Its not my fault
  • Its a problem
  • Im never satisfied
  • Life's a struggle
  • I hope
  • If only
  • What will I do?
  • It's terrible

Power words

  • I won't
  • I could
  • I'm totally responsible
  • Its an opportunity
  • I want to learn and grow
  • Life's an adventure
  • I know
  • Next time
  • I know I can handle it
  • It's a learning experience

The goal is to use the right frame of mind, and vocabulary to make one small risk a day.  Venturing into a unknown comfort zone which leads to feeling good afterwards.

Expand your comfort zone 

Original comfort zone >risk 1 > risk 2 > risk 3> risk 4 > New comfort zone.....then repeat. The more you expand your comfort zone the more powerful you become.

These risks are only for empowering risks that are made with integrity and love.  For one's self or others.  Which is crucial to having a sense of self worth. These are the risks that build your self worth. And enhance your ability to deal with your fears. EXPAND, EXPAND, EXPAND!

All the power needed to do this is already inside you waiting to be used.

Taking responsibility for your life experiences means never blaming anyone else for anything you are being, doing, having, or feeling.  You control everything that goes on inside your head. And if you don't understand that you will never be in control of your life.

When you blame any outside force for any experience in life, you are giving away all your power and thus creating pain, paralysis, and depression.

Also never blame yourself.  Nothing is your fault.  You're simply on the path toward greater fulfillment, and it is a lengthy process of trial and error.

When we blame others we don't have to take responsibility and create our own happiness.   When you realize you are mad about something.. simply ask yourself " what am I not doing in my life that I could be doing that I am blaming someone else for not doing for me?". It's amazing how perfect life becomes when you stop expecting others to handle life for you.

You are the only person that can make you happy in a relationship.

This is not to say some basic needs are not needed to be met such as:

  • your need to be supported in your growth
  • the need to be nurtured at times
  • to know there is caring for you

When you are not handling your own life, no amount of caring and nurturing is enough.  You become a bottomless pit.

Sometimes a persons needs won't be met.  And it is important to know that they are doing the best they can at that point in their life.  And you chose to get into the relationship and you can chose to get out of it to find a more compatible person.  As long as you know that you're taking responsibility for your own life experience.

A great clue that you are moving along the right way is when you feel no angry towards the person.

Signs to look for in any area of your life that you are not taking responsibly:

  • anger
  • upset
  • blaming others
  • pain
  • vengeance
  • lack of focus
  • self-pity
  • envy
  • helplessness
  • constant state of limbo
  • impatience
  • joylessness
  • fatigue
  • intimidation
  • attempt to control others
  • obsessiveness
  • additions
  • judgmental
  • disappointment
  • jealousy

If you feel any of these look at your life and what you are not doing in your life that is causing the sign to appear.

Turning off the chatter box of your mind is the key.  The chatter box is what causes doubts and makes you a victim.  Commit to replace it with a  loving voice.  Once you get rid of your negative chatter box you will really begin to enjoy being alone.

Notice the payoffs for remaining a victim.

If someone is not satisfied with their job it is because they have become comfortable. Don't have to face rejection in the search for a new job. Know they can handle their old job, and didn't have to question their skills, or put in any additional energy.  The job is entirely secure.  Those are the payoffs for staying there.

Once aware of these payoffs there is three choices:

  1. Stay there and keep being miserable
  2. Stay there and choose to enjoy the job
  3. Choose a more satisfying job

In the book the person choose number 3, because she realized she was staying due to the payoffs, and not because of her "if onlys"... if only the economy was better.. if I had more money saved.. etc..  she was able to move.

Taking responsibility means figuring out what you want in life and acting on it

Set your goals and then go out and and work toward them.

Figure out what kind of space you want to live in, then create it.

Do this with every area of your life.

 

Don't be afraid to make the wrong decisions.  Because we LEARN through our mistakes.  And if a mistake is made we needed to learn something in order to make the correct choice in the future.

Despite the outcome of a situation both choices are a experience to live life a different way, to learn, grow, and find out who you are and who you would really like to be and what you would like to do in this life.  Its all an adventure no matter which way I turn.

Finding out what you don't like is just as valuable as finding out what you do like.  And with each one you can whittle everything down and know for sure what you do and don't like.

At each fear is the lack of trust in ourselves.  Just look at despite the outcome of a situation it is an opportunity to learn to trust yourself and provide for your own needs. Trust that you will survive no matter what happens and you can handle it.

When you can handle all your "what if's?" with "I can handle it" and you can approach all things with a no-lose guarantee then fear will disappear.

 

Before Making a Decision

  1. Focus immediately on the no lose model. You will learn and growth no matter what.
  2. Do your homework.  Learn as much as you can about the opportunity.  Ask for help from other experienced in this situation.  Talk to those that support your learning and growing.
  3. Establish your priorities.  Really think about what you want out of life.  Which pathway is more in line with your overall goals in life at the present time?
  4. Trust your impulses.  Your spirit may be telling you something even though something is a more logical choice.  But again there is no wrong choice.
  5. Lighten up.  Nothing is that important. Whatever happens as the result of a decision you can handle it and course correct along the way.

After Making a Decision

  1. Throw away the picture.  Unexpected opportunities can create more value than what you thought of originally.  So don't get stuck on an outcome of something you have set out to do.
  2. Accept total responsibility for your decisions.  First find the opportunity in a decision and then accept responsibility for making it.  You will become a lot less angry at the world and yourself.
  3. Don't protect, correct.  Its important to give a decision everything you have.  But, if it doesn't work out change it if its not for you.  Move on to something else.  The trick in life is not to worry about making a wrong decision, its learning to course correct.  The two most obvious clues that you need a course correction is confusion and dissatisfaction.

 

Reminder of the behavioral process. JUST BEGIN! Keep working on it.  Keep reinforcing the new way of thinking until your confidence grows.

 How Whole is Your Whole Life?

Don't put too much into one area of your life.  Such as a relationship.  Because, when that relationship ends you will feel completely empty.  Whereas if your life has many positive aspects to it such as:

  • Contribution - this is where much of your satisfaction and self esteem come from.  This is as simple as just looking around and seeing what needs to be done and doing it.  It could be in your family, friends, community, country, world, etc.
  • Hobbies
  • Leisure
  • Family
  • Alone Time
  • Personal Growth
  • Work
  • Relationship
  • Friends

Now with that sort of life if your relationship ends.. it won't be as big of a deal because you still have all the other parts. But you must be 100% committed to each area of your life. Things don't have to last forever, but while you in the present of something... be there 100% and act as if you count. And a feeling of satisfaction and aliveness results.  When the time comes where something comes to an end.  At least you will know you gave it 100%.  There is nothing to regret.

Set daily goals in each area and remember 100% commitment and that you count.

Keep asking yourself - "how whole is my life?".

Say Yes to the Universe

Agree and say yes to whatever the universe hands you.  See how things change as new possibilities of seeing the world and not negative outcomes.  It is a miracle tool for dealing with our deepest darkest fears.

When the universe deals you something unexpected that is tough - say yes!

Don't make the death of a loved one a catastrophe, but instead be grateful that you had that person in your life.  Things always change and don't last forever.  It is enriching to leave one beautiful experience and look forward to other beautiful experiences.

When someone says no to the universe.. the universe doesn't suffer.  Just the person. The pain of no leaves them powerless.

Say yes to the universe including pain.  Accept it.  Saying yes to pain will allow you to know you will get to the other side of it.  And gain something in the end if you look for it.

In the book Man's Search for Meaning is a great example of this.  Viktor was in a concentration camp, but he had decided to say YES to what the universe gave him. He was able to create a positive experience out of what life handed him.  He was able to find personal meaning, growth, and a way of seeing the world that created value from the experience.  It is obvious that he would have chosen to not go through the camp if given him a choice.  But, that is what life gave him.  It was then up to him to create his reaction to the situation.  We can't control the world, but we can control our reactions to it.

Saying yes means getting up and acting on your belief that you can create meaning and purpose in whatever life hands you.

Find value in everything that happens to you, and let it go.  Ask yourself what can you learn from this experience?  How can you better yourself?

The only time you will fear anything is when you are saying no and resist the universe.  Nod your head yes and relax your body.  Think, lets see what good can come out of this situation, and be patient with your new yes attitude.

The Thank You Exercise

Say "thank you" to your spouse or closest family member.  If the thought of this has you hesitating you may be on a hidden barter system.  You do this for me.. and I do that for you.  And you may not know how to truly give without expecting anything in return.

If all your giving is about getting think how fearful you will become.

Giving with the expectation of getting leads to thinking am I getting back enough?  This will lead to trying to control others so you don't feel shortchanged.  Makes you angry, and creates resentment.

Genuine giving is not only altruistic (selflessness is the principle or practice of concern for the welfare of others), it also makes us feel better.

Why is it difficult to give?

First it requires an adult.. which most of us have never grown up.  Second it is a skill most of us have never mastered.

Giving is one of the most important lessons we have to learn in this life.  We grow up as kids with a selfish attitude and its all about me.  As we reach a point were we are somewhat independent we are still really afraid of no one will come help us with food, money, love, praise, and so on if needed.

We can't support another person if their needs conflict with ours.  We become manipulative because our survival is involved.  And then we become fearful. People who are fearful cannot give truly.  There is a sense of scarcity in the world for them.

You become fearful because you are dependent on them.

When we give from a place of love, rather than from a place of expectation, more usually comes back to us that we could ever imagined.

If we are constantly expecting we will spend a great deal of our lives disappointed that the world isn't treated us right.  When the author was in her thirties nothing would ever be enough.  The more she had the more she wanted of love, money, praise, etc.  She had to do the opposite of that to fix it.  Start letting go, and giving things away.

Say thanks to people who have helped you  in your life with nothing in expectation.

With an ex-spouse or someone who has caused you a lot of pain.. go into a state of meditation and then picture them in front of you and then rays of healing white light.  Tell them that you wish them all good things, everything they could possibly want in their lifetime. Thank them for whatever they have given you, and keep doing this until you feel negative emotions leaving.

A movie that helps with this sort of thinking is http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/you-can-heal-your-life/

You must become what you want to attract.  Be the kind of person you would want to surround yourself with.

Giving does not mean in a relationship that we should never have our needs met.  If a relationship isn't working out end it with love and move on to someone that fills those needs.

When you know you count, and when you act like you don't is huge to your sense of self worth. If you feel like you don't simply act as if you do.  Go around and say.. if I really counted, what would I be doing in this situation? How would I be acting? And it will work.

Create a Blessing Book.  Buy a great notebook and fill it with only things that are positive in your life. Keep writing everyday everything positive that happens that day.

You will see so much more than you do already.

I RELEASE MY FEAR OF LACK AND ACCEPT THE ABUNDANCE AND PROSPERITY OF THE UNIVERSE.

The trick in life is not figuring out what you can get. Its what you can give.

George Bernard Shaw

"This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little cod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making me happy.

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and, as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be throughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.

I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me.  It is a sort of splendid torch which I've got to hold up for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations."

 

Summary of tools talked about so far:

  • affirmations
  • saying yes to the universe
  • positive thinking
  • taking responsibility
  • no-lose decisions
  • choosing love and trust
  • learning to truly give

Your higher self is capable of being tuned into the flow of the universe.  It is the container of trust, intuition, creativity, love, inspiration, aspiration, caring, giving, and everything in our hearts we would like to experience.

Many of us search for something outside of us to make our lives complete.  This only means we are off course.  The solution is not in a new car, mate, job, etc.  We are all searching for the divine essence in each of us.

What the higher self is.. is a place of loving, kind, abundant, joyful, and others.  Unless you tap into your higher self you will feel a disconnection and look for solutions outside of you.

When you are operating out of your higher self you will feel centered and abundance.  And in this state of mind your fears will vanish.

Ultra Simple Model of Being

The Higher Self is a source of positive thoughts and energy   OR The chatterbox is a source of negative thoughts and energy

Either of these options leads to :

The conscious mind chooses its source of information and energy and sends this information to the subconscious mind

The sub conscious mind listens to the conscious mind and carries out the interactions given

From this you get the flow of external universal energy and internal body, emotions and intellect.

The goal is to get your mind to listen to your higher self and not the chatterbox.

Learn to trust in yourself and the universe whenever you feel fear.  And know that you can handle it and the universe is on your side.

 If we don't consciously and consistently focus on the spiritual part of ourselves, we will never experience the kind of joy, satisfaction and connectedness we all seeking.

Every day set aside time to work on tapping into your higher self using the tools available.  Preferably in the morning so it sets the tone for the day.

It also helps improve every other area of your life.

Guided visualization can be a great experience.  You can learn to push aside the chatterbox

The Choice Is Yours

When I am tuned into my higher self:

  • i trust
  • i appreciate
  • i love
  • i care
  • i am at peace
  • i am creative
  • i count
  • i attract
  • i make a positive difference
  • i give and recieve
  • i am involved
  • i am filled up
  • i am confident
  • i give and receive
  • i am involved
  • i am filled up
  • i am confident
  • i am content
  • i see big
  • i live now
  •  i am helpful
  • i am joyful
  • i of with what is
  •  i forgive
  • i am relaxed
  • i am alive
  • i love getting older
  • i am powerful
  • i am protected
  • i am on the path
  • i let go
  • i have so much
  • i am connected
  • i am excited

 Don't be impatient on your journey.  It will only be a way of punishing yourself.  Creating stress, dissatisfaction, fear.  Whenever you feel impatient think "whats the rush, its all happening perfectly. Don't worry, when I am ready to move forward I will.  In the meantime I am taking it all in and learning.".

It may not look like things are changing. But, they are.  Trust that it is all happening perfectly. There are only two experiences in life.  Those that stem from our higher self, and those that are meant to teach us something.

If we are coming into something difficult it is just the universe trying to teach us something. Giving you the opportunity to learn.

Life is an on going process of learning. Joy is in the figuring of it out.  You will know you are on the right path by your feelings.  If the path you're on isn't providing you joy, satisfaction, creativity, love, and caring.  Your mind needs to be changed before the external! Then, all that is right will follow.

There is always more to learn and experience is our greatest teacher. With age becomes a beautiful thing.

Learn to bring your loving and powerful higher self to whatever you are doing in life.  As you live this way.. moment by moment, day by day, in perfect time you will find yourself moving closer and closer to home.  When you stay close to home you can go anywhere and do anything without fear.  Homesickness of being disconnected with our higher self disappears as you find the place where we are all connected as loving human beings.  And whatever it takes you to get there.. Feel the fear and do it anyway!

Books to explore:

Psychosynthesis - Assagioli

To teach how high you can fly - Bach

key to yourself - Bloodworth

The Tao of Psychology - Bolen

Anatomy of an Illness - Cousins

Giving in to get your way - Dobson

Actualizations - Emery

The power of affirmations - frankhauser

What we may be - Ferrucci

Chop wood, Carry water, - Fields

My Personality and Jobs That Fit Me

Book notes from:

Do What You Are - Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type by Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron.

 

Recommend the following book (on Amazon):

 

 

 

 

My personality:

Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving

INFPs value inner harmony above all else.  Sensitive, idealistic, and loyal, they have a strong sense of honor concerning their personal values and are often motivated by deep personal belief or by devotion to a cause they feel is worthy.

INFPs are interested in possibilities beyond what is already known and focus most of their energy on their dreams and visions.  Open-minded, curious, and insightful, they often have excellent long range vision.  In day-to-day matters they are usually flexible, tolerant, and adaptable, but they are very firm about inner loyalties and set very high - in fact, nearly impossible standards for themselves.

INFPs have many ideals and loyalties that keep them occupied.  They are deeply committed to whatever they choose to undertake - and they tend to undertake too much but somehow get everything done.

Although they demonstrate cool reserve on the outside, INFPs care deeply inside.  They are compassionate, sympathetic, understanding, and very sensitive to feelings of others.  They avoid conflict and are not interested in impressing or dominating others unless their values are at stake.  Often INFPs prefer to communicate their feelings in writing, rather than orally.  When they are persuading others of the importance of their ideals, INFPs can be most convincing.

INFPs seldom express the intensity of their feelings and often appear reticent and calm.  However, once they know you, they are enthusiastic and warm.  INFPs are friendly, but tend to avoid superficial socializing.  They treasure people who take the time to understand their goals and values.

Possible Blind Spots

They may make errors of fact and can be unaware that they are being illogical.  When their dreams become out of touch with reality, others may see them as flighty and mystical.  Would do well to take the advice of more practical people to find out if their ideas are useful and workable in the real world.

Because they are so committed to their own ideals, INFPs have a tendency to overlook other points of view and can sometimes be rigid.  They are not particularly interested in physical surroundings, and often are so busy that they fail to notice what is happening around them.

INFPs may reflect on an idea much longer than is really necessary to begin a project.  Their perfectionistic tendencies can lead them to refine and polish their ideas for so long that they never share them.  This is dangerous, since it is important for INFPs to find ways of expressing their ideas.  To keep from getting discouraged, they need to work toward becoming more action-oriented.

INFPs are so emotionally entangled in their undertakings that they are very sensitive to criticism. To complicate things further, they tend to demand too much of themselves as they aspire to their own impossibly high standards.  This can lead to feelings of inadequacy, even though they in fact are capable of accomplishing a great deal.  When INFPs are disappointed, they tend to become negative about everything around them.  Trying to develop more objectivity about their projects will help keep INFPs less vulnerable to both criticism and disappointment.

Because INFPs tend to try to please many people at the same time, it can be hard for them to stand up for an unpopular position.  They hesitate to criticize others, and they have a hard time saying no.  When INFPs don't express their negative opinions about ideas or plans, others can be mislead into thinking they agree with them.  INFPs need to develop more assertiveness, and can benefit from learning how to offer honest criticism of others when needed.

As an INFP, career satisfaction means doing work that:

  1. Is in harmony with my own personal values and beliefs and allows me to express my vision through my work
  2. Gives me time to develop substantial depth to my ideas and maintain control over the process and product
  3. Is done autonomously, with private work space and plenty of uninterrupted time, but with periodic opportunities to bounce my ideas off people I feel respect me
  4. Is done within a flexible structure, with a minimum of rules or regulations, letting me work on projects when I feel inspired
  5. Is done with other creative and caring individuals in a cooperative environment free from tension and interpersonal strife
  6. Lets me express my originality and in which personal growth is encouraged and rewarded
  7. Does not require me to present my work frequently in front of groups of people or be called upon to share before it is completed to my satisfaction
  8. Allows me to help others grow and develop and realize their full potential
  9. Involves understanding people and discovering what makes them tick; allows me to develop deep one-to-one relationships with others
  10. Allows me to work toward fulfilling my ideals and not be limited by political, financial, or other obstacles

Popular careers for INFPs

  • CREATIVE ARTS
  • artist
  • writer
  • journalist
  • entertainer
  • architect
  • actor
  • editior
  • musician
  • graphic designer
  • editor of magazine
  • editor of website
  • composer
  • film director
  • set designer
  • interior designer
  • desktop publisher - high grow area
  • EDUCATION/COUNSELING
  • College professor
  • Researcher
  • Clinical psychologist
  • Counselor - high grow area
  • Social worker
  • Librarian
  • Special ed teacher
  • Consultant - High growth area
  • Child welfare counselor
  • Legal mediator
  • planned-giving officer
  • Philanthropic consultant
  • Career coach
  • Curator
  • Public health educator
  • RELIGION
  • Minister
  • Religious Educator  - High Growth area
  • Missionary
  • Church worker
  • Pastoral Counselor
  • HEALTH CARE
  • Nutritionist
  • Physical therapist - High growth area
  • Home health social worker
  • Occupational therapist - high growth
  • Massage therapist
  • Holistic health practitioner - high growth
  • ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
  • Human resources deveopment trainer - high growth
  • employee development specialist - high growth
  • Social scientist
  • Diversity manager - human resources - high growth
  • Consultant - team building / conflict resolution
  • Corporate trainer - high growth
  • TECHNOLOGY
  • Customer relations manager
  • Coach - high growth
  • Project Manager
  • Human resources recruiter
  • Educational software developer

But I must know my strengths and use them in my job search.

Build on my abilities to readily see possibilities that don't presently exist.  Make a long list of ways I can use my skills in fields that interest me.  Research them and make a plan of attack.

Give thoughtful consideration to all potential careers.

Use words to express myself after thinking things through.

Work on expressing my motivation and commitment to causes I believe in.

Use limited targeted networking.

Develop realistic expectations for myself and my job search.

Try not to take rejection or criticism personally.

Try not to make decisions based on my own feelings.  Get input form trusted objective friends.

Remove choices that don't fit, and don't waste too much time in reflection.

Concentrate on getting better organized.

Work related Strengths:

  • Thoughtfulness and ability to focus on one issue or idea in depth
  • Eagerness to think outside the box and consider new possibilities
  • Deep commitment to work I believe in
  • Ability to work well alone if necessary
  • Natural curiosity and skill for getting the info I need
  • Ability to see the big picture and to see implications of actions and ideas
  • Perceptiveness about people's need's and motivations
  • Adaptability; i can shift gears and change directions easy
  • Ability to work extremely well with people one-on-one

Work related weaknesses:

  • Need to control projects or i may lose interest
  • Tendency toward disorganization and difficulty setting priorities
  • Difficulty working on projects that conflict with my values
  • Reluctance to follow traditional ways of doing things
  • Natural idealism, which may prevent me from having realistic expectations
  • Dislike of doing things in traditional or routine ways
  • Difficulty working in competitive or tension filled environments
  • Lack of discipline about attending to and following through important details
  • Impatients working with structures or people who are too rigid
  • Tendency to be unrealistic about how long things take
  • Reluctance to discipline direct reports and criticize others

The secrets to success for me - develop realistic expectations, value compromise, and not take things quite so personal.