Personality Cafe banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys, I'm relatively new to the forum, but I speculate I'll be on here quite often because I like helping and motivating fellow soul-searchers and also gaining new insights.

I have thought long and hard about who I've wanted to become, where I came from thought/belief-wise, and why it took me so long to come up with this stuff.

Since I am very strongly INFP and the multiple descriptions of our personality-type that are floating around the internet describe me nearly verbatim, I figured I'm probably not the only person to go through similar identity crises during my teen years

Here's the story of my personal battle of trying to discover myself. Hopefully, it

The ideas I have reached so far from reading a few of these posts and thinking lead me to believe that INFPs, especially those living in America's culture, generally have trouble finding themselves at an early age because of the comfortability that fitting in and adhering to the status quo brings. Not only that, but as dislikers of conflict, we tend to shy away from displeasing others. For me, this meant adopting an overall friendly and agreeable personality with people as a defense mechanism for fear of showing people my true self.

This false self carried me through high school until my second year of college when a "fuckitall" mentality overtook me during a bout of depression. I realized that I didn't know who I was! My major was nonspecific and I felt like my whole life had been acted out by a total stranger. I smoked weed, drank beer, and skipped class to numb the engrossing feeling of worthlessness. I was a leech on my parent's wallet and to society as a whole. During this time, I started thinking about why I hated my very being so terribly.

I slowly realized that I hated myself because it wasn't really me. This procrastinating, agreeable, and outgoing guise was created and maintained because I was afraid of what people thought of me. I didn't even think I was good enough. I always daydreamed, but never really thought about achieving any of the fanciful things my mind imagined me doing. I never gave myself enough credit. I never believed in myself.

Well, shit. I had zero self-esteem and I had zero skills at virtually anything practical. I had been effectively broken and demotivated.

I wanted to know more about myself, so I decided to find some material to read up on in the self-help genre. I lucked out on my first self-help purchase: Brene Brown's The Gifts of Imperfection. Her main idea was that the difference between people who felt a deep sense of love and belonging and those who were having trouble with it was their belief in their own worthiness. She then went on to describe how we could improve our self-worth by living more authentically. (That was a grossly terse summary of her book btw.)

I decided that I could either continue wallowing in my own depression, or I could do a massive overhaul and start from scratch. I chose that latter.

I believed that an essential first step to massive change was getting rid of the things that did not reflect who I was or what I wanted to become and bringing things into my life that did. I sold my Xbox 360 and TV. I stopped watching television altogether. I disconnected almost entirely from the internet. All of these things, I believe, did not add anything useful to the long, hard journey of building myself to who I wanted to be and what I wanted to be remembered for. I also detached from parts of my life I was living before for the same reasons: I quit a cliquey marching band, I stopped excessive binge drinking and smoking, and I stopped hanging out with people so much.

The first semester of junior year I bought a guitar, got a part-time job, started working out with the goal of a six-pack by this summer (previous stretch mark fat person), and changed my major to something challenging, yet personally rewarding.

Great! My life was set up for success now, but that was the first step in a lifetime journey. I had to start disciplining myself to stop being a professional procrastinator (irony), to learn how to study and time-manage, and most importantly, to learn who I was and to accept and love it. All easier thought than done.

This is me currently: I am continually battling with my previously engrained habits, feelings, and thoughts as the second semester of junior year comes to a photo finish (need to do well on my final exams). I still struggle with serious procrastination, expressing my real and vulnerable self to the world, and many of the INFP burdens. I am nowhere near perfect.
However, there are very important, yet subtle, differences between me then and now; I feel like am finally acting like the main character in my own movie. I am actively affecting my future and not hopelessly giving up on myself or the world by using drugs or internet as a mental escape. I believe that I can achieve my dreams if I keep at it. I am slowly becoming the slimmer, smarter, more musically inclined, and strong-willed humanitarian that I could never really envision myself as before. I am striving for excellence and personal Enlightenment.

END STORY

I titled this story "An Enlightenment Journey" because I believe Enlightenment for INFPs involves the discovery and pursuit of their introspective personality that, once mastered, can bring unbridled joy to its wielder and those who he/she affects.

I've posited in my first response to a thread about advice for younger INFPs that an empowered, confident INFP is a very dangerous person, and that one of the greater challenges that we must overcome is the understanding of our intricate personality and its ravenous desire to be personally acknowledged. This thread expands on that to succinctly describe how I came to be a more joyful person for acknowledging my true self and am gaining courage, willpower, and insight because I am working for goals that are harmonious with my idealistic INFP personality and my inquisitive mind.

I wish that none of you guys go through the feelings I've had, but I'm almost positive that many you can relate to this story on some level; some of you may even be traveling similar paths right now.

I welcome all of you to share any stories of hardships you've endured through your own personal discovery to hopefully motivate, inspire, and encourage others and myself to strive for joy and harmony within ourselves as well as the world outside.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
The irony of this post is that I wrote it to put off studying for finals XD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
I can relate - my "enlightenment" was even later than yours. ;)


I was a leech on my parent's wallet
A main problem for me was, that my parents let me be a leech on their wallet. If they themselfes were more authoritarian, I most likely would've learned to stand up for myself earlier. Of course this is nothing to blame on them - it's not their fault not to be the parents I needed. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
873 Posts
I read the entire post. I commend your Enlightenment Journey, which inspires me to share in detail. Mine's not that different:

1. In high school, I was mostly a loner with a few friends here and there, but no one really close. However, I did suppress my inner self to my fullest because no one then would accept who I was. So, I kept myself with an 'agreeable' personality. Conflicts in high school were something I avoided at ALL costs since I was intimidated by both males and females. By the way, I was verbally bullied from K-12. I think I was not physically harmed because I knew all the hiding spots in school. I was paranoid for a large portion of my life.

2. I performed quite well academically in high school which lead me to a very respectable university. I embraced the new start. My secondary cognitive function Ne finally began to show complements to my primary Fi that was holding me back. However, I didn't change overnight. I drank beer, smoked marijuana, and procrastinated. However, I did make striking improvements in the social department. I made a lot of friends who accepted me for who I am. I cherish these relationships to this day. While my social skills were improving drastically, I wasn't completely having faith in myself until my own 'fuckitall' mentality hit in senior year.

3. It was in Year 4 where I decided to gain 50 pounds in lean and hard muscle (starting off at the other end of the weight spectrum at 135 lbs. at 5'11). Up to this point, I was physically intimidated by 99% of both men and women. I always had it in my mind that I was not physically imposing anyone or anything except a wild rabbit. This had to change. It began after I attended a home football game. After a HUGE realization where I assessed my entire life during the game, I was depressed with myself. It was the first time in my life that I regretted of not doing anything. I never took a risk because I did not have any faith or love for myself. So, I immediately joined a fitness club and worked out until I reached my physical goals. Took me 6 months to achieve them :)

4. After graduation, I rued my poor academic performance in college. I started working for my dad (an unsympathetic ENTJ entrepreneur) and developed his rationale: positive thinking, neutral thinking, careful consideration of facts, abstracts, and risks, why man should work so hard (because successful people work harder than the average - his statement is truth), and most importantly: having faith in self.

5. Also after graduation, I learned about MBTI. The best thing I learned is that I CAN improve myself. I believe I'm a much more well-rounded person compared to last year, and the year before that, ...

6. I also read self-help books, such as The Secret, Think and Grow Rich, 4 Hour Work Week, Deepak Chopra books, Chicken Soup books, ... I re-developed my faith in God. I prayed. I became thankful. I finally believed in myself.

7. Just recently, after working several years and having an entrepreneurial experience even, I applied for graduate school (full-time MBA program). I applied to 6 very respected institutions that range from top 20 to top 100 MBA schools in the world. I received 5 acceptances and am waiting for the last one. Despite my low grades and decent test score (GMAT: 650), I knew I got accepted because I presented my TRUE confident self on the applications. My resume looks like a work of art that catches attention. I even wrote that I'm INFP in one of the essays and talked about MBTI preferences and how that helped in my work environment during an interview for another school. The best thing about this application process is that I got to express myself and the schools happened to accept me.

8. These days I smile in front of other people. I keep my emotions in check. I don't mind being criticized. I work hard. I don't make decisions too hastily anymore. When in doubt, I even ask myself what other more rational personalities such as my Dad would do? Nothing wrong with taking a page out of another's personality's playbook.

9. I still have A LOT of room for improvement: being punctual, getting rid of any remaining resentment I may have (including hating on other personalities that have given me trouble in the past), managing money, when to call it a night in Vegas, ...

Finally, there lies before me new adventures: going back to school, adapting to a new city (or country? Tsinghua University of Beijing is something I am considering deeply), and bringing along my fearless self.

I tell you: my face is no better than a 5. However, any confident INFP is VERY charming. In a sense, I think I act very similar to Jack Sparrow. For the first time in my life I feel I can win over anyone with my true self, including the admissions committee I met this morning in person for one of the schools I'm considering. By the way, for this school that I visited today, I did a SKYPE interview and the committee remembered mine the most because I brought out unopened good looking drinks.

Love thyself. Only one person is required to think you're damn charming and that's you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
3. It began after I attended a home football game. After a HUGE realization where I assessed my entire life during the game, I was depressed with myself. It was the first time in my life that I regretted of not doing anything. I never took a risk because I did not have any faith or love for myself. So, I immediately joined a fitness club and worked out until I reached my physical goals. Took me 6 months to achieve them :)

4. I rued my poor academic performance in college. I started working for my dad (an unsympathetic ENTJ entrepreneur) and developed his rationale: positive thinking, neutral thinking, careful consideration of facts, abstracts, and risks, why man should work so hard (because successful people work harder than the average - his statement is truth), and most importantly: having faith in self.

5. The best thing I learned is that I CAN improve myself.

8. These days I smile in front of other people. I keep my emotions in check. I don't mind being criticized. I work hard. I don't make decisions too hastily anymore. When in doubt, I even ask myself what other more rational personalities such as my Dad would do? Nothing wrong with taking a page out of another's personality's playbook.

9. I still have A LOT of room for improvement

Finally, there lies before me new adventures: going back to school, adapting to a new city (or country? Tsinghua University of Beijing is something I am considering deeply), and bringing along my fearless self.

I tell you: any confident INFP is VERY charming. For the first time in my life I feel I can win over anyone with my true self, including the admissions committee I met this morning in person for one of the schools I'm considering. By the way, for this school that I visited today, I did a SKYPE interview and the committee remembered mine the most because I brought out unopened good looking drinks.

Love thyself. Only one person is required to think you're damn charming and that's you.
Thanks for writing such an awesomely organized story! The events may be different, but the conclusions you have reached are nearly identical to mine. :happy:

3. I think that your event in which you thought over your life is very amusing. Attending a college football game as a student is quite literally the most stimulating event because of all the students and a the fact that there's a game going on. I can imagine you weren't a very happy camper (I sure wasn't) after this revelation.

5. Such a critical thing everyone must learn

8. Yeah! I think that INFPs can definitely benefit from strengthening their weak sides (ESTJ)

9. Nobody's perfect, amigo. I enjoy that you put this down because it shows that you didn't let your previous successes inflate your ego. Keep on truckin'!

Last paragraph: That's awesome, man. I don't know how well other people can tell how much we really do care about the lives of everyone we encounter because of our defined lack of expression of emotions, but that's just another mental hurdle to overcome.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I can relate - my "enlightenment" was even later than yours. ;)

A main problem for me was, that my parents let me be a leech on their wallet. If they themselves were more authoritarian, I most likely would've learned to stand up for myself earlier. Of course this is nothing to blame on them - it's not their fault not to be the parents I needed. :)
Similar situation. I am very grateful for them always supporting me as their only child (adopted) even though I had to slowly learn many things for myself.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top