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This is my first thread and second post. Let me know if I am doing anything wrong here.

I was reading a thread on the INFP forum about 'how to live life', with most responses focused on being more involved in life, taking on challenges and confronting fears, basically seeing everything as an 'experiment' with no particular desired outcome.

I have adopted this kind of perspective in the past, which helped me come out of a depression. After the post depressive glow faded I found it more difficult to put my ideas out into the world. I became more content to keep my dreaming confined to my mind.

It takes continual work to stop myself from slipping back to 'living in my mind' rather than in life. It means I am less motivated to take on new challenges or step out of my comfort zone.

When I do try to stop thinking and start acting - I find I struggle with distinguishing between passing ideas and actual long-term desires e.g. asking someone on a date then realising I only liked the 'idea' of him and committing to an internship then realising I had no real interest in that career pathway...

My questions are:
how do you personally motivate yourself to stop dreaming and start acting, without being limited by the fear that your action may not be aligned with your values/true desires?

Do you feel like your introversion and indecision limits you from participating fully in life?

Do you embrace these traits as part of your identity, or do you try and rein them in?
 

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@swt I'm not INFP, but I seriously struggle with this. I think my main problem is that my dreams are so outrageous that they defy manifestation. That's probably not what you're talking about. But, in case another INFJ needs to read it, I thought I'd write it. The way I'm working with it is by encouraging myself to at least consider something on an infinitesimally smaller scale.

For instance, instead of fantasizing about being a multimillionaire pop star playing arena tours, I *might* consider going to an open mic night at a bar and playing one song. Just stuff like that.

That is so not what you're talking about. :laughing: Sorry.
 
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...

My questions are:
how do you personally motivate yourself to stop dreaming and start acting, without being limited by the fear that your action may not be aligned with your values/true desires?

Do you feel like your introversion and indecision limits you from participating fully in life?

Do you embrace these traits as part of your identity, or do you try and rein them in?
I think that your values should limit what you might consider doing. As a hyperbolic example, I might wonder what it would be like to kill another person (I don't fantasize about it--it's just an hyperbole). My value of human life would warn me against doing it. I should listen to that inner voice, that value, my conscience. Forget about the fear of what might and probably would happen to me as a consequence of taking that action. I know it's wrong. I shouldn't try to stifle that voice and quell any fears. I shouldn't act on it. I shouldn't weigh the pros and cons. It's wrong!

OK, that was an extreme example and not what you were likely considering, but I posed it to shine light on the dangers of jettisoning your values just to be able to say that you tried something that you hadn't done before.

When it comes to a new situation that doesn't involve jeopardizing values but does present concerns about discomfort in the new situation, I have motivated myself by considering: Once I am too old to attempt this endeavor, will I look back with regret in having never tried?

As a youngster I had "played hockey" on frozen ponds with others. I had often felt that it would be cool to play it on a real rink with boards (so you don't end up chasing the puck in the snow bank, so you can play indirect passes off the boards). As an adult with a daughter who played team hockey I learned of rec leagues at the local rink for adults. Having never been athletically gifted, being not in great physical condition, and having a disdain for other players criticizing my inabilities, I wrestled with it for awhile. I ended up signing up and playing for about 6 years or so until my unstable employment situation had me stop. There were indeed instances when I felt bad about myself (especially when teamed with Type A personalities and their demeaning comments, usually to other teammates that my radar picked up immediately), but there were also times that it was really fun (especially when playing with others of comparable abilities).

Regarding the 2nd question, I don't feel like introversion limits my participating in life. I think that's a problem for people who think that observation, analysis, and introspection are non-participatory acts in life. Those are my strong suit. Jumping in and muddling through with extra effort in doing things others do relatively easily isn't something that I care to partake in.

Regarding the 3rd question, you probably have figured out that I see these as parts of who I am and not something to regularly fight against.
 
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This is my first thread and second post. Let me know if I am doing anything wrong here.

I was reading a thread on the INFP forum about 'how to live life', with most responses focused on being more involved in life, taking on challenges and confronting fears, basically seeing everything as an 'experiment' with no particular desired outcome.

I have adopted this kind of perspective in the past, which helped me come out of a depression. After the post depressive glow faded I found it more difficult to put my ideas out into the world. I became more content to keep my dreaming confined to my mind.

It takes continual work to stop myself from slipping back to 'living in my mind' rather than in life. It means I am less motivated to take on new challenges or step out of my comfort zone.

When I do try to stop thinking and start acting - I find I struggle with distinguishing between passing ideas and actual long-term desires e.g. asking someone on a date then realising I only liked the 'idea' of him and committing to an internship then realising I had no real interest in that career pathway...

My questions are:
how do you personally motivate yourself to stop dreaming and start acting, without being limited by the fear that your action may not be aligned with your values/true desires?

Do you feel like your introversion and indecision limits you from participating fully in life?

Do you embrace these traits as part of your identity, or do you try and rein them in?
First off, glad we could help! It's wonderful that you took some insight to heart. Start with baby steps, which are necessary if you wish to gain momentum. You need to devise a step by step plan if you wish to realize your ambitions. No mental checklist or fabricated story-line in your head, get and pen and paper and keep your schemes somewhere very close to you. Should you project yourself so far into the future, it ought to come naturally to you as to whether or not each step is aligned with your values. Your true desires are something rather hard to peg down. The enneagram sheds some light on that, but also what you've been deprived the most of as a child. Let's say that I felt ignored and captive as a child; I may wish to become a lawyer so as to advocate for others and to fight for their freedoms. Anyways, @AnneM gave great advice in taking smaller strides before going for the marathon. Take things slowly at first and see if you truly identify with what your pursuing. Many negative things can be leveraged, including introversion and indecision; the root cause of it just needs to be addressed and channeled in towards useful ends--that's for you to decide. One more thing...seize every opportunity possible. Show no mercy and do not relent; the world is always turning and another person could take your place in an instant. (Now I don't mean start your own mafia and off whoever you don't like). Oh, and have fun--that's the most important detail.
 

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@MonarK I probably need to read what you wrote as a daily meditation.
 

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I've got dreams as in "if I were in this position everything would be fantastic" or daydreams like "if I got a call from this company, I would..."

The other part of it is comparing myself - dreaming I was more like my younger self, like my bf, like my friends...

The way to get my head around it is engaging Se. I'm capable of so much, so if I can get into some action, that helps me feel pretty incredible.

At the moment I'm using my dreams for creative inspiration - I've just finished my first short play.
 

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What do you mean by participating in life? You mean realization of own goals or getting something done or simply partaking in standard set of behaviors expected by society (ie normal behavior such as socialization, going to the parties etc). If former then it's not typical to refer ability to get things done as having/participating in life what is more refereed to socialization or generally getting out to the society.

To be honest, I can get things done to an extent and even dedicate to fulfilling certain long-term goal (if that goal is important to me) but that usually comes with break periods (during which I slack off) before I can resume pursuing this goal. Not having large and unrealistic ambitions helps in my life style and periodically drag myself from point A to B in my own pace.

So to answer your questions.

1.Usually, I don't and I prefer dreaming over acting more than not and only exceptions are pretty much actions that require me to maintain my lifestyle and perhaps bring some modest improvements in areas I think I would want to improve. If you talk about fantasizing then it can beat real world in how interesting and fun it's, in my view, it allows you to to create interesting worlds, experiences and people with no risks of doing so, this is why I enjoy fiction. Attempting to do so in real life is draining, world is dangerous (with how much depends on place we're talking about), experiences come at costs and negative consequences and interacting with people usually either is dangerous, annoying or/and boring. If you talk about dreams in term of desired goal, then as I pointed out if I care enough I will go through with sooner or later.

2.That would depend what do you mean by by fully participating in life, my introversion pretty much equates to lack of interest in socialization and my interactions with others are very limited to what I need to to in order to accomplish what I want and those few on topics of interests and to expand my horizons and ideas. In terms of goals I think procrastination definitively can be major obstacle for me and I could get to desired destination there much quickly but then journey there would be pretty crappy.

3.Both, those traits and preferences are part of me and I enjoy them but I recognize that sometimes I need to get things done in order to live life I want and therefore I can't daydream and procrastinate all the time.
 

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What do you mean by participating in life? You mean realization of own goals or getting something done or simply partaking in standard set of behaviors expected by society (ie normal behavior such as socialization, going to the parties etc). If former then it's not typical to refer ability to get things done as having/participating in life what is more refereed to socialization or generally getting out to the society.

[...]
I think what she means by "participating in life" is more on the order of "engaging with life." For instance, one could dream of flying to the moon on gossamer wings, have a very pleasant dream based on that, elaborate it in a million different ways, and so spend a great deal of time in one's mind on such dreamy dreams. The pleasure of such dreams could become a kind of narcotic that one craves and chooses instead of dealing with hard-nosed realities. Certain unpleasant questions of aerodynamics, self-preservation, and natural processes intrude on the gossamer wings plan when considered vis-a-vis Reality . . . How much more delightful just to focus on the dream in one's head and be able to set aside practical considerations! And so the seduction of pleasurable inward dreams could easily draw one away from participating in the harsh realities of everyday life.

I am no slacker when it comes to imagination and dreaming; but a dream, for me, has no vitality unless it carries the smack of ability to be reified; or, if totally fantastical, the ability to be turned into an entertaining poem or story or play or whatever work of Art, as that gives it a shared special kind of imaginative reality. Someone who wants to invest time and effort in this kind of dreaming could split the difference and indulge their tendencies by becoming artistic creators--they would keep their dream-life but also engage with the outer world by sharing the dreams in a concrete way.
 

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how do you personally motivate yourself to stop dreaming and start acting, without being limited by the fear that your action may not be aligned with your values/true desires?
Do you feel like your introversion and indecision limits you from participating fully in life?
life is so short and we are so lucky to have the opportunity to give for the time we are here & you don't know how long you are here for so I jump in to things without much thought to be honest - just pure feeling (i.e. I feel like this is what I want to do). Introversion gets easier as you get older and I think if you keep socializing it helps :)
what do all the kids say today - YOLO? :heart:
 

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I mean yea INFPs have this problem. Yes we are so stuck in our heads we don't live life. My problem is, if we aren't supposed to be doing that then why is it so natural for us, why tf were we made like this, given these problems not asked for, just to live a life trying to solve them and continually failing, because we are fighting who we actually are. What kind of existence is this? It's like a horse being told not to run, a hawk not to fly, a turtle not to retract into it's shell, the mfer was born that way.

If I could delete the daydream part of my mind I'd probably consider it considering all the advice out there that convinces you too. But if I just walk too fast I end up running, if I open my arms just a little I end up lifted in the air, I just just duck my head a little I'm encased in a shell, sorry if that's not what I'm supposed to be doing, it just happens. ALOT! And very easily. And I don't know how to stop it for good.

It's like you are constantly suggested to adopt the natural habits of some other type, and I'm sick and tired of hearing it already.
 

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My answers to the questions in this thread are all in BOLD below --->

...

My questions are:
how do you personally motivate yourself to stop dreaming and start acting, without being limited by the fear that your action may not be aligned with your values/true desires?
If what I'm doing at the time does not aligned with what I prefer to be doing, I make a change to a more desirable path/way. If I am unable to make a change (like I did not like working for 25 years, but I had to eat and not be on the street) I suffer through, keeping my eyes on the end/prize. Dreaming? I'm going to change "dreaming" to living inside my head and introversion. Those things are me. I will never change me to become what others want me to be. I DO NOT like the way they spend their time. Again - - - >>> I just explained, I hated working, but had to work to keep a roof over my head... but other than that, I remained me "inside" and thank god.... wasn't "working" 24/7.

Do you feel like your introversion and indecision limits you from participating fully in life?
My introversion is my life. I have a LOVELY life. You know what isn't my life and what sucks for me, cuz it ain't me? EXTROVERSION. If forced to extrovert, I always happily revert back to what I am -- Introvert Heaven.

Do you embrace these traits as part of your identity, or do you try and rein them in?..
Part of my identity, part of my DNA, part of my soul, part of my personality, part of my physiological make-up... it is all 100% me. There is no way I want to change. There is no way I need to change. I embrace all of me... like a starving child with a piece of chocolate cake. Gimme gimme gimme more Introversion cake to eat, I'll stuff my face, with my Splendid Isolation, fun solo activities and absence of yappy people, pulling, pulling on me to talk to them and quiet their noisy, restless minds.
 

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how do you personally motivate yourself to stop dreaming and start acting, without being limited by the fear that your action may not be aligned with your values/true desires? To stop dreaming you stop investing your attention into your dreams and you will find that ideas will come and go easier, bringing you back to the to the present moment more frequently. As for actions, you find also that they go on unattended. At least the actions essential and activities meant for you such as eating, sleeping, attending bathroom aswell as getting in contact with people, following through with certain commitments ect. The less you dream the more exposure you have to how you truly feel inside and your body acts and moves in the world accordingly. No active imagination is actually needed.

Do you feel like your introversion and indecision limits you from participating fully in life? I am that life you describe, so attending to myself is the highest priority. if i can not see clearly what use am i? introversion and indecision are cautious measures to notice myself from straying into not self. Straying into not self comes with the cost of suffering from the self inflicted highs and lows of existence. Your outlook on how you view yourself determines how you view the world.

Do you embrace these traits as part of your identity, or do you try and rein them in? Embrace all the way. Rein them in for who? are they living my life?
 
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