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Hey guys, so I'm not really sure where to start with this or how to say it, but I'm just going to dive in. I've been wanting to write this for a long time now, but unfortunately It's just another thing on my check-list which I'm never able to get done!

So I wanted to know if anyone ever feels like this too, being an INFP and all. Basically I have so many different interests and things that I want to do, that I just become completely overwhelmed and I end up doing nothing at all, before I know it I have wasted the day and nothing has been done, It's highly unproductive and highly annoying.

My mind is completely active and I have far too many ideas that I want to do and achieve and essentially get nowhere with them, because I keep jumping between them all, making slight progress on all of them but no major progress on just one. For example this forum is one and I feel like I will be a part of it, but then I may disconnect again, thus giving people a feeling that I don't really care or are un-interested. It's really difficult when I'm involved with lots of different things as people make their judgements and just assume that I'm not really putting in much effort or not really a part of it. Which does ultimately really suck! Because I want to be involved with everything fully!

I would happily say I'm a jack of all trades and a master of none. What can I do about this, because my priorities are all over the place, and I should be studying/revising and doing work but I keep wanting to do other things that I believe are more interesting and actually believe would work out for me. Even the smallest things are on my list are seen as an achievement, for example writing this post is one of them and I will feel happy in myself after doing it. Again the perfectionist in me comes out as I essentially want my life to run perfectly and I want the things I do to be perfect.

Now I know we are awesome that we have so many ideas as we are the idealists but at the same time I find it a bit of a curse, because I have too many and I'm always trapped inside my head thinking with my multiple thoughts just bouncing about absolutely everywhere. It's difficult to cipher through them all and just focus on one.

It would be awesome if you guys respond and can relate, I'm hoping you lot will! It's great to be a part of the community and now I don't feel so alone as I once was as I can relate so well with you guys and your posts and it's insane! :)

(I'm going to say this now also, I'm probably going to check over this to make sure it's perfect and even after I have posted this, I will probably feel like I have left something out haha, it can be so silly!)

Apologies that it's so long, but thanks for taking the time to read it!
 

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Nice first OP IdealJ,

I share your feelings and concerns about ideas and how they can be overwhelming. I've found the frustration you've described to be helpful as a motivator, but that doesn't stop it being frustrating. I spread myself too thin most of the time and then resent the fact that my contributions to others, work, friendship, love aren't enough.
 

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I really...... doesn't get any better, haha! However, you will get more efficient at prioritizing which ones you want to pursue and which ones will only live in your head. As you grow, your interests will solidify into fewer areas and the constant flow of ideas will start to focus in on those areas so that you're not being pulled in too many different directions that require completely different tools/theories/obligations/etc.

Try starting an idea journal. Whenever you have an idea for something, write it down on its own dedicated page in your journal, and everything you thought of that goes with it. Your mind will be less pressured to keep juggling it around if you know you've preserved it somewhere to come back to later. When you have down time, go through your ideas with a fresh mindset. You'll find that a lot of them aren't worth the time and energy and can better identify which ones are the most promising to actually pursue.
 

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Yep, I relate to everything you said. At times I love having millions of ideas but I wish I could just follow through on things! Bit of a cliché at the moment but learning mindfulness meditation did really help me. It helps just to find something that allows you to take a step back from the mental chaos (e.g. by focusing on breathing or something concrete in the world like the sounds happening around you), try your hardest to look at everything objectively and consider where your priorities for right now should be...and then go do that. It is also just a complete mental break for me to try to actually focus on one thing mindfully. Because usually I'm spinning from one thing to the next and it's frantic and feels very out of control sometimes. Have to be careful to not be perfectionist about it though; it's not about 'getting it right'. "Being kind to yourself" is very helpful in meditation and in general!

Any other tips everyone has for dealing with perfectionism would interest me; I am an endless checker-of-things as well, it takes me a stupid amount of time to send an email and I would love to be able to get over this! I've tried limiting myself to one check, but it never works.
 

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My mind is completely active and I have far too many ideas that I want to do and achieve and essentially get nowhere with them, because I keep jumping between them all, making slight progress on all of them but no major progress on just one. For example this forum is one and I feel like I will be a part of it, but then I may disconnect again, thus giving people a feeling that I don't really care or are un-interested. It's really difficult when I'm involved with lots of different things as people make their judgements and just assume that I'm not really putting in much effort or not really a part of it. Which does ultimately really suck! Because I want to be involved with everything fully!
Man, I see a lot of myself in this post. In respect to the bold, that really is an issue for me. I've gone through, oh let's see... 11 online forum communities so far? In each one of those communities, I became heavily invested in them and always thought, "I will never get tired of this community, it's so awesome!" And yet, I've abandoned all of them. Don't get me wrong, all those communities are awesome (at least, when I left them...), but for some reason, after a certain point, I feel as though I've contributed enough and need to move onto something else. I think I'm searching for something, filling a void, through all these online communities. Keep losing interest, withdrawing, seeking, latching, unlatching... continued cycle.


With that said, welcome to PerC and I hope you're able to take away something beneficial from this place! :wink:
 

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So I wanted to know if anyone ever feels like this too, being an INFP and all. Basically I have so many different interests and things that I want to do, that I just become completely overwhelmed and I end up doing nothing at all, before I know it I have wasted the day and nothing has been done, It's highly unproductive and highly annoying.
I told myself exactly this today. I want to keep doing Youtube and be more active, and i want to write a book and create music and do music covers and longboard more and to exercise and to get out of my house more (going out and what not), etc. But the more things I want to do the more I get over whelmed and the more I'm overwhelmed, the more I fail and the more I fail the less I do.

I want someone to keep me on track, and to tell me what to do and when, because I will over-think it and come to fear it otherwise. :frustrating:
 

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So I wanted to know if anyone ever feels like this too, being an INFP and all. Basically I have so many different interests and things that I want to do, that I just become completely overwhelmed and I end up doing nothing at all, before I know it I have wasted the day and nothing has been done, It's highly unproductive and highly annoying.
I can definitely relate to this. I feel like this has been a recurrent theme in my life, and... the struggle continues! ;)

In my case it's often the same pattern: when I start a new activity, I get very motivated by imagining how I achieve something, I see myself on top of the proverbial mountain and imagine the satisfaction I get as well as the positive impact it has on my life and/or that of others. When I actually start taking concrete steps, it is still extremely motivating, because that's the moment where I learn lots of new and exciting things. After a while, the new things become routine and I realize that climbing this mountain is tiring, or simply boring... then I'll lose focus of the initial goal, and maybe start looking for another challenge that seems much more exciting. It is then easy to rationalize skipping training, or just spending time on the Internet "relaxing" instead of working on my project.

Occasionally, and depending on the activity, I'm able to remind myself of the reason why I started doing it, and get back some of my initial motivation. The challenge is then to channel these bursts of energy into something more stable and sustainable. I can't really describe how to do this, but it did happen, so there is hope. On the other hand, if I'm not able to get back to the initial motivation, the challenge is to admit to myself once and for all that this is an activity I shouldn't spend any more effort on. Again, I'm not able to explain how it did, but it happened to me in several cases.

Just wanted to share my perspective on this, hope someone can relate!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey everyone! Thanks so much for all of your replies I seriously appreciate it, sorry I didn't reply quickly, I recently came down with the flu and only starting to feel slightly better! I just wanted t say as well how I can relate to each and everyone of your posts, it seriously is like someone written my mind. (then again being an INFP I find that I try to connect to people with very little information)

So I'm going to try to reply to all of you in this, hoping that you will all see it without having to quote you all!

Itsmyhead - Thanks man, I'm glad you liked the post. Yes I completely agree with you in terms of relationships, work etc and spreading yourself too thin. Although I find it difficult to motivate myself from it all, sometimes I can and I will get on with it. But its challenging.

TuesdaysChild - Wow the idea journal is actually a really good idea! Thanks a lot for that, I used to write down issues and things I had to do on paper so it would help ease my mind, when going to bed etc. So I will make sure to do this!

Woolgatherer - I'll take a look into the meditation and trying to focus on something more concrete & yes I'm also frantically spinning about, going from one thing to another, its essentially a never ending feeling.
Oh my goodness Woolgatherer haha! I am exactly the same, It's horrible!! I was just writing an email for a job (something I was dreading) I'm not keen on writing them in the first place because I don't like the whole feel of them, they feel so Hostile and I never know which is the correct way to write them. But yes, I'm consistently over checking/analysing the email even once I've written it, making sure it's perfect and I will worry over it and spend sometimes a ridiculous amount of time writing a simple email its so aggravating! I've done the same as you, and again for me it never works either. How can we overcome this? Anyone else do this too?

Lindsay Weir - Haha, damn thats quite a few. I've been a member to some forums, but currently I'm trying to stick to two/three main ones (this being one) where I can relate, and gain advice and give it back. I see what you mean about the loosing interest, as this does happen to me. For example a new thing will come along and my mind will be more occupied on that, leaving the other thing a little behind, however I do go back to them and I also alternate. But sometimes unintentionally I will disappear for a bit, or just try to juggle lots of different things about and therefore I'm not solidly in one place, but everywhere and less known (too many fingers in different pies). Thanks I hope so too :)!

Wulfex - Oh Wulfex haha, I am exactly the same, to the point that I really want to do well in music (one of my big dreams) and currently at the moment, I really want to go into YouTube, like properly. I have a few ideas for a channel/videos which I think could do quite well, but I never know. I've already got one channel which I do and people like but its hard to keep on top of it. Precisely the more overwhelmed I feel, the more I fail and the more I fear it. I think I need someone to keep me on track also. But I guess, at least we recognise our own issues and are trying to resolve them right? Thats something good. For example I know someone who doesn't realise it and keeps on going even though its not good for their health. - P.S Love Zelda, one of my favourite games. Not played Majoras Mask yet though, I seriously need to, love how surreal it is!

Chips - Yes Chips this is so similar to me! I love the big picture idea (me being regarded for something) and the idea highly interests me. Start doing it and enjoy it and have motivation, but then after some time, I can loose the motivation and can become bored or tired from it. It's rather silly, and then this is when something else takes over. This is why, when I say I think something I want to do, will do well I kind of worry at the same time, because yes It may. But there is a small chance it won't work out because of motivation, boredom or changing to something else. I can spend way too much time on the internet relaxing, just looking at random, sometimes useful things. Thats because it generally requires little effort and its a pass time, whereas doing a project requires a lot of energy and time, and for some reason, I feel as though I can't do it and feel guilty as I should be doing something more important or of more priority, like studying. Do you get what I mean? It's a weird mindset of mine. I'm not quite sure what you mean :/ but I'd like to try and figure it out! I can most certainly relate to your post though!

Seriously guys thanks for the replies as I totally related to each one of you, its awesome and strange all at the same time!
 

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Definitely relate to your pain.

The way I think of it nowadays is with more aplomb - it would be unfair to others if we were gifted with both the ability to have awesome ideas AND the ability to execute on them!

Think of it in this perspective:

Masterpieces are once a lifetime. The fact that we can have one masterpiece thought a month is pretty nice. Masterpieces are also often your life's work - they aren't something that gets built in a month, with you finishing just in time for your next masterpiece idea.

So these days I have 15 year goals. I take my ideas, catalogue them, and chip away at them when I decide to do them. I plan to publish a book - sometime in the next 15 years. I plan to create several awesome websites - in the next 15 years. I'm in no hurry to do them, nor am I in any dread of them not being done. Now, the key is that I'm moving towards those goals - writing on and off on things that I enjoy, for instance, or familiarizing myself with technology and finding the right skillsets needed to execute on a team. But especially for INFPs who are late bloomers, we are much better the older we are. @Turlowe is a great example of this.
 

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Yes! Take any typical weekday morning. I wake up to my daughter's alarm clock, have to tell her a few times to get up for school. Then my son's alarm clock goes off later. I get out their cereal bowls, make their lunches, and if I am not called in to work that day (I am a substitute staff in local schools) once the kids are off to school and my husband goes to work, my day is like this:

I drink coffee and have some cereal and check my email. Sometimes my email has a new update to someone's fanfic I'm following. So I go read it. Once I'm on Fanfiction Dot Net, I check my own story view stats. Then, I check one of 3 of my favorite sites. One of them is writing-related, and if I am in a writing mood, I will write.

But then, I think of all the things I should be doing today. I should get off the computer and work out, by walking the dog or doing my Zumba video. I already got bored with the Zumba video I got myself for Christmas.

And I really should go buy some canvases and paint and make some children's nursery wall hangings. And create an Etsy site to sell them on.

And I really need to do dishes, laundry, and clean the floor and bathroom. Maybe I will take 20 minutes to do one of these. I put on music to make it less tedious.

I also should call my mom or one of my friends, and plan to go out for coffee.

I should...I should....

Seven hours later the kids are home from school and I haven't done any of these things, except take a shower and throw in a load of laundry. I spent all day surfing the Net from one interesting site or message board after another. (This one is one of my new favorites.)

And my husband says things like 'what do you DO all day?' I hate myself for this. :(
 

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I very much relate to the feeling that ones brain is too active and can't settle on one thing at a time, can't focus on a task or skill set long enough to master it. There are ways to mitigate this but I personally have never been able to completely overcome this tendency in myself. Meditation helps, as does in many cases martial arts training, both are well worth pursuing, I saw several other good suggestions in the above posts as well. On the other hand I've found that having a broad array of skills and interests can be hugely beneficial as, many of my bosses and coworkers have prized my ability to find solutions to problems from outside of the typical disciplines associated with our work, knowledge from other spheres is often useful for finding creative solutions. Also, being interested in so many things means I'm very rarely bored.

I also relate with being a perfectionist, and why ever wouldn't one WANT their lives to be perfect? I learned over the years though that perfection is simply an ideal, I've yet to see it in reality. I try to make things as close to perfect as I can manage still, but I learned not to agonize over the little flaws that crop up in things, to not make perfection the enemy of progress.

I'm not sure I'm a great example of anything aside from how to drink vast quantities of coffee and still sleep like a baby, but thanks @ineffipy, thats kind of you to say. I agree that great things are rarely if ever accomplished quickly, and thats okay, for myself at least the joy is in the process not in the final accomplishment.
 

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My mind used to just be in just, "HREHEHEHE RANDOM LOL!?!?" Mode all day long and it was really annoying when I tried to focus on something, on just one solitary task and my brain was not cooperating at all. I however did hit a point later where my thoughts have stopped being all over the place, and I feel like I can more easily focus on a solitary task. I don't know but maybe try a few of these things; as soon as you think of some little small thing you wanna do, like dusting something or whatnot do it immediatly or it will just fester in your mind and never get done, get really invested in what you're doing and try to see it to completion by that strategy, find at least one thing you like in what you're doing so you can better cope, music because yes, and there was something else but I can't remeber it cus I wrote this at two different times cus I was interrupted so I'll come back to this if I remember the other thing.
 

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Chips - Yes Chips this is so similar to me! I love the big picture idea (me being regarded for something) and the idea highly interests me. Start doing it and enjoy it and have motivation, but then after some time, I can loose the motivation and can become bored or tired from it. It's rather silly, and then this is when something else takes over. This is why, when I say I think something I want to do, will do well I kind of worry at the same time, because yes It may. But there is a small chance it won't work out because of motivation, boredom or changing to something else. I can spend way too much time on the internet relaxing, just looking at random, sometimes useful things. Thats because it generally requires little effort and its a pass time, whereas doing a project requires a lot of energy and time, and for some reason, I feel as though I can't do it and feel guilty as I should be doing something more important or of more priority, like studying. Do you get what I mean? It's a weird mindset of mine. I'm not quite sure what you mean :/ but I'd like to try and figure it out! I can most certainly relate to your post though!
Hehe, I was really tired when I wrote my last post. I really wanted to get it out though, but eventually fatigue got the best of my perfectionist tendency and I didn't double-check it. Maybe that's why my paragraph was not so easy to understand. :D

What I meant was that I started consciously asking myself regularly if my different projects or activities still seem as exciting as when I started them. For example, I once decided to learn to play an instrument and started practicing regularly on my keyboard. It was terribly exciting then, and I was highly motivated. Then, I started to lose interest, but still forced myself to practice... I started playing, then got distracted and started something else, but without entirely focusing on the new activity because, well, I was still practicing. Of course, this was highly unproductive. I then tried to take a step back and ask myself if the original idea -being able to play the keyboard- was still as exciting as it was at the beginning. It then seemed more like a nice-to-have than the must it was at the beginning. I don't know if it's the same for the others on this thread, but for me, this step is crucial and I got better at it only recently: to tell myself that it's OK to let go of this activity. On the other hand, I have some other ongoing personal projects, such as writing, where I also experience motivational ups and downs, but I find it easy to retrieve the original passionate feeling.

So this is how I try to manage my activities and projects: freeing them from the limbo of half-heartedness by either killing them for good or letting them become a top priority. It's not a silver bullet and I find it quite hard to do, but I feel it's helping me.
 

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My goal is to get one thing done every day. Just one. That may not seem like allot, and it doesn't have to be. One thing could be fix the squeaky door that takes all of 3 minutes. Done. Today has been a success. Or draw a picture that takes me 6 hours. Done! Today has been a success.

I've seen people come to work and fail to get one thing done in a week. They're all over he place, never landing anywhere long enough to finish anything.

Get one thing done every day. Then congratulate yourself. Success feels good.

Then maybe you'll do another thing... :)
 

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I am totally like this only with one big difference. I am not frustrated by it in the least. I accept that this is the way I'm wired and I enjoy all the different ideas, some of which I do pursue and some that I I just entertain myself with for a short time and discard. I think it's a gift and an expression of a kind of creativity. Does it result in problems in the workplace sometimes? Sure. People don't understand how the creative mind works and so they try to get you to conform. I've tried conformity and it didn't make me happy so I decided to just answer to myself before anyone else. Right now I'm going to go running. Then I'll make dinner... Vietnamese shrimp and pork fritters with noodles and veggies in a savory fish-based sauce. Tonight I might work on a chest of drawers that I'm refinishing for a while and tomorrow I'm going skiing. I'll get a couple hours of playing music in there too and who knows what other things might sprout from my restless mind. It's a nice ride swimming in my myriad thoughts and ideas. I always love feeling like myself instead of serving somebody else as I also do because I have to eat.
 
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