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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey you awesome INFP people! :D (all the other types are awesome as well of course :p)

I wanted to ask a question and I was wondering if that is something INFP experience often: Overthinking

I struggle with that rather often especially in pressure situations like taking an exam, giving a presentation etc.

But sometimes it's like the opposite. Situations in which I am completely calm, no overthinking at all, also no emotions involved and I just perform or basically do the thing whatever that may be. In those situations I perform excellently no matter what it is and I'm curious on where that is coming from.
Does anyone else experience something similiar?

Do you personally experience that often (regarding the overthinking now)? If so, did you find a way to deal with that and how to improve your performance?

I tried: Meditation, breathing techniques

This question is rather directed at INFP's but anyone is welcome to answer if you experience something similiar :).

Have a great day!
 

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Hello there!

You must first know, that everyone's experiences differ on that subject, but I can tell you mine of course :).

I struggle with overthinking quite a lot, in that it comes at the worst times and makes me completely blank out (you already had some examples, like presentations and such) and getting a temporary mental block; everything comes at me at once, and in some sort of defense mechanism, I shut it out. It doesn't help that I have autism either, so when there is some semblance of an outside stimulus (like someone talking to me, someone else talking very loud, questions being asked to me, or just loudness in general), it gets worse.
It's also easy to overstress yourself in that regard, in that your overthinking takes you to different options, solutions, and causes problems that deviate from the original subject. That + External Stimuli = a nightmarish scenario where time stands still and you don't see a way out.

The best way I dealt with all that, is to talk about it with some people (I have a counselor of sorts for my autism) and explain what is going on and what I feel at that moment. Those peeps can shed light on that situation from an outsider perspective and put it into a simpler perspective. That helps a lot.

What I also try to do now, is that I try to focus on my breath for a few seconds (as a kind of reset button) and then go back into it from a different angle. It takes practice, but hey, it works for me:cool:
Meditation is also great. That is the reset button of the day; where I can think of nothing, where thoughts arise and are let go of like water that flows from the river into the sea. It puts me at rest and gives all the built-up energies inside a way of release.

Hope this helps a bit ;)
 

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Maybe, I was accused of overthinking on multiple occasions by others. I've never perceived it that way, I simply tried to do things I've dedicated myself to correctly, gather more information and see a bigger picture. I think I've for some reason, I've distinct view of reality that doesn't seem to match up rest of the population. I've noticed people people preoccupy themselves with nonsense I perceive as of low importance, if not outright irrational. Gossip, partying, having a family, or making money to buy a pointless and expensive props, all of this have no value or simply are net negative in my view. Yet, people pursue or participate them, often time expect you to pursue and participate those as well, going so far sometimes as attempting force you into them. I've noticed others don't question those or other established rules/standards and just do.Things as simple such as that people wait for a green light to cross the street even if there are no cars around caught my attention, still wondering what's the point of doing that.

In a job I try to figure out what is that is expected of me by an employee and experience with a person or knowledge of general expectations can be helpful in such situations.That said desire to uphold higher standard than required (one that would be satisfactory to me) can get in a way of doing it.
 

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Generally, introverts like to be fully prepared before performing the completion of any task otherwise they can go into a spin mode of thinking if they perceive that the task poses challenges outside of their comfort zone. What this indicates is that they rely heavily on past experiences and less upon thinking on their feet (the way extroverts seem to fly).

This leads to overthinking earlier in life and mastery later in life. Be patient, it will all become easier over time.
 

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Hey you awesome INFP people! :D (all the other types are awesome as well of course :p)

I wanted to ask a question and I was wondering if that is something INFP experience often: Overthinking

I struggle with that rather often especially in pressure situations like taking an exam, giving a presentation etc.

But sometimes it's like the opposite. Situations in which I am completely calm, no overthinking at all, also no emotions involved and I just perform or basically do the thing whatever that may be. In those situations I perform excellently no matter what it is and I'm curious on where that is coming from.
Does anyone else experience something similiar?

Do you personally experience that often (regarding the overthinking now)? If so, did you find a way to deal with that and how to improve your performance?

I tried: Meditation, breathing techniques

This question is rather directed at INFP's but anyone is welcome to answer if you experience something similiar :).

Have a great day!
Yes I overthink quite often.

Sometimes my mind goes blank, but it's usually when I'm bored or have had a really sad episode and I feel overwhelmed.

I tend to overthink about things I say, do, hear, see, what other people, say, do, etc. And things about the world etc. 10 reasons why I didn't get a job, 10 reasons why my friend hasn't texted me back. Everything.

I don't know if this is helpful but when someone tells me something bad that happened to them etc, I feel empathetic on the inside, but I just look blank on the outside. Probably because I'm trying to process the information, also I just get sad, empathetic, I go quiet and numb. It's like I get overwhelmed and just go blank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hello there!

You must first know, that everyone's experiences differ on that subject, but I can tell you mine of course :).

I struggle with overthinking quite a lot, in that it comes at the worst times and makes me completely blank out (you already had some examples, like presentations and such) and getting a temporary mental block; everything comes at me at once, and in some sort of defense mechanism, I shut it out. It doesn't help that I have autism either, so when there is some semblance of an outside stimulus (like someone talking to me, someone else talking very loud, questions being asked to me, or just loudness in general), it gets worse.
It's also easy to overstress yourself in that regard, in that your overthinking takes you to different options, solutions, and causes problems that deviate from the original subject. That + External Stimuli = a nightmarish scenario where time stands still and you don't see a way out.

The best way I dealt with all that, is to talk about it with some people (I have a counselor of sorts for my autism) and explain what is going on and what I feel at that moment. Those peeps can shed light on that situation from an outsider perspective and put it into a simpler perspective. That helps a lot.

What I also try to do now, is that I try to focus on my breath for a few seconds (as a kind of reset button) and then go back into it from a different angle. It takes practice, but hey, it works for me:cool:
Meditation is also great. That is the reset button of the day; where I can think of nothing, where thoughts arise and are let go of like water that flows from the river into the sea. It puts me at rest and gives all the built-up energies inside a way of release.

Hope this helps a bit ;)
Glad to hear I'm not the only one here XD. Yeah I totally get the scenarios you described. But yeah I noticed controlled breathing actually can help a lot at least for me and trying to be rational about the situation also sometimes helps. I talk about this with people but I kinda want to find a efficient solution on my own, also to not burden someone else with my own problems in a way. Glad to hear the breathing technique works for you :D. Thanks a lot for your reply!

Maybe, I was accused of overthinking on multiple occasions by others. I've never perceived it that way, I simply tried to do things I've dedicated myself to correctly, gather more information and see a bigger picture. I think I've for some reason, I've distinct view of reality that doesn't seem to match up rest of the population. I've noticed people people preoccupy themselves with nonsense I perceive as of low importance, if not outright irrational. Gossip, partying, having a family, or making money to buy a pointless and expensive props, all of this have no value or simply are net negative in my view. Yet, people pursue or participate them, often time expect you to pursue and participate those as well, going so far sometimes as attempting force you into them. I've noticed others don't question those or other established rules/standards and just do.Things as simple such as that people wait for a green light to cross the street even if there are no cars around caught my attention, still wondering what's the point of doing that.

In a job I try to figure out what is that is expected of me by an employee and experience with a person or knowledge of general expectations can be helpful in such situations.That said desire to uphold higher standard than required (one that would be satisfactory to me) can get in a way of doing it.
I don't see the views of people like that as irrational but more like the easy solution for them. The don't think the wrong way but just simply said differently. It's not like they are not intelligent but such people often don't think so much about the why unlike me who questions almost everything. I see it more as a learning opportunity to understand how the other person things and it's quite fascinating to me. Both has pros and cons and one of my cons at least is that I can see simple problems as super complicated things XD. But I think with practise you can get a great mix of both :). I really hope no one forced you to think their way because that's one thing I hate most. In my opinion there is no right or wrong answer to a problem and therefore thinking in a different way isn't wrong either.

Generally, introverts like to be fully prepared before performing the completion of any task otherwise they can go into a spin mode of thinking if they perceive that the task poses challenges outside of their comfort zone. What this indicates is that they rely heavily on past experiences and less upon thinking on their feet (the way extroverts seem to fly).

This leads to overthinking earlier in life and mastery later in life. Be patient, it will all become easier over time.
That is definitely true. I hate it to not be prepared. Very poethic turn how to see overthinking thank you. I'll be a master in no time just like you guys :D.


Yes I overthink quite often.

Sometimes my mind goes blank, but it's usually when I'm bored or have had a really sad episode and I feel overwhelmed.

I tend to overthink about things I say, do, hear, see, what other people, say, do, etc. And things about the world etc. 10 reasons why I didn't get a job, 10 reasons why my friend hasn't texted me back. Everything.

I don't know if this is helpful but when someone tells me something bad that happened to them etc, I feel empathetic on the inside, but I just look blank on the outside. Probably because I'm trying to process the information, also I just get sad, empathetic, I go quiet and numb. It's like I get overwhelmed and just go blank.
Interesting. For me it's almost always when I'm under pressure and I need to perform/show my skills. Although I learned/prepared for it I can freeze up and if it gets really bad I can't get my name right XD. I sometimes get overwhelmed when I hear a tragic event in the life of someone else. I want to help them super badly, but I don't know how and I kinda imagine myself if I has in his/her position.
 

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Isfj here and I over think quite a lot too. My mind is always going - replaying the events of the day etc, what I or someone else said...... So it also happens when I have to do something publicly. It's difficult to stop but it's something I've consciously been trying to do....to force myself to'just be in the moment'....as when I over think it sometimes makes me more anxious and unfocused.

I think over thinking happens more with us introverts as we're so internal and 'in our heads: a lot...
 

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I don't see the views of people like that as irrational but more like the easy solution for them. The don't think the wrong way but just simply said differently. It's not like they are not intelligent but such people often don't think so much about the why unlike me who questions almost everything. I see it more as a learning opportunity to understand how the other person things and it's quite fascinating to me. Both has pros and cons and one of my cons at least is that I can see simple problems as super complicated things XD. But I think with practise you can get a great mix of both :). I really hope no one forced you to think their way because that's one thing I hate most. In my opinion there is no right or wrong answer to a problem and therefore thinking in a different way isn't wrong either.
If they don't understand why behind their decisions or views, then they're irrational as their actions and view lack reasoning behind them. Such person definitively "thinks" in wrong way as they're just like a blind person trying to find way to their destination (if they even know what that destination is), leaving their fate up to a chance (quite often poor one) or those who can see and destination could differ from yours. Of course, I understand often time, quick decision making is required in order to achieve better/suitable outcome and taking accounts all necessary factors would require time one could not have.This is why we resort to heuristics, at least as a short-term approach. There are obviously wrong and correct answers to a problems (unless problem can't be solved even partially, then there is no correct solution), e.g trying pin a painting with a rubber duck would be a futile endeavor and there would be many better alternatives that would do the job. There may be more than one solution, often one better than another. even if filtered through value system to fit specific individual.
 

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I overthink more when I am concerned with others' perceptions of me, or how they might perceive me. I've significantly reduced that needless mental sprinting by just ... not giving an F*. Took a while to get there though, and it's not as if that never happens anymore, but I can usually stop myself much sooner. I couldn't just 'stop overthinking' cold turkey, but I had to actively build my self-confidence in certain areas of my life in order to improve my mindset.

I would no longer consider myself suffering from either general anxiety disorder or social anxiety disorder, so it must be working somehow!
 

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Overthinking comes from overusing Ne. This is a natural tendency that happens automatically, so we have to purposefully concentrate on something to move forward. I would say that mindfulness, especially the kind that fills up the thinking attention span, can help to block out endless brainstorming.
 

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It's called strength of will, foolish little brother. Sometimes you just have to focus single-mindedly on the task at hand. A person can't control feelings of anxiety, but they can control the thoughts that enter their mind as a result of those feelings. So self talk or meditation, like you stated, that allows you to compartmentalize enough to enter a sort of flow state usually results in that effortless sort of calm where it's just you and the burning desire to kill everyone responsible for murdering your clan. Anyway, that's my two cents. As an added note, never forget your friends. And get another arm, seriously. It's ridiculous.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Overthinking comes from overusing Ne. This is a natural tendency that happens automatically, so we have to purposefully concentrate on something to move forward. I would say that mindfulness, especially the kind that fills up the thinking attention span, can help to block out endless brainstorming.
Hmm you've got a good point there. But the question is how can you train to be more mindful? I know from meditation that suppression of thoughts doesn't work. In fact those thoughts get even stronger. I'm currently working on that but in meditation it's always stated in books to "let go of your thoughts" which is a rather bizarre concept to me.

I noticed I can concentrate on a single task best if I don't have any emotions at all and stay calm. I guess it kinda mimicking meditation in that sense of letting got of thoughts. Do you have any advice for me on how you are very mindful in situations and to train mindfulness? :)

It's called strength of will, foolish little brother. Sometimes you just have to focus single-mindedly on the task at hand. A person can't control feelings of anxiety, but they can control the thoughts that enter their mind as a result of those feelings. So self talk or meditation, like you stated, that allows you to compartmentalize enough to enter a sort of flow state usually results in that effortless sort of calm where it's just you and the burning desire to kill everyone responsible for murdering your clan. Anyway, that's my two cents. As an added note, never forget your friends. And get another arm, seriously. It's ridiculous.
You're absolutely right with that! I improved at lot in that area because I tended to be quite the pessimist and now that changed tremendously. And no worries big brother the people here seem quite nice so I'll avenge my clan perhaps later :p.
 

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Hmm you've got a good point there. But the question is how can you train to be more mindful? I know from meditation that suppression of thoughts doesn't work. In fact those thoughts get even stronger. I'm currently working on that but in meditation it's always stated in books to "let go of your thoughts" which is a rather bizarre concept to me.

I noticed I can concentrate on a single task best if I don't have any emotions at all and stay calm. I guess it kinda mimicking meditation in that sense of letting got of thoughts. Do you have any advice for me on how you are very mindful in situations and to train mindfulness? :)
1st, the ego (stress mixed with concepts) will try to take over the meditation and make it into a contest. Learn to relax your body and mind. This takes practice because you need to learn about what stressful thoughts derail you. Suppressing doesn't work because you are supposed to relax. Suppression is using stress to stop stress and that's why it doesn't work. You are also supposed to become disenchanted with some of those thoughts that bubble up. They are going for things that don't help you and the attention has to be zoomed in with the consequences of bad habits. Stress can be used as a way to enjoy avoiding actions. Some actions add to entropy and by visualizing consequences of crappy habits, the brain starts to naturally let go. Short-term pleasure usually leads to being in the same place as you were before, but maybe worse (The 3 characteristics). The list of consequences are endless depending on the object your powerful thoughts are chasing. Realize that not all powerful thoughts in the mind are for your long-term self-interest. The enemy can be within.


Impulses will interrupt, but you can just tolerate them and watch them pass away. Impulses are impermanent, but the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms makes you want to act. You don't need to DO anything with the ego to act on them. If you wait long enough the discomfort passes away and you are able to feel normal again. Rob Burbea talks about it here:


The great thing is that you don't have to ignore all impulses, but bad impulses will feel just as enjoyable to follow as the good ones so you have to use your rational mind and think of long-term pleasure, which is more about achievement and mental peace. The addictive part of the mind goes for short-term comfort. Use mindfulness to go in different directions, and let the discomfort fall away on its own. Tolerate it by relaxing your body and moving in the right direction. You will learn a lot about yourself and the lower brain's devilish manipulations with these practices. We can hurt ourselves and let ourselves down.

In the following video there's some Heideggerian practices for an appreciation meditation that makes you have a higher enjoyment that isn't all about consumption. I enjoyed it so much that the brain let go of alcohol because alcohol interferes with the enjoyment in the senses. You can use desire against desire, like choosing a better product over a shoddy one. The lower brain actually made the choice, not the ego. :) The video above and below are often skipped because people don't want to do some of the work of training (Anders Ericsson), they don't want to tolerate withdrawal symptoms, and they don't want to put the minimal effort to control their attention span.


The ego is a shit-head because it makes you think that self-development is easy. Look at Olympic athletes, or even athletes like Tiger Woods. We see the end product but we don't see their practice regimen. If it was so easy to change then everyone would do it. IT'S NOT EASY TO INDIVIDUATE! The healthy way to use ego is to PLAY and you can see that in the above video. It's scary that many adults can't even play anymore.

The part I haven't got to yet, which I'm working on now, is maintaining concentration long-term. It appears that it's about directed thinking. Without thinking the mind falls asleep, so you have to fill up your attention span which what you are doing, of course in the most relaxed way possible. Don't use stress to control stress. When the mind is filled up with the task it can go into Flow and then your concerns tend to fall away because it's enjoying watching progress happen.


Flow is another hard one because we have to navigate stress and boredom and actually move to take action to adjust our goals to increase skill or to reduce challenges. Most people when they talk about their self-development, they say that they improved in small increments. If you want to stress your brain out, just look at the Flow diagram and try to imagine all the things you have to do until you feel daunted. That kind of thinking is counterproductive if you don't use the information to adjust your goals. Csikszentmihalyi said that concentration is what moves through all the attempts at getting into Flow. What you direct your attention to GROWS. So direct it away from distraction. When you meet preparation with skills with high challenges, See: the Free Solo documentary, it's one of the great pleasures in life. You can do things that you can look back on with pleasure.

Even if you are just watching the breath you can measure what would be a good breath (more shallow or more depth). Give what your body is asking for. The brain is constantly adjusting preferences and you have to adjust your responses as well with trial and error. Meditation is good for developing concentration and with the 4 tetrads, for relaxing the mind outside of sleep.

Of course, depending on how much inactivity your body is going through, you need to walk/exercise to get the blood flowing and get good sleep. If it was so easy you would have done it already. All the coaches and assholes that make it seem like it's easy are just making money off of hype, hero worship and laziness.


All the psychology shows that it's lots of tweaking and adjusting regimens to optimize yourself. You will always be doing this. You can see some of those tweaks in "The Little Book of Talent" by Daniel Coyle, but you'll probably invent some that are just for you.

Finally, look at the people that surround you. Are they toxic narcissists? The energy release when they are out of your life and can't make decisions for you, is ENORMOUS! You don't want them to be someone you marry or your boss. Expert Psychologists actually avoid treating them because they are so abusive and they rarely change.

It's no secret that people who work for themselves are more motivated. Employees will never be as motivated. Whether you run your own business or become a sub-contractor, your energy will increase when you have more control. It's called Intrinsic Motivation. Make choices that make you stronger, not weaker.

In about a year I'll probably have more tips because the science is that in depth, especially when studying athletes. The ego thinks it can run a marathon because it gets emotional from imagining it, but experience shows that training and development are what get you there.

If you are into MBTI, then all the stuff above accesses all 8 functions easily and then some, but the common theme in all of these things is energy management. You have to do actions, or avoid certain actions, to maintain your energy and avoid burnout.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
1st, the ego (stress mixed with concepts) will try to take over the meditation and make it into a contest. Learn to relax your body and mind. This takes practice because you need to learn about what stressful thoughts derail you. Suppressing doesn't work because you are supposed to relax. Suppression is using stress to stop stress and that's why it doesn't work. You are also supposed to become disenchanted with some of those thoughts that bubble up. They are going for things that don't help you and the attention has to be zoomed in with the consequences of bad habits. Stress can be used as a way to enjoy avoiding actions. Some actions add to entropy and by visualizing consequences of crappy habits, the brain starts to naturally let go. Short-term pleasure usually leads to being in the same place as you were before, but maybe worse (The 3 characteristics). The list of consequences are endless depending on the object your powerful thoughts are chasing. Realize that not all powerful thoughts in the mind are for your long-term self-interest. The enemy can be within.


Impulses will interrupt, but you can just tolerate them and watch them pass away. Impulses are impermanent, but the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms makes you want to act. You don't need to DO anything with the ego to act on them. If you wait long enough the discomfort passes away and you are able to feel normal again. Rob Burbea talks about it here:


The great thing is that you don't have to ignore all impulses, but bad impulses will feel just as enjoyable to follow as the good ones so you have to use your rational mind and think of long-term pleasure, which is more about achievement and mental peace. The addictive part of the mind goes for short-term comfort. Use mindfulness to go in different directions, and let the discomfort fall away on its own. Tolerate it by relaxing your body and moving in the right direction. You will learn a lot about yourself and the lower brain's devilish manipulations with these practices. We can hurt ourselves and let ourselves down.

In the following video there's some Heideggerian practices for an appreciation meditation that makes you have a higher enjoyment that isn't all about consumption. I enjoyed it so much that the brain let go of alcohol because alcohol interferes with the enjoyment in the senses. You can use desire against desire, like choosing a better product over a shoddy one. The lower brain actually made the choice, not the ego. :) The video above and below are often skipped because people don't want to do some of the work of training (Anders Ericsson), they don't want to tolerate withdrawal symptoms, and they don't want to put the minimal effort to control their attention span.


The ego is a shit-head because it makes you think that self-development is easy. Look at Olympic athletes, or even athletes like Tiger Woods. We see the end product but we don't see their practice regimen. If it was so easy to change then everyone would do it. IT'S NOT EASY TO INDIVIDUATE! The healthy way to use ego is to PLAY and you can see that in the above video. It's scary that many adults can't even play anymore.

The part I haven't got to yet, which I'm working on now, is maintaining concentration long-term. It appears that it's about directed thinking. Without thinking the mind falls asleep, so you have to fill up your attention span which what you are doing, of course in the most relaxed way possible. Don't use stress to control stress. When the mind is filled up with the task it can go into Flow and then your concerns tend to fall away because it's enjoying watching progress happen.


Flow is another hard one because we have to navigate stress and boredom and actually move to take action to adjust our goals to increase skill or to reduce challenges. Most people when they talk about their self-development, they say that they improved in small increments. If you want to stress your brain out, just look at the Flow diagram and try to imagine all the things you have to do until you feel daunted. That kind of thinking is counterproductive if you don't use the information to adjust your goals. Csikszentmihalyi said that concentration is what moves through all the attempts at getting into Flow. What you direct your attention to GROWS. So direct it away from distraction. When you meet preparation with skills with high challenges, See: the Free Solo documentary, it's one of the great pleasures in life. You can do things that you can look back on with pleasure.

Even if you are just watching the breath you can measure what would be a good breath (more shallow or more depth). Give what your body is asking for. The brain is constantly adjusting preferences and you have to adjust your responses as well with trial and error. Meditation is good for developing concentration and with the 4 tetrads, for relaxing the mind outside of sleep.

Of course, depending on how much inactivity your body is going through, you need to walk/exercise to get the blood flowing and get good sleep. If it was so easy you would have done it already. All the coaches and assholes that make it seem like it's easy are just making money off of hype, hero worship and laziness.


All the psychology shows that it's lots of tweaking and adjusting regimens to optimize yourself. You will always be doing this. You can see some of those tweaks in "The Little Book of Talent" by Daniel Coyle, but you'll probably invent some that are just for you.

Finally, look at the people that surround you. Are they toxic narcissists? The energy release when they are out of your life and can't make decisions for you, is ENORMOUS! You don't want them to be someone you marry or your boss. Expert Psychologists actually avoid treating them because they are so abusive and they rarely change.

It's no secret that people who work for themselves are more motivated. Employees will never be as motivated. Whether you run your own business or become a sub-contractor, your energy will increase when you have more control. It's called Intrinsic Motivation. Make choices that make you stronger, not weaker.

In about a year I'll probably have more tips because the science is that in depth, especially when studying athletes. The ego thinks it can run a marathon because it gets emotional from imagining it, but experience shows that training and development are what get you there.

If you are into MBTI, then all the stuff above accesses all 8 functions easily and then some, but the common theme in all of these things is energy management. You have to do actions, or avoid certain actions, to maintain your energy and avoid burnout.
Thanks a lot for your detailed answer! I'll watch those videos and reread your sections again. You seem to have a lot of experience in those areas and I'm really glad you could share your knowledge :D.
 
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