Personality Cafe banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
395 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm wondering if other INFJs (and other types also) have this problem, that you have difficulties getting started to work on things/projects? I have noticed that it is getting worse and worse for me to start working on projects that I have in my mind. But once I start working on a "project" I really work passionately with it and almost always finish it. But it is just to start on it that is the problem for me. Sometimes it feels as if I need some kind of external stimulus (like inspiration from other people) in order to start working on whatever project I want to work on. As if I can't start by my own power.


So...
Do you also experience this problem, and do you know why it happens (some kind of psychology behind it)?
Do you have any tips on how to overcome this problem?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
I actually do have this problem as well. In fact I recently experienced this very thing with having to move to a new home. I had a week to get packed and I just couldn't get started despite knowing I had a time limit. But once I did just actually get started, it was like I had a fire under my ass for the entire time I was packing and cleaning. But yeah, I get that way A LOT.

Advice for it though? Perhaps try to recognize what it is that gets you motivated to actually start the project when you do and see if it can be applicable in various situations and try to use that to get you going. As for what causes it... for me personally, it is because I often don't see the need to rush things and can be very laid back. Or I have so much going on in my head that I just cannot focus on the thing I need to be doing.

Sorry if this wasn't more help. But yeah, tips to overcome it... like I said. See if you can identify what it is that gets you started at all and can you use that in other situations?

I hope that helps. :happy:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Yes, this happens to me A LOT. I am a major procrastinator. For me, I think it's because I am so indecisive. I feel like once somebody else has made a decision for me, I will work with it, otherwise I just sit there debating whether or not I should do it.

Also, I am motivated by running from negativity. So this isn't a great idea, but worrying about what will happen if I don't finish usually helps kicks me into action. Getting other people to force me into it works as well. None of these are great solutions, though...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
641 Posts
I have felt this many times too. It depends on what kind of project for me though, if it's a personal art related project then I have put off things for many months/years because of lack of inspiration as well. If it was a project for a class then I would just sit down and do it and get it over with so I can cross it off my to do list. So if your project is an academic related one, I would say just that, minimize any distractions you have around you and get it started.

Now for the art related project, I definitely need motivation/inspiration or else I can't touch it at all, it's a heavy psychological barrier because I feel INFJ's will want to put our heart and soul into what we do and it's important to us on an emotional level. I have this one picture in my head for over a year now that I want to really want to draw but can't, because I don't have the emotional drive for it yet.

Accordingly to one of my MBTI books that I read, the reason it takes us so long to mentally prepare for a project is because of our inferior Se. Ni is so rich, vast, complex that our ideals are often times more grand than anything we can imagine/create in real life. The problem arises when we want to transfer all this imagery onto a medium but given our perfectionist personality, it's quite hard because often time, skill wise, Se isn't up to par. So we can get frustrated or have a block of creativity because Se can't deliver into the real world what Ni has created in our minds.
 

·
Registered
INFJ
Joined
·
2,568 Posts
I do this too! I think we are intimidated by our own resolve when it comes to finishing out an idea...it's like, "I know once I start, I will not stop until it's done" and the only way to avoid that is by not starting at all. I think it's actually a form of self-awareness masked as procrastination (at least, I pretend it is because it sounds better!)...It could be: not having the energy, being interested in other things at the moment, prioritizing other stuff, dreaming being more fun than doing, a myriad of things. I am unrelenting when it comes to finishing something, so knowing that can make me deeply ponder on whether or not starting is a good idea. I also think the kind of thing you're talking about involves being heavily detail oriented in between the start and finish line, and focusing on details is tedious/draining to me. My intuition sees all the future details that will plague me, and is like "NOOOOOOOOO!!! We must avoid teh brain hurtz!"...what gets me to finally start is a funny little moment of angry/hypercritical dialogue directed at myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
Wow... I am not sure if it helped the OP, but seeing all these responses actually has helped me understand this issue. I know it isn't my thread but thank you all for the great insight. :kitteh:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
544 Posts
So...
Do you also experience this problem, and do you know why it happens (some kind of psychology behind it)?
Do you have any tips on how to overcome this problem?
Yes, I have the same issue. I've chalked it up to issues with depression and generally lacking any motivation in other things, but perhaps it is also that I'm afraid of failure on some level. Somewhere inside, certainly not right at the surface, I worry that I won't be able to make whatever I'm thinking of "real" in a satisfactory way. And so I don't feel "ready". So I don't start. What if it turns out like crap? What if it doesn't work? What if I end up wasting time on something that turns into nothing?

Eventually, of course, the desire to create or start something outweighs my trepidation and I hang at the moment of beginning, suspended on a thread. Until finally the thread snaps and I rush headlong into what I'm doing with an impossible kind of precision I forgot (always forget) I had.

At its heart, I suspect it's a confidence problem. Therefore, the key to overcoming the issue is to build your confidence in starting things and eliminating the fear of failure (or reducing it to a negligible amount). Or build your confidence in taking your thoughts and physically putting them into reality. I think once you know you can actually do whatever it is you want to do, and do it accurately enough, you'll be more motivated to get on the ball.

Another key component is to let go of your unrealistic expectations. No, it won't turn out like it is in your head. It never will. That's just how it is. So, then the point is to get to a level where you recognize "good enough" and are happy with "good enough". "Good enough" isn't bad. It doesn't mean what you've done is crap. Actually, what it means is that you have successfully communicated or accomplished your goal in a manner that makes sense and others will understand and relate to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
I posted this in another thread:

I think what you've brought up is INCREDIBLY common in INFJs. From my understanding, it's very, very regular for one of us to have a clear goal, and vision of how something should be, then not following through with a productive plan of action.

Although this is a common weakness, I see no sense in ignoring it, or accepting it, so-to-speak. I'm a musician, and I constantly have to remind myself that "that great idea" I had, won't amount to anything if I don't put in the time and effort to make it a song. I've found that for me, personally, trying to place productivity into a schedule is very effective. Tell yourself, "no matter what excuse I come up with, I have to finish this project." And set aside an hour to do so. When that hour comes, just make yourself start, no matter how you're feeling; I think you'd be surprised to find that once you are actually working at something, progress isn't at all out of reach.

We have a strength, as far as forming an ideal, and seeing in between the lines. Why not take advantage of it? Learning how to make yourself start things is the hard part, but once you learn to do that, you're bound to be a productive person.
Another hint, if you guys are like me: turn off your cell phones/computers/whatever, if they aren't necessary to what you're doing. Removing distractions from your immediate environment works wonders in helping me to focus.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jalex and apophenia

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,101 Posts
I had some problem with that when my projects were indistinct and nebulous, at least I had trouble visualizing them. I changed careers and became a home builder and land developer. My projects became very tightly defined and structured.

There are stages to the construction process, beginning with a customer interview, exploring and agreeing on specifics, prepping and signing documents, getting permits, arranging subcontractors, laying out the home on the lot (already done with the customer earlier in exploratory fashion), then proceeding from excavation to the rinal touches and the loan closing. I would have most trouble at the end with the punch list, and I was better to get a subordinate to do those.

And every day had a goal and a starting point; the same place as where I ended up the day before. For 35 years I hated to see Friday's come, and Mondays were glorious because I had another new week of accomplishment ahead of me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jalex and apophenia

·
Registered
Joined
·
726 Posts
I have a long history with what you're all terming a "problem". I'm not criticizing here, but emphasizing your choice of words.

In grade school I had trouble doing my assignments on time (think 6th grade here, because that's when it became truly horrible.)
Suddenly, in jr. high school, it was no problem at all. I have no idea what happened, but overnight I became a straight A, efficient student. Really weird, eh?

In high school I began to notice a pattern to my paper/project starting habits. Namely, I would wait, without fail, until the deadline began to apply a steady heat to my brain. Now, if we're talking psychology, it fits that I would be oblivious in elementary and clueless in jr. high because children have little if any external awarenesses that can be turned inward, sometimes known as "othering the self" because you take the gaze of the other and turn it on your own actions. That's incredibly hard for the vast majority of children under 14 to do at all and even then they can't do long periods of reflection with it.

But in high school, my naturally reflective nature turned inward and I began to understand how my mind works. My ISFJ mother (I love her dearly so I'm not critiquing her, but stating how it was) used to try to get me to work farther ahead of deadlines, but as I never pulled lower than an A in any class, she couldn't say so with any effectiveness as what I was doing still worked for me. However, she used to hand me dire warnings that "You won't be able to get away with this in college, and I just want to save you a load of grief for when you get there and your non-existent study habits make you sorry!"

Well... She might as well have saved her threats because my study habits have never been different. I always get good grades.

Now what am I doing between the time the assignment is handed out and the time I actually sit down to deal with it? I'm thinking about it. Ti works for me overtime in all that time that looks "spare" to the casual observer. I'm not sitting still and daydreaming, but doing chores, or yoga or running or kata I find myself tracing my thoughts down to their conclusions. By the time I sit down to write the paper, the thing seems to write itself.

So what you posit as a "problem" was only a problem for me in the worksheet world of elementary school where this type of daydreaming/ruminating work was unnecessary and where there weren't papers or projects to do, but lines to fill out. (My poor parents nearly tore their hair out that year to see someone they absolutely knew had the brains and abilities, but no apparent follow through. If I had it to do all over again, I'd do it differently just to spare them their anxiety.) However, in the times beyond that land of lines and quick answers, I have just accepted (long ago) that this is how my brain works and that there's no need to be ashamed of it.

And I'm not. :proud:
 
  • Like
Reactions: jalex

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,001 Posts
I have this problem as well. I think it's because we can become mired in the "planning to do" process, and forget to actually put that plan into action! It's kind of like with billiards... billiards is a set of decisions all having to take place within a few minutes....and those decisions make up the game. Even in that game, we can get mired in the planning process...but, if we kind of "surprise" ourselves with the stroking of the cue stick...saying that we'll shoot the ball in stroke 5, but really shoot the ball in stroke 3 or so, then we kind of "surprise" ourselves in making the decision faster, and proceeding with the game.

...I hope you follow me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
395 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the responses! It has really helped me to think of the issue from different angles. I got a bit clearer understanding of how it works now. I will try and post my "new" ideas about it when I have time :happy:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,873 Posts
Yes, I have the same issue. I've chalked it up to issues with depression and generally lacking any motivation in other things, but perhaps it is also that I'm afraid of failure on some level. Somewhere inside, certainly not right at the surface, I worry that I won't be able to make whatever I'm thinking of "real" in a satisfactory way. And so I don't feel "ready". So I don't start. What if it turns out like crap? What if it doesn't work? What if I end up wasting time on something that turns into nothing?
. . . . . . . ..

At its heart, I suspect it's a confidence problem. Therefore, the key to overcoming the issue is to build your confidence in starting things and eliminating the fear of failure (or reducing it to a negligible amount). Or build your confidence in taking your thoughts and physically putting them into reality. I think once you know you can actually do whatever it is you want to do, and do it accurately enough, you'll be more motivated to get on the ball.

.
That nails it for me. I got so bad once that I had to take on little projects, complete them - then get to the larger ones. I have rather severe arthritis that limits me, and by "project" it usually means hammer, saw, nails and a bunch of lumber. Retired, on a fixed income, what if I waste all that money. . . . I have seen others do that, never have myself. I was always the go-to guy when someone was stuck - but that was before ol' Authur Ritis laid me low.

But for me, "good enough" is a very high bar. So I do a lot of prep planning, stucying, discussing furure possible expenses, and when I finally get it done, Hurrah! but then pick it apart and see a thousand ways I could do it better, faster, less expensive -
A procrastioner, pefectionist, self-doubter -INFJ?
But I enjoy creative work anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Yes.

I have a set of turntables I haven't touched in a year.

I paint and draw, write, and I haven't done any of these consistently in over a year. I have all these projects in my head, but haven't acted on them in any form or fashion.

I feel really "blah" at this point in life and maybe it's a mid-thirties crisis or something.

I wish I had some advice. Still trying to figure it out myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,579 Posts
Like many have already said, I find that I procrastinate on my work, but I put forth my best effort once I actually get started. I think the main reason I procrastinate is anxiety related. When I think about the logistics of completing a project I have to do, I think of all of its angles and end up making it seem a lot harder in my head than it actually is. Because it seems so complicated, I worry that I'll be incapable of effectively completing it and end up procrastinating. Once I finish it, I realize it was not as bad as I made it out to be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,788 Posts
I'm wondering if other INFJs (and other types also) have this problem, that you have difficulties getting started to work on things/projects? I have noticed that it is getting worse and worse for me to start working on projects that I have in my mind. But once I start working on a "project" I really work passionately with it and almost always finish it. But it is just to start on it that is the problem for me. Sometimes it feels as if I need some kind of external stimulus (like inspiration from other people) in order to start working on whatever project I want to work on. As if I can't start by my own power.


So...
Do you also experience this problem, and do you know why it happens (some kind of psychology behind it)?
Do you have any tips on how to overcome this problem?
This is me when I have to do the house chores :laughing:

Tips... um... I just suck it up and force myself to do it no matter how much I hate it. It's the only way I know how to do stuff... sorry...
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top