Failure as an INFJ

Starting over

I hate the feeling of failure. I’m all about that INFJ perfectionism. I want to do everything right on the first try, the first shot. I love knowing what I am doing and doing it right and that feeling of accomplishment. If I can’t have that, then I don’t want to do it, whatever it is.

Ideas

I’m great at the ideas. I love ideas. I love to think and dream and plan about what could be. There are so many ideas in my head that I could see being a reality. I love to dream up new inventions and new relationships. I spend most of my time in my head. It’s nice there.

Planning

I love the doing part too. Once I decide to do something, nothing can get in my way. I make a plan and put it into action. I’ll fight to the death, give up anything, suffer through until I accomplish my goal. I’ve done this so many times.

Move Across the Country

The first time I moved to North Carolina I lived in a rough place. I moved from my parents house in a middle class neighborhood to a place where there was routine police activity. I worked 2 jobs and was still deciding what bills to pay at the end of the month. This was partially a success and partially a failure for me. A success because I got some experience in the field I wanted, but I felt like a failure because I couldn’t make it work financially and ended up moving back home.

The second time I moved there was worse actually. I had a horrible roommate and then moved to a place with 3 roommates. I lived off of so little money that I ate half a pack of Ramen noodles a day. True story. That was a rough summer. It took another 3 years before I landed my dream job.

This should be the happily ever after, but it’s not. Even a dream job is still a job. There was still a lot to fight for and still a lot of survival there. I worked there for 3 years. There were some amazing moments and some WTF am I doing here moments too. Sometimes I feel like a failure there because ultimately I couldn’t make that career work. I learned a lot there though. I know that for sure. It just wasn’t the right place for me.

Peer support

My failures aren’t just in my career though. I am one of those people who is always on a diet, but never loses any weight. It’s one of my favorite subjects to bitch about though, usually while I’m eating something with chocolate. I’ve now purchased another Fit Bit because of the peer pressure… i mean support of 2 of my friends. They are motivated and losing weight. I don’t want to be left out. That’s how it goes.

I’ve been telling myself for years that I’m going to lose 100 lbs. I need to. I have a plan, I know how to do it… but when it comes down to it I can’t make it work. I’ve seen all the people too, doctors, dietitians, personal trainers, etc. Apparently you have to stop the whole eating chocolate part. I’m working on it. That’s probably my biggest failure to date. That’s why I can’t let it go. I know that one day I will figure it out. One day I will crush this goal. One day.

Perfectionism

It’s easy for me to sit here and list all of the things that I have failed at (or that I have yet to figure out how to accomplish. I haven’t given up yet!). It’s a lot harder for me to make a list of the things that I have accomplished on the first try or the second. It’s always harder for me to spin it to the positive like that.

My biggest accomplishments

Here’s my list of accomplishments so far:

  • First person in my family to have a bachelor’s degree
  • I’m the only one of my 3 siblings who is fully independent and holds down a full time job
  • Ran a 10k 4 years ago
  • Worked in my dream job for 3 years
  • Moved halfway across the country 3 times, completely by myself
  • Traveled to Europe by myself
  • Have fallen on my face more times than I can count and am still alive and kicking, ready to go again

Resilience

Just the other day someone called me driven. I really enjoyed that compliment. I don’t think most people see just how driven I am when I get something into my head. I know that I set big goals, impossible goals. I know that. I don’t like the small ones. The small ones are easy. Anyone can do them. I want to do something that other people can’t do. I want to do something big and impossible and awesome and amazing! And I know that there is a huge risk for failure involved in that.

When the failure happens, because it will, you get knocked down. And it sucks. It’s awful. It’s ok to feel awful for a while. Every time I go through a big failure it takes me about a year to recover, to try again. But it’s important to remember that you can try again. You can take some time to think about how awful it is, but then start making a new plan, try a new approach. Don’t stay down and give up. There is always a new way, always.

If you’re struggling right along with me right now, that’s my advice: there is always a new way, always something else to try. Keep going! Don’t give up until you figure it out! Don’t worry about what people say, don’t worry about looking silly or feeling like you have no idea how it’s all going to turn out. Take the next step. Do the next thing. That’s all you have to worry about right now. Just the next step. That’s one thing. You can totally handle that.

Thanks for listening. I needed that little pep talk today!

4 Replies to “Failure as an INFJ”

  1. Hey, We have the same name!
    As an 19 years old who is a newbie in career, relationship, family,-(Everything about this thing called ‘Adulthood’) I think your story was Awesomely Inspiring. Honestly it made me realize that INFJ do really love being independent & I’m not the only bird who wants to fly away from my nest.

  2. Hi Another Sarah here,

    I am currently battling several failures at once. I know it will get better though. I struggle with not being perfect. It makes me feel like an imposter.

    I wonder how many INFJs want to check out from society all together and just go off grid. Because that is where my head is at right now?

  3. We should create an INFJ group. I can relate to some of your situations, yet I can introduce even more.

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