3 signs it's time to take a break from your vision
Once you've had the courage to take action on a meaningful goal or dream, do you find it hard to stop? Is it hard to slow down and take breaks? Or maybe you're propelled forward out of a sense of responsibility, commitment, or duty to your dream.
When my INFJ clients are actively pursuing their visions, I've noticed a trend in the way they feel about taking breaks. They often feel they can't take a break or that they don't deserve a break. They've made a commitment to themselves, and they often feel a heavy responsibility to contribute financially if they're married or have a family.
Another common theme occurs if they begin to doubt the path they've chosen. They can feel heavy with guilt that they've made the wrong choice, or that the thing they're pursuing isn't what they really want to do. This possibility can feel like a moral failure.
Does any of this sound familiar to you? If so, you're not alone. I know it resonates deeply with me, too. In working with clients, I'm consistently reminded that I'm not alone in the way I experience the world. As INFJ women, we often have similar experiences and need similar reminders.
Most of us know that we need downtime. We know we have limited energy to spend. When we're familiar with our INFJ personality type, we know that we must have times of quiet reflection to give our Introverted Intuition (Ni) space to breathe. Yet the forward pull of our vision, our commitments, and our responsibilities overrides the knowledge of what we need to function well. Add to that the guilt we may feel when we think about stopping and we're likely to ignore all the things we know on a logical level.
Sometimes all it takes is a conversation in a coaching session for the INFJ women I work with to be reminded of, and accept, what they need. We talk about the way they're wired, the way they function best, and how taking breaks helps them to sustain them. A deep sigh of relief and a sense of permission to take a break often follows these reminders.
So, dear INFJ friend, I want to share with you a list of signs that it might be time to take a break from pursuing your big goal, dream, or vision. Use this list as a way to check in with yourself to see if you need a break. Then, give yourself permission to pause.
3 signs that you need a break from your vision
1. You're avoiding tasks you used to enjoy.
Something's up when you begin to avoid tasks you used to enjoy. Part of my vision of helping INFJ women become the best version of themselves and make their vision a reality includes writing for The INFJ Life on a weekly basis. I enjoy writing for you and sharing insights about your INFJ personality. I love helping you coach yourself through the words you see here. But when I start to dread or avoid writing, I know it's time to take a break. I try to stay ahead in my writing to allow for times when I feel this way. Feeling like I don't want to write doesn't mean I want to quit altogether—although I've entertained that idea, too! These feelings usually mean I need to step away and take a break so I can come back to writing with a fresh perspective.
2. You're experiencing an increase in self-doubt about the path you've chosen.
When you begin to doubt the choices related to your vision and question the path you're on, it's time to take a break. Taking a break may not remove all of your doubts and questions, but it'll give you time to reflect on what really matters to you. Stepping away from your creative work can bring a broader perspective on how you're spending your time.
When I feel doubts about the path I'm on (yes, I do have them, too!), I arrange my schedule so that I can disconnect from my work for a time. Disconnecting could look like taking a vacation or simply closing my laptop and going for a walk outside. Literally walking away from the work allows my head to clear.
When you shift your focus to a new activity like reading or listening to a podcast, you give your brain a break from the doubts. If the doubts are recurring, take some of your time away to reconnect to your why.
3. Your body is sending you signals.
As INFJs we're usually not as tuned-in to our bodies as some other types due to inferiorExtraverted Sensing (Se). That means you might have to make a conscious effort to check in with your body to gauge how it feels. Paying attention to warning signs can tell you when it's time to take a break.
Are you feeling exhausted all the time? Are you getting sick more frequently? Is your body showing signs of neglect (not eating well, sleeping enough, or moving enough)? While these signs can have other causes, they're often the way your body communicates to you that it needs some care.
Ask yourself if you're providing your body with what it needs to sustain you on your vision journey. Are you eating in a way that fuels you? Are you moving enough? Many INFJs don't like exercise (see inferior Extraverted Sensing), but focusing on the "after" part of exercise and how it makes us feel can help.
What do you think? Is it time for you to take a break?
How long you take a break is up to you. If taking a whole day off feels too impossible, start with 30 minutes. Put it on your calendar. Think about how you'd like to use your break. Then set an alarm so you don't forget to follow through.