How do you define failure? And do you think you're more likely to fail as someone with a preference for intuition?
In the traditional sense, failing means you're not successful at something. You already know that you're pretty hard on yourself when you don't live up to your own expectations. For the purpose of this article, I'm going to use the word "failure" to mean any time you didn't succeed at something you set out to do.
As an INFJ, you have a preference for intuition over sensing.
This means you're more focused on future possibilities than present realities. When it comes to those future possibilities, you're interested in new possibilities. You would rather innovate and find new ways of doing things than doing things the way they've always been done before.
So this brings me to the second question that I posed at the beginning. Are you more likely to fail as an intuitive? I can't give a definitive answer of yes or no to that question, but one of the things I've been thinking about lately leads me to think that the answer may be yes. Let me explain....
Before I begin I want to clarify that those of us who prefer intuition—all types with the letter N—are no better or more valuable than those who prefer sensing. We need people of both preferences! And of course all people, no matter their preference, can set goals, try new things, or "fail" to succeed at something they set out to do. Every person has the potential to innovate, too.
The question I'm asking, and that I encourage you to ponder as well, is if we can normalize failure as INFJs by expecting it as part of the process of trying new things. How would your life change if you had a complete acceptance of the possibility of failure when you try something new?
As an intuitive, you're drawn to new ways of doing things.
You prefer this over what has always worked in the past. You would rather figure out a better way to do something than relying on the existing methods. You may have new ideas that have never been tried before—by you or by anyone else. These are ideas that haven’t been tested and proved. Is it irrational to expect perfection, or success, any time we act on one of these ideas? New is different. New is untested. And nothing is certain when it comes to "different" and "untested."
Since you're reading this email, I know that you're interested in learning more about who you are and how your brain is wired. I hope you also want to know how to use that information to grow and develop. So think about this: what if you're suppressing your intuitive nature when you allow a fear of failure to keep you from taking action on your new ideas? 🤯
Embracing who you are by embracing failure
Everything I've written is under the premise that "failure" is a natural possibility when trying new things. But your inner critic may try to convince you that you can't fail, or that you shouldn't fail. The thing about your inner critic is that it's simply trying to protect you from the feelings you may have about the outcome of a potential failure.
In this video I talk about how to respond to your inner critic in a way that moves you forward. Part of that process is helping your inner critic see the bigger picture. When you engage with your inner critic as if it's a scared child, you use your interaction as an opportunity to explain things from a different viewpoint.
When it comes to failure, you can express to your inner critic that it's normal and expected to experience failure at times when you're stepping out into the unknown. As an intuitive, you are drawn to uncharted territory. Remind your inner critic that part of who you are means trying new things that haven't been done before.
What do you think of this idea of embracing failure as a way to embrace the way you're built? What would it look like for you to "embrace failure?"
Becoming the best version of yourself means honoring all parts of the way you're wired. Part of honoring your intuitive nature means recognizing failure (or not succeeding in the way you want to succeed) as part of the process. When viewed from this perspective, failure can become part of what helps us to grow and even become more adept at using our unique talents and gifts. How could this turn things around for your own perspective on failure?