When you discovered your INFJ personality type, you saw that the J at the end stands for "judging." Judging, in this context, is not the same as judgmental. There is, however, one person to whom we tend to be the most judgmental.
Who is that person?
It's true. We judge our actions. We judge our lack of action. Judgment, in this context, looks like having critical thoughts toward yourself. It also looks like having one ideal way of doing something and chastising yourself for not doing it that way. Judgment enters the scene when things aren't done according to the one "right" way. It means things have to be just so, or they're wrong.
Taking notice of what we could do better next time is not inherently wrong. It can become an issue, though, when we stray from simply noting these issues and planning to alter our course next time. It becomes very destructive when we use what went wrong to reinforce a belief about ourselves. In my experience, this type of self-judgment is pervasive among INFJ women.
The destructive power of this kind of self-judgment is neatly packaged in one little idea. This idea is probably not one you express out loud, but you've reinforced it over many years. You may not even be aware that it lies under the surface of many of your thoughts and actions. This idea eats away at your potential. I've heard this idea expressed with various words, but it all boils down to the same core thought: I'm not good enough.
This type of self-judgment denies your worth. It causes you to ask, "What do I have to offer?" or, "Who am I to ask for ____ (a raise/alone time/something just for me/etc.)?" It might make you say, "I should have known better."
Do you have a belief that you're not good enough? You may be able to quickly identify several instances in your life where a belief that you're not good enough impacted your actions (or inaction). If not, take a few minutes to think or write about some of the ways this belief might show up for you. I'll share some examples from my life that might provide a catalyst for your thoughts.
When I first started writing about INFJ-related content, I wondered who would want to read what I had to say.
When I was asked to speak to a group about my accomplishments while working in a previous career, I said "I'm not sure what I'd have to share."
I once spilled a brand new pack of blueberries all over the kitchen floor. I responded with a harsh, "Ugh! Why did you do that? You're so clumsy. You always drop stuff. You should be more careful!"
As you can see, "I'm not good enough" can take many forms. It may look like insecurity, lack of confidence, or just not participating. It may also look like harsh negative self-talk.
What form does your version of "I'm not good enough" take?
This belief is reinforced every single time you act from that perspective, whether it's conscious or subconscious. Years or decades of reinforcement create one unshakable belief—but not a belief that's serving you well.
What do you think you could do if you rewrote your "I'm not good enough" script? Think of some specific examples in your life where the "I'm not good enough" script kicks in. What are some new ways you could approach those situations? If you're used to reciting your usual script (I'm not good enough), you won't know what new experiences you could have unless you try something new. If the old way is not getting you where you want to go, what new way are you going to try out?
You could consider the following ideas to begin to reinforce your new belief or approach:
Take notice of your initial thoughts in the moment. If they reinforce the "I'm not good enough script," speak more kindly to yourself. You could say, "I am good" or, "I love myself, just as I am" or "That may not have gone like I wanted it to, but that doesn't change my worth or what I have to offer."
Start each morning by writing out a new belief. This could be something like, "I have more to offer the world than I give myself credit for" or, "I do my best with what I know every day. Each day is an opportunity to learn and grow" or, "I am grateful for who I am" or, "I am wonderful, just as I am right now."
You could end each day with a review (journal, meditation, prayer, audio/video recording/etc.) of how many times you harshly judged yourself and how often you supported who you are today. We're familiar with the idea of forgiving others, but how might you need to forgive yourself?
Remember that it might take time for your new beliefs to take hold. Don't give up if they don't seem to be working after a few tries. Your new beliefs and actions are working to overpower an old belief you've spent many years nurturing (I'm not good enough). Be patient with yourself.
Growing older does seem to lessen this self-judgment for many, but so does a concentrated effort to judge yourself less. The suggestions shown above are ideas to get you started down that path. I've worked on these, too! Just yesterday I dropped another full container of fresh blueberries on the floor. After my initial sigh, a little eye roll, and a smile, I contemplated the 3-second rule (or is it 5-seconds?). Then I got down on the floor to pick them up and simply thought, "These are going to need extra washing."