The INFJ Spin Cycle
I'm thinking about writing this post about decisiveness, but I'm not sure. I could choose that topic, but there are lots of other things I think you'd like to read, too. What if how to be more decisive is not what you really need to hear right now? Maybe I'll write about being more decisive, but also talk about how our intuition plays into this.
See what I did there?
Do you consider yourself a decisive person? Or indecisive? Or maybe you're not sure, and it really depends. ;)
There's this idea floating around that INFJs are decisive people. I would have to agree, and disagree.
Are you confused yet?
Are INFJs indecisive? Or decisive?
I believe we can be both!
Two reasons INFJs might be indecisive
1. You question your intuition.
Do you question if a thought is your intuition or something else? It's important to remember that intuitive thoughts are objective, calm, and neutral. They are not critical or judgmental. Intuition doesn't operate from a place of fear or anger. As I wrote recently, anything that starts with "I should ___" is not your intuition speaking. Your intuition doesn't encourage you to blame someone or respond in anger. Lucky for you, next week I'll give you some ideas on how to trust and develop your intuition.
2. You get stuck in the "spin cycle" of thoughts.
Your introverted processes can cause an endless loop. Let me explain how this happens.
Our preferred cognitive functions explain how we process information and how we make decisions. If you're not already familiar with this, here are the cognitive functions of INFJs listed in order of most preferred, or dominant, to least preferred:
Introverted Intuition (Ni) - an information-processing function
Extraverted Feeling (Fe) - a decision-making function
Introverted Thinking (Ti) - a decision-making function
Extraverted Sensing (Se) - an information-processing function
One of your lesser developed cognitive functions is introverted thinking (abbreviated to Ti for short in the Myers-Briggs system). It's our third, or tertiary, cognitive function. It's less natural for us, but it does develop over time. When Ti overshadows Fe (our extraverted decision-making process), it's easy to get trapped in an endless loop of thoughts.
Here's how it works. Your introverted intuition (Ni) takes in and processes information (first in line in your cognitive functions). Then, if your mind skips over your extraverted feeling (Fe), your introverted thinking (Ti) focuses on logic and facts to support your ideas. This information can cycle back to your intuition (Ni) which can create more ideas. These ideas are sent back to your introverted thinking (Ti), and on and on. It cycles back and forth until we've arrived at the worse-case scenario and find ourselves in a black hole.
I'm sure you've experienced this "spin cycle" of thoughts!
How do you get out of the INFJ spin cycle?
One way to get out of your head is to call on your extraverted feeling (Fe) by...wait for it...interacting with others!
That is talking. Out loud. To another person.
This may be the last thing you want to do at times, but it's what will help pull you out of this never-ending thought cycle. Hearing yourself talk about your ideas and theories will bring clarity. I promise. Give it a try! Your extraverted feeling (Fe) is a decision-making process after all and is more developed than your introverted thinking (Ti). It happens outside of yourself (that's where the "extraverted" part comes in) and is what will save you from this spin cycle. In other words, you have to get out of your head!
In next week's post, I'll share an idea that might help you stop this spin-cycle of thoughts...without talking to another person. I know there'll be times when you don't have anyone around to talk to at the moment, so don't miss that post.
INFP vs. INFJ indecisiveness:
Side note about indecisiveness in INFPs vs. INFJs. I want to mention this because the internet claims that many INFPs mistype themselves as INFJs. First of all, INFPs and INFJs do not share any cognitive functions. INFJs lead with introverted intuition (Ni), an introverted information-gathering process. INFPs lead with introverted feeling (Fi), an introverted decision-making process. They make decisions based on how aligned something is with their values. If an INFP is indecisive, it probably means they're taking a lot of time to decide if something is aligned with their value system.
How INFJs can be more decisive:
1. Trust your intuition.
Start paying attention to the thoughts that pop into your mind. Work on developing your introverted thinking (Ti) this week by analyzing those thoughts for any emotions attached. Look at your thoughts with a logical lens to determine your emotional attachment to the idea. Again, intuition is neutral and works by identifying and processing patterns. Just don't get stuck here! If you find your mind going back and forth, talk it out. Remember to look for next week's email for more ideas.
2. Be confident.
That's easy to say, right? I command you: be confident! Haha. The more you trust your intuition, the more confident you'll become. The more confident you become, the more decisive you'll be. Part of gaining confidence means knowing you'll be ok no matter which path, or decision, you choose. You can make the most out of any situation. I know it's really hard for us to do this since we can easily play out the worst-case scenario for each decision. Instead, try asking yourself, "What's the best thing that could happen?"
Where are you on the decisiveness/indecisiveness scale? Comment below to share your thoughts.
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