One of the most painful struggles that writers with toxic procrastination and crippling perfectionism describe to me is the overwhelming anxiety they feel every time they sit down to write, or when they even think about writing. Much of the time they also feel severe anxiety when they think about all the time they’re spending NOT writing. This anxiety manifests as a vague nervous dread, but it can also show up as a specific sinking in the stomach or a panicky feeling in the chest and throat, like you might start crying at any moment.
Writers who struggle with these issues feel this way when they’re not writing, but they also feel this way—and sometimes even more so—when they are writing. It feels like an absolute no-win situation, because the thing that you want to do so badly and you feel so passionate about, seems to cause you even more pain whenever you actually try to do it.
Most writers who suffer from toxic procrastination and crippling perfectionism never discover the reason behind all of this. We just assume we’re failed writers and there is no solution. But there is, in fact, a very good reason for why we feel the way we do:
We are extremely sensitive, highly intuitive writers, and because of this high sensitivity we long ago decided it was safer to hide our real self from the world.
When you are highly intuitive, and highly sensitive, you learn early that you’re somewhat of an abnormality. You nearly always feel like the weird kid in school and you’re lucky if your parents understand you at all. I was one of these kids. From an early age, I carefully constructed a “public persona” that I used in the world, while hiding my private self away, and this continued on into my adult years. After working with hundreds of sensitive intuitive writers, I’ve found that this same pattern repeats itself among so many of us.
When you live split between a public persona and private self, it makes true self-expression extremely difficult, and every time you do attempt to express yourself in some way, you get that panicky feeling of anxiety, even if you’re not conscious of exactly WHY you’re feeling that way. It’s the public persona trying to suppress your real voice, because you honestly expressing yourself is always a threat to the mask you decided to wear all those years ago. Every time you speak your truth, the mask cracks a little more, and you get a little closer to opening the floodgates.
I talk more in-depth about this split between the public persona and the private self for sensitive intuitive writers in the video below and where it comes from:
I just released a new video course for sensitive intuitive writers, all about toxic procrastination and crippling perfectionism, and I’ve heard from so many INFJ and INFP writers who have already finished the course that this has been a total game-changer for them. They’ve gone from frustrated writers who didn’t have a clue as to what was causing their problems to understanding how all the puzzle pieces fit together and finally moving forward with their writing. If this is resonating with you, be sure to check out the new course HERE.
I know from experience with my clients and students that this is something so many sensitive intuitive writers struggle with in life, and it really holds them back, but it absolutely doesn’t have to control your creative life. There is hope!
Lauren Sapala is the author of The INFJ Writer, The INFJ Revolution, and the creator of Intuitive Writing, a six-step online video course for INFJ and INFP writers who struggle with writing. She is also currently offering a free copy of her book on creative marketing for INFJ and INFP writers to anyone who signs up for her newsletter. SIGN UP HERE to get your free copy of Firefly Magic: Heart Powered Marketing for Highly Sensitive Writers.