INFJ personality types tend to struggle with perfectionism, especially INFJ writers. When we struggle with perfectionism, we want to do everything perfectly, not only to satisfy our own inner critic but also to prevent others from judging us negatively.
The fear of negative judgment from others can affect our entire life. Why is this such a problem for some of us? Because it’s not just a worry, it’s an addiction to approval. This affects our writing, our creativity, and our entire lives.
Perfectionism is one of the biggest problems that writers struggle with on a regular basis. And most writers tend to blame themselves for this problem. We often see perfectionism as a character flaw, or a bad habit that we need to conquer. But what most writers don’t know is that perfectionism is neither of these things.
When you suffer from perfectionism at a deep level, what you’re really struggling with is anxiety, and much of the time, that anxiety is out of your control. It is not something to be conquered or battled.
It is something to be healed.
One of the most common problems for INFJ writers is when they become paralyzed when faced with making a creative decision about their writing. Sometimes this happens when the INFJ writer is trying to decide which writing project to start first, and sometimes it happens when they are already working on a writing project and they are trying to make a decision about which direction it should go in for the best forward movement on the project.
What’s happening when an INFJ writer is blocked in their decision-making is usually that we’re getting overwhelmed. This occurs when INFJ writers use thinking over intuition when trying to make creative decisions. Although we are strong in our thinking skills, these skills should be relegated to situations which call for straightforward problem-solving, not complex intuitive creativity.
One of the biggest problems I see writers struggle with is that we often feel like we’re going nowhere with our writing. We may feel like we’re not making any actual progress, or we’ve been working on a project for a really long time, and still, we’re not seeing measurable results. When we’re in this painful place with our writing, we often feel alone and like we lack support, and like we also lack the structure we need to keep going with our writing.
I was working with a new client who had come to me because she said she hated her writing life. As I sat with her on Zoom and asked her questions about her writing, I watched her face change as she described how she used to feel about writing when she was much younger, and how she felt about it now.
She looked troubled, and sad. And also confused. Why was writing so hard for her now? she asked. She didn’t understand why it felt like pulling teeth to sit down and crank out 500 words. Writing had always been something she loved. She didn’t understand why it now filled her with so much dread.
As we dug deeper into the layers of her problems with writing, the truth became more and more clear.