Do you ever wish you had more confidence?
A lot of INFJs do. Most are intelligent, creative, caring people, but they fall prey to feelings of inferiority and brokenness because they think and behave so differently than the rest of the world.
It doesn’t help that INFJs tend to be perfectionists either. While they often extend grace to others, they’re demanding of themselves.
And when the world constantly reminds you that you’re different and you have to measure up to your own high standards, it’s easy to start beating yourself up. It’s no surprise, then, that many INFJs could use a confidence boost.
The good news is that your confidence is like a muscle: You can strengthen it through regular exercise. Here are 5 ways to do just that.
1. String a few wins together.
You can develop your confidence by stringing a few wins together. That’s what leadership guru John Maxwell teaches in his book Be a People Person.
Choose an interest, skill, or hobby to focus on – one that you care about deeply or that you’re at least more interested in than others. Then, commit to working on it every week.
When I started blogging, I decided to write a new post every week. That commitment wasn’t easy to keep. Many times I’d barely squeeze it in hours before publication, and some posts took much longer to write than I expected. But each time I finished a new one, it gave me a confidence boost. I was keeping my promise to myself and growing as a writer.
What skill or interest could you hone?
2. Track your metrics.
Sometimes my intuition gets the best of me. I work toward a goal and fail to see my little steps of progress because I’m focused on the big picture. I need to zero in on the specific actions I took.
To help me with this, I started tracking my progress in a Google Sheet a few years ago. Each week I record the blog post I’ve written, the number of workouts I’ve completed, and how many books I’ve read. It’s become a habit.
When I enter my stats on Saturday or Sunday I get a boost of confidence that adds to my momentum. Do you track your progress?
3. Keep an encouragement file.
When people say something thoughtful about you, save it for a rainy day. I have a file with encouraging notes that I keep on my computer. When I get depressed, especially when I’ve failed to meet a short-term or long-term goal, I’ll pull out the file and review the uplifting comments. It helps get me back into a more positive frame of mind.
When I forget to look at the file, sometimes my wife will even tell me to pull it out. She knows that it helps!
Do you have a place where you’re tracking your little victories and the kind words people have shared with you? It can go a long way in boosting your mood and your confidence.
4. Think positively.
My life changed significantly when I started listening to books on the way to and from work. Following Zig Ziglar’s recommendation, I decided to invest my drive time in learning and consuming positive, personal growth audio. After listening for a few weeks, I started to think more positively and have more and better ideas. And when I had a bad day, I was able to bounce back more quickly.
Spending time with the right people can help you think positively too. Try to end or spend less time with people who complain and befriend people you admire who are learning and growing. Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Hanging out with the right people will change your life and increase your confidence.
5. Celebrate your unique gifts.
Finally, when you’re so different than the people around you, it’s super easy to feel discouraged, broken, and messed up. You start comparing yourself to them and putting yourself down because you never seem to measure up.
One thing that helped me fight feelings of inferiority and brokenness was understanding and developing my INFJ gifts. I started learning how my mind worked and leaning into my creative process.
Now, instead of feeling messed up, I think about how I’m able to do things many of the people around me can’t. I know I have gifts they need and can benefit from, similarly to how I need and benefit from their gifts and abilities.
You may be rare and different, but you are special and needed. Always remember that. This world needs what you have to offer. Let that truth give you confidence.