Advice For Younger INFPs and ENFPs (From an Old ENFP)
I want to share a piece of advice if you are a younger ENFP or INFP, and by that I mean in your 20s or late teens, maybe in your 30s or 40s, if you’re not doing this yet, because it is absolutely essential.
When I was younger, I worked as a mortgage broker. Long story behind why I did it, never wanted to work in finance, didn’t study finance or anything like that, but ended up there, and there were a lot of things with the job I liked. I like meeting the clients, I liked the learning and development, the people I worked with, but there were lots of things I didn’t like, for example – the paperwork, and also cold calling people and having difficult conversations when you made a mistake with their mortgage, I really hated those things.
That could have been okay, actually, I could have been a million-dollar mortgage broker, if I had been really honest with my boss and said, “Hey, I’m really good at these other things, but I never kind of do the paperwork, and I’ve been putting off calling this client for two weeks, and now they’re really mad. Sorry.” If I hadn’t had that conversation, my boss who was a very moderately, at least smart guy would have said, “Hey, you are actually really good with these and you’re terrible with these, why don’t I get someone else to help you with this, you give them 10% of the money from the mortgage, and you go do what you do best.” and I bet that would have gone really well.
What I did is I hid the truth I hid what I procrastinated, I hid what I was capable of I overpromised and under-delivered and caused all kinds of chaos for those around me.
And that is the absolute last thing I intended, and the absolute last thing that I wanted to do, and yet that is exactly what I did. By really not wanting to disappoint people by not wanting to let them down I let them down more than I ever could have by not telling the truth.
I completely dropped the ball so many times and ruined relationships that had become great friendships. The reason I like the job, my relationship with my boss – I ruined it by trying to be a people pleaser, and not being honest about what I could do.
Those days, I was staying at home procrastinating picking up the phone call, like having one awkward five-minute phone call waste the whole day on that. Those days could have been spent doing a million other things had I just been honest about who I was, and what I was capable of, and what I wasn’t capable of.
Advice for younger INFPs and ENFPs – Start being honest about who you are
And so if you are a younger INFP or ENFP, this is my advice to you start being honest about who you are, as soon as possible. One of my goals with this channel is to empower you to do that to let you know that you are awesome, and there is so much you can do.
The first step of that is learning about who you are and being honest about it and owning it. The thing is when you do that, you allow the people around you to work with who you really are. If you mislead people around you, even if it’s not intentional, even if you have you know, this curse that we have is we like to please people, and we’re optimists. And that’s a bad combination.
Because that means if there’s something someone asked you to do, and the nine other times someone asked you to do it, you didn’t do it, or you absolutely hated it and put it off for weeks and then did it late. You’re like, “Well, I don’t want to let them down and maybe this time will be different”, like 10 out of 10 is impossible, right? This time will be different. And of course, what do we know happens? Best case you get it done after a ton of agony.
Worst case you don’t and you end up disappointing, someone whose opinion about you you do care about right.
So what I implore you to do is start being honest say, “Hey, you know what, I actually can’t get this done for you.” Or “Hey, I’m really bad at that. Would you mind having someone else do that? But instead, maybe I could help out on this or that…” you start being honest.
You actually do a greater service to everyone around you.
I am now the boss on the team. I have a team of people working for me and I’ve seen the other side and I realized that young Dan was a pain in the ass for my boss.
I actually almost feel bad for him. I don’t but I almost do, and I look back and think it must have been so frustrating for him to be seen that in some areas.
In my own case, I would rather have someone on my team, promise me 70% and deliver 70%, then to promise me 130% and deliver me 80%. Because if someone does what they say they’ll do, you can work with that you can plan around that.
And more than that, you’re not wasting your energy, feeling frustrated or confused, or trying to figure things out, the first benefit from this you’re going to get is much better relationships with all the people around you.
Whether or not you realize it, they kind of know what’s up, and they’re confused and worried, and they might notice when you say you’ll do things and don’t do them. So being upfront about that is going to make your relationships a lot more solid, the next thing is going to do is it’s going to build your character.
Because you know, what destroys your feeling of self-worth and your self-esteem and your character is saying you’ll do one thing and not doing it and then feeling really bad about it and feeling like there’s something wrong with you and going through all these cycles and all this sort of stuff that really is not fun for anyone.
Seeing the disappointment on other people’s faces when you’ve let them down destroys someone’s self-confidence and self-esteem and ultimately leads to less and less character. But if you get in the habit of owning who you are, and being honest and saying “This is who I am, and I’m proud of it, here’s what I can do really well, here’s what I can do…”, you’re going to develop your character and you’re also going to learn about yourself a lot faster and develop a lot sooner.
You’ll probably shave five years off your development track just by doing this one thing and owning who you are and being honest because it will force you to behave in different ways. It will build your confidence and it will develop your character and better relationships.