ENFP and INFP problems: What holds us back
“ENFPs and INFPs can fall into a destructive mindset if something doesn’t go their way.”
ENFP and INFP problems: Destructive Mindset
If you are an ENFP or INFP personality type, I am willing to bet that one of the things that can, from time to time or perhaps all the time, hold back your progress is difficulty dealing with problems and then falling into a destructive mindset when something doesn’t go your way.
So for us ENFPs when things are going well, when we’re getting to use our extroverted intuition and do lots of new things and go after our goals, we’re really excited and on the ball and positive.
But the minute things start to go wrong, when they’re not going away, it’s really easy to fall into this destructive pattern, and on the big picture, this is one of the things that can lead to ENFPs changing directions all the time and having this sort of zigzag life, not being able to do the same thing for very long and changing directions all the time.
I will share a solution to this that worked for me in the past. So don’t worry, I’m not going to leave you hanging. One of the reasons this happens, the zigzag approach and feel like after years of sort of trying to get somewhere you don’t actually get anywhere, is that we ENFPs and our INFP cousins, we love being comfortable, we are not great with discomfort.
When we hit a wall when we deal with some kind of problem, it makes us uncomfortable. So what often happens as we move towards a goal, for example opening up an ice cream stand, we’re really excited, and when it comes to planning the ice cream stand, thinking about all the flavours, all the different types of ice cream we’re going to sell – we’re really, really excited. When it comes to designing our logo, picking a name, we’re so excited. But then suddenly we find out we need to get a business license from the city to sell ice cream. There goes all that enthusiasm, there goes all that energy.
ENFPs and INFPs Advice – Go through that discomfort
Rather than tough it out and go through that discomfort, what can often happen to us is we fall back and we feel uncomfortable. We don’t want to do that and we convince ourselves that the ice scream stand wasn’t really a good idea, and we ended up with a zigzag where we feel like we’ve been busy, for years we’ve been going after goals, we’ve been trying to do things and yet, we don’t really have anything accomplished.
We haven’t really done a lot. Ultimately what this comes down to is not powering through and finishing up on what we start. This is probably not a big surprise to you. One of the biggest issues I hear from fellow ENFPs and this comes up with INFPs a lot as well is trouble following through, trouble finishing things, trouble getting to the end of goals and actually reaching some kind of success.
Something that has really helped me with this and I was actually just discussing it with a friend the other day, is one phrase that I use when something does not go my way. It’s “Okay, now what?” Okay, I need to get a city license, now what? Then you look for the next solution, rather than dwelling on the problem that comes up. Just focus on “Okay, what’s next? What’s the solution? What is my next step?”
Just tell yourself this – Given the circumstance given the problem, the headache the trouble that I ran into now, what do I do next to get me to that goal? Do I go to a friend who loves paperwork? Maybe I have an aunt somewhere who’s an accountant and loves filling out forms? Do I go to her and ask for her help to get it done? Do I perhaps hire an expert? What do I do to get that done rather than reevaluating the end goal.
Overcome problems and keep moving forward as an ENFP & INFP
So the next time something isn’t going your way, I want you to go through this process. Step one is acceptance. So tell yourself – Hey, this is true, this is happening. This is the situation now! Step two is reaffirming what you still want, and then step three is asking that question.
So one “Now what?” later and you’ll be coming up with a new plan. If you don’t accept your current circumstance, then you’re going to get stuck in this cycle as well. If you don’t reaffirm your end goal, then you’re going to fall into that ENFP trap of changing your destination when something isn’t going your way.
So it’s really important to reaffirm and refocus on your bigger goal that will give you that excitement again to build that ice cream stand you really want to. Remind yourself of the goal and why you were doing it, then ask the question – What can I do? Come up with your alternative plan then follow that plan and eliminate the zigzag.
So go through these four steps, except your circumstance, figure out what you really want, stick to the same thing you wanted to, ask yourself, “Now what?” and come up with your next step and then take action.
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