How To Become Disciplined as an ENFP or INFP
“ENFPs and INFPs tend to be very creative, fun and interesting people, but discipline is not always something you hear about us.”
In this post you’re going to learn the easiest way to become disciplined if you are an ENFP or an INFP.
One of the most requested topics I received in one of my videos 5 Skills ENFPs Should Master is how to be more disciplined.
This is not surprising.
ENFPs and our friends INFPs – we tend to be very creative, very fun, very interesting people, but discipline is not always something you hear about us.
And yet I have to say some of the most disciplined people I know are ENFPs.
When we commit to something, we can be insanely disciplined.
So when we take the right approach, we do have the ability to be very, very disciplined and to stick to things.
But if we take the wrong approach, we can be all over the map.
If you’re someone who feels like you have a bit of a scattered brain, there’s something I wanted to add to the end of this post about how to deal with that and not feel like you’re all over the map.
Discipline Is a Muscle
So the first thing you need to know about discipline is it really is a muscle.
It’s something that you can build and you can lose and I’ve had parts of my life where I’ve been very, very disciplined and parts where I’ve been a lot less disciplined.
I’ve seen that across the board where, if I become really disciplined, I built that muscle, it becomes easier to follow through and be disciplined in all areas.
And if I’ve let that slide and got more and more laid back, it tends to affect all areas of my life.
So keep that concept in mind as I go through the steps and things to do.
Your Relationship with Comfort
Now, the next thing to keep in mind is your relationship with being comfortable.
If you are planning to go running in the morning, say you’re a runner and you wake up and it’s rainy outside, do you consider going for the run still?
Do you decide: “Nevermind, it’s raining, not running today”?
Or does it not even cross your mind to stop running? Because yeah, maybe it’s uncomfortable being out there in the rain, but that was your plan and you’re going to do it.
Your relationship with comfort will have a big impact on your ability to be disciplined.
Because as your mood maybe fluctuates in the day, as you get tired, maybe hungry, whether or not you stick to something and follow through will depend a lot on your own ability to be uncomfortable.
This is why you may have heard a lot of people talking about this cold shower trend of people intentionally having really cold showers in the morning.
It’s a way to train yourself to be comfortable being uncomfortable and say: “This does not feel good, but it doesn’t kill me. It doesn’t hurt me.” If anything, cold showers apparently help you from a health perspective and so you train yourself to be comfortable with something even if it is not actually comfortable.
Step 1: Build The Discipline Muscle
This leads me to the first proactive thing you can do to really build that discipline muscle.
Pick something small that you don’t currently do that would make you a little bit uncomfortable and that you’d have to be disciplined to do and make an effort to start doing that every day.
It could be getting up 15 minutes earlier or getting up and going for a walk or going for a run.
It could be trying out a cold shower, eating some kind of health food that you don’t really like, or having a small salad every morning in the day.
Something that is going to have a positive impact on your life and that you’ll need to be disciplined to do but won’t be so difficult.
I know I’m speaking to a lot of ENFPs here and you might have the tendency to be like:
“Okay, every day I’m going to get up and have four raw food smoothies and climb Mount Everest and go for a 20 kilometer triathlon.”
No, don’t do the ENFP thing on this.
Do the small steps thing.
Pick little things.
You can do that yourself.
Stick to that easy, that clear thing that you can commit to and build that muscle.
And then after a few weeks, let’s say two to three weeks, make it a little bit harder, same thing as you would do at the gym.
If you were lifting weights, as something becomes easier, add more weight, make it more difficult and continue to build those muscles.
Step 2: Plan Your Days and Weeks in Advance
This is where the next step comes in, which is to be intentional and to plan out your days and your weeks.
I have to admit planning your days in advance is actually one of the biggest ways to trick people into making them think that you’re disciplined but really – it’s just following a plan and making yourself like dumb caveman who does what he is told.
Monday was one of those days for me where a wrench was really thrown into the machine a couple of times. I woke up, I’d set an alarm. I was going to get up early and go for a run. I slept through the alarm a little bit – I’m not used to using alarm. Some of you know that I just haven’t used an alarm years unless I have an appointment. And so I slept through the alarm and then I went looked out the window and there’s some smog right now.
Prague has a bit of a smog issue, some weird weather thing happening and you’re not really supposed to run in smog.
So this is the first thing where I started like: “Okay, well, this day is not going as planned.”
But I committed to running and the smog wasn’t too bad, so I still went for a run.
And then later in the day, I committed I’m going to go to this acting class I wanted to try out and I was not feeling like it.
By the time the acting class was going to start, I did not feel like taking a tram to the other side of the city going to this new class, but I committed to it in the schedule, and that is this little superpower that allows you or at least allows me to be a lot more disciplined because I looked at the paper, I said:
“Hey, I committed to this. I committed to this plan. Just do it. Just show up.”
This is why planning your days in detail can be really effective for us ENFPs and INFPs – because we can have some mood swings, energy changes, things like that throughout the day and, if we try to just do what feels good in the moment, that is a recipe for changing direction, for not going to the gym, or not eating well or not following through on projects.
But if we commit ourselves to a plan, then all we need to do is follow that plan.
If you say: “Hey, today I’m going to do these five things”, then all you need to do throughout the day is just stay on the plan, not question it, not rethink, not give yourself a way out.
Stay on the plan.
Truthfully, this is one of the easiest ways to stay disciplined, because you’re not questioning everything.
You’re not rethinking everything.
All you do is stay on that plan.
And so as long as you follow step one and start to build that discipline muscle even a little bit, it becomes really easy to stick to the plan and actually follow through.
So step one: Build that discipline muscle.
Step two: Make the habit of planning your days in advance and then committing to following that plan and just doing it, not overthinking.
Got a Fried Brain?!
I’m fortunate that this is not me very often, but it is happening to a lot of people and I have been in this state of mind too, primarily due to electronics, social media, and having these addictive games.
I’m talking about when you really can’t focus on anything.
Truthfully, this is a lot of people.
I got a message on my Facebook page a few months ago from someone who was referred to me.
They said: “Hey, one of my friends referred me to you and they said you’re a good coach that might be able to help me.”
I quickly looked on this person’s Facebook page and they were posting stupid things every 20 minutes and I just responded back:
“Take a week off Facebook. Until you can do that, I can’t work with you, there’s no point us having a conversation. Because if you’re that addicted to social media, your brain is not going to work to the level where I can work with you or where you maybe can develop part of this discipline habit to follow through on things.”
The bad news is you too may have fried a bit of your brain.
But the good news is we can rebuild it and ultimately you rebuild it following the same steps I talked about above.
You’re just going to want to start smaller and it’s going to be a little bit harder, but trust me, if that’s the state you’re in, this is so, so important to transforming your life and being able to do the things you really want to do.
One thing I’d recommend for your discipline habit, if this is you, is taking a one hour walk every day with no phone.
I don’t mean your phone on silent.
I don’t mean your phone off.
Your phone stays at home or in your office. If you have an office job, when you go for lunch, leave your phone in the office.
If you’re at home, leave it at home.
Go for a walk for one hour a day.
Now I’d like to also challenge you to take an entire day, like Sunday, every week completely off your phone.
Take the battery out!
So start with the one hour a day no phone and then gradually build it up the same way I talked about building that discipline muscle.
Build it up by leaving your phone completely off battery if you have a battery.
Otherwise, just fully turn it off and do that for an hour a day and then start pushing that for longer and longer times and start taking back your mental capacity and your attention because that’s the number one thing you can do right now to regain control and be able to follow through on your bigger goals.
So I hope that wasn’t too preachy, but really social media, phone addiction, that kind of stuff I think is so dangerous and really ruining a lot of people’s lives.
Let me know in the comments:
What is that one thing you’re going to start doing each day to build your discipline muscle?