Previously, we discussed some of the abilities that come with INFJs’ greatest strength, Introverted iNtuition.
It’s the source of our creativity and it gives us unparalleled insight into people’s minds and motivations, hidden meanings, potentials and metaphors.
Now let’s get into some tips for how we can make the most of this rare gift.
1. Expect the best results from working alone or collaborating with a select few
If you’re a songwriter you may have noticed that there are certain people you have difficulty collaborating with because they don’t understand your need to process things internally. It’s important to realize that there’s nothing wrong with your process, it’s just different from theirs.
Introverted iNtuition takes place entirely inside the mind and it needs to detach from the present moment, if only briefly, in order to function. With some collaborators it’s likely to feel like you’re unable to go through your normal process (your intuition) because they seem impatient.
When you’re alone you can run through your process completely and uninterrupted. This is why, though INFJs aren’t necessarily control freaks (though we can be), many prefer to write alone.
There are some other types who you’ll naturally feel more of a synergy with though. It will usually be easier for you to write with intuitive types because they’re either also using Introverted iNtuition, or they’re using Extraverted iNtuition, which can be create a sort of natural flow where they spark ideas and you put them into context.
Of course there are always exceptions depending on factors that include the maturity and experience of the collaborators involved. Just be aware that you’re going to be at your best when your intuition is able to process freely.
2. Eliminate sensory distractions
Introverted iNtuition works best in total sensory deprivation.
Obviously this is not usually possible. Short of that, it’s generally best to remove distractions in order to process as cleanly as possible.
An Introverted iNtuition flow state is fragile. In this state, all regions of the brain are synchronized with a low amplitude vibration running through them. So every part of the brain is engaged in the process and anything calling for the attention of any part of your brain is likely to pull you out of your flow.
3. Order your environment
We function best in an orderly environment. Disorder drains our ability to process our intuition and over time it drains our energy. We need things taken care of in the outside world in order to hold space for the inner freedom we need to process cleanly.
Unfortunately, we’re not especially good as a group at creating the order that we need to be at our best.
For this reason, home cleaning services are especially valuable for INFJs. This may not be practical for your current situation, but it’s worth keeping in mind for the future.
In the meantime, I have a tip that you might find helpful when you find yourself in a funk. I call it a ‘feeling trigger’. Here’s how it works:
Remember a time when you were deep in a rut. When you were having a hard time and were feeling unfulfilled and unsatisfied. Picture it as clearly as you can.
Now get in touch with the prevailing emotion you were feeling. Get into it as deeply as you can. Where are you feeling this emotion in your body? What shape is it? Does it have a color? Is it moving?
Now imagine a time in the future when you begin feeling that way again. This time, imagine yourself stopping what you’re doing and taking action. You immediately identify something that you’ve been avoiding and deal with it.
Now imagine how good you feel as a result. Notice how much more energy you have.
The idea is to encode a connection in your mind between the negative emotion you experience when you’re in a rut and the impulse to take action and start creating order or dealing with external reality in some constructive way.
This isn’t difficult to do and it’s a case where a minimal amount of effort in the right place can make a big difference. In time you’ll start catching yourself sooner and getting back on track faster.
4. Connect with your body to reboot
As an INFJ, your Introverted iNtuition is running almost all the time. If you don’t give it adequate rest it will eventually burn itself out. Allow me to explain why that’s bad…
Introverted iNtuition is on a sort of polarity between itself and Extraverted Sensing, which is the process through which we experience our bodies and the sensory world. The ‘off switch’ for Introverted iNtuition is through an immersive experience of the senses. When Introverted iNtuition burns out to the point of failure, you’ll switch to Extraverted Sensing.
The problem is that Extraverted Sensing is not a very well developed or sophisticated process for us and we have a fairly high threshold for what it will take to engage it to the level that it will effectively shut off our intuition. So when our Introverted iNtuition reaches the point of failure we’re overcome with the urgent need to for some kind of immersive sensory experience.
As you can imagine, this can be quite destructive.
All INFJs have go-to strategies for shutting off and rebooting their intuition through some kind of sensory immersion. Choosing yours consciously can dramatically affect the course of your life for the better.
Physical activity that raises your heart rate for at least 15 minutes is ideal. You’ll know you’re doing it right when you find yourself completely present, connected to your body and free from mental chatter.
Are you interested in learning more and meeting other INFJ musicians?