• Sarah Kuhn

How to Get Past Fear for the MBTI INFJ Personality Type



I've been thinking about New Year's resolutions already. I seem to start planning earlier than most people, but there are a bunch of things that I know that I want to change, so I started making a bunch of those changes right now because I just couldn't wait. I've been cleaning out a lot of things in my house that I don't need and listing them on eBay - kind of like a virtual garage sale. I've been cleaning up my diet and making healthier choices. I've shared a couple of pictures on social media about how I'm trying the Keto diet for a while. I've been getting outside and exercising more.


I've been writing every single day, which makes me a lot happier. It makes me feel accomplished every single day and writing every day is something that I've wanted to do for a long time, so it feels so nice to be able to do that.


I've been listening to Gary Vee a lot lately, too. He starts his YouTube videos by saying, “I just want to be happy. Don't you want to be happy?” I completely agree. I just want to be happy. So I'm putting in the work to do the things that I know will make me happy, even if it feels like a lot of work right now. It kind of feels like I'm trying to start moving a really big heavy truck all by myself like I'm pushing it uphill, but I'm making progress. I hope I'll keep you updated on how it goes.


And if you have any New Year's resolutions that you're looking at, I would love to hear about them. Let me know what they are. You can send me a direct message on Instagram.com/infjwoman. I respond to all of my direct messages.


FREE Facebook Group


So this week on the podcast, I'm sharing with you a video that I did. That was a live video in my Facebook group. Every single month. I do a live workshop in my Facebook group that is completely free. So if you haven't joined, please make sure that you do there are over 1400 other INFJs already in the group, and we're just waiting to connect and to make friends with you. We would love to have you as a part of our group. If you want to join, go to Facebook.com/groups/infjwoman.


How to Get Past Fear


I have always considered myself a realist. I don't like being an optimist because I feel like there are too many of these happy, peppy, almost toxically, optimistic people that I just feel like I don't want to be that kind of person. It's like they're just always happy and they're always optimistic. It's like too many sunny days in a row. Like, you wonder if they're on drugs type of people. I don't know if you do. I certainly do that. You cannot be that happy all the time. It's not a thing, right?


There is this movie, and I'll probably totally Butcher the quote. But there was this random movie that I was watching a while ago that was about a hotel that was in some poor country, I think, and there was this guy that everything kept going really wrong. And the quote goes something like, everything in my life has been such a massive disaster. So I've just decided to be positive and hope that these disasters are going to actually turn out to be something good to me.


I was like, okay, I guess that's a good way to think about things, because in my life I feel like there has been a lot of things that have just been like a massive disaster, and it's like, oh, that's my luck. Everything is a disaster because that's how it goes for me. And that negative attitude, though, just leads to more negativity. And I think that's why I have clung to being a realist because it feels safer for me to be cynical or to just look for negative things because, for me, I feel like if I'm looking for something that's negative, if I'm looking out for it, then I can protect myself from the negativity. So it's easy to look at things that are negative, right?


It takes a lot of courage to be realistically optimistic about your life because it feels like you're setting yourself up for failure. There have been quite a few times where I have hoped for the best, and I like the phrase like, prepare for the worst, but hope for the best. But that really also trends you towards looking for the worst.


How many of us have been massively hurt in our lives before the age of ten years old? I know that I was. I've been through some really deep pain and for us, as INFJs it's really painful, and it affects us a lot because we're so sensitive. We're so sensitive to our own emotions and then to other people's emotions. We just soak up all of the pain, and especially it happens to us when we're young because we don't understand what we're doing. We don't understand our personalities. We don't understand that it's easy for us to soak up everybody else's pain. And so we have no way to guard against that.


Pathfinder awards


I have this story that made me think about something that happened to me when I was young. We had this church group. My older sister and I had this church group that we went to. There was a lot like Girl Scouts, but it was called Pathfinders, and they had this day of, like, competitions. It was kind of like a track and field day. I don't even remember because I was so young. They had all these different events that you did, and they let me participate in them. But technically, I was too young in order to get credit for it.


And so at the end of the day, even though I had participated in all of the events throughout the whole day, and it was like a six or eight-hour thing, it was a big event. So even though I had participated in all of the events when it came to the end of the day, they did this award show. And so they gave awards to people who had won events. And the group of people that I was with won an award. And they called up by name, every single person that was in that group. But they didn't call me up because I was too young to get credit for it. So I was too young to get an award for it.


So I watched everybody else go up and get their award. And I didn't understand that I was too young. So all I had was the feelings of not being enough, of not being recognized. Like I did all the things that everybody else did. So why wasn't I recognized and it hurt me something really bad. I remember standing outside by the car. I don't know if I ran outside or what happened, but I remember standing outside by the car and my dad listing all kinds of things. He's like, do you want ice cream? Do you want me to buy you a Barbie doll? Like, what can I do to make this better? And I just remember crying, thinking that there's nothing that you can do, like, you can't fix this type of hurt. And I mean, I was probably first grade, probably even before first grade. So, like, five or six years old when that happened. And I remembered that so much. I mean, it's one of my earliest memories, honestly.


So a lot of us have experienced some kind of hurt. A hurt like that. That's like a rejection that becomes that voice in your head that says, no, it's safer not to expect anything. It's safer not to put yourself out there.


Rejection


So when we talk about fear, what we fear the most in this world is rejection. We want to be loved. We want to be accepted. But we've all experienced a time when we weren't loved and we weren't accepted. Maybe it's a rejection, like what I experienced. Maybe it's somebody that you liked and you wanted to go out with and they laughed at you. That happened to me, too. It's happened to me a couple of times. Honestly, there can be so many different types of rejection.


And once you feel that type of hurt, your ego wants to protect you. That's a part of your brain that's, like, okay. I'm here to make sure that nothing happens that's bad to you. So you got rejected one time. I'm going to protect you from never getting rejected again.


But what that does is make you not want to put yourself out there at all. It makes you want to not open yourself up to any type of fear, any type of rejection, it makes you afraid of asking people to go out with you. It makes you afraid of asking for something that you want or that you need. It makes you afraid of asking for a job promotion. It makes you afraid of being part of a group because you've been rejected by groups before. It makes you being afraid of being in a competition because you've lost competitions in the past, right. And you just don't want to do that anymore.

Your habits


So then there's the second part of this, which is your habits. 95% of what you think and what you do is a habit. You do the same thing that you've always done because it's easy, and it's like your brain runs on autopilot. So you get hurt and rejected early in your life, and you learn to protect yourself from that rejection. And so as you grow up, that protection becomes a habit. That fear of rejection becomes a habit, that fear of not being good enough, of not being lovable, of not belonging. It becomes a habit. And so you cling to that habit, like your life depends on it because you feel like your life does depend on it.


If you don't actively change it, if you don't recognize the voice in your head and put effort into changing that, then that fear that you have will rule your life. And the fact of the matter is that just because you got hurt once doesn't mean that you'll be hurt again. Just because you got rejected by one person or two people or ten people doesn't mean that you'll be rejected by everyone. I read this stat, probably on Instagram not too long ago. That said that even if 99% of the world rejects you, that still means that there's 1% of people who will accept you and 1% of 7.7 billion people in the world. It's a big number. I think it was like, 75 million. Don't quote me on that because I'm not great at math, but it's still a huge number, right? I mean, even if you look at like one in 100, if 100 people reject you and 1% of the world will accept you, that's still one person who's going to accept you, how many people live in the town that you live in, how many people live in the state that you live in or the country that you live in? It's still going to be a big number of people that accept you.


When I started my Instagram account (instagram.com/infjwoman), I never thought that there would be 60,000 people that would follow me. Never. I thought I would be lucky if there were 1000. And in fact, I was like, no, it's probably going to be more like 100 because there really aren't very many INFJs, and so many people have told me you have this massive problem because you're only looking at INFJs which are one of the rarest personality types. And so you're not going to be able to build a business and nobody's going to follow you on Instagram because you're looking at people who are incredibly rare. And I'm like, So what? I don't care if I can only help one person, then everything that I do is worth doing because changing one person's life, helping one person to understand themselves and believe in themselves and overcome the problems that they have could change the world.


Scarcity is everywhere


Just one person - think about the influence that one person has. You never know what that could do for them. You never know how their lives could change. I think that so many people focus on fear and they focus on negativity and they focus on scarcity. Right? We learn to focus on scarcity because so much of what we hear and see on social media on the news these days, it's all about scarcity. That's the way to sell something to somebody. You make people afraid of it, and you tell them who's to blame for it. You make them afraid that there isn't enough for everybody.


That's part of supply and demand as well. Right? The less of something that there is, the more valuable it is because not everybody can have one. The thing that most people don't tell you is that those are sales tactics. And the truth about the world that we live in is that there's a lot of abundance in the world. Just because there is some scarcity, or because people use scarcity as a sales tactic, that doesn't mean that that's actually the reality of the situation. Just because Elon Musk has millions and billions of dollars, that doesn't mean that there's less available for other people. Just because some people have 50 million followers on Instagram, that doesn't mean that there are fewer followers on Instagram available.

We really have to kick ourselves out of that scarcity mindset and start looking for abundance in the world because there is so much abundance.


When we're talking about fear, how do you get past fear? Right? That's the topic that we're looking at. That's the thing that everybody wants to know. You don't want to live in fear for the rest of your life, but you're really not sure how to get out of it. There are five things that are important to do that are really super easy.


Witness your fear


The first thing that you have to do is you have to witness your fear. Try not to judge yourself. Try not to change the fear. Just notice it. Look at the fear that comes up in your daily life. Try to recognize it when it happens and recognize it for what it is. I have anxiety, and so a lot of times it's difficult for me to say, okay, I know that there's something holding me back. Is it anxiety? Is it fear most of the time? It's a combination of both things.


An example is, I'm terrible at making friends. I've always been terrible at making friends and even the friends that I have. I'm terrible at keeping them as friends because I don't like to reach out to people. I feel like I'm bothering people that they don't want to hear from me. And even if it's just like a text message or a message on Instagram, it's like I don't want to bother them. And so I'll talk myself out of doing things. So in those moments when I'm thinking about somebody and thinking I should check in on them, it's been a while since I've spoken to them. I always wonder, am I going to bother them? And then I stopped myself in that moment and go, wait a second. That's just fear. How would I feel? I would be so excited if somebody sent me a text message and said, hey, how are you? I know it's been a while. Let's chat this weekend or tell me about what's going on in your life. Don't you think that other people would be excited about that, too? If you would feel excited, then wouldn't other people feel excited too? So it's in those moments you have to learn how to recognize fear and to name it. When you name it, you take away a lot of the power. So witnessing fear is the first step.


Be willing to change


The second step is be willing to change. You don't have to actually change yet. You just have to be willing to change. A lot of times. We get stuck in our habits and we like what's comfortable. We like what's familiar. And if fear is familiar, it may not feel comfortable in the moment, but it's normal for us because it's what we're used to. Right? So the thought of change probably brings up a lot more fear, a lot more anxiety. And the way to combat that is to not say, okay, I'm going to change right now. It's more like I'm willing to change. I'm thinking about change. I'm open to change. I'm willing to change.


This is also the place where I strongly suggest that you look to a higher power. Now that higher power. It doesn't have to be God. If you believe in God, this is a great time to surrender. If you don't believe in God, it doesn't have to be God. It can be the universe. It can be an inspiration that you have. It can just be a support group that you're a part of. But whatever your higher power is, being willing to change is something that you can ask for help for. It's important for us to recognize that we don't have all the answers that sometimes we need help, and that's okay. That's what a higher power is there for. That's what that belief that there is somebody or something that's guiding you and that's showing you the way to go that will open the right doors for you. The next thing that you have to do, the first one is witness fear. The second one is be willing to change.


Choose something different


And the third thing is to choose something different. Every time that you see fear come up, you have a choice. You can give in to that fear, or you can actively choose something different. The opposite of fear isn't bravery. It's actually love. Love is this amazing, powerful force that we really don't use enough of. A lot of times. We think about love in a romantic way, but that's not the only type of love that exists.


How many of us? If we were asked to make a list of the things that we love, how long would it take you to write down yourself? When I was asked that I don't think that I would have put myself on the list, I would think about my hobbies. I would think about the people who are inspiring to me. I would think about my family and my friends. I don't know that I ever would have gotten to myself in those moments, though, where you have fear.


If you can show love instead, if you can choose love instead, your whole perspective changes. Another way to look at it is to choose gratitude. That one is a little bit easier for me because love is like this. I have this weird relationship with self-love that I'm working on, but I'm not quite there yet. And so in those moments of fear, when love feels weird and impossible to get to, I choose gratitude, and that feels a lot easier because I can be thankful for something. I can be grateful for something rather than being afraid of it.


Just as an example, when I'm thinking about texting my friends and not wanting to bother them, I can choose to be thankful for my friends. I can choose to be thankful for the times that they have reached out to me. I can choose to be thankful for the support that they have shown me, and I can choose to show them love by reaching out to them and choose to reframe how I think about reaching out to people rather than saying it's going to bother them. Now, I can say this is going to help them. This is going to support them, and I choose to believe that they're going to be thankful for it.


Forgive yourself


The next step is to forgive yourself. A lot of times when fear comes up, we look at all of the places that we've let fear hold us back and stop us. And it's difficult to choose love because we spend so much time judging ourselves as INFJs were really good at seeing the future, not because we are clairvoyant or anything, but because we recognize patterns and we understand that history repeats itself, and people are basically habits. We know that people who have chosen one thing are more likely to choose that thing over and over again. We also very good at we have this intuition that collects all of this information and organizes all of it and says, hey, this is what's coming.


It's easy to judge yourself for the times when you didn't see things coming. It's easy to judge yourself for when you chose something that you knew that you shouldn't have, that your intuition was telling you to do something and you chose not to do it or vice versa. You thought your intuition was saying this is what you should do and you did it, and it turned out to be really bad. And so maybe that's part of the reason why you have fear now, why you're living in fear now that judgment process just causes more fear. The only way to get around that to get through it is to forgive yourself for those mistakes. If your friends or your family members had made those same mistakes, would you be treating them with harsh judgment, or would you be open to forgiving them? I mean, for me, I would be way more likely to forgive them for making mistakes. Any time one of my friends makes a mistake, I come at them with compassion. I meet them with understanding and something similar to we're all human. Everybody makes mistakes. It's a part of life, and the best thing that you can do is pick yourself up and keep going.


When I feel like I have failed myself, I don't need people to judge me because I judge myself so harshly that it's painful. Honestly, if somebody said to me the things that I say to myself, it's like abuse. Why do we let ourselves continue to do that? We wouldn't say those things to our friends or family members. So why do we feel like it's okay to say those things to ourselves? For me, forgiveness, especially self-forgiveness is something that I've been working on and working through. I'm in the support group and somebody said recently they said, you have to make amends to yourself. And that was the first time that I have ever heard that I've heard about making amends to other people. If you let somebody down, if you were mean to them or something. Of course, you want to go and make it right. But I had never heard of the concept of making amends to yourself. And so even now, I'm still trying to figure out exactly what that looks like. And the most that I have come up with so far is just to give myself more Grace, to know that failure is a part of life, and that fear will come up in those moments. And instead of judging myself to look to forgiveness and to look to love instead, and the last step is to expect miracles, expect something really, really good to happen.


Look for the optimistic side of things, look for the positive things. I look at this the same way that I look at my car. When I bought my car before I bought my car, I didn't see a lot of red cars. I drive a red Toyota Corolla, and it's this really pretty color. It's called Barcelona red metallic. That's like, a special color that's made for Toyota. So before I bought my car, I didn't see a lot of cars that were like mine. But then I found the car that I wanted. That was the exact model. It's the sport trim, so it's a little bit fancier than all the other ones. Once I bought it, I started looking for red cars, like, almost unconsciously. It's not like I wanted to see red Toyota Corollas, but because I had bought it and I was focused on it. Then I started seeing red Toyota Corollas everywhere, and I was like, Does everybody have a red Toyota Corolla? Now? That seems really weird, because when I was looking for mine, it took me several weeks to find the one that I wanted, and this was like 2019. So it was pre-pandemic and all of the supply chain issues that we have going on right now, but it took me a while to find it because there aren't a lot of Toyotas for sale, period, a lot of used ones because I didn't buy a new one. There weren't a lot of red ones for sale, and there weren't a lot of red ones that were the sport edition. So it took me a while to find one that was available that was close to me that I could get.


But once I started looking for them, then my brain got into the tablet of looking for them. And now I see them everywhere because that was part of my habit. And I believe that fear is the same way or being a quote, unquote realist. It's the same way when you're looking for and being prepared for the worst possible thing to happen, then you're going to see more negativity. You're going to see more cynicism because that's what you're looking for. But if you take an optimistic point of view, if you look for good things, if you look for abundance in your life, if you look for forgiveness, for happiness, for joy, for love. You're going to find more of those things.

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