5 INTJ Growth Tips
As an INTJ myself I have experience many bumps in the road when it comes to success and growth. Today I thought I would give 5 pieces of advice from my life as an INTJ, the things that I think were crucial in turning my life around.
Five years ago, I had been single my entire life, weighed 300 pounds, and was a college dropout. Now I am happily married, lost 120 pounds, and graduated with a straight A average in the top 10% of my class. You can change your entire life in a short period of time once you start yourself down the right path. So here are 5 things I realized that helped me grow as a person.
Compete against yourself, not others: As an INTJ you are an introverted leading type (introverted intuition - Ni) and you have a secondary extroverted function (extroverted thinking - Te). As INTJs develop this secondary extroverted function they tend to become competitive in nature and it is very easy for them to start to get into the mental state of needed to be "the best" at what they do. They will naturally attempt to climb to the top of competency hierarchies. The thing that tricks many INTJs though is that they don't realize that Te isn't their lead function, the thing that is MOST natural and relaxing to them, and they can get caught up in pursuing these Te goals. When an introverted type spends too much time focusing on goals in the extroverted world, that aren't coming from an inner place, it can be of great stress to them over time. This is why it's important in my opinion for INTJs to not attempt to challenge others and seek positions of power/authority (like might be natural for an ENTJ/ESTJ), but instead to work on their own strengths as individuals and challenge themselves. INTJs are often at their best when they aren't trying to conquer/be the best. They instead will naturally rise to such positions over time by focusing on themselves and their goals.
Learn to be approachable: Lets face it, INTJs are known for their blank faces and even their "death stares." These may be stereotypes but for many INTJs this is just a part of life. The problem with this is that it makes them/us come off as stoic, serious, and unapproachable. Some INTJs (especially growing ones) ARE unapproachable and will reject social interaction. While it is stereotypical for INTJs to be one of, if not the most introverted type(s), this is another aspect that just simply tends to hold true. INTJs are more often than not socially withdrawn and emotionally private. Learning to interact with others in a way that isn't going to be immediately off-putting is in my opinion an absolutely essential skill for INTJs if they want to grow and succeed in life. Don't be afraid to talk to people and let people talk to you, even if it is someone you think you normally wouldn't be interested in speaking with. Social connections are considered one of, if not the most important, aspect to growing in business and career. Even if it is just for the sake of self gain, being open and approachable can be a great benefit to the usually socially withdrawn INTJs.
Seek advice from others: INTJs looove their Ni. An idea/goal for an INTJ is like a baby - they don't want anyone messing with it. Their vision, their dream, their goal. The problem with this though is that INTJs can often get stuck in the "tunnel vision of their Ni, where everything outside of their subjective perception is dark and unclear. This is why its important for them to occasionally seek out advice and second opinions from other people with different perspectives. This is especially helpful when they have functions that are different from them, such as Ne or Fe. Having a perspective that comes from an entirely different worldview can help INTJs to reshape and reform their idea/vision into something that is truly great. I have personally had many times where I had a project I was working on and it wasn't until after I completed it that someone pointed something out to me that could have been SO much better with almost no effort and I just had to sit there like "huh, you're right." When you have a great idea don't be afraid to bounce it and its details off of other people. This doesn't mean that you HAVE to listen to people or change things, there will be plenty of times someone will give you advice and you will just ditch it because it goes against the vision, but allowing yourself to see beyond the scopes of the Ni tunnel vision can be extremely important for pursuing something truly worthwhile.
Experience new things: As types with repressed extroverted sensing (Se), it can be very hard for INTJs to want to go out into the world and experience new things. They tend to be more comfortable at home or at their computers, working away at whatever it is they are doing. The problem with this though is that without new Se experiences, Ni struggles to come to new intuitive conclusions. It is the taking in of new things in the sensory world that fuels Ni and allows it to perceive those wonderful inner images. "All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking." - Friedrich Nietzsche It was Nietzsche (often believed to be an INTJ) who spoke of the value of walking in terms of coming to great insights and revelations. Even things as simple as walking can allow for sensory experience to fuel that intuition, to get the mind going. This can be even more valuable when you go out and experience things that may be new or exciting to you - visiting a new town, eating at a new restaurant, going out on a date. All of these things are healthy outlets for Se that won't push you into a repressed or over-stressed state - no one is asking you to go mountain climbing or motor-crossing! Simply allow yourself to get out and about and experience all that life has to offer.
Take care of your body and health: You might be thinking to yourself "Alright...this is just common sense...", and yes, it is for most people. The problem though for intuitive dominant types is that they have a repressed sensation function, and as Jung said of the Ni dominant types, "In this way, the consciousness of his own bodily existence fades from the introverted intuitive's view, as does its effect upon others." - Jung Psychological Types For the intuitive types, basic self care can be one of the biggest struggles. They get lost in thought and in things that interest them and they can forget the most basic of self care routines - showering, exercise, brushing their teeth, even eating. It is important for INTJs to make sure they become consciously aware of this ignorance of the self so that they properly handle their body and health. Establish daily/nightly routines, put sticky notes on your computer, ask a family member to remind you of things you should be doing. Think of it like this - You can't take over the world if you don't take care of yourself!
Those are my 5 tips when it comes to growing and maturing as an INTJ. If you have any tips you would like to share, feel free to leave a comment!