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Creativity and the INFP

by Michelle Therrien

What is an INFP

INFP is just one of the personality types from the Myers-Briggs assessment test.

I am an INFP personality type. This means Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving. (Introverted Feeling with Extraverted Intuition) . If you would like more information about this personality type or any of the others click here.

The test is a questionnaire that anyone can take to find out how their personality preferences help them make decisions and how they perceive the world around them.

Each of us is different and there are 16 personality type combinations. If you are the curious sort like me and you want to know about these personality types then click here to check them out.

You can also take the test here at Humanmetrics to find out about yourself.

INFP and Creativity

This can mean quite a few things but mostly we are creative, inquisitive, we like to explore new things and possibilities, we are experimental, curious and surprise many of us creative types fit this personality type.

I recently listened to a great podcast by ARTSTUFF PODCAST with Writer and creative Lauren Sapala that was such a fantastic talk about the scatterbrained feeling many of us INFP creatives feel as we are drawn to so many things and typically all at once.

I call it being the kid in the candy store where there is just so much to choose from you just want to do it all. Knowing we can’t do it all we usually settle on a handful of things and then waffle back and forth creatively exploring all the things.

Even though we enjoy all the things we also worry that we aren’t giving one thing all the focus and attention it should have. We may be wondering if we just did this one thing and showed up every day would we get there, would that progress just suddenly pay off?

While this guilt settles in we also can’t seem to resist the pull to other things calling us to come play! But this can also leave us INFP’s feeling stuck and not sure which way to go. Being indecisive and maybe choosing nothing because we struggle with the ability to focus on one thing.

I have good news for you as an INFP this is how it works for you. It’s suppose to be this way. Your personality type actually feeds on this.

If this describes you in anyway then make sure you listen to the podcast for an engaging conversation on why.

What I learned about myself after that podcast!

This was a great talk and I found myself smiling repeatedly and going yup that’s me over and over.

By the end, I felt like I had suddenly gotten permission to be me, my weird out of the box play by my own rules self.

As an INFP you may have felt early on in life that you just don’t fit in, you play to your own beat and struggle because society seems to insist we fit in.

Breaking that barrier isn’t always easy. Being you in a world of fit ins can challenge the very core of who you are.

I often struggled between doing things my way as haphazard as that seemed to outsiders, while at the same time a nagging voice from the outside world kept reminding me that’s not how to succeed, I need to fit in if I want to be good. To follow the path and the rules!

We often pick up on this fit in notion because it has become a large part of our culture.

We are indoctrinated into conformity from kindergarten on up to the rest of your life, at work and at play.

It’s just what we are expected to do and it can be confusing to those of us who don’t fit in and we often internalize that and think it’s us who isn’t doing things right.

Maybe you hear that small voice reminding you that you are somehow less than good enough because you don’t have that degree.

Lauren described this as permission from someone with more knowledge than me that gave me the final ok that my creative abilities were now of value.

I know many of us struggle with the thought of not good enough. I see it all the time in my art groups, people who think they aren’t good enough because they are self-taught.

She also made the point of how that has changed since the internet came to our lives. We now have access to things, all things and information that was once unattainable is now at our fingertips.

There is a new road to knowledge in the internet and learning that enables us to follow our own path and learn all we want. How freeing is that?

That means we don’t need anyone else permission to be good enough and shine.

What the talk by Lauren Sapala did was clarify things!

I came away from that talk knowing why I think the way I do and why I need to follow that. Why I get pulled here and there and that is ok, that is how I function best. How and why the INFP is uniquely me and that it’s good and we need to work in sync.

I need to stop pushing what I think it should be and follow the pull it gives me. That pull is where I shine best and every time I step away from that I feel lost and less successful in my creative work that day.

Are you pulled to do certain things and maybe can’t explain that phenomenon. It’s part of the intuitive personality of your INFP self. It’s also part of how creativity shows up in your world.

Some people need order, some people need plans, and me I need to honor my muse and follow the pull and not concern myself with the expectations of the fit in world.

Creativity needs space

For the INFP creativity needs space, not plans, not lists, it needs a place to explore. It needs to question and try all the things and bring them together in a way that is uniquely you.

Over the course of my life, I have learned to trust and follow my intuition. That feeling is even more so now that I am older. I now know that is exactly where I am supposed to be in my creative life.

Being aware that it takes me the places I need to go makes it easier for me to trust when it shows up and wants to play over there today.

It’s those sessions of creative discovery where I start something not knowing what I want to do and finish and amaze myself. Like I did that WOW!

Those are the times I just fall into the big wide creative zone and let it pull me and thanks to Lauren and her wonderful podcast I am no longer concerned with fitting in. I have seen this INFP personality work in my creative self and now I know to honor and follow it.

It will be easier to stay this path and trust the journey!

What now

It would be great if you would listen to the podcast and share your comments and thoughts about what you learned and how it will affect your creative life going forward.

I would love to hear from you.

You can also Join the ARTSTUFF podcast COMMUNITY on Facebook and let us get a conversation going on this topic.

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Jennifer Neaudet August 31, 2019 - 1:58 pm

I’m INFP too! Great article Michelle!

Jennifer Beaudet August 31, 2019 - 2:00 pm

I’m an INFP too! Great article! I’d like to share it if you don’t mind. Thanks:)

Michelle Therrien September 23, 2019 - 1:52 pm

Hi Jennifer,
Absolutely you can share it. When I first listened to the podcast I saw so much of myself in there and it was nice to know those things were just how I function as an INFP in my art.


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