Each and every personality type has strengths and weaknesses.

Although anyone could suffer from perfectionism, INFJs seem to be particularly prone to it.

We find the root cause in their idealism as well as their judging function — a strong sense of what’s good and what’s not so good.

It’s important to recognize the demon of perfectionism and not let it steal your enthusiasm and vitality before it’s too late.

Are you an INFJ? Do you ever struggle with perfectionism or the need for control?

Good news — I’ve been there, and in today’s post I’m sharing a few tips to let go of that so you can increase your productivity and happiness.

Why INFJs tend to be perfectionists

As mentioned, perfectionism cannot be ascribed to a single personality type.

You could be the super disorganized, go-with-the-flow extroverted “perceiver” and still suffer from it.

However, it seems to be an issue with some types and INFJs in particular because of their…

1. Idealism

Nothing wrong with being an idealist per se, but the world you imagine (intuition) should never replace the world you see (sensation).

INFJs can be so passionate about, and convinced of, their own idea of truth and justice, that they may sometimes lose touch with reality.

2. Intuition

Generally speaking, intuitive types tend to be directed toward something new, something else, something that may not even exist yet.

Rather than focusing on what’s already “out there”, intuition sees possibilities. This could lead to perfectionism if you’re constantly chasing what’s better/best.

3. Rigidity

Here’s where the judging (J) function plays a role. Despite their creativity, their empathetic kindness, despite their tendency to dream…

INFJs tend to be quite strict and rigid. Naturally, this goes both ways — the typical INFJ will have high expectations of others and themselves.

4. Introversion

INFJs can sometimes struggle to communicate or even have the tendency to isolate and reject other people’s views.

Whether this stems from a need to protect their emotions, or simply a lack of interest — it’s rarely healthy. Being more open would help INFJs grow instead of chasing perfection.

5. Sensitivity

The feeling-judging combination means that INFJs easily pick up emotions and are sensitive to their environment and feel the responsibility to somehow control that.

This again translates to rigidity and the idea that happiness (their own and everyone’s) can only be reached when there is some sort of perfect harmony or order.

6. Moral values

INFJs are usually very clear on their values and “how one should behave”, which means others’ opinions of them are important.

The positive: their behavior will reflect this — they’ll strive to be kind and loyal at all times. The negative: it may lead to unrealistic expectations and/or perfectionism.

Overcoming perfectionism as an INFJ (the 4 A’s)

If you struggle with perfectionism as an INFJ or even just as an intuitive introvert in general, remember these four words…

1. Acceptance

Yes, you have dreams and ideas. Yes, it’s good to use your imagination. But don’t think outside the box so much that you lose sight of the box itself.

Each time you catch yourself thinking with the words should or must, go back to acceptance. This is the world you live in and you must accept it.

And here’s the cool part — once you stop having unrealistic expectations about everything and everyone, once you let go of your ideas of how things should be…

This will be reflected in you. You will be lighter and freer and more powerful because all that self-imposed tension will vanish.

2. Action

Don’t think about it a thousand times — do it a thousand times. Take action, then take action again, and again.

Any “idealist” personality type must learn to do this, to get out of their head and physically do things.

The world of thoughts and ideas is wonderful, but incomplete, because it rarely leads to actual experience.

By consistently taking action and by having the mindset where you do rather than think, you get out of your head, which is usually where perfectionism lives.

3. Advancement

Something is better than nothing. One, two, five years from now you’ll regret what you didn’t do a lot more than what you did do.

The demon of perfectionism says: don’t do it unless it’s perfect. So you want to challenge this thought and do it regardless.

The trick: allow yourself to be a mess, to make mistakes, to be a beginner again. Embrace that, accept that. See? It all starts with acceptance.

Don’t chase perfection. Just focus on growth, just move forward. Be process oriented rather than goal oriented.

4. Anxiety

This should have been named urgency or something like that, but I figured “anxiety” was the only word beginning with A.

Seriously though, learn to develop a sense of urgency. Anxiety itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

When people complain about their anxiety, they actually complain about excessive anxiety. A tiny dose of it is perfectly healthy.

It keeps you going, and it saves you a lot of time. Know what you want and then develop a sense of urgency — life is short and you can’t afford to be a perfectionist.

INFJs and perfectionism: related posts

So there you have it. I hope this post inspired you to think less and do more, and let go of toxic unrealistic expectations of yourself and others.

Before you go, feel free to check out any of the following posts: