Life

The Importance of Creativity for INFJs

“Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.” -Elizabeth Gilbert

Here is a secret: I’ve never considered myself to be a creative person. Yes, I’m an idealist. Sure, I call myself a writer. But I don’t live a free-spirited lifestyle devoted to my craft. I need structure and routine in my life in order to be productive. I’m a perfectionist, and have way too much self-doubt to be a creative person. If anything, I considered myself a wanna-be creative, but not the real deal.

Lately I’ve been reading Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert (highly recommend). This book taught me that I can be all of the above and still be a creative person. Creativity isn’t defined by my day job, how I dress, or whether or not I’m scared. Let’s be honest, everyone is scared. People are terrified to follow creative pursuits because there is no simple way to measure the worth.

Maybe you want to write a book, audition for a local theater show, or make decorative wine glasses. But you don’t because: you don’t have the time, you’re too tired, you’re too stressed, you don’t have the talent, you don’t have the money, [insert your own list of excuses here]. Whatever the excuse, you’ve convinced yourself not to follow your creative pursuit because it’s not worth it.

You may be right. If your sense of worth is defined by money or professional success, then it may not be worth it. If your sense of worth is defined by what your parents, spouse, co-workers, or friends think of you, then it may not be worth it. I think that the people like Liz Gilbert, the ones who truly live creatively in spite of fear, define their worth by their own personal fulfillment.

Basically, they do it because it makes them happy.

I believe that most INFJs don’t define their worth by what others think or how much money they’re making. We are creative because we have an innate need to create. To live a happy, fulfilled life we need to intentionally devote time and energy to what fascinates us. Creativity doesn’t have to be a stereotypical art form. Maybe you express yourself through gardening, building furniture, or cooking. Whatever it is you are passionate about, do it.

I took a one and a half-year hiatus from publishing on this blog, right as it was starting to grow, because of excuses. Sixteen months of neglecting one creative outlet because I was busy, tired, stressed, focused on my day job, whatever.

I’m back, and I hope that you will join me in your own creative pursuits. How do you express your creativity? Feel free to share your blog, portfolio, or other examples of your work in the comments. I would love to see them!


Megan is an introvert and INFJ personality type who enjoys reading, researching, and writing about personality psychology and human behavior. As the founder of this blog, Megan wants to help other INFJs better understand their personality to improve their personal and professional lives.

7 Comments

  1. Great blog! I think Liz Gilbert would say, it’s not that she creates without fear, but WITH it. I love her description in big magic, that it is welcome for the ride, but it can’t take the wheel.

    For INFJs, creativity can be hard because it’s inevitably disappointing. We have (for example) the ideal novel in our head, but it doesn’t look half as good on the page.

    One of my creative pursuits (teaching BodyFlow) became a career, but I struggle all the time with the creative process. I try to focus on process over outcome, and taking the next right step. It helps that I know my classes help people relieve stress and get fit, so that purpose has driven me, long after the passion has faded. But it is hard for me to believe my awkward, horribly imperfect, half-written novel will be of any use to anyone, so it is really hard to keep doing the work.

    I love The Artist’s Way, where Julia Cameron talks about the “creative husbandry of your life.” Because every single thing we do toward truly living is a creative act.

    1. Great point about not living without fear, but in spite of fear (and I may need to make the edit to the blog post)! According to Gilbert, the point of writing the novel isn’t to help someone else, but because you want to write it. That is great that you’re able to do something you love that also helps people. I’ll have to add The Artist’s Way on the to-read list. 🙂

  2. Hi! Liz Gilbert’s book is amazing! I started reading it today and I’m liking it so far. Thanks for the rec!
    Also, I relate a lot to the “wanna-be creative” thing. There are many times when I think about what does it mean to be creative, and come to the conclusion that I’m a half-ass creative person — because of the same reasons you’ve mentioned. I’m not 100% devoted to creating new things. I write too, and sometimes I get this feeling that I’m not living up to the concept of creativity. I worry about it most of the time.
    “We are creative because we have an innate need to create” is such an incredible way of defining it, and it makes me feel a lot better and kinda confident.
    All in all, just discovered your blog and I’m absolutely lovin’ it! Great posts!
    Hope you have a good day! xx ♡

  3. That’s great! I’m an INFJ obssessed by creativity! I’ve dedicated my blog to this subject. It’s really weird that I want to be more and more creative and meanwhile feel that I’m not artist, creative enough. The Elizabeth Gilbert’s book taught me that you can be creative without being an artist in a traditional way. I think that INJF’s need to go utside their head and be more manuel and use their 5 senses. That’s how you become really creative.

  4. I am a mixed media artist focusing on collage, poetry and photography. I have always been a creative writer and artistic, but really go into defining my style of artwork as an expression piece. It really helped with that difficulty of verbalizing our thoughts because it allowed me to express through imagery. It really has grown for me to be much more as I am very involved in the art scene in Baltimore and have done many showings since. It can be a bit competitive and I recently had to remind myself of why I started making artwork and the importance of expression to my mental health whether its journaling, writing collaging, etc.

    Happy to email you some images!

  5. Describing feelings of INFJ is pretty difficult as we think in an out of the world way. But this article has really beautifully described it.

  6. I have a keen interest in art, I think that expressing oneself is through art. Am fond of drawing, painting and even sketching whatever I feel or am also good a illustrations. Whenever I do get time I spend it in improving my creativity. Recently I have also started writing poems which really helped me in discovering many things.

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