Learning To Speak Up For Myself As A Creator
In my video I just released, I spoke about how I feel about myself and how I would define myself. But learning to speak up for myself has been challenging especially because of my struggles with impostor syndrome, self-doubt, and my struggles managing my own self-perception, especially after experiencing mass shaming and online criticism. It took me many years to unpack the fact that people online could have such dramatically different opinions of me to my own opinions on myself.
Making the decision to stop identifying as an INFJ two years ago was one of the most difficult and scary things I’ve done. It meant embracing doubt. Despite having been in the community for more than a decade, many suddenly challenged the idea that I was an expert. After all, shouldn’t an expert be certain, confident, and deliver 100% straightforward, even black and white, answers? Suddenly, it didn’t matter how much I had read, or how much I had written on the topic, people dismissed my message at face value, just because I couldn’t give a straight answer about what personality type I was or because what type I used to be didn’t line up with what people in the community thought.
I often thought about announcing or declaring my type again to the community. But I worried that nobody would take me seriously or believe anything I had to say, regardless of what I said. I felt like no matter what I said, people would be unhappy. Having been on YouTube so long, so many people have built a relationship to me, and many have built completely different relationships to me. To some, I’m an antagonist, a challenger, and a critic.
To some, I’m a sweet, simple, and straightforward person, who spreads a naive and overly positive message. To some, I’m a creative person, with a million ideas and lack of focus. To others, I’m an independent, philosophical person, with a hidden introspective side, who speaks about things in a detached and theoretical manner, without revealing too much about myself. It’s not strange that people see me so differently. After all, you’re all different people, so relative to you and who you are, and whether you like me or not, you’ll all have your own ideas about me.
I’m good at reading other people. I’m sensitive to drama and conflict. I enjoy harmony and compromise. So standing up for myself and saying, this is who I am, is a challenge to me. Anyways, here goes.
How I would define myself
I used to be more introverted, but as I’ve gotten older, I identify increasingly as an extrovert who enjoys independence and alone time. I believe I’ve changed over time and find myself drawn to especially understanding and reading people, connecting with other people, engaging with a community, and being a public speaker and storyteller sharing personal insights with other people. These days I tend to test as fairly extroverted, high in intuition, feeling, fairly balanced in terms of judging. I identify the most with Extroverted Feeling and Extroverted Intuition, what I refer to as Interpersonal Intelligence and Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence, I love learning languages, and I love learning in general. I love leading communities, both in real life and online, and seek harmony and to create mutual understanding. I continue to be dedicated to sharing my message:
Find flow by living a life true to yourself. Get to know yourself and continue to learn more about yourself. Embrace a growth mindset, and accept that your personality is constantly changing and evolving. Seek to become more conscious and aware, and strive towards individuation. Individuation doesn’t mean fitting yourself perfectly in one type, it means finding your own unique way of life, even if it contradicts established theories and boxes. And further than that, seek transcendence. Don’t seek for fame or success, seek to play your role in the greater whole, no matter what that role is, flourish by being yourself and going your own way in life. Go beyond yourself and learn to become a part of a collective system. Be humble and accept that doubt and chaos has a natural part to play in your life. But also be assertive, and accept that you have to take a leap of faith, even when you’re not 100% sure about something.
My opinions on Extroversion have also changed much over time. I got rid of traditional ideas firmly rooted in the community. Ideas like: Extroversion is about getting energy from being around people. I don’t believe that. I believe extroverts are people that are quick to take action and who are able to speak freely and with more energy and enthusiasm, and that extroverts are less afraid of making mistakes. They learn as they go.
I also believe that Extroverted and Judging types are highly undervalued and invisible in the MBTI community today. We are trained to think everyone is either an ENFP or an INFJ, and nothing in between. There needs to be more awareness for the fact that people can be extroverted and judging, too. There also needs to be more awareness about what Extroverted Feeling is and how it really works, beyond just compromising your opinions to try to fit in (almost everyone does that!)
But I leave things open to change and don’t really see a need to give a final answer. I’m happy to keep growing, learning, and changing. I want to encourage everyone else to do the same.
Ultimately, we’re all on the same page
It’s tough to be a creator but it’s important for integrity that you’re able to go your own way. I am intensely aware about what other people say and think about me online. I can read people well, both in real life and online. With age and maturity, I’ve learnt not to let that influence me too much, and to continue to be true to myself. In the community, I’ve always been a positive force of warmth and humanism.
I’ve also been a visionary who offers nuance and more openness and fluidity in a world where people tend to talk about things in binary, fixed, and black and white terms. People have often looked at my ideas with scepticism, because they’re more complicated, but years later, everyone is talking about subtypes, and flow, and body language. People ultimately like my ideas and agree with my vision. They just need time to warm up to what I say.
Thanks for being around and supporting my work.
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