I’m an introvert
I’m an introvert.
I’ve been learning that my identification as an introvert can make a lot of things more…challenging. Let’s see if you know what I mean.
As an introvert, I get anxiety when I make a new friend. Not in the first conversation, no. It’s in the follow up, in the continued conversations, and in the fear of their judgement of me through continued interactions. Do they really enjoy my company, or are they just humoring me?
As an introvert, I get worked up when I have to be on the phone. Not on Skype, I mean on an actual phone. I can’t see your body language, your gestures, or your expressions. On top of that, I’ll get distracted by books, or cats, or by whatever else I’m looking at if I’m not looking at you.
As an introvert, my home is my nest, and I’m very comfortable there. I don’t want to leave. Which means I need a bit of an extra push to grow. The internet is great for that, since I can still largely be at home, but I still have to give myself that kick in the pants to interact with other people, even if it’s only through my magical laptop.
See, for me, being an introvert is comfort. It means not having to grow. I can enjoy the space I’m in, revel in the quiet, and not be afraid of the judgements of other people.
If you’re reading between the lines, this means that allowing myself to stay an introvert is keeping me from growing. And it could be keeping you from growing too.
I will always love the quiet, and I will always need alone time to recharge. But going out to meet new people, making sales calls, working with clients, and running my group are essential if I want to grow my business and help others. Which I absolutely 100% want to do, it’s my mission in the world. (And it’s actually fun!)
There’s an old saying that you can’t grow in a vacuum. Sure, my quiet little house is nice. But I can only push myself so far before I need to reach out to be kicked in another direction, or propelled further along my path. I want to learn Eskrima, a martial art that requires a teacher. I’m practicing Qi Gong, which I will need to see a teacher or be in a class for soon, as books and videos can only teach so much. Yoga? Can’t get certified in my living room. Reach more people that need my help? Have to talk to them, both through chat and through actual Skype conversations, and even in real life.
So, while I want to stay an introvert, I play an extrovert on the internet, and in public too. And extroversion is becoming more and more part of my personality. Opening up and telling my stories, sharing my life, is helping me to grow, and helping others to grow with me. There are many conversations I’ve had since going down this path that are like treasures, which would never have happened if I had stayed comfortable. Good friends, good teachers, and amazing clients I would never have met if I had stayed comfortable.
So, so very much fear, mostly about other people’s judgements about me that I would have stayed stuck in, that I’ve been able to work through and resolve.
And sure, I know the roots of why I have an introverted personality. A lot of it is from when I was a child. I wasn’t allowed to be alone, to explore my own personality and interests, or to learn about more of the world than what I was shown. I became fearful, and quiet, and felt constantly judged. So when I had the freedom to just be alone, I took it at every chance I got. But now, as a grown adult, my feelings are my responsibility, and my growth is my responsibility.
I’m so much freer to create my life as I want it after embracing these realizations. It’s amazing to me that now I can follow any line of thinking, and therefore any line of research, that I want. I can learn whatever I want to learn. I can craft my days with intention, and fill them with art, or food, or workouts, or books. I can run a business that I love while actually enjoying interacting with other people. (With built in time to decompress, of course!)
Can you feel what I’m saying?
You’re not on this journey alone, even if you like being by yourself a lot of the time. If you’re ready to break out of your shell, embrace more creativity in your life, make some real magic happen, and be a positive force in the world, you’ve got to be ready to live your mission LOUD.
Go. Do. LOUDLY. (Then enjoy some quiet time.) And if you want help doing it, hit me up. I’d love to chat.