There is no doubt about it I am an introvert and one that has finally been able to declare it without wincing like it is some incurable disease or say it in an apologetic tone as if to pre-empt someone’s disappointment. Introverts come in many shapes and sizes and I want to start off by dispelling the myth that an introvert is a shy wallflower with zero social intelligence in the same way that extroverts are not defined as brash and insensitive social butterflies. The significant difference between an extrovert and an introvert is the way in which they gain their energy and are stimulated. Though every introvert is different, most introverts share certain traits and challenges. The innate qualities that most introverts share are a love of introspection, a need for solitude, and a slower, more focused communication style. Our personalities are important facets of our being and it is vital to take the time out to understand how and why we are wired the way we are whilst stretching ourselves to become the best version of yourself you was created to be and I would encourage you to seek out the power and strength that lies in you being quintessentially quiet.
Make Peace With Your Introverted Self
There are probably some sayings you have become all too familiar with, like ‘You need to come out of your shell’ or ‘why are you so quiet’ and maybe even ‘I’m not too sure about her, she’s a bit stand offish, she doesn’t say much’ and after a while you begin to think something is wrong with you and that you don’t quite meet society’s extroverted ideal. But if there is one thing you leave with after reading this, it is that I want you to know that you are enough! Being different is not a disadvantage. Celebrate your imagination and rich inner worlds, savour the ability you have to absorb and go into new depths. Embrace the fact that you can do what many people fear – spend time with yourself in solitude, your self-awareness is a desired trait. Admire your creativity and ability to focus and go that little bit deeper. You will struggle to be-you-to-the-full if you do not stop and start to see the beauty in you.
Be True To Yourself
Susan Cain said the following in her book Quiet: “So stay true to your own nature. If you like to do things in a slow and steady way, don’t let others make you feel as if you have to race. If you enjoy depth, don’t force yourself to seek breadth. If you prefer single-tasking to multi-tasking, stick to your guns. Being relatively unmoved by rewards gives you the incalculable power to go your own way.” And I couldn’t have said it better myself. You are entitled to your space to recharge and the responsibility lies with you in order to ensure you do not overwhelm or drain yourself out, male sure you schedule in your Sabbath and honour it. It is OK to reach your socialising quota for the week and it is perfectly fine to say nothing when you do not have anything to say I a room that won’t stop talking.
Strike A Balance
It is often preached that introverts are shy and would therefore struggle to be leaders or utilise the opportunities that await them in a room full of people. This is only true if we fail to teach ourselves some vital social and presentation skills. Whether you enrol in public speaking and networking classes or search out the root and cause of your lack in confidence; the responsibility lies with ourselves to try to overcome the hurdles that could prevent us from taking all those amazing ideas we conjure up in our solitude and bringing them forth. God has deposited so much creativity and genius in you and many people are eagerly awaiting some of the answers hidden inside you. If there was ever a time to conquer fear and anxiety it would be now (2 Timothy 1:7)
Do Something Different
There will be times when we will need to step out of our comfort bubble. There will be outings that will be unplanned and interactions that you will need to take advantage of. Often times we can be misunderstood and some may think that we don’t like people which is far from true, most of the time we just prefer smaller gatherings and in depth interactions. You may need to reach out arrange those meet ups with loved ones or even make new connections with people, it would be a shame to miss out on new or blossoming friendships because we have locked ourselves away. There may be times when you will need to hold your breath and speak out or go to that event you don’t feel like going to because sometimes it not just about you but also reaching out and speaking in someone else’s love language.
The secret to blossoming into the beautiful introverted butterfly that you are is to put yourself under the right light, so whether that is a stage light or a lamp desk light use your innate powers to illuminate the corner or stage you are in. And remember you are in great company because the likes of Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln and Warren Buffet to name a few. Do work you love that taps into your depth and insight and uses your concentration and persistence. So if you’re an artist or problem solver do work that matters to you.
So fundamentally what is an incredible introvert, who are we? We are leaders and world-changers; we are dancers, actors, artists and performers; we are scientists, lovers of logic and left-brained geniuses; we are dreamers, adventurers, travellers and enlightenment seekers.
We are introvert revolutionists, striving to change the world in our own quiet way. You are an incredible introvert and in the words of Ghandi:
“In a gentle way you can shake the world”
Susain Cain – Quiet: The Power of Introverts In a World That Can’t Stop Talking
Adam McHugh – Introverts in The Church: Finding Our Place In An Introverted Culture
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