By reading this post, I hope you will gain the same “Aha!” moment that I experienced along with learning about the book that helped me feel more comfortable about being uncomfortable in a seemingly extroverted world. My “Aha!” moment happened when I read a comparison about shyness vs. introversion from author and introversion expert Susan Cain:
She defines shyness as “the fear of negative judgment,” and introversion as “a preference for quiet, minimally stimulating environments.”
After reading this, I needed to know more, I needed to know why I felt so drained after public events and I needed to find out how to turn what some deem as a negative trait into a strength … and I did.
If you are an introvert and want to gain some valuable knowledge, famous examples and resources to help you successfully navigate your world as an introvert, read on:
After I finished reading the book Quiet by Susan Cain, I woke up the next morning to the quote below from a friend on Facebook, and instantly, this word popped in my head: expatriate.¹
“Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close. You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them, watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes.
But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more you feel like an outsider, watching the “normal people” as they go about their automatic existences.
For every time you say club passwords like “Have a nice day” and “Weather’s awful today, eh?”, you yearn inside to say forbidden things like “Tell me something that makes you cry” or “What do you think deja vu is for?”. Face it, you even want to talk to that girl in the elevator. But what if that girl in the elevator (and the balding man who walks past your cubicle at work) are thinking the same thing?
Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger? Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others…” ~Timothy Leary ²
That is how us introverts sometimes feel, as if we don’t “fit in,” as if we are in a foreign country. When I share with people that I’m an introvert; it is followed by a big surprise response since I’m able to speak in public and can socialize at conferences and events. I’ll bet you will be amazed to learn that these famous folks are indeed self-admitted introverts³:
Social Media Leaders – Pete Cashmore, Guy Kawasaki & Lisa Petrelli
Transformative Leaders – John Quincy Adams, Gandhi & Rosa Parks
Writers and Innovators – Theodore Geisel a.k.a Dr. Seuss, Bill Gates & Steve Wozniak
My hunger to explore introversion started with that “Aha!” moment when I finally understood that being an introvert doesn’t mean you are shy … it is about where we get our energy from. When I do public speaking events, 99.9% of the time, I refer to energy as a currency – just like time or money.
“…Too many people live lives that don’t suit them—introverts with frenetic social schedules, extroverts with jobs that require them to sit in front of their computers for hours at a stretch. We all have to do things that don’t come naturally—some of the time. But it shouldn’t be all the time.” 4
Self-awareness, understanding yourself and knowing what makes you tick and shine is the key to help you Power up!® your brand … naturally. Taking the time to understand yourself better will enable you to “fit in” and to easily make life choices congruent with your temperament. More importantly, self-understanding will enable you to unleash your vast energy and shine your unique light to attract your ideal audience and create a great brand impression.
Want to find out if you are an introvert?
Want to hear more from Susan about being an introvert and what it all means?
¹ “An expatriate (sometimes shortened to expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than that of the person’s upbringing.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expatriate
² Dr. Timothy Leary was always about one primary idea: the freedom and responsibility to ”think for yourself and question authority.”
4 Susan Cain, http://www.thepowerofintroverts.com