Many people are introverts, and that’s fine. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just their personality.
A recent MBTI personality evaluation test revealed that there is a population split (in the US) of approximately 50% introverts and 50% extroverts. That seem pretty even on the whole, but it also appears unfair, at least to me, the introvert.
Extroverts have all the confidence and none of the worry (At least on paper…).
An introvert is someone who doesn’t like exposing themselves to the possibility of critique or failure – an introvert is shy. It took me a long time to put myself out there, and I know many men reading this will have a similar story about how they overcame their basic human nature to have their own star shine brightly.
Introverts can find work places and large social gatherings particularly challenging – this is due to their uncomfortableness at speaking their mind. Extroverts often excel in these areas due to their attitude appearing as though they like to “take the lead”.
Big corporate environments in particular like to call this type of person a “go getter”. Again, nothing wrong with being an extrovert – but it’s time the introverts starting getting recognition of their own!
Let’s talk about mindfulness.
Introverts feelings, particularly in situations out of their comfort zones can be put down to a clear lack of confidence in themselves – they worry they will say something stupid or look like a fool.
Sound familiar? Read on…
Often, an introvert’s lack of confidence comes from a bad experience or series of experiences in the past. This is why mindfulness is so important to practice.
Mindfulness, self-reflection and even meditation can all be used to free an individual from the shackles of the past, because mindfulness is all about living in, and appreciate the present. Learning to live in the present allows you to fully appreciate, comprehend and utilise the special abilities that you, as an individual possess.
Sure, you might have said something that didn’t sound clever once at a board meeting, that doesn’t mean you are going to do it again, and again, and again!
Self-awareness through the practice of mindfulness allows us to control our fear of this failure or social rejection. Fear dates back to our ancient ancestors, and gives us that “fight or flight” response. In introverts, and in the modern day, fight can be summed up as speaking up and flight as sitting in silence, hoping not to be noticed.
As an introvert, not speaking is a direct result of fear controlling you.
Utilising mindful self-control can allow you to fully appreciate what you can contribute to everyday life – if you have worked for a company for many years and know its procedures from top to bottom; you aren’t at all likely to make a fool of yourself. Gain that perspective, and realise how worthwhile your contribution can be.
A very simple trick you can use, is to look at yourself from the outside, step away and look at who you are without prejudice – if you were listening to a company worker with 10 years of experience then you would most likely appreciate what they would have to say, guess what, you are that worker!
Practice mindfulness and self-reflection if you are an introvert especially, as it will free you from the constraints of past failures and uncertainties, and will allow you to be liberated from your introverted ways!