Archive | Introversion RSS feed for this section

Ambitious Introvert?

14 Dec

Being both ambitious and introverted comes with its challenges. I sat down the other day and wrote out a few things I regularly deal with. Sometimes I feel as if I’m being pulled in opposite directions and for my own peace of mind I’m constantly having to find the balance.

For example,

I want to come forward but I also want to be in the back

I want to be spontaneous and outgoing but I spend too long analysing possible outcomes

I want to run away from business meetings because they’re usually overdone and I have work to do

I want to lead but I also want to follow

I want to be an entrepreneur but risk and uncertainty terrifies me in more ways than one

I want to receive the recognition you deserve but you don’t want to be centre of attention

I want to go to business networking events but I really can’t be bothered with the small talk

I want great success but I don’t want to be scrutinised

I realise that some of these things I deal with are essential to my personal development and the progression of my businesses. As much as I want to be recognised for my work, I don’t want it done in a way that makes me centre of attention. There’s something calming about being in the backround. But the success I’m aiming for, it’s inevitable that I will need to come forward at some point. That’s why I have to  feel the fear and do it anyway!

So even though sometimes I want to be 100% introverted and stay home all day and read a book…I can’t. My ambitious side tells me to get up, get out and chase my dreams. I never see my introversion as a hindrance. I understand it is crucial to my success! what success can I achieve without careful thought and knowledge? and equally, what success can I achieve with no action? That’s why I’m learning to find a balance between both traits.

So if you’re an ambitious introvert. You’re not alone. Would love to connect! 

Leave a comment below. How do you balance the two?

Nat x

Internet OFF. Mind ON

25 May

I spend a lot of time on social media. But it’s almost become an addiction. I wake up, I check my social media accounts. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat…then repeat. I find myself feeding into this urge to know what’s going on in everyone’s life. It’s like I’m expecting to find out something revolutionary…something that will add value to my life…but that never happens. After endless minutes of mindless swiping and tapping I realise that I’ve wasted yet another morning feeding into this social media obsession many of us millennials are addicted to.

But it got to a point where my internet usage was at an all time high. I spent most of my day browsing through Instagram profiles and Twitter feeds. I could see that it was becoming a problem because although I was ‘connecting’ with other bloggers etc I felt hugely disconnected! I started to feel a range of emotions including dissatisfaction and withdrawal. So I decided to turn the internet OFF and put my mind ON!

My first attempt was to turn off the internet on my phone and put it on the other side of the room. As I sat there and looked at my phone it caused nothing but boredom and slight anxiety as I wondered what I was missing on social media. So I decided that I needed to get out the house. I went for a walk down by the lake. I left the house believing that the light physical activity coupled with the fresh air would help me refocus. But as I walked along the stoned path and observed the trees, grass and the running water I realised that this walk was much more than just the physical activity. Being outdoors provided me with a stillness and freedom that I couldn’t get from sitting inside.

www.quietlyambitious.co.uk.png

Whilst being out in the open my senses were heightened. I could hear the water trickling down the stream, smell the freshly cut grass and I could see all the beautiful greenery that surrounded me. I had walked this route many times before but this time felt like the first. I ended up wandering around the lake and surrounding areas for almost 2 hours. I stopped at a bench and sat there for a few minutes. Whilst sitting there I got out my journal and began to write. The emotions that poured out of me and onto the page could not be stopped. I wrote and wrote until I had nothing left to say and when I put the pen down I felt free. It must have been something about being outside and being ‘one’ with nature that allowed me to reconnect with my inner self and find that inner peace? To be honest I’m not sure but it was only then I was able to release the things that were troubling me and make space in my mind. Once I returned home I felt more refreshed and my creative juices started flowing again.

journal watermark (1)

The internet is an amazing place for us creatives and writers. It provides us with a space to express and connect with like minded people. But this walk reminded me that it’s still important to switch off and plug in your mind from time to time! If you’re experiencing a blockage in creativity it’s good to find a space where you can be still and reflect. Stillness, balance and alignment with your inner self is something to be valued and worked on. Try not to get too caught up in the social media world, make time for yourself and your art!

So from now on I think I’ll start making a conscious effort to switch the internet OFF and my mind ON!

How do you clear your mind? Please share any tips/experiences below!

I used to care…

25 Nov

…that my introversion would leave me lonely for the rest of my life

…that when people forgot my name it meant that I wasn’t worthy to be remembered

…about being popular because being alone meant you were an easy target for bullies

…about being quiet because people would look at me with such concern and pity that it made me feel inadequate

…about coming forward and showcasing my talents because I was worried that people would think I was showing off

…about being better than other people because I didn’t want people to feel worthless…

…about people’s opinions because often I would place their thoughts and views above my own. I didn’t trust my judgement and therefore didn’t feel worthy of sharing.

These are some of the things I used to care about. But not anymore.

I now care about my own happiness. I have accepted that I’m an introvert. I’m now comfortable with the idea of staying at home while my friends go out and have a good time. I now know when someone forgets my name it isn’t indicative of my character [they could have a lousy memory]. I now know my strengths and I plan to make full use of them. I now know that chasing my dreams will not necessarily make someone else feel worthless and lastly, I now put my own judgement before anyone else. I trust my instincts.

I realise there is power in everyone’s story, including mine. Sometimes we all need to get rid of this fake pretense that we have our lives all together. We all have issues, we all have shortcomings but it’s through support and the sharing of our stories; strength is found. Harboring these thoughts can only contribute to the anxiety and depression felt. Life is never as bad as you think and just talking about it to a friend, relative or God can really help you put things into perspective.

This is actually the first time I’ve written these thoughts down and honestly seeing it written in black and white made me realise how irrational some of my worries were. Now I’m able to share my story because I have no shame in it. This is not who I am anymore and it doesn’t define me either. But it’s always important whilst on a journey of self-development to look back and see where you’re coming from. It’s important to realise what you could have been had you not made the decision to be better.

I’ve come a long way but I understand there may still be other people out there struggling. Some people right this moment may be having these same thoughts. Feeling inadequate, feeling worthless and being too fearful to come forward. Well I’ve written this post for you, with the hopes that it will show you that with a little hard work and perseverance you can change who you are.

You can be better!

IMG_5008

How to be a bold introvert

12 Jun

So you’ve dragged yourself out to a party that you didn’t want to go to because you would rather sit at home and finish your latest self help book on “how to be social”. But instead your friend has persuaded you to come out. You’re sat in a room full of people talking, laughing and joking but you have absolutely no interest in what they’re talking about. You try the small talk thing but fail to find enough trivial topics to talk about in 10 minutes. Next you try the laughing technique, by laughing at everything someone says…running the risk of looking awkward. But none of it feels right. You crave real communication and honest conversations but the environment stops you from getting that.

So what do you do in this situation? You could try and compete with the outgoing extrovert in the room. By shouting on the top of your voice and talking to 3 or 4 people simultaneously whilst dancing to the music…but there’s one problem the idea of being the centre of attention scares you right? So let’s rule that option out.

OR you could become a bold introvert! you could just be quiet and sit there peacefully observing the party. I know you secretly would quite enjoy doing that. But if you are feeling a tiny bit gregarious on the night and I mean the tiniest bit…you could try and spark up a conversation with someone.

But how do you actually become a bold introvert?

1. Detach yourself from the negative stigma that surrounds introversion

People often try and say that introverts are anti-social loners. But no…there’s nothing wrong with you…it’s just a different preference in communication. Yes introverts experience social anxiety but so can extroverts. Being an introvert is not definitive. You can have extroverted characteristics and still be introverted. No one is completely one or the other. But we all have certain characteristics that we’re most comfortable with. So detach yourself from the ignorant comments that introversion is a problem that needs to be fixed. It’s not. Your brain is just wired differently.

2. Harness your ability to build rapport with people

Introverted people are more likely to be in tune with their emotional feelings and those around them. They’re empathetic and compassionate which can be very positive when building new friendships. One to one conversations are commonly preferred amongst introverts because you can take the time to get to know someone on a deeper level. If you find yourself in a social setting try seeking out a person and start up a meaningful conversation. If they’re interested they’ll reciprocate if not they’ll move on. Keep doing this until you find someone you connect with. 

3.  Communicate in a way that you feel most comfortable

Use your unique skills of soft speaking and careful thought. Speak slowly and clearly. Don’t always try to match the pace and style of the other person. Converse in your own way.

4. Be unapologetic 

Be unapologetic in the fact that you may not always want to interact with people. Become unrestrained by the social constructs of this world that say you need to be more talkative and gregarious. Just be you. And be bold doing it. If people don’t feel comfortable with your quietness that’s their problem. Never feel like you need to put on an act to please others because they haven’t taken the time to understand your introversion.  

The truth is…a lot more people are introverted than you think. Many successful leaders display introverted characteristics such as Warren Buffett, Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton and Bill Gates. So instead of feeling ashamed that you’re less sociable than everyone else, start recognising that you’ve been gifted with the ability to connect with people, be creative and become excellent leaders. 

So how do you become a bold introvert? Well it’s simple. Stay true to yourself and be bold doing it.

How do you cope in social situations? Do you try and act in a way that’s pleasing to others? Or do you not care?

**The issues presented in this post were inspired by the book “Quiet” by Susan Cain**

Book available at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Quiet-power-introverts-world-talking/dp/0141029196 

Ted Talk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0KYU2j0TM4