Two years ago, while patiently waiting for my coaching training to begin (and by patiently, I mean the complete opposite of patient mixed with a mild freak out of, how am I going to pull this off?), a lot was coming up for me around the changes, the new direction my life was taking, whether I would even be a good coach, and the very real fear of uncertainty behind leaving my career and starting my own business.
I remember having a conversation with my coach at the time, the notorious Julie Parker, and her laughing out loud (in a kind, caring, and completely supportive way, naturally!) at the challenge I presented her with:
I was afraid of being seen in my business, and simultaneously afraid of NOT being seen.
And, when it came up in a kinesiology session it was met with the same response, a somewhat baffled and amused, ‘How can you have a fear of both?’
I thought I was being ridiculous (and I kind of knew that I was), but as I’ve started working more intensively with introverts, I’ve come to discover that this struggle is very real even though I’ve never heard anyone else talk about it before.
I’ve read a plethora of introvert-centred books and articles this year, but this thing I’ve come to affectionately refer to as “The Introvert Contradiction” is something I’m yet to come across.
How do you be seen in a way that you can shine at work, when competing with others who talk themselves up and share freely?
How do you stand out online and grow your business when the thought of putting yourself out there is enough to make you create a fort and hide out watching Netflix instead?
How do you win the affections of a special someone when you’re more comfortable alone than out and about hoping to be seen in the crowd?
I could go on and on but I won’t.
You want to be seen.
You want to have your hard work acknowledged.
You want to be successful and shine in a way that feels good to you.
You want to meet a significant other who sees you over all the obvious choices (in your mind).
But the putting yourself out there comes with something else.
The possibility of failure. Rejection. Pain. Being completely dismissed or ignored. Feeling the obligation to share more than you want to.
This notion that you are actually more powerful and having more of an impact than you think, you just can’t see it.
The Introvert Contradiction.
It’s okay, you’re not alone. In fact, I daresay you’re in excellent company.
How do you navigate both? That’s the question and it’s one that I’ve been researching and contemplating for the past couple of months.
I have some thoughts and a project that I’m excited to share with you VERY soon, but I’m also wondering if you can help me. I’ve put together a very short survey and I’d be oh-so grateful to get some of your thoughts on the matter for my research.
You can fill out the survey here.
Everyone who joins in will go into the draw to win a AU$25 voucher (either Kikki K for the stationery lovers, or amazon.com for the book nuts).