Last year someone asked me: “How can you be a life coach if your an introvert?”
They were truly shocked to discover that after speaking to me for half an hour that I was an introvert — and they were even more shocked that I was an introvert AND a life coach.
She went on to explain that in order to be successful as a coach — and in life — I would need to stop being introverted, and learn how to be more confident and outgoing otherwise I’d never be successful.
Honestly, I felt a bit put on the spot, so I responded with the first thing that came to my mind:
And even though it was a spur-of-the-moment statement, it’s something that I truly and deeply believe.
You may remember from my dot-point history of being an introvert that when I first had the realisation I was an introvert I used it as an excuse and hid behind this new label for awhile.
But it was in that moment — in that conversation — when I truly realised that I truly had reached a place where I was empowered by my introverted nature.
I believe that being an introvert doesn’t have to hold you back in any aspect of your life — if you don’t want it to.
Even though I’m always still learning how to embrace my introverted nature, I know that I have come such a long way from when I first discovered I was an introvert to dropping truthbombs about not letting being an introvert hold you back.
So today, I’m sharing 5 of the things that have got me to that place today — one where I really embrace my introverted nature and feel empowered by it.
Being aware of my introverted nature has been really powerful. After I first discovered I was an introvert I started using it as an excuse and hiding behind it. Then, after a little while I realised that I was letting my introverted nature hold me back big time. And after this realisation, jut being aware of my introverted nature has been profound in me starting to embrace this part of me. Awareness really is powerful.
And the truth is just being aware of my introversion tendencies has made me I finally felt like I understood parts of myself that never made sense, and I realised that there isn’t something “wrong” with me, which is something a lot of introverts struggle with.
Being aware of my introverted nature led me to start honouring this part of me, which has been life-changing. For me, honouring my introversion means making choices that serve me, being aware of my energy and making sure I structure my life in a way where I can still do what I want to do but not at the expense of feeling overwhelmed or exhausted.
This looks like:
∞ Knowing that I recharge by having alone time and making this a priority in my life by creating a down-time plan each week.
∞ Not stretching myself too thin with heaps of social occasions or events by ensuring I balance out socialising with recharge time, saying a heart-felt “no” when I have too much going on or feel like by saying “yes” I’m overloading myself.
∞ Giving myself permission to have down-time to recharge and not feeling guilty about it, and instead focusing on what doing this gives me.
∞ Giving myself space when I begin to exhausted and overwhelmed.
∞ Communicating to those around me about being introverted and being open about what this is like to the people I live with.
When I realised that I was using my introversion as an excuse and hiding behind that identity a little too much, I made the decision that I wanted to not let being introverted hold me back. So I started seeking out resources to help me embrace being introverted, which has been great in helping me to understand and embrace my introverted nature.
Supporting myself has also looked like deciding to work with a coach who specialises in introverts, which was one of the most powerful things I have done to help me embrace my introverted nature. Working with Katherine helped me to fully and completely embrace my introverted nature, without hiding behind it or using it as an excuse (which can be really easy to do!). This also helped me to get more comfortable with putting myself out there (in a way that felt good to me) and I also started to truly believe (and know) that showing up as myself is more than enough.
One of the best things about discovering I was an introvert was connecting with other like-minded introverts. Making connections with other introverts has been amazing at helping me embrace this part of myself, feeling understood and also being aware of what’s possible if you do embrace this part of yourself.
I also actively seek out examples of introverts who don’t let being introverted hold them back and helped to show you what’s possible when you do this.
This looks like:
∞ Reading self-development books by introverts as I find their approaches resonate with me more.
∞ Keeping an eye out for introverted people who are doing amazing things and not letting their introversion hold them back (I love listening to The League of Extraordinary Introverts podcast for this reason!).
∞ Reading books and watching movies with more-introverted characters.
∞ Taking note of famous people who have done amazing things that are introverts (eg. J.K Rowling, Emma Watson, Brene Brown etc.) and drawing inspiration from them.
Embracing my introverted nature began with a choice.
When I realised that I was letting being introverted hold me back I had one of those not anymore moments, and I decided that in order to show up in all aspects of my life as my best self I needed to wholeheartedly embrace this part of me.
And then everything changed.
Deciding to work with this part of me — instead of against it — and choosing to be empowered by being an introvert has been incredibly powerful.
And now, I’m a devoted to being a walking example of an empowered introvert who isn’t letting their introversion hold them back.
Now, I would LOVE to hear from you: How do you approach embracing your introverted nature? Share away in the comments if you feel called to.
And if you are yet to start embracing your introverted nature and you want to, I recommend starting by bringing your awareness to how you are holding yourself back, like I mentioned in point #1 awareness is so powerful.
And before you go, what I really want you to remember after reading this post is:
Because you really can.
∞ So… I’m an introvert: In this post I’m sharing what being an introvert has been like for me, such as when I first discovered I was introverted and a dot-point history of how this has played out in my life.
∞ Finding your own way to shine: An interview with Katherine Mackenzie-Smith.
∞ What I’ve learnt from Shhh by Katherine Mackenzie-Smith, including a giveaway of this ultimate guide for introverts.
∞ 17 introverts share their insights on how they embrace their introverted nature.
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