The Shy Introvert
Extraversion and introversion
Today I want to talk to you about some of the mystery and misconception over extraversion and introversion. Some people think that being one way or the other is limiting – If I’m an extravert I can’t be or do certain things, and if I’m an introvert I can’t be or do certain things. I want to put that to rest, because sometimes it’s used to stop you from getting out there and going after what you love, living an extraordinary life as opposed to a life where you think that’s all that is possible for you.
Carl Jung, the father of psychology, came up with the model of introversion and extraversion. If you get energy from being with friends, from being around people, then chances are you’re an extravert. If, on the other hand, you get energy by being alone – when you want to regroup you spend some time with yourself – you’re more likely to be an introvert.
It has nothing to do with shyness
It has nothing to do with shyness. Some people come to me and say, ‘I could never do that. I could never be bold enough to step outside of my comfort zone, because I’m an introvert and I’m just born with that, so what can I do?’
Well, that’s just not true. Introversion will never hold you back. Look at some of the great introverts in our society – Barack Obama, Steven Spielberg, Mahatma Gandhi, Al Gore, Meryl Streep, Steve Jobs. These people changed the world, and they’re all introverts. What they were able to do was speak up when they were passionate about something. They weren’t shy.
Shyness is something different all together. You can be a shy introvert or a shy extravert. Shyness is a fear of judgement. It’s a fear of being out in front of people. What will they think of me? What will they say? What if I fail? What will that mean for me? That’s what shyness is, and that comes from limiting beliefs about who you are.
Don’t hide behind a label
So, the message for this newsletter is don’t hide behind introversion and extraversion. There are plenty of successful people in either camp. Neither one will hold you back. In fact, they both have strengths that you can use to find your way, to find your passion, to live an extraordinary life. But if you’re shy, that’s totally different. Do some work to drop off some of those ideas that have you fearing what people think of you, because in the end the only judge that really matters is you. And you’ll be the harshest judge you ever have.
Allow yourself to shine
The challenge for us is to allow ourselves to shine. As Nelson Mandela said in his inauguration speech, ‘What we fear most is the light within and what we could become.’
So, the challenge for you if you’re feeling shy? Undo some of those ideas, and burst out and be who you are.
More details shortly.
The Gift – As a Man Thinketh audiobook
Mind is the Master power that moulds and makes,
And Man is Mind, and evermore he takes
The tool of Thought, and, shaping what he wills,
Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills: —
He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass:
Environment is but his looking-glass.
James Allen is one of the pioneers of modern inspirational thought. His most famous book, As a Man Thinketh, was published in 1902. It is now considered a classic self-help book. Its underlying premise is that “Men do not attract what they want, but what they are.”
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