Do you prefer a quiet night at home to going out on the town? Do you wear headphones partially because you don’t want to talk to people anymore today? Do you believe cell phones are for you to be able to reach out to others, but not the other way around? If you said yes to most of these, you might be an introvert.
As a public speaker, blogger, and school administrator, I’m in the spotlight a lot. Only those closest to me understand that I’m actually an introvert at heart. Most would never know it because I’m not shy. I’ve also been involved in public speaking for 17 years and seem to do it with great ease and confidence.
What they don’t know is that I am the world’s worst at responding to text messages. I still get nervous before I speak to crowds. I often wear headphones to the grocery store. I’m not trying to be rude, but after helping people all day, my tank is empty.
In life, you are either energized by your proximity to people or drained. Introverts, like myself, still love people, but they tend to leave me with an empty bucket at the end of the day. Introverts feel more energized when left alone than at any other time.
If you’re like me, you run the danger of entering into your comfort zone and only coming out when you have to…To make a Starbucks run or grab some groceries!
But all kidding aside, you really are doing yourself and others a disservice by not ripping off your warmups and getting in the game. Here are my top three reasons that you need to quit using introversion as an excuse to seclude yourself.
1. Being sociable increases your ability to make money. Our economy rewards human connectedness. Why? Whether services or products, you will always sell one or the other to someone for something they have and you want. By being sociable, you open doors that never were possible before.
People need to know you, to see your integrity firsthand, to like you, and to trust you. This is how business opportunities emerge. I can honestly say that every job I’ve ever held has been because I was able to build this level of trust with someone who was a decision maker.
2. Your purpose is discovered in serving others. Life isn’t about you. Legacies are left for men and women who made their mark in the hearts of other humans. As you do things for others, ANYTHING at all, your purpose will gradually come into focus.
3. You have something the world needs to hear. You may not even be sold on this idea yourself at this point, but I hope you think about it some more. Your message, your service, your product can be the difference in someone’s life. But the only way it will impact that first person is for you to get out there and start making connections.
Putting yourself out there will feel very uncomfortable. Honestly, it will be exhausting. But to ignore this truth is to risk your own personal and professional success.
You can overcome your shyness because you have the freedom to choose. As a human, choice is a fundamental gift. Make a choice today and each day to take a risk. Pour yourself out to others, then take your rest in silence and solitude.
QUESTION: What is holding you back from getting in the game?
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