From the many conversations I’ve had over the years with introverts, there are three areas where quieter people say they feel invisible, unappreciated or internally conflicted.
The Quiet Achiever in an Extroverted Workplace:
You are that solid and reliable team member, a quiet achiever who says little in meetings. Perceived as reticent, reserved, sometimes socially awkward and aloof, especially to those who don’t know you well.
You can be passive in advocating for yourself, naively trusting that actions speak louder than words, and people should be able to see your good work without you having to talk about it (because talking about your accomplishments feels like bragging, which goes against your value of humility).
- Being talked over by louder voices during meetings and discussions.
- Being perceived as a quiet achiever rather than a leader or influencer.
- Being labelled as reserved, “too quiet”, not having much to say.
- Feeling unseen and under-appreciated.
The Conflicted Visionary:
You have an idea or vision that you care deeply about and want to turn into reality, but you struggle to make it happen because of internal roadblocks and resistance.
You are great at coming up with inspired ideas for writing the book, creating the online course, launching the business, but you never get to the finished product, due to several reasons: a lack of focus, discipline, systems, self-belief, and your steadfast refusal to do things you dislike.
Ex: you believe that sales is sleazy and marketing is another word for manipulation, so you refuse to do either, which means no one gets to hear about your wonderful idea (or your business), and no one can buy from you or work with you.
To avoid the hard or uncomfortable work, you tend to procrastinate, overthink, doubt your abilities, and go on endless quests for more information and more qualifications, because if only you know one more thing or gain one more certificate, you will finally know enough to succeed.
You get no results from the action you fail to take.
When you don’t get results, you tell yourself:
- “I always knew I am not the entrepreneurial type.”
- “It works for other people but not for me.”
- “I am not smart enough”.
The Professional Migrant Woman:
Having left behind a successful professional career and a network of friendships, family and work connections in your home country, you are starting over again on many levels.
You are now older, perhaps married with children, which means added home responsibilities and increased financial obligations. You are more tired, have less time to yourself, and have come close to burnout and fatigue from constantly sacrificing your health and wellbeing for others or work.
While you help your family integrate quickly into the new environment, you put your career on hold.
Then when you are ready to re-enter the workforce, you discover to your horror that you can’t just resume your career where you left off.
You have to prove yourself all over again, either going through the process to gain recognition of your overseas qualifications, or going back to uni. This means more studying, more costs, and less time for family and yourself.
You are also grappling with how the new culture works and how to fit in and feel that you belong.
Culturally, you grew up in a conservative Asian family where your individual needs and preferences came second to the collective needs of the family. You excelled at complying with social and family values, expectations, and norms and were the classic Good Girl. Pleasing others is second nature. Speaking up for yourself and asking for what you want is alien to you. As an introvert, you feel guilty and apologetic even when you are right to speak up.
Trying to work out —
- who you were with your cultural and emotional baggage and former professional identity,
- who you are now as a migrant woman in a host country, and
- who you could be, if you exercise the freedom to fully express yourself.
Where to from here?
What you are looking for is a pathway home to your best self.
One that sits well with your head, heart and spirit,
is sustainable and honest,
and that allows you to be yourself fully and freely — without apology, blame, or long explanations.
It is freedom and peace of mind you seek.
The pathway home begins with a conversation. Schedule yours here.