The longer and more frequently you are exposed to a negative comment, belief or criticism, the easier it is to stop questioning it and to accept it as fact.
Argue for your limitations and you get to keep them.
Negativity has its own force — which can be more powerful than positivity.
Here are some myths about introverts which introverts themselves believe are true, leading them to either modify their behaviour to be more extrovert-like, or to retreat even further into their shell:
“Too quiet. Needs to speak up more.”
“Too reserved and serious.”
“Quiet achiever – yes. Leader …”
“Not good at sales.”
“Doesn’t have the gift of the gab.”
As I like to remind attendees at our in-person trainings, we are responsible for the energy we bring to the room.
An introvert radiates a different kind of energy from an extrovert or ambivert.
We operate from the inside out, feeling more at home in the conversations and reflections in our mind, taking our time to process what we hear before offering an opinion, preferring to listen and observe rather than thinking out loud, preferring the background to being in the spotlight, and relishing 1:1 and one-to-a-few quality interactions.
Instead of unconsciously accepting the labels and judgment of others who may not understand what an introvert is, let’s reframe these into what is true and empowering for ourselves.
Instead of “too quiet” and “needs to speak up more”:
Thoughtful, discerning, speaks with care.
Instead of “too reserved and serious”:
Focuses on quality, meaning, and depth.
Instead of the question mark over whether you really do have leadership attributes:
A thoughtful, detail-oriented leader who is driven by compassion and meaningful connection, makes room for a diversity of ideas and opinions, and creates a safe space for members to express themselves and share ideas.
Instead of “not good at sales”:
An excellent and natural salesperson who truly cares about the customer, takes the time to listen, asks the right questions, and puts all their effort into finding a solution that leaves the customer feeling happy and heard.
Instead of “doesn’t have the gift of the gab”:
Doesn’t say much but when they do, astonish and impress others with their understanding, wisdom, insight, and maturity of thinking.