In conversations with my introvert community members, these thoughtful nuggets were shared:
1. It is easier to promote someone else’s material / program than our own. We are happy to recommend another’s service if we like it, but the moment we are asked about our business, we stumble and stutter and lose our ability to be articulate.
2. Talking about ourselves and our strengths or why we do what we do feels awkward and strenuous.
3. We believe in the purpose of the work we do and the difference we make in people’s lives, but wish we didn’t have to also be the one to tell the world about it. Why can’t people find out for themselves?
4. Even though we are coming from a place of integrity and service, selling, marketing and promoting ourselves – be it through networking events, social events or when writing up our websites and social media profiles – still feels icky, as if letting people know this is what we do for a living and having to explain why it matters, somehow feels not quite professional (or not as professional as saying “I am an accountant / lawyer / web developer”).
No matter how many helpful books, programs and resources are out there, we will not resolve this introvert dilemma until we have addressed the deeper issues around worthiness that many introverts face.
Some of it can be traced back to early conditioning around perfection and performance that has somehow become entwined with our identity and sense of self-worth.
“Do it once and do it right.”
“If you want to do something, you have to do it yourself.”
“Anything less than an A is not good enough.”
We may have been surrounded by authority figures who instilled in us that it was immodest to talk about our successes and shameful to let others know about our failures and mistakes.
So we hid our light under our bushel, and buried our failures and mistakes.
Yet everyone has experienced both – and we need these conversations to be normalised in our daily interactions so that we become acclimatised early on to the realities of life, and so that we can learn from lived experience (ours and others’).
When we have a strong sense of self-love and self-worth and are able to appreciate our unique value and contributions and detach from artificial notions of what is the right or acceptable or admirable thing to do or to be at our age and stage of life, we will be freed to be more enthusiastic and less restrained when asked –
What do you do for a living and why?
What makes you a great _________?
Who do you work with?
Where do you see your business in 5 years?