When the topic of self-employment comes up, I hear two common responses:
- “That’s too hard so I won’t even try.” or
- “I should be able to get something going within a few months, or else it’s a failure.”
Neither is grounded in reality. There’s such an odd mythology around self-employment, perhaps because people don’t talk about what goes on behind closed doors.
Here’s what I think is true about self-employment, in a nutshell.
I just saw the movie, RBG. It’s a must-see! You’ll get to see an example of a powerful, confident, and courageous introverted woman, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
I’m so inspired! It helped to restore my hope. I need that during these times. Don’t you?
RBG, as she is affectionately called by her many fans, is a good example of someone living true to herself and her values, and willing to face the heat of those who don’t want to listen to her opinions.
It’s not easy to be yourself in a culture that is so judgmental, and sometimes cruel. It can be easier to keep our mouths shut. But then, a deeper part of us wants more. Right? Continue reading
I have a fellow introvert friend named Emma who reminds me of me when I was younger, in all the good ways. Quiet, thoughtful, curious about everything, and adventurous in her own way. (Actually I wish I had been more like her brave self.)
She always raises such good questions, so I enjoy our email conversations about navigating our way in the world as introverts who want to have a say in things.
Often she asks questions that I hear many introverts asking. This particular question shown below is so classic. If you’re introverted, you have heard this many times:
“You’re so quiet” or “Why are you being so quiet?”
Sound familiar? It’s just one version of something that can be about looking down on our introverted nature.
So I asked Emma for permission to share our conversation here, and she said yes. It addresses a common concern for introverts in a way that felt so useful. I wanted to share it with you in case it helps you too.
One of the main worries I hear from introverts sounds like this:
“How am I supposed to put myself out there when I’m too introverted for that?”
“How can I move towards what I want when it feels overwhelming just thinking about it?”
Have you said anything like that to yourself?
I’m an introvert too and I know I’ve said those things. Luckily, I have learned through experience that phrases like “I’m too introverted for that” or “I won’t be able to handle it” are false. Not just for me, but false for all of us. I’m not saying you need to become someone other than yourself either. In fact, don’t do that! It won’t help or feel good. I’ll explain.
The truth is that you don’t have to get overwhelmed or drained when you go for something you want. No matter if you’re introverted, extroverted, or in between. Really.
Our human brains play a trick on us, trying to keep us safe, by telling us that if we leave the comfort zone of the known, we’ll freak out or get overwhelmed, like in the image below. So we feel stuck and we stop moving forward. It’s very common to get stuck right there.
This is what your brain tries to tell you, to stop you in your tracks: “Don’t leave the comfort zone or else.”
I’ll explain in the video below with a simple diagram that will give you a big Aha moment. (Making the video was outside my comfort zone so you can watch me facing my discomfort zone in real life.)
I think we all tend to confuse extroversion with confidence. So let’s re-think it.
I’m an introvert and when I speak up confidently about something, people sometimes say, “You must be an extrovert.”
Hey, I can be an introvert AND be confident and out-spoken. (I can hear my confident introverted friend Jenn saying “Hell yeh.”)
Do you think introversion and confidence can go together? Think about it.
I was painfully shy in the past and I’m not anymore… but I’m still an introvert.
I believe that no matter how shy or anxious you might feel in certain social situations, there’s a way to find more ease and confidence. And you can still be an introvert (which is not the same as shyness). Continue reading