It strikes me that these are the two classic paths for introverts. And this description helps explain the connection between introversion, shyness, and anxiety.
Of course real life is not so linear as the models below, but this makes a good bite-sized model. I hope you find this helpful.
The Path of Increasing Pain
If there’s no understanding or consciousness of one’s introverted temperament and how our brains work, introversion can lead to anxiety like in this example:
perfectionism and self-judgment
believing the negative stereotypes about introverts
shyness (fear of being seen as imperfect)
avoidance and/or wearing an extrovert mask
increasing fear and exhaustion
anxiety and low self-esteem ↓
trapped in worsening anxiety and burnout.
Ouch, I’ve been on that path. It didn’t have to be like that. Finally I learned about introversion and that made a huge difference.
This painful path is more likely or worsened in cultures that tend to look down on introversion, such as in the U.S. But even in cultures that support introversion, the introvert’s brain is still prone to over-thinking which can lead to anxiety if left unchecked.
I think you’d be surprised how much clothing comes up when talking with my career and business coaching clients. What is it about what we wear that seems to have such power over us?
Haven’t you put on a nice outfit and you suddenly feel like a million bucks? (Like The Red-Headed Diva shown in the photo.) Conversely, the wrong outfit can ruin your mood.
Sometimes we pretend we’re “above” that fashion stuff (while we secretly watch makeover shows). Let’s forget about judging or questioning it. Instead, let’s take a lesson from the drag queens who know the power of a great outfit!
Want to inspire someone to do something new? Want them to hire you, buy something, follow your lead, become more earth-friendly?
Start by drawing a compelling vision of the future outcome.
Or as Simon Sinek says in this persuasive video (embedded below), start with the WHY. Only then will people listen to the WHAT and HOW.
Sinek gives memorable examples of successful persuasion, from Martin Luther King, Jr., to the success of Apple. If these ideas are at all confusing, take a moment to watch this important video. And at least remember this:
[MLK] gave the ‘I have a dream’ speech, not the ‘I have a plan’ speech. ~Simon Sinek
It’s that time of year for reflection about the last year and the upcoming year. Seth Godin (business and marketing visionary) has provided something to inspire us to focus on What Matters Now.
The world is changing so fast that sometimes it’s hard to know where to focus now, especially if you have your own business and you are considering changing course to keep up with the times.
Seth asked 70 big thinkers to share their version of What Matters Now. It’s captured in an easy-to-browse e-book, including words and pictures. Download “What Matters Now” (PDF) and share it with others. I like how he gets to the heart of the matter, not just basic tips.
This entry from Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, resonates with me:
Dear ones, EASE UP. Pump the brakes. Take a step back. Seriously. Take two steps back. Turn off all your electronics and surrender over all your aspirations and do absolutely nothing for a spell. I know, I know – we all need to save the world. But trust me: The world will still need saving tomorrow. In the meantime, you’re going to have a stroke soon (or cause a stroke in somebody else) if you don’t calm the hell down….Consider actually exhaling.
I think what matters now is that we all get a bit more real. Don’t worry what the neighbors will think. Be you. Speak up for what you care about. Your heart will thank you. The world will thank you.
As a concrete step to begin that, start sharing what matters now for you on your social media updates and business communications. Don’t keep it to yourself.