I used to hide the fact that I was an introvert because ever since I can remember, I had been told that being introverted was bad. Whether the messaging was coming from close friends and family, or news articles I read (even television shows I was a fan of), I remember thinking that introverts were less-than when compared to extroverts. Of course, all of that noise is completely, and utterly, false. Introvert or extrovert, we all deserve the same amount of respect and appreciation as the next human being, because that is exactly what we all are: human beings. We are all the same at the most basic level.
The first confrontation I had with myself regarding my introverted traits was about the time I started realizing that I prefer being alone as opposed to constantly being in the company of others. Do not get me wrong, I appreciate every moment I spend with my family and friends, as do most people; however, I cherish “me-time” quite a bit as well. As an introvert, I find comfort in being alone in my head-space, which inadvertently grants me the permission to be creative and thoughtful with my life choices. The most endearing and empowering moments in my life have been a result of my embraced introverted personality.
I urge any introvert to take the time to explore his or her inner strengths as a person. The most important aspect of embracing the introvert inside is to first get to know that person on a very personal level. One might say “I know myself well, thank you very much”, and I say perhaps not as well as one might think. After weeks of spending more quality time with myself, I began to realize that my previous perceptions of who I thought I was, and what I was capable of, were much different than whom I actually am. In fact, I came to the realization that I can be much stronger and lead a much fuller life once I have accepted the person I truly am. Being introverted is nothing to be ashamed of, as I once thought. I suppose old patterns are at times difficult to shake, and external messaging is often times outside of our reach when it comes to the empowerment of introverts. Regardless of the level of difficulty involved in accepting myself as an introvert, I whole-heartedly believe that any obstacle set upon me is meant to create a challenge that will propel my life in a positive direction.
Challenges in life are important because without challenge, there is hardly any change. Now, this is terrific if change is not desired, yet I sense that a large number of the world population tends to aspire for higher greatness. From my personal experiences, I find that a number of my greatest achievements have arrived shortly after massive challenges in both my personal and professional life.
In addition to embracing one’s introverted traits and welcoming challenges, it is important to remember that being an introvert can be an advantage in a number of situations. As opposed to extroverts, who at times can act spontaneously and may lose focus, introverts are often times capable of extreme focus. This can be especially helpful in situations that require deep thought and observation. Some of the most thoughtful and detail-oriented people I have met have been introverts. This does not mean that all introverts and extroverts behave and think in a certain way because, of course, every person has strengths and weaknesses. The key point to remember is that regardless of our introverted personalities, we can persevere and embrace the qualities that make us great people.
When introverts truly embrace their inner strengths, any goals and objectives begin to seem much closer in range. One’s reality can be drastically altered simply based on their outlook on life and their belief of how much they are capable of. Inner strengths can refer to things such as independent and original thought, creative tendencies, and listening skills among others.
As introverts, we often focus on our own thoughts and feelings rather than the external world. Embracing this part of ourselves can help us excel in life because it provides a solid foundation for our actions and behaviors. Since most tasks that are completed by introverts are carefully considered and planned, the outcome is generally positive. It is important, as well as in everybody’s best interest, to embrace the introvert in society and strive towards the positive recognition of introverts.
In today’s society, it is almost effortless to pick favorites and, although sometimes unintentionally, discriminate against groups that are different than ourselves. Introverts may not fully understand extroverts and vice versa, yet that should not affect how the two parties interact with one another. If we can find ways to embrace our introverted traits, and focus on our strengths, we can further solidify our belonging in a world that is quite extroverted in nature.