I’ve said before that introversion comes with many strengths. But that’s not what this post is about. Today I want to talk about POWER.
Simply knowing that you are an introvert gives you access to an enormous amount of personal power that would have otherwise lain dormant.
You see, the areas of greatest pain or discomfort in our life are also the areas where we have the most to offer. The dark parts where shame, guilt and fear gather together in shadowy secrecy are the gateways to unlimited potential.
So, all the years that you thought that your quietness was holding you back, it was actually strengthening you. Each day that you felt ashamed of your introverted personality provided a path to reclaiming your power.
Why discomfort = power
Think of your feelings of discomfort and even pain as bright flashing lights pointing you in the direction of growth and happiness. If you dive down deep and follow these feelings into the dark places you’ve avoided, you’ll find their original source. You’ll see that they had a beginning. And they can have an end, too.
Face the darkest parts of your personality and you’ll realize that every shadow within you enhances the light. The deepest shade of shame has as much power and permanency as a passing cloud.Tweet this
Your past experiences have no power over you. Other people’s opinions have no power over you.
I know this is all sounding a bit abstract, so let’s get literal and break things down into actionable steps.
5 steps to reclaiming your introvert power
1. Recognize when you are feeling discomfort related to your introversion. Perhaps this will feel like guilt about saying ‘no’ to going out. Or maybe it will come in the form of resentment towards very extroverted people. Whatever the feeling is, take a moment to recognize and acknowledge it.
2. Ask why. Why do I feel this way? Where did these emotions originate? Make a list of all the times in the past when you felt the same way. Try to trace the feelings as far back as you can remember.
3. Acknowledge the payoff. When we give away our power to past experiences or to other people, there is always a perceived payoff for us.
We get to avoid something that we think would be uncomfortable. Or we get to maintain our current situation (better the devil you know than the devil you don’t). Or perhaps we get to feel like we fit in.
When you take a moment to recognize the perceived payoff, you’ll see that it is not actually serving you.
4. Decide what you want instead. The most empowering thing in the world is the ability to choose. And guess what.
You ALWAYS have a choice. Always always always. You can choose to feel embarrassed and guilty about your need to be alone. You can choose to let other people’s opinions shape your existence. You can choose to spend time with people who exhaust you and make you feel like a freak.
Or you can choose to find ways to love yourself. No. Matter. What. You can choose to focus on all the advantages of being an introvert rather than the supposed weaknesses. You can choose to take back your power and live life on your own blissfully introverted terms (hint* choose these things).
5. Find support systems. Many introverts have a difficult time asking for and accepting support. It often feels foreign and unnatural for us to depend on others. But sometimes it is necessary. Talking to other people who understand where we’re coming from lightens our load. This is important because diving deep and reclaiming our power can be a heavy process.
Learning to love your introversion can be a lengthy and difficult process. It takes time to peel back the layers of shame, guilt and anger. I’ve done it. And I consider it to be one of the greatest triumphs of my life. Tapping into the power of my introversion gave me a purpose, a career, a sense of connection.
It also provided a sense of self-love and inner peace that I didn’t know was possible. Now, I strive everyday to help other introverts to do the same. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do this.
If you’d like more help reclaiming your innie power, check out my ebook, The Introvert Revolution: The Quiet Path To Reclaiming Our Power.
Wishing you lots of innie love and POWER in 2015.
I have to say that I do numbers one and two all the time. I’m not big on wallowing in my own sorry so I take every failure or mishap as a lessons learned and then move on. Great writeup.
Good to hear, Jay! 🙂