Invaluable tools to soothe your mind and warm your heart
Many introverts find these 5 tools invaluable. They help temper our introspective voice, embrace our true wonderful selves, and boost our self-confidence.
Check out the links in each section for articles, websites, and other resources to help you get started.
Which are you using regularly? Which will you start today?
Writing down your thoughts, fears, celebrations, and plans can be calming and uplifting. As introverts, we have lots of thoughts swirling around in our heads. Regardless of whether they are happy or worrying thoughts, it's good to deal with them so they don't get overwhelming.
Journaling is custom-built. You can journal daily, weekly, or whenever you start to feel overwhelmed. You can write for a set period of time or pages but I prefer to just write until my mind feels satisfied. You can celebrate a meeting done well, socializing efforts, your initiative to monitor and manage your energy level, get worries of upcoming activities off your mind, or whatever moves you. Journaling acknowledges your thoughts so you can move on.
Try to start your journaling with a positive. Give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back. Daily affirmations are so powerful in replacing the common internal critiques with confirmation of your value and efforts. Finally, be sure you keep your journal safe and secure. Confidentiality will release you to journal freely about anything.
I first employed a calendar in my early days of working to note my meetings - pretty simple. I found later that the calendar can be so much more.
It is like the hub for us introverts. Generally, we like to plan out our days and prep for big events like meetings, projects, and socials. So the calendar is not just to record meetings and appointments, but it is to block out prep time with others and by ourselves. Often, if we don't do that, our calendar gets full with obligations without any time to actually prepare. Being unprepared can definitely throw us off our game.
Ultimately, I realized calendars serve an even higher purpose. Introverts, by definition, need to reenergize throughout the day. Meetings, socials, contentious discussions can be in our wheelhouse, but they zap our energy quickly. Rather than wait until the end of the day, we need to inject recharging time during the day. Take a walk before a meeting, reward yourself with a lunch out alone after a project, take some time to collect yourself with ten minutes of journaling, meditation, reading, or music before a work or family social.
Calendars link closely with planners. Planners help you prepare for those activities you control and thus may help identify and release those activities you don't control. Be sure you provide ample time on your calendar to tackle each item in your planner/daily task list.
Putting these blocks on your calendar helps you recognize you are priority #1. Just 10 minutes can boost your energy so you can continue to perform at peak level during the day. Own your time. Service your needs. Maintain your calendar.
I steered away from meditation for years - too woo-wooey for me, I thought. Finally, I tried after several friendly testimonials, but I struggled. My impression was I was to lose all thoughts, tasks, and worries, and lift myself to a higher plane. I had no idea how to do that. When I found a comfortable, quiet place and closed my eyes with soothing music in the background or a meditation app guiding me, I couldn't help but focus on whatever remained on my mind. I thought I was doing it wrong and quit shortly thereafter.
This year I took a secular Buddhist online class and surmised that meditation is whatever you want or need it to be at the time. It is your special time, a gift to yourself. So if you need to work through some issues, what better way than in a quiet, comfortable place, with eyes closed and no interruptions?
If you want to just focus on breathing or share some positive affirmations with yourself - fantastic. So now I meditate my way two or three times a week, usually in the morning to start my day off calm, relaxed, and refreshed. And if perhaps I have sorted through my biggest worry or have patted myself on the back in the process, even better. I'm not sure that's what others intended or find in meditation - but does that really matter? It works for me. Try it sometime!
This may sound strange for introverts who generally covet personal alone time, but having the company of a confidante is a critical tool for your success and happiness.
This is not just a casual friend, though they can be helpful. This can be a spouse or significant other, a very close friend, a trusted member of the clergy, or a paid therapist. A confidante is someone you can trust. They know you. They understand who you are, including your introversion. They give you the space to be quiet. They listen as you sort out issues and worries in your head, and provide caring constructive feedback and guidance when warranted.
If we live in our own personal vacuum, we will often suffer. We need outlets. That's really the purpose of many of these tools, and a confidante is perhaps the most important though the most difficult for us to cultivate. It requires patience to find and develop the relationship, and most importantly it requires vulnerability - to open up when we prefer to just stew on our own issues inside. But confiding in another will invite new ideas, purge debilitating fears and worries, and boost your confidence along the way.
I've found a distinct pattern of curiosity and an insatiable desire to learn amongst most introverts. I think it soothes our natural inquisitiveness while distracting us from stewing on the same old issues.
So keep feeding that curiosity. Make time for reading. Plan your next vacation by looking into the history of the area. Learn what team members and other co-workers do. Use this appetite for learning to be curious of others - who they are, what are their hobbies, what drives them. This helps reframe social events into learning opportunities.
But also keep exploring yourself. Introversion is frustrating when it's just a label or is subject to misleading myths like loner, anti-social, narcissistic. So check out blogs and books to help expand your knowledge of you. You can embrace your great and wonderful powers. Join over 1500 who have taken our Introvert Talent Quiz to discover your greatest strengths and how you can use and grow them to tackle your greatest obstacles.
These 5 tools can help us all embrace our introversion and ultimately who we truly are.
So pick 1 today that you want to focus on. Put it on your calendar and discover a new skill - just for you!
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WORLD INTROVERT DAY IS JANUARY 2ND.
I'LL PROVIDE SOME THOUGHT-PROVOKING MATERIAL
ALONG WITH SOME FREEBIES AND BOOK SPECIALS SO STAY TUNED!
Kickoff the new year with a new approach...
The Corporate Introvert: How to Lead and Thrive with Confidence is available now!
The Corporate Introvert compiles stories and strategies to help introverts embrace their true selves and empower themselves to champion meetings, networking, and team leadership with the strengths & passions that reside at your core.
Whether you are a frustrated introverted veteran of corporate culture, a new or aspiring corporate leader, or even an extrovert seeking to best collaborate with a more diverse workplace, The Corporate Introvert can make an immediate difference in your work life, your level of confidence, and your personal joy.
Available as an eBook, paperback, and now hardback too.
World Introvert Day is January 2nd:
What phase of introversion are you in?
PLUS: Get your free "Ask an Introvert" booklet
and January 5th:
Stop the internal strife between embracing yourself and chasing your ambitions