We don't have to do this alone
We've all heard many say humans are people of community. We need interactions with others to thrive and grow.
Like many of you, as an introvert who has struggled most of my life to feel comfortable in the company of others, I've often denied this assertion. And yet even I, who stayed away from small talk with others, chose lunch alone, and literally shook at industry conferences and cocktail hours for decades, found myself hailing the many people I worked with at my retirement party a few years ago. In advance of that event, even I reflected upon my 30 years largely with a warm feeling for the people I led, the teammates I went to battle with in the rugged oil trading industry, and the strangers I mentored for years to help pass on my experiences in hopes of making their work journey successful.
Since my retirement, I've found a sense of relaxation and comfort in clinging to my tight-knit family and reveling in the solitude of my new writing profession.
Yet even just a few years down my author journey, I again find a degree of warmth, camaraderie, and pride in the relations I've built with blog and book fans, book endorsers, podcast hosts, and fellow authors who so freely offer their sage advice and support.
This pattern forces me to acknowledge that even I, an ardent introvert, thrive and need community.
Oh, it is not the raucous parties with a long list of Rolodex friends our fellow extroverts crave. I have resolved myself to the glory of a small yet more endearing group of people which we introverts often foster.
But this circle, this community, is indeed necessary.
We are but human. We have fears and dreams, ambitions and worries. Most of the time they are locked in a frequent replay in our minds. We sulk about our misgivings and our shortcomings at meetings or socials. We plot our forward path with the wonder of how we could learn and pave such a new course in the comfort of our loneliness.
Many of us are trapped in this solo journey, but some of us form tight-knit support groups to empty our heads of our thoughts and remorse so we can make better sense of things past and grow to succeed in dreams forward.
Our support team often includes a nucleus of our immediate family followed by a ring of confidantes that may include a close friend or two, clergy, or a therapist, finally accompanied by a smattering of acquaintances. While perhaps not so tightly bound that we share intimate fears and dreams, we do exchange some level of information and rapport that each of us needs. We tend to have something unique in common - a hobby, a work project, or an experience that ties us together without ever a formal declaration.
It is this conglomeration of relationships that helps us find happiness, pride, and confidence in life, while also enabling us to find peace and embrace our own introversion. Without this community, the seeds of self-doubt can often overtake us, and our dreams become distant unattainable wishes.
Missed Opportunity to Lead
One of my biggest regrets from my 30-year corporate work life is that, though I led many teams and mentored dozens of younger staff, I never shared my introversion with others. In fact, when I shared my plan to write a book about my introversion with my co-workers at my retirement party, stillness crept over the room as they did not believe I could be such a person - an introvert, or a writer for that matter.
I had hidden my true self for decades - and quite well apparently. While this mask may have helped advance my career, I realized soon after that I had missed the opportunity to foster true relationships with the many I have worked alongside.
And specifically, I regret I didn't share my introversion with others to aid them on their own journey, a journey I knew could bring torment to those less aware and confident. When I discovered about half of the population and workplaces are introverts, it underscored the opportunity lost to embrace those like me and perhaps help them accelerate their own journey, to be part of their inner circle.
Three years of researching and writing blogs and books have helped me discover that this is indeed my purpose and passion. I needn't regret the missed opportunities to mentor other introverts in my corporate days. I can now do just the same from my new bully pulpit.
Built for Introverts
This year I'm embracing this purpose full-throttle and have envisioned a new avenue for such support and sharing - a virtual Introvert's Mentoring Circle. For all those who are searching for a community of like-minded people, this mentoring circle will provide an introvert-friendly and confidential forum to learn more about introversion, discover our common strengths, and explore how to employ them in often challenging situations like meetings, management relationships, networking, and leadership.
There are many mastermind groups popping up and frequent opportunities to employ a life coach, but I'd like to offer a small, safe introvert community with 8-12 people. We will gather weekly for six weeks to learn together and share common work issues and problem-solve our own challenges so that the results are immediate and impactful.
This program, this helping hand or introvert's community, kicks off October 6th and continues every Tuesday at 8 pm US Eastern Time thereafter to mid-November.
There is a $100 per person fee for this 6-week course. This forum will be an economical investment in your own development. This can change how you approach work challenges and enable you to reset career goals to be more in line with your dreams and the aspirations that perhaps you felt were out of reach.
Each participant will also receive a copy of my new leadership book, The Corporate Introvert: How to Lead and Thrive with Confidence, which launches this October.
I encourage everyone to find their community. If you think our Introvert Mentoring Circle is for you, please check out our website and consider registering today. Spaces are limited. Your voice is welcome here.
For more information and to register now, please click here.
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