Updated: Jan 8, 2022
Why "Unabashedly" on a Introvert's website? Because we are tired of being bottled up, of giving a shit about things we shouldn't let take control of our life. Perhaps it's time to lead OUR life!
For years I stifled my thoughts. I ruminated over my concerns. I critiqued myself and most everything I did.
It was self-defeating. It was crippling. It was exhausting.
But in the past couple of years, with the support of family, therapists, coaches, introspective writing, and work managers, I've reflected, become more aware of who I am, and have proudly embraced my self.
I'm shy. I'm an introvert. And I have addictive tendencies. And in part because of those things, I'm also caring, thoughtful, determined, creative, loyal, and a bit silly. Now, I'm striving to live Beyond Introversion. I'm aiming to live UNABASHEDLY.
My amazing writing coach, Roger Leslie, shared that phrase with me. But what does it mean?
Most of us are taught to be unselfish. To think of others first, to give to others, to make space for others' thoughts and perspectives. For a shy, reserved introvert like me, it was easy to embrace this license to recede into the background.
But this alone did not make me happy. Not completely. And I don't think I was the best husband, parent, leader, or co-worker through this approach.
First and foremost, we must take care of ourselves. Be a bit selfish! Being healthy, happy, and self-aware will help us to be strong, supportive, authentic, and confident to both contribute and lead, as well as also to follow and support.
In my quest, I've identified 10 Ways to Live Unabashedly:
Be mindful (aware) of my body- choose to eat what, when, and how much I truly want.
PST! Positive Self Talk- It might sound like malarkey, but instead of talking about my pudgy stomach or the chores I didn't do, I remind myself of my accomplishments, my mindfulness, my happiness. Having a cheerleader inside my head is much better than living with a nagging critic 24/7.
Consider my view/position on topics and then, SHARE- The room needs my voice.
Set big goals- for me: 1) health, 2) family, 3) writing, 4) financial control. Then set 3-5 smaller quarterly goals for each. I put them in my OmniFocus planner so I don't forget. I review my progress periodically and then celebrate success.
Identify what makes me happy- family time, reading, writing - and be sure to carve out time for these. Review bucket lists and hobbies and passions of old!
Exercise flexibility- choose the kind of exercise I like and do as much as I like. Don't run if I don't want to. Don't chase speed and distance markers if I don't want to. Creating a variety and selecting what I want to do is empowering and fun. I'm doing some light running, elliptical, Pilates Reformer, and Yoga every week. Aahhh!
Seek, create, and enjoy social situations I like- I like substantive conversations and game nights with family and small groups of friends. I've probably had more enjoyable 1-on-1 lunches with work friends since I retired than I did in years at work.
Conversely, don't get trapped in social situations I don't like- I have disavowed large cocktail parties with strangers or socials of any size with overpowering, disrespectful people.
No regrets- I don't want to reflect back on a meeting, a party, a relationship, or life in general wishing I'd done something differently. If I adhere to who I am and live unabashedly, I should have no regrets.
Be in the moment and ENJOY- Whatever I'm doing, I'm trying to be in the moment and enjoy it, without regard to what others might think. Truly, why should I care if others look strangely upon my choices. They are my choices - for me. And life is too short.
Like many things, this is a journey. But my Blood Pressure is down to 114/62, my resting Pulse is 45, and my family and friends say they haven't seen my calmer or happier, so I must be doing something right!
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Our Day: saluting a nationally recognized day that celebrates an aspect important to us introverts. September 21st is National Dance Day!
INTROVERTLink: a weekly link to insightful news and views for Introverts. This week's link shares a Be Fully and Unabashedly What You Truly, and Already, Are.
Aspects in Art: an introvert’s perspective on a new piece of inspirational art each month. THIS MONTH'S IS MY FAVORITE COLLAGE...THE TRAVELER!