How to shed negative stigmas and stereotypes and take charge of your dreams
Being an introvert is not always easy. Most of us start off feeling different...which we are. We all are. But our introspective brains dig in deep and we reflect on our differences, compare ourselves to seemingly confident extroverts, and we can shrink under that pressure.
I did this for decades! I was in my mid-40s when I finally began to shed the stigmas and started to discover what introversion truly was and indeed who I truly was. That enabled me to embrace my strengths and apply them to overcome even the most intimidating obstacles like networking, meetings, socials, and leading.
I applaud our many subscribers who have climbed that mountain. I hope Beyond Introversion has contributed to your own evolution and that you continue to find enlightening and empowering resources on our website. In 2023 we will dig deeper, to solidify our strengths and reach our possibilities. And we will hear from many of you through personal guest blogs each month in 2023. Some of those amazing contributors are pictured here!
Whether you are desperately new in your journey or have found a comforting place, I invite you to tap all our resources - blogs, quizzes, books, podcasts, and community resources - to accelerate your own journey.
The Keys in '23
This matrix will be our guide in 2023. But you can't just jump to the top. As much as we all wish to declare our confidence and authenticity and put second-guessing and low self-esteem behind us, it's important to start at the beginning.
Understand the path you took to get here.
Explore the strengths that lie inside.
Discover how to apply those strengths in every facet of your life.
Chart your course toward Contentment and Flourishing.
This self-discovery forms a strong foundation for becoming the best "you."
You will no longer feel uncomfortable in your own skin.
You will no longer feel that being different is a negative.
You will no longer gaze at others and wish for their bravado.
You will no longer feel you must replicate others to succeed.
You will no longer find shame and exhaustion are just part of life.
In 2023 we will go on a journey, from the bottom of the Key Matrix to the top. Along the way we will discover and believe that introversion is not a curse but a blessing.
We can finally recognize that the key is not to change ourselves but to be ourselves.
For those relatively new to Beyond Introversion, this may seem aspirational but impossible. For those that have joined over the last few years, this may sound familiar, but in 2023 we will dive deeper, to reveal the keys to success and open the path to your grandest dreams.
Get Out of Your Own Way
In 2023, my theme is to 'Get Out of My Own Way.' This may seem odd, but I believe my journey over the last few years has helped me build the tools to remove my greatest self-doubts and inhibitions, lean on the confidence I now have, and reach new heights. In a word...to FLOURISH.
My greatest fear for decades has been public speaking. I expect growing up as a shy, socially anxious, introvert led me to have little faith in my public speaking abilities. Sure, I gave the required speeches in school and presentations at work. But I don't think I was very engaging or impactful, besides which, it scared me to death.
In fact, even when I explored my own deepest secrets and learned about the writing and publishing world, I failed to really stand tall and share my message with others. I was proud to have published a book and found the process of writing that memoir, In Search of Courage, quite therapeutic, but I was not equipped to market the book to others. However, I did start the journey, and that is what it takes...to start.
I was reaching out through my blogs and social media and I finally started to guest on podcasts in early 2020. I was so nervous those first several and in fact, remain a bit queezy today. But over the years and dozens of podcasts, I've realized "I've got this!" I know my stuff, I can answer most any question, and I have an important message to share that may just help someone else out. You can do this too! You have a message to share...a purpose.
For me, this journey continued in 2021 and especially in 2022 as I began marketing my second book, The Corporate Introvert, and getting out from behind the pen and Zoom podcasts and into the post-pandemic world. This past year I built the courage to share with introverts on college campuses and one-on-one. Here again, I was nervous, but I pushed through it and found these experiences as strong building blocks.
In 2022 I also joined a local Toastmasters Club, something I never thought I would do. The Club and supportive members have provided me with the platform to build my confidence. I've also realized I don't have to be the most dynamic orator. If I know my stuff, lean on my networking intimacy principles (small groups, short durations, familiar places), I can share important stories and strategies to help others. The warm feeling inside afterward far outweighs the trepidation beforehand.
So in 2023, I'm making the next major step. I want to share the keys to going beyond with the introvert community, to continue to make a difference. I want to share my newest book, The Essential Guide for Families with Down Syndrome, through conferences and Down syndrome association tours. If I allow myself to get lost in my head, I could convince myself never to do any of this. But when I remind myself of the need for this information and that I am an important vehicle for conveying these stories, then the natural initiative many introverts feel forced to quelch is set free, and I move forward despite apprehensions.
So that is my goal in 2023...to get out of my own way. To have faith in my strengths and the importance of my message to introverts who are on their own journey, and to families with Down syndrome who are seeking guidance and resources.
This big plan for 2023 has placed a pit in my stomach that will likely take months to settle, but only because of my personal journey over the past few years do I now have the courage and determination to move forward.
What's Your Goal for 2023?
I hope you have lofty goals for yourself in 2023. Not frivolous new year's resolutions, or impossible or overly scary goals, but goals that make a difference for you and perhaps for others. 2023 is not the "end all" for anyone, but just another step on our journey. I could not be forging into 2023 without the steps I took over the last few years. You can get to your biggest goals by building on each year. You might not even know where you want to be in 5 years, but if you are learning and building confidence and direction based on your own authenticity, then your path will find you.
So, what is your goal for 2023?
Take Our 3 Insightful Quizzes Today
Phases of Introversion
What phase are you in and how can you accelerate toward Contentment and Flourishing?
Introvert Talent (Superpowers)
What are your greatest introvert strengths and how can you use them at work, at home, and socially?
Are you applying your strengths to be an authentic and confident leader?
Each quiz is quick, free, confidential, and includes instant results with helpful, customized insights just for YOU!
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The Questions Introverts Ponder and The Answers Extroverts Need to Hear
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The Questions Introverts Ponder
The Answers Extroverts Need to Hear
Introversion often feels so alone; many assume no one else could feel this way. This book contains many of the questions that have been asked, often by introverts trying to understand this personality trait that can at times govern our lives.
I also hear from many introverts struggling to share their introversion with family, friends, and co-workers, either out of fear or just not having the words. This booklet can serve to educate others to understand better the many strengths and talents we have to share.
I hope you will find this booklet an informative read and reference book with a splash of light-heartedness and inspiration as well. I invite you to start with the questions you are most curious about and share them from there.
We will begin at the bottom of the Key's Matrix above with "Unaware" and "Uninformed," the first 2 phases of introversion. We've all been there - feeling different and unsure. We will break these down and provide the keys to moving through these phases. Won't you join me?