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Can you be an Introvert and Confident too?

Introverted people do not need to struggle with confidence.

Many introverted people feel they struggle with confidence and grow up thinking like there’s something wrong with them because society seems to value extroverts more than introverts, this can have a knock on effect with an individuals self-esteem.

Firstly lets have a look at the differences between introversion and extroversion.

Introversion is not about a lack of confidence but about characteristics of our personality that are more stimulated by internal thought rather than external action and interaction that our extroverted friends favour.

When people think about introverts they generally think about people that are shy or socially quiet and extroverts as being the life and soul of the party who are always confident in social situations. Part of this is true, but it is not the whole picture, this labelling is not an exact science either, we cant simply label someone just because they are quiet in social situations as an introvert neither can we assume that extroverts are naturally confident.

The difference between introversion and extroversion is where our personalities feel the most comfortable and receive the most positive energy. Introverts lose their energy if they are around too many people for long periods of time, whereas extroverts gain energy from being surrounded by other people. Extroverts find their energy sapped if they are on their own for too long but they recharge by being social.

There is also a spectrum to introversion and extroversion, no-one is 100% an introvert neither 100% an extrovert. The terms introversion and extroversion were popularized by Carl Jung and he quotes:

“‘There is no such thing as a pure introvert or extrovert. Such a person would be in the lunatic asylum’. – Carl Jung”

Carl Jung came up with the introvert and extrovert terminology, he advised that the majority of people fall somewhere in the middle and not to the extremes……there is a name for people that fall in the middle and these types of people fall under the name of ‘ambivert’.

And as we are creatives I just want to share another perspective – According to researcher Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: he quotes “If there is one word that makes creative people different from others, it is the word complexity. Instead of being an individual, they are a multitude.” Creative people are both introverted and extroverted, but at different times.

I would describe myself as an introverted creative but with extroverted tendancies in certain situations. I was in corporate sales for over 25 years and I do not mind admitting I was good, I was top sales person in all of my corporate roles but I was still an introvert although I tapped into my extroverted traits when required. So remember as I mentioned before the ‘introvert – extrovert’ is on a spectrum and its not static, you can go up and down that spectrum at different times.

Lets move on now to ‘Confidence’……..Can Introverted Creatives be Confident?

The answer to that question is ‘heck yeah’!

Let me ask you a question firstly – What is your perspective of confidence? Do you see it as a skill to be mastered or a pre-determined gene given to you by your parents?

Do you have the same level of confidence of your mother or father? Or have you grown in new ways that have pushed you beyond your parents level of confidence?

Lets have a look at what confidence is defined to be.

“Confidence (noun) = A feeling of self-assurance arising from an appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.” – Oxford Dictionary.

When I was young I used to think that being confident was a trait only the successful, rich, popular and extroverted people acquired and that I thought they were cocky with it too. Thankfully I’ve grown from that way of thinking, my mind-set has evolved and I’ve now embraced my own inner introverted confidence.

There is a misconception (that many introverts spend time worrying about) and that misconception is the feeling that they need to become more extroverted in order to be truly confident. This simply isn’t true.

The first step to gaining confidence is to begin to know yourself and to really accept who you are now and who you are to become. We are continuously growing into our best selves and evolving throughout life, when we give ourselves permission to accept unconditional love for ourselves the authentic confidence will begin to grow inside of you naturally. You really can be both introverted and confident.

We need to adopt the mindset that our intelligence, personality, and strengths are not fixed, they are not cast in stone or unchangeable, believe that with hard work, practice, and experience we can take ourselves wherever we want to go with our reignited authentic confidence.

Another thing…..you do not need to be more extroverted to believe in yourself, you just need to give yourself permission to be YOU, your wonderful unique YOU. Embrace your unique abilities and qualities, not those of someone else, or those of an extrovert for that matter.

True self-confidence has nothing to do with other people, it has everything to do with you. It doesn’t have to do with being “the best” at something or how you compare to others in any way, shape or form.

Self-confidence derives from you being happy and wholly content with who you are, regardless of anyone else.

So start now – believe in your strengths, qualities, personality, values, beliefs etc………become you and enjoy your introverted confidence.

““Accept everything about yourself – I mean everything. You are you and that is the beginning and the end – no apologies, no regrets.” – Clark Moustakas.”

Originally published at www.claire-fagan.com

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