It hurts my heart when I hear how introverts are going around with a big knot in their stomach because they’re “showing up” for their business in ways that aren’t right for their introvert nature. Instead they’re psyching themselves up to go out and fake extroversion.
If you’ve ever faked extroversion, you know how much energy that takes. Yeah, you can do it, but you feel a bit off-center. You feel hyper-alert about what you’re saying and how you’re coming across. For example, you become aware that you need to smile more. You pay attention so you can catch yourself when your face gets that inward look that’s normal for introverts but comes across to others as unfriendly.
One reason I feel so strongly about this issue is because I noticed that when we fake extroversion and act outside our authentic nature, we don’t shine. Instead, our battery gets drained – and it shows!
And here’s the thing: When we do something where we don’t shine – but the extroverts around us ARE shining because they’re in their natural element – then guess who’s going to “win” by attracting new business?
And the big thing I noticed is that what’s outside the introvert’s Comfort Zone is INSIDE the extrovert’s Comfort Zone! So all those big networking events and conferences introverts been forcing themselves to attend – extroverts look forward to those things – because those events are inside their Comfort Zone!
So why do introverts fake extroversion?
For many introverted women, faking extroversion becomes their “normal” in their corporate job. They develop an extrovert persona. They may even score as an extrovert on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) at work.
This happened to a woman I know who left the corporate world to become a consultant. She told me that when she took the MBTI at work, she answered according to what she knew was expected. She had high ambitions of succeeding in the corporate world, so when she scored as an extrovert, she ignored the niggling feeling that this wasn’t representative of who she really is.
She says she didn’t want to think too much about it because the workplace expectation was “You need to be an extrovert to fit in and succeed in our organization.” Yet on a fundamental level, she felt disquiet. She did well, “coping” as a closet introvert, but it took a toll.
Yes, you can develop an extrovert persona. But at what cost?
- Lots of energy gets tied up in keeping up the persona.
- It’s exhausting to be an extrovert if that’s not your nature.
- Dissatisfaction from failing to “thrive” eventually leads to illness or quitting.
Realize that “being authentic” is what people buy or hire. You want a good fit, whether it’s interviewing for a position or talking to a prospect for your business, so you need to convey your authentic nature. Once you embrace your strengths and gifts as an introvert, you’ll feel good about being yourself.
There’s nothing wrong with you as an introvert – in fact you’re wonderfully complex and creative. It’s how your brain is wired.
I want to give you hope by reassuring you that you don’t have to stuff yourself into the extrovert paradigm, feeling divorced from your authentic self.
How would you like to:
- Let go of shame around being an introvert and start honoring who you truly are?
- Move from coping to thriving using your natural strengths?
- Strategize from inside your personal Comfort Zone based on your skillsets and introvert needs?
If you have a solopreneur business as a consultant, coach, etc. – or are still in the workforce and are contemplating getting out and creating a solopreneur business – I’ve created an inspiring and practical workbook you can download so you can thrive as a solopreneur. You can get it here: How to Succeed as an Introverted Solopreneur (Without Ever Faking Extroversion)