A solopreneur friend of mine goes to a lot of networking events. Recently she told me that she fakes being extroverted all the time at these events!
“A lot of the other people are extroverts, and I feel I have to meet them on their own terms,” she said. “So I act jovial, smile real big, and laugh harder than normal.”
She added, “I expend a LOT of energy, and after a while I don’t feel like myself anymore. It’s a bad feeling.”
“Can you tell me more about that bad feeling?” I asked. She replied, “Even while I’m doing it, I hear this voice in my head saying, ‘What are you doing? You know this isn’t you…’”
When I asked her if she needs to recover when she gets home, she said yes, and then added something surprising. “It triggers an old high school pattern of going right to the refrigerator and eating foods that make me feel better. Then the self-judgment kicks up a notch, and I feel really horrible about myself.”
The cycle starts all over again at the next networking event.
I almost don’t know where to start in dispelling this myth of “faking it” as a way of attaining your goals. Well, let’s start with a few things you need to know:
- Networking events are designed for optimal extrovert functioning. This is where they naturally shine. They give off an authentic vibe of competence, friendliness, and confidence. You want to come across that way too, so you fake it.
- Authenticity is what makes people want to buy from you. The human brain is wired to sense inauthenticity, so on some level people are aware that you’re not being real, and they won’t trust you. Because extroverts are more easily able to be themselves at these events, they’re naturally building the trust factor. You, on the other hand, are not doing yourself a favor by faking it.
- If there’s some aspect of your business you’re dreading, you’re going to experience resistance and have trouble moving forward. You’ve probably bought into the extrovert-biased notion that there’s a “right way” to show up for your business, and even though it stinks, you believe you’ve got to just suck it up and do it. (I used to think this, too.) Trouble is, it’s the “right way” for extroverts, not introverts.
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: