Many people assume that introverts lack self-confidence. Introverts might LOOK unself-confident – simply because, being wired for thinking and processing in their home base, the “rest and digest” parasympathetic nervous system:
- They often wait on the sidelines, observing and processing what they’re seeing before they take any action.
- They take time to think deeply before responding to questions.
- They’re brain-wired for careful planning, so taking time to plan before taking action can look like self-doubt.
Contrast this to extroverts, who are neurologically wired for jumping headlong into action through the “fight or flight” sympathetic nervous system. They often develop a high degree of self-confidence because they enjoy a long history of accolades and rewards for their natural behavior in this extrovert-favored world:
- Eagerly raising their hand in school, not knowing ahead of time exactly what they’re going to say when they’re called on.
- Pleasing their bosses by speaking up at meetings to pitch an idea that might have just occurred to them.
- Jumping into a new venture without feeling the need to anticipate possible pitfalls, resolving to deal with obstacles as they occur.
Self-confidence comes from built-up belief in yourself. It develops in children from experimentation in their environment and will grow and solidify if nothing untoward happens.
Sensitively wired people (which are usually introverts but can be extroverts)* might be more prone to begin doubting themselves and their abilities because they are more likely to draw negative conclusions about themselves based on their child-like perceptions, which can’t see the whole picture.
If, for example, a significant person (such as a parent) instilled in you disempowering beliefs about yourself, your budding self-confidence might have eroded.
I recall reading about a woman who always said, “I can’t sing worth a darn.” Yet in adulthood it came to light that she had a lovely singing voice. When a therapist got to the bottom of her lack of self-confidence in her singing, it turns out that as a child she loved to sing. One day her mother, who was going through some kind of trauma the child didn’t know about, snapped at her, saying, “Stop that infernal singing!”
That stung her deeply and went into her unconscious mind as the belief, “I’m a terrible singer and my singing causes others pain!”
A less sensitive child would externalize the situation and think (more accurately) that Mom is in a bad mood for some reason. That child’s self-confidence would have remained intact.
Fast forward to NOW. Whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or highly sensitive person on either side of the introvert/extrovert spectrum, if you’re a solopreneur business owner, you’re probably realizing that quite a few confidence-eroding beliefs stemming from negative childhood messages are coming up from your unconscious mind.
However, regardless of what happened to you as a child, there is something in you now that can form the bedrock of your self-confidence. Examples:
- a grounding in a Higher Power within you.
- a feeling of competence because of your skillsets.
- a belief in your ability to figure things out.
While it’s good to reconcile internalized negative childhood messages that make you feel low self-confidence, you don’t have to put your business on hold in the meantime.
Self-confidence comes from belief in yourself. Ask yourself: What is it in myself that I can anchor my belief in NOW that can become the source of my self-confidence so I can keep moving forward in my business?
*According to Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D., a noted expert inhighly sensitive people (HSPs) research, 15-20% of the world’s population are HSPs. And her research indicates that 30% of that HSP population are sensitive extroverts. Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-highly-sensitive-person/201805/introversion-extroversion-and-the-highly-sensitive-person
If you’re a woman solopreneur looking for support and ways to move forward in introvert brain-friendly ways, let’s talk! Let me know more about you and your challenges by clicking the green button you’ll find here: Connection call