I am an introvert by nature. The website 16 Personalities has both pegged me as an Adventurer and a Defender (I suppose it matters on what day I take the test and how I’m feeling). But, in both profiles, I’m markedly an introvert. I prefer time when I’m alone opposed to out in social events. In groups of people or out in public, I feel very anxious and on guard. By the end of the event, I’m drained. I would much rather spend my days at home, in the woods, or being present with one friend at a time.
However, during this me time, I often muse on past interactions with my friends, coworkers, or the lady in line at the grocery store. I worry that I said the wrong thing. I fret about how I came across. Did I not smile? Should I have said hi? Was I too pushy? Did I not listen? Was I too wrapped up in my own story? I agonize over an especially curt remark or dismissing someone else’s feelings. Worrying about all the mishaps often taints whatever social situation I find myself in and I am never really present.
The way to remedy this angst is not to withdraw further into myself. Rather, perhaps counterintuitively, it is to put myself out there more. To stop fretting about the things I said or didn’t say or the things I did or didn’t do, I need to do more! I need to have more experiences to pull from. By pushing myself to try new things, to get out of my protective bubble, I’m pushing my boundaries because, even at 38, I still don’t know the limits I have. I haven’t pushed hard enough.
About a month ago, my brother started a new podcast called Unstrategic and he asked if I wouldn’t mind being interviewed. You can imagine my first reaction was to say no. Knowing that I needed to put myself out there, I agreed to do it. I had a fun time talking to him about my career and my thoughts on strategy. Afterwards, upon listening to it, I wish I had said something different or made a point more elqouently or just didn’t sound like such a horrible dork.
But just because I wanted something different doesn’t mean there isn’t worth in what I’ve said. Learning to be okay with who I am in this world has always been a long road for me. Recognizing that my flaws and imperfections are part of a greater whole is something that I’m still learning. I don’t want that learning process to prevent me from having experiences or from sharing my thoughts and beliefs with a wider audience than just my pug.
Taking part in the podcast interview was just another wall getting pushed further out in my little world. Listening to the podcast makes me feel awkward and squishy inside but I’m okay with that. I’m okay with my flaws and imperfections. I’m okay with putting it out there. But you can bet that I’ll still need my time to recharge and reset. Don’t forget, I’m still an introvert.
Listen to the episode below or on the Unstrategic website. And subscribe if you’re interested in digital strategy.
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