I hear from many so-called introverts who feel they are the only one's that feel like they had been placed on the wrong planet, that they just don't feel like they totally fit in and deperately want to find a way to be "normal" or "that person" they picture as the optimal character that does fit in with society.
See if any of these statements ring a bell?
- You feel more serious and alone than others seem to?
- You would rather think, learn or experience life than hoarse around, socialize or act crazy
- You are always thinking about how you don't seem to fit into certain situations…that you stand out, look silly or can't get things right
- You have a huge internal battle going on between your creative, thinking side and the person you believe you "should" be to fit in
It's true that being a thinker, creative and life loving individual can be a challenge in the teen and twenty-something years as people try and find their identity in the world. It is also true that because we tend to think, reflect and analyze life more, that means we also tend to over-analyze our place in the world compared to others who may just exist in these challenging times of self-discovery.
I can totally relate to your situation as well, I was always more serious, yet inside a dreamer as I grew up — still that way largely today, although I have learned to loosen up, enjoy all kinds of situations and people and to become more confident.
But there are some common mistakes introverts, thinkers or shy people make that can get them into trouble…so let's discuss those now:
1. I don't buy that because you are more introvert than extrovert (this is a sliding scale and people can slide more to the middle over time) that you have to be less confident or more shy. Just because you enjoy thinking, dreaming, imagining, and creating doesn't mean that you need to have low self-esteem or be shy around others. I don't even like the word introvert, instead we are more creative, enthusiastic about life and thoughtful…when put that way, doesn't sound so bad does it?
2. Now, if there are situations where you don't feel confident – then that can be addressed. Low self-confidence often comes from deeply engrained fears – fear of looking bad, fear of losing something, fear of embarassment…Even worse, we tend to replay and enhance the potential impact of what "may" happen to the point of total irrationality (near paranoia). I have found a few techniques help with fears…1) Writing them out – identifying what it is you are afraid of happening that makes you uncomofortable – write it out dozens of times so that you unburden your sub-conscious 2) Take the time to meditate each day – the single biggest benefit I have found from meditation over the years is being able to place objectivity back into assessing fears. Instead of inflating fear, you actually see it for what it is which is often less than we make it out to be today. Meditation really is a terrific tool for strenghening your ability to deal with everday life – challenging situations and deep-seeded fear. 3) Stop putting yourself at the center of every sitiuation. People with low self confidence and shyness often view themselves as the center of attention which puts tremendous fear and pressure on them "looking good" or "acting just right" When, in fact, you are just one small part of a social dynamic that is 90% not about you and 10% about you
To sum up — you CAN be both thoughtful, creative, and have a love of life without having to be an introvert or shy or have low self-confidence. AND..the way to get there is to tackle your low self-confidence, manage your fear and anxiety and ease the pressure on yourself by taking yourself out of the center of all situations which today cause you to try so hard to fit in.
One of the best books on the topic of turning your gifts, skills and the person YOU are today into achieving great things, gaining self-confidence and having more fun in life is Attracting Greatness…and incredible 5-step process for letting the Greatness within you shine through in all of it's power…to undo what has been holding you back and being fulfilled with your place in life.
What about you…have you ever struggled with feelings of not fitting in?