This year I’ve managed to read only a handful of books and I’m not too proud to admit that approximately 16% of my reading list included the first installment of Fifty Shades of Grey. Reading has always been a form of escape for me, since I was a little girl devouring any book I could find. Launching into business of creating a business this year – I’m a freelance designer and consultant to wellness and lifestyle businesses then a blogger and writer – has demanded the loss of leisure time formerly given over to reading, extended workouts and “me time”. Balance is making a strong comeback in the home stretch of this year, part of which included our recent Mexico vacation. And along with vacation came picking the book to read while sipping drinks on the beach! I gravitate toward the well-being and self-help genre over fiction (sans the aforementioned moment of weakness with Grey). Vacation book of choice: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.
“HI MY NAME IS INTROVERT.”
The book was a little long and a number of the author’s arguments were vague and a little too anecdotal for my taste, but I did get a few key takeaways. First you should know I am an INTJ. If you don’t know what that means please take this informal test and report back with your personality type (the real-deal paid version is found here). Frustrated and confused were my two primary emotions when I received the results of my first few professionally-administered Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test. Me, an “introvert”? The very word conjured up an image of nerdy, geeky antisocial person. A troll, if you will. I chaired 4 or 5 organizations, made frequent appearances for $5 drink nights at the bar and did far more flirting than studying at the library in college. How on earth could I possibly be an introvert?
SECRETLY, I’VE ALWAYS LOVED A GOOD BOOK OVER A NIGHT OUT.
I’ve taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator at least once a year since college and through graduate school as part of my psychology coursework. The results are the same every time. There are many of us hiding among you. Introverts pretending to be far more social than we would prefer to be. Part of being a solo business owner / freelancer requires attending events, growing my network to create more opportunities. And getting way outside of my comfort zone to the point it takes a physical toll I was previously unaware of. An example is organizing and hosting the Young Female Entrepreneur events. I love everything about orchestrating the events but I am physically exhausted the day following the event, no matter how much self-care I give myself as an introvert – clean diet, exercise and sleep – before and event. I “recover” by putting up auto-responders and turning my phone off the day following the event.
TURNING DOWN INVITES OUT ISN’T SOCIAL SUICIDE.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my first year of business is to respect my introverted nature. Your personality type – leaning more introverted or extroverted – is more about where you draw your biggest source of energy. Where you perform your best, have clarity and find the pace that keeps you happily humming along in life. I’m not here to fight who I am in this one short life. Reading Quiet was a wonderful reminder to embrace my strengths and acknowledge when it’s time to turn down volume on the “social noise” that comes with living in a city like L.A.
DO MORE OF WHAT YOU LOVE IN LIFE.
Instead of saying “yes” to every event that comes my way, I’m being more selective and limiting myself to one networking/social event during the week. I stick around my home on Fridays to recoup with tea or wine and a movie or book. There’s less pretending to be a social butterfly and more making time for solitude. Workouts where I can lose myself, cooking in the kitchen or sharing a bottle of wine with a few close friends instead of parties and club openings. In closing this long post I would ADORE getting to know where you fall on the introvert/extrovert spectrum. I have a hunch there are more than a few of my blog-reading and loving friends out there who secretly love their quiet time! And if this post gets very few responses at least this introvert was made happy sitting and writing to her heart’s content.
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