I’ve been working on these 3 self-growth goals the past year, and I really honed in on them in the month of October. Here’s what I learned during my reflection:
Asking for what I need
Social currency is something everyone is aware of but Introverts rarely take advantage of. In solitude, we try to do everything ourselves to avoid asking for help.
It’s not because we think we could do everything ourselves. It’s often because we don’t want to be a bother to others.
As Introverts, we cherish our time alone because we thrive in solitude. We don’t want to take away solitude from others. We know how precious time alone can be.
I’ve been trying to let go of feeling like a burden or a nuisance when asking for help. No one can do it alone. Each person has their own unique strengths, and there will always be a friend, stranger, or family member that could help you succeed.
This is the simplest example, but this is my life. I ask my Sorority Big Sister (yes, I’m in a close-knit Asian-American sorority) for help to kill cockroaches. I am terrified of them. She will literally lug her huge vacuum up my stairs just to catch the cockroach and leave.
But to be honest, I only felt comfortable asking her because she’s my Big Sister. And I always felt guilty after she left.
We only see each other once or twice a month, and I hated that half the time it’s because I needed her help.
Here are 3 things to remember that’s been helping me ask for what I need:
- No matter how much you tell people, “Let me know if you need help,” nothing says it more than allowing them to help you.
- Asking for help from friends/family gives them a larger and more meaningful role in your life.
- Good people enjoy giving back and helping others. Don’t underestimate the joy you can bring to others by just needing their help.
Letting go of resistance to vulnerability
If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you may think I have no problem being vulnerable. This is far from the truth.
Sometimes it takes me an hour and a half to write one caption. My body is usually tense and I’d be typing then backspacing over and over again until I wrote the perfect caption. Most of the time I’m covered in sweat after posting it.
My body was resisting vulnerability. After years of keeping everything to myself, I don’t blame it. It’s only natural to feel scared and uncomfortable when practicing vulnerability.
After months of dipping my toes in vulnerability, I can finally say that I’m letting go of resistance to it. I think self-acceptance has been the key to this.
I’m not always going to love what I think or feel—all I have to do is accept it, let it go for others to learn from, and keep moving.
- Unhealthy Competition in The Workplace & How Introverts Can Cope
- How to Not Be A Pushover: A Guide for Introverts
- The Introverted Leader: Redefining Leadership
Not allowing failure to define me
Since I don’t often wow others with my speaking skills or ability to work a room, I’ve learned to connect my self-worth to outcomes like a good grade or an award. I allowed inanimate objects to define my success.
It’s just what happens when you don’t get amazing feedback from conversations with others. You find validation elsewhere. This often means you work twice as hard to feel successful.
I don’t think we’re looking at the right Extrovert traits to learn from. Many people think Introverts need to work on becoming better speakers or being more social.
I think the biggest thing we can learn from Extroverts is to be okay with making mistakes.
Extroverts often navigate through life by acting before thinking, while Introverts are cautious and think before they act. This often makes Introverts expert planners. Then we start to think, “If I can plan out the perfect process, then I can reach the perfect outcome (good grades, highest leadership roles, etc.).
This leads to striving for perfectionism, which we all know isn’t a real goal. There is no perfect process. We all know that researchers can spend their whole lives searching for the perfect process to reach the perfect outcome, and the majority of them never do.
Don’t spend your entire life being afraid of failing. If we start acting on things without carefully planning, then we can simply make mistakes, reflect, and learn from them. Introverts are masters of reflection after all.
This was my first monthly reflection, and I’m considering doing this every month. Please let me know if you’d like to see more of this in the comments below!