I’ve been working on these 3 self-growth goals the past year, and I honed in on them this October. Here’s what I learned during my reflection:
Reflection #1: Ask for what you need
Social currency is something everyone is aware of but introverts rarely take advantage of. Because introverts find comfort 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. Above all, we know how precious time alone can be and don’t want to take that away from others.
I’ve been trying to let go of feeling like a burden or a nuisance when asking for help. Certainly, no one can do it all alone. Each person has their own unique strengths, and there will always be a friend, stranger, or family member that would be happy to help you succeed.
For instance, I ask my Sorority Big Sister (yes, I’m in a close-knit Asian-American sorority) to help kill cockroaches. I am absolutely terrified of them. So my big drives to my house, lugs her huge vacuum up my stairs, catches the cockroach, then leaves.
This may seem like a silly ask, but we only see each other once or twice a month. So half the time it’s because I need her help. As a result, I always felt guilty after she left.
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 and family gives them a larger and more meaningful role in your life.
- Good people enjoy giving back and helping others. In other words, don’t underestimate the joy you can bring to others just by needing their help.
Reflection #2: Let go of resistance to vulnerability
If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you may think I have no problem being vulnerable. But 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 into my own vulnerability, I can finally say that I’m letting go of resistance to it. Certainly, self-acceptance has been the key to this.
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Reflection #3: Don’t allow failure to define you
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. As a result, I allowed inanimate objects like report cards and resumes to define my success.
It’s just what happens when you don’t get amazing feedback from conversations with others. That is to say, you look for validation elsewhere. This often means you work twice as hard to feel successful.
I don’t think we’re looking at the right extroverted traits to learn from. Many people think introverts need to work on becoming better speakers or being more social. It’s okay to admire these extroverted traits, but it’s harmful to think we can just become more extroverted through practice.
I think the best thing we can learn from extroverts is to be okay with making mistakes. Extroverts often navigate through life by doing, while introverts are cautious and think before they act.
This often makes introverts expert planners, and 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, so 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, so why not use that to our advantage?
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!
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