As an introvert, you may feel that your personality will hold you back from career success. However, there are aspects to an introvert’s personality that can be advantageous. In addition, coping mechanisms can help motivated introverts level the playing field in an extrovert dominated world.. Katie Rasoul, author of Hidden Brilliance: A High-Achieving Introvert’s Guide to Self-Discovery, Leadership and Playing Big, shared some advice for high achieving introverts.
What are some positive characteristics that only introverts possess? How can they use these to get ahead in an extrovert world?
Introverts often have very perceptive observation and listening skills. Many introverts are talented at taking in more details and processing more information internally than others. While some extroverts may possess these skills, it is a really a potential superpower for introverts. These skills are helpful in building meaningful one-to-one relationships and leading others by listening to what they have to offer and adjusting their messaging to each individual on their team. When introverts listen closely and can respond to others more deeply they have the chance to build trust and partnership quickly.
How can introverts decrease stress when they become overwhelmed?
While introverts may take in and process more information internally than their extroverted counterparts, this can be overwhelming. Particularly for highly sensitive introverts, this amount of stimulation and details can create feelings of overwhelm and anxiety. When feeling inundated introverts may take a few steps to decompress:
1) Plan in some solitude. Whether it is 10 minutes between classes or meetings, a morning jog, or blocked time on your calendar, plan enough time to recharge yourself so you feel alive and refreshed. Consider planning it into your calendar like any other activity so it doesn’t become an afterthought or fall off the radar.
2) Do some clearing. Plan an activity at the start of the morning to clear your thoughts. This can be accomplished through meditation,
3) Do less things better. I like to execute the “slash and burn” when I feel overwhelmed. I take things off my “To Do” list and calendar until there feels like enough space. This results in doing less variety of things, but doing the important priorities better.
What are daily habits introverts can practice to tap into their inner brilliance?
High-achieving introverts in particular have ambitious dreams that require them to capitalize on their introverted superpowers. In order to be at their best every day, Introverts have to work hard to manage not their time, but their energy. When introverts can balance activities that bring energy to their day in with the more extroverted world around them, then there is less chance of going home at the end of the day feeling completely drained. Build a schedule that works best for you and honors your need for solitude and reflection. For example, instead of lots of interaction with others back-to-back, plan in breaks, or chunks of time to focus on a project alone without distraction.
I have found that I am a better listener, more focused, and more effective when I have enough space in my day so that I don’t feel “squeezed.” That free space and time to reflect is critical to showing up as my best and allowing my inner brilliance to come alive.