By Karina Trofimova
We are all created differently, but the standards imposed by our society and culture tell us that we should behave and present a certain way. This often disconnects us from our authentic selves, making us feel self-conscious and anxious.
A very straightforward example of this is introversion versus extroversion.
Our society tends to favor extroverts. And if you’re an introvert, you might have struggled with the thought that something is wrong with you or that those around you don’t want to hear your opinion.
However, as an introvert myself, I’m confident you’ve also received compliments from your close friends who feel they can trust you because of your listening ear. In this world full of noise where everyone wants their opinions to be heard, good listeners are hard to come by. Leaning into this quality has proven valuable to me—not only with my friends and those close to me but also in various business scenarios.
As soon as I recognized how invaluable this trait was, I stopped feeling as though I had something to prove and began embracing my natural tendencies unapologetically. Instead of feeling bad about not being the loudest person in the room, I owned my quiet confidence—the fact that I knew how to make others feel seen. While I listened, I was learning and processing.
Introverts also have the natural ability to be alone and focused on their inner world and self. Many great creators spend significant time alone. Pablo Picasso said that without solitude, no serious work is possible. This doesn’t mean that extroverts aren’t capable of serious work, but it does mean that, as an introvert, it may come easier. Savor that. When you know who you are and what you bring to the table, you won’t need to be anything other than yourself.
On the other side, we have extroverts. Some of my extroverted friends have shared that they have a hard time being alone. If you consider yourself an extrovert, you may be able to relate. Maybe you’re an artist, and you’ve struggled to find time to create because you have a wide social group to attend to. Welcome the fact that you are someone who builds communities, relationships, and connections. Admit that working alone may not be for you and think of ways to collaborate with others. There is no mold. There is no right way to be a creator.
A friend recently shared with me that she was called “extra” and “too much” by people close to her. This crushed me because whenever I look at her, I think about how effortlessly she makes others feel comfortable and how much fun those around her always seem to have. If you’re an extrovert, you are someone who carries joy and can brighten up even the darkest times. Don’t forget that you have these gifts for a reason, and as soon as you embrace them, they become powerful tools in your hands.
Personality types are just one example of standards imposed by our society. We can apply this to our body types, preferences, and many other areas of our lives. Once I recognized and leaned into my uniqueness, I became unapologetically myself. When we fully accept ourselves, we are also able to embrace others. Instead of expecting them to be the same as us, we can admire the way others are wired. Living out who you are to the fullest will lead you to experience life in a communal, rich, and satisfying way.
We need to learn to recognize that our purpose is hidden within our nature, in our uniqueness.
Consider these questions:
- What situations do I feel the most relaxed in?
- What are my strengths?
- What do I bring to my relationships?
- What would my friends say they love about me?
Now lean into the answers. This is your magic. Of course, growth and change are important, but significant growth and acceptance can only happen when you know who you are at your core.
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