I am an introvert.
Introvert comes from Latin intro-, “inward,” and vertere, “turning.” It describes a person who tends to turn inward mentally. Introverts sometimes avoid large groups of people, feeling more energized by time alone. The opposite of an introvert is an extrovert, who finds energy in interactions with others.
I love spending time with family and friends. I even enjoy meeting new people – it’s just not something I’ve always gone out of my way to do. But I adore time on my own too. Actually, if I’m being completely open, it’s necessary for me. This time recharges my batteries and boosts my soul’s happiness. It is usually during this time that I get to indulge myself – reading, writing, being generally creative whichever form it takes. Creativity is a very integral part of my make-up – who I am. It is both my means to recharge but also my decompression. It is a really import thing for me. There are few things that can stress me quite as much as not being able to have that quiet alone time.
Another drawback of being an introvert is the almost pathological clinging to one’s comfort zone. We find safety and reassurance in that comfort zone and we’d really rather not venture out of it. This in turn creates quite the dilemma when writing is your chosen path. Writing itself is a solitary pursuit and suits us introverts nicely. It’s everything else related to it that creates the problem. It means we have to step outside of that jealously guarded comfort zone.
At the end of last year I sat down to find my word for the year and write out my goals, set my intentions for the year. In the top five goals I set for myself for 2018 was to step outside of my comfort zone more. Well! Let me share with you, my lovelies. I am soooooo far out of my comfort zone this year I think I might possibly have already changed galaxies. Or, at least, that’s how it feels. I have said yes to things I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d ever consider let alone say yes to. I have put myself out into the world for all to see and scrutinise. I am sharing my writing with other people. Yes, yes. I hear you laughing. Isn’t that the whole point of being a writer? I hear you ask. Absolutely! But that doesn’t make it any easier when it comes time to release your book baby out into the world and allow others (not so invested) to cast a critical eye over this thing you’ve figuratively birthed. But I digress. I still love my alone time but I am making a concerted effort to get out there more and meet new people. I am saying yes to projects despite feeling anxious that I might not be qualified enough to do the job because ultimately it’s a self worth issue. I am more than capable of getting things done – I have proved it to myself and others repeatedly over the years. So I will channel my inner Richard Branson and “say yes first and figure the rest out later”. I have entered a contest which means that not only will others be judging my work but I am competing with other people for my spot. Not easy when you have spent a lifetime feeling less than. Aaarrrrggggghhh. 😱😱😱😱😱
The point of my rambling is this. Yes, stepping outside of your comfort zone is as uncomfortable as hell but it is so, so necessary if you are to grow. It is also the pathway to new opportunities. We will never make our dreams reality if we aren’t willing to move beyond the boundaries of that gilded prison. It is not easy but definitely worth the risk. So while I might need to breathe into my paper bag periodically as I stave off the “oh my God, what the hell have I done” panic I am going to push back those boundaries and continue to create a life I want, a life I love.
Will you join me? The journey is always more fun with friends.