I read a comment on yesterday’s post about the power of referrals that pissed me off. If you read it, you’ll notice I also gave a bit of networking advice, which this person responded to with:
“This is probably another reason my job search isn’t going well. I’m an introvert and would be uncomfortable doing this.”
To the casual viewer, this seems harmless. Not worthy of anger. But as an introvert, I hate when I see this type of comment because I know how destructive it can be. One, it’s an excuse. Two, it’s letting fear of discomfort affect your potential for success. Three, this attitude stops you from being free (and great).
Let’s get this straight; Introversion is not a condition, illness, or disease. Introversion is not a disability unless you make it one. Do you know what it is though? It’s about where you draw your energy from. Being introverted doesn’t condemn you to a life of meekness and missed opportunities. It will, however, require more of you for big social gatherings and other situations involving a lot of people. You won’t wanna yell to be heard or bounce around speaking to every person in the room. You will think about what it feels like to get home and plop down on the couch while you’re out and about. The thought of public speaking will (occasionally) create nausea. People will make assumptions about you and often times put you in an unsavory box. Yes, these things will happen. But introversion doesn’t have to be your crutch. It doesn’t have to be your disability nor the reason you’re not progressing. Yeah, some stuff will be uncomfortable but:
If you’re not willing to be uncomfortable, you’re not willing to succeed.
If you’re someone that makes comments like:
- I can’t do that. I’m an introvert.
- The event sounds awesome, but you know me, the introvert.
- I wish I could, but I’m not great around people.
- That’s too uncomfortable. Wouldn’t work for me.
Cut that shit out. Now. Today. Get out there and be uncomfortable. But more importantly, get out there and be free. Don’t let excuses and discomfort stop you from being great. Don’t get trapped in yourself. Go to a relevant networking event or conference where you know there are people with similar interests, and push yourself to stay away from the wall. (Bring your extroverted friend with you need be necessary.) Hell, create your own event and ask friends to each invite a couple positive people. Control the numbers. Start a Meetup group. Make use of sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to warm up relationships. Email people! Consider opportunities for public speaking (my work in progress)!
There are so many things you can do to break out of your comfort zone. And once you start doing them, you’ll be surprised at the results: new contacts, friends, and opportunities. But the best part to me is no longer feeling like a slave to something you think no one else gets.
It’s time to take control. It’s time to be free. Not a slave to a mentality. Get out there and get uncomfortable!