How This Extrovert Discovered the Power of Introversion

Solitude.

From the day I was born, I was an obvious extrovert.

Growing up an only child with young parents was challenging. Yet on my first day of primary school, I met the girl I would call my best friend for the next few years.

Then, in year 5, I met the girl next door. I remember thinking she was so cool! As time went by, our friendship grew, and we maintained a strong bond throughout high school (we’re still Facebook friends now!).

I made heaps of friends in primary school and have incredibly fond memories of this time. But

high school was hard. We’d moved suburbs, and I chose to attend a different high school from many of my friends. Yet again, on the first day, I made a new friend, two even.

My friendship circle changed and moved with the rebellion tides, while I was finding out what ‘style’ of teenagerhood fitted me best. I rested comfortably in year 11 with a lively and positive group. Even had the interest of boys.

I moved high schools for year 12, the big one. And not only moving high schools, but moving five hours away (insert drama here)! But once again, on my first day of school, I met a new friend and another supportive circle of peeps.

I finished year 12 and moved to New Zealand to spend time with my family (plus I’d met a boy the Christmas before in NZ). This time was challenged by the relationships I had with those around me, and the relationship I had with myself.

Ultimately, I missed my mum. So I came home… but only lasted three months before leaving on my next adventure – Far North Queensland!

Fast forward 15 years, five locations, a husband, and three children – and here we are today, living in Tassie.

I’m still an extrovert who wakes up every day seeking connections with those around me. And looking for meaning in relationships. A person who is challenged by silence and sitting still.

Over the past year, our world has been battling a deadly pandemic. And we’ve all had to make sacrifices for our health and wellbeing, and the health and wellbeing of those around us. 

This time of isolation and ‘stopping’ has been extremely challenging for me. I’ve found myself in my own company more than I ever have.

This idea of self-connection, acceptance, recharge, and stillness – all seemed a bit fluffy to me. I’m a high achiever and career-focused type of person. When it comes to yoga, meditation, and mindfulness, I may as well park up in a field and not move the rest of my being…

But I was exhausted, stressed, and running on adrenaline. I was feeling it, and so were my husband and children.

Then I broke. 

By this stage, what did I have to lose? I practised yoga one Saturday night, and surprise – I actually liked it! Though not enough to do it every day, still too fluffy.

Twice I used a mindfulness app to fall asleep. We even booked a weekend away with some friends, where I practised yoga and meditation again.

For the first time in my life, I was enjoying my own company.

I felt like a snob for not being social – but that was exactly what I needed at that given point in time. I even did something I have NEVER DONE BEFORE: I read a book… for FUN. What?! Do people actually do that? It was a Simon Sinek book. But hey, it was a book. 

I came home feeling like a horrible friend for shutting myself out. But at the same time, I felt comfort in the fact that, at that point, it was precisely what I needed to do.

Right now, I feel like there’s this whole new world view coming online. And that my fun, crazy, loud extroverted self who needs connection with others can find the power of introversion.

The ability to recharge oneself – without it being at the expense of others – is powerful.

My desire for authentic connection in relationships will never leave me. I feel this is a part of my biological makeup.

Silence still scares me, and so does being bored. But now I’m learning the power of self-connection, self-pace, and having a still mind. And I think I’m also dropping weight as my stress levels reduce – so hey, there are other benefits too!

I’m not saying yoga, mindfulness, and meditation are necessarily the answer.

What I am saying is: find the power in self-recharge, however that looks for you – hiking, dancing, batting cage.

Go and test a few things out and see what fits for you. But don’t be afraid to do it on your own (that includes putting your phone away).

Your ability to self-recharge will serve you, your family, and most of all, your business.

Let me know about your experiences.