Personal Development

The Social Experiment: Introvert to Extrovert – Part I

There comes a time in life when we decide to reinvent ourselves. It’s one of those times for me. This is something I tend to do usually around my birthday or at the start of a new year but I have mostly changed my appearance and this time I want to change in a more meaningful way. I can’t keep saying that I want to change my life and not do anything about it. That’s just not logical.

I’m 3 weeks shy of my 29th birthday and I think it’s time that I break free from some of my more restrictive qualities and when I say restrictive, I’m referring to the things that hinder ME from experiencing certain joys and experiences of life. In particular, the ones relating to my shy and introverted personality.

Why do I feel I have a serious issue? On my way to lunch yesterday, I saw two colleagues having lunch and they called out to me. We exchanged smiles, greetings and I went on my merry way. As I’m standing in line to get my lunch, I contemplated the alternate routes I could take just to avoid seeing them again. I really had to laugh at myself.

1d6086ce037ab0851c0ba3426e3db526A similar thing happened when I went shopping with my boyfriend on Saturday. I saw a friend from my old community and my immediate response was to avert my eyes and hope that she wouldn’t see me but it was small store and I knew she would see me eventually so I moseyed over to her and her family and said hello.

I really feel that I spent my twenties,  if not all my life, in hibernation; hiding from people, hiding from life, keeping myself in a box, living in the shadows, being quiet, oh so quiet. I don’t want to be so quiet any more or shy or reclusive or even so introverted. I don’t want to spend my time, energy and effort avoiding people. Why?

  1. I want to be a balanced person for my kids and not be so awkward around people
  2. I don’t think I am going to grow in my career if I continue to be shy or reclusive or even introverted. Networking is essential in my society for career advancement and it’s typically the more vocal and outgoing types who get noticed.
  3. I want to be cultured instead of sheltered and I can only do that by exposing myself to different experiences.

This summer I am stepping out of my comfort zone in the hope that I can become more outgoing, sociable, vocal, bold, extroverted…That’s right, I’m having my own little “year of yes” situation. I’m trying to move along the continuum. I like being different and that won’t change but I have to make some changes in my life.

Keep challenging yourself to grow.

TONI

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