Okay guys, I have a confession.
I wasn’t always an introvert.
I never really thought about it before now, but is that something that naturally changes. We tell introverts they “need to come out of their shell” but have you ever heard someone tell an extrovert they need to go into their shell. I don’t know about you, but I have dealt with a few extreme extroverts who I wanted to tell to step into a shell. I know for me it wasn’t a natural transition. It was a life changing moment that caused the change inside.
Recently, I have been bothered by how comfortable it has been for me to live a life of an introvert. It is nice to choose my social highs and lows, but I don’t have the emotional support of a grounded group of friends. I have become so conditioned as an introvert I have become somewhat recluse. I am not anti-social, but I am very protective. Which has made me someone standoffish. It bothers me because now I have two influential children I don’t want to follow my footsteps.
If it wasn’t for the life altering circumstance I know it would be different. It has been a challenging road for me to “find myself” again. It sounds so cliché, but it is my reality. Bottling yourself up for protection changes you.
I know we have all heard of those people who had horrible experiences, yet instead of living with the chains that bound them, they live surprising inspirational, full, and rewarding lives? Well, that is not me. I sometimes wonder what I did wrong to be where I am. I mean, I know what “I” did wrong, but the things out of my control…what did I do wrong. Why could I not rise above and be a rewarded and inspirational person? I grew up going to church. The same church my entire childhood. You would think for that fact I had Jesus on my side, I would be in the winner’s seat right there.
It is hard to be a cautious introvert. That is what I am going to call it. I am a cautious introvert. I don’t give easy. And when I give, I give fully. God forbid I feel betrayed because I have learned to cut strings easy. I don’t do it out of spite. I do it out of protection. Or, I did at least.
I have learned in the last few years how hard it is keep those strings fully intact. It can hurt, and some hurts are greater than others. But, I’ve noticed the strings are strong. And, I become stronger than those strings, especially when I allow people to have faults. I have them, for Pete’s sake. I never put myself on a pedestal, although my caution may have appeared I did.
But, that isn’t who I am.
I have also realized that who I am does not rely on how inspirational or rewarded I am, or how much I throw caution to the wind. The self-evolution from a cautious introvert to a functional introvert has allowed me to give more to others. I am not perfect, and the transformation drains me immensely, but it is worth it.
Is there self-evolution in your life? If there was/is, what tools did you use to help you with the transformation?