We introverts tend to keep what we have done for ourselves. Especially if we are creative it might seem a bit scary to share our unconventional ideas or deeply personal stuff we made.
Everyone has this fear, not only introverts. So, I want us to stop blaming the introversion and start slowly and gently changing the world around us.
If there should be one advice I would like to be given as a child, then it would be this one:
Share what you create
What did I share and how it changed my life
My story is simple. While I was a child, most of the time after school I was sitting at home and reading books or creating. Creating music with a computer, writing stories, drawing portraits of aliens.
When I was in the university I had less and less time to do those activities, because I joined a volunteer organization and was busy managing things and people. Most often I hated what I did, but I believed in the cause I was working for.
When it was time to choose a job, I could not tell to interviewers, that I recorded a music album, because it was still on my PC, I could not tell that I wrote a book, because it was still on my PC, I could not tell that I made lots of portraits of aliens, because all of them were hidden somewhere, and I was the only one person who saw them. I could only tell that I was volunteering.
And guess what? I got a job, quite similar to my volunteering experience. No one expected me to have writing skills, I was even discouraged to use them: “leave the writing to professionals, your job is to manage facts”. But to gather facts I needed to call people… I’d love to do the writing instead.
I decided to change a few things and to see what is going to happen:
First of all, I started sharing my ideas in the job, what would I like to do and what would I like to create there. Eventually, my ideas became part of my job!
Also, I started sharing things I created during my childhood. I started writing articles, people started reading them and I got an offer to write a book! I started sharing my music, and I got an offer to release an album and invitation to play in an event!
Convinced that this is the right way I started drawing philosophical graphic stories, and I am curious where this activity will take me.
My life is changing, because I started sharing. I wish I had started 15 years ago.
Sharing is the way of introvert
Introverts often complain that life seems to be designed for bold extroverts able to sell themselves. But that’s not true – life is designed by bold people, who are not afraid to share their ideas and creativity, no matter where on this extroversion spectrum they are.
If we want to create an introverted way of living, it is wildly brilliant idea to stop faking personality and be what we are. If we want to use our creative powers, it is magnificent idea to be able to show them to the world. Then it will be not the personality that matters, but the things we have done.
If we show to the world what we have created – be it writings, drawings, ideas, theories, systems, schemes, calculations, formulas – we might be appreciated for those things, not our personality. I have read many legends about the personality of Steve Jobs. But he is known best not for his personality – he’s known for his products. The same with Gandhi – he is known best for what he has done, not the personality.
If we try our best at things we don’t like and show our results in those fields, we will be appreciated for them. And, most probably, will be asked to show more results in those fields. And the opposite – if we show our results in the fields we like the most, we will be appreciated there and will be asked to show more results there.
If we commit to sharing, everything that we do will be of better quality. I know this by myself. If I draw portraits of aliens just for myself then they’re crap. How can I show this crap to people? But if I know that I must show this portrait to someone – I’ll do better and better each time. Might be not that comfortable, but this is how we improve.
I believe, that showing their brilliant personality is the way of extroverts – managers of this world. Sharing our work is the way of introverts – creators of this world.
But I hate selling myself!
“But I hate selling myself!” – might shout someone. So don’t sell. Just show what you have done, no need to persuade anyone that what you have done is good. As my friend, a painter, said: “The real art is when you get 2 or 3 likes on facebook, not more.”
“But I don’t want attention!“. You don’t need attention. Your creations need attention. May your works speak instead of words.
“But I don’t create arts!” As I already said, a business idea or scientific theory also needs to be created.
“But this is childish! Should I share my old drawings?” You can share ideas in your job. And that will not be childish. Sharing ideas and taking responsibility to implement them is often awarded very well.
“But it is too much sharing nowadays! Facebook is full of crap!” Whoever says that is not aware that you can filter facebook thread. I believe that your old childish drawings might be more interesting to someone than another funny cat pic.
“But I have nothing to share!” Even if someone does not have any talents, any skills, any valuable things or money… they always have their attention, their love, their friendship. That is also a thing that can be shared with others. And it’s almost unlimited, after spending it we can recharge it again.
“But I’m just afraid, that I will be hated!” Don’t be afraid, you will be hated, because, as we already know – haters gonna hate. We need to prepare for that, but those who love and enjoy will share their bright emotions too.
But how to deal with this fear?
I agree, it might be frustrating for an introvert to step ahead and show their work which might be deeply personal or unconventional.
For me, it helped to make small steps. No need to show it to the whole world! Let’s start from the family and relatives. Wanna hear my music? What do you think of it?
Then I read a lot about people doing what I love. Getting immersed in their role from the pages of a book or a personal blog helps to gain that self-confidence, like “been there, done that” without actually being there and doing that.
And the greatest thing is the separation of creating and promoting. There is time to create – write like no one is going to read, play like no one is going to hear, draw like no one is going to see. And then there is time to prepare that piece to share and show it to the world.
It helps when we have the possibility to share with the right community. I’m sorry, but that’s about people. For sharing arts the best community is artists. For sharing philosophy, the best community is philosophers. For sharing travel experiences of an introvert the best community is introverted travelers. We need to find that community.
And the last thing – it is best to accept the fear. To eradicate fear from one’s heart will take decades of practice in the monastery up the mountains. It is better to accept it and consider as an integral part of our personality. May it indicate what’s comfortable and what’s not but let’s not act upon it.
May your ideas launch a ripple of change! What do you create?