It can be hard to be an introvert in modern society, which seems to favor only extroverts with their strong communication skills and active attitude to life. For this reason, many people feel that their introversion is a kind of disability, a “pain in the neck,” which complicates their life and needs to be ‘fixed’ or ‘cured’. Well, it can complicate things sometimes, but you can turn your introversion into an advantage – it’s all up to your choices and lifestyle. In this article, I will try to disprove a common belief that being an introvert is a disadvantage and will show you that it can be one of your greatest assets.
Introverts and Success
Because of the stereotypes our society puts on us, when we think of success, we usually imagine a young man in a suit, a manager in a big company or a successful entrepreneur running a business in, let’s say, financial consulting. This is what we see in movies and on TV and this is what society wants us to aspire for. Going to college and getting an office job seems to be the only option for those who want to become successful.
But what is a true definition of success? Making a bunch of money? Working for a prestigious company? I don’t think so. In my vision, success is being able to make a living from what you love and what makes you happy. Even if you don’t make lots of money but do a job you love, which brings you joy and satisfaction and fills your life with meaning, you ARE successful.
Introverts are more focused on their inner world rather than on the external environment, meaning they know themselves better and are less open to the influences from the outside. That is exactly why introverts are more likely to find their life purpose and thus become successful. Yes, in comparison with extroverts, they have fewer chances to make a career in an office doing a job which requires good social skills and teamwork. But they have the potential to succeed in more independent professions, which will suit their personality and will allow them to live in accordance with their life purpose.
Introverts and Creativity
For this reason, introverts often choose creative professions – writers, designers, photographers, etc. Creativity is a purely inner process, and being socially isolated often helps keep creativity flowing. Introverts tend to get inspiration from such things as nature and books rather than from other people.
Apart from artistic professions, introverts often become inventors and innovators. The reason is the same – with the internal flow of creativity and social isolation, they are more likely to think up something new and completely different from what already exists. You couldn’t imagine that such world-changers as Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Mahatma Gandhi and Elon Musk (just to name a few) were actually introverts.
Introverts and Society
What about the society in general and the introverts’ place in it? What could you possibly gain from being socially isolated?
The problem with modern society is that it is constantly trying to impose certain thinking patterns on us, as well as to promote certain lifestyles and behaviors. Pop culture and mass media do everything to prevent people from critical thinking and expressing their uniqueness in any way. Those who don’t conform are often considered odd and even dangerous.
In a similar way, if you prefer spending a weekend alone with your books rather than going out and socializing, people think of you as a freak. Or if you don’t share the majority’s views on something and dare to have a different opinion, they will say you are a conspiracy theorist. That’s why our society needs more freethinkers and open-minded people who refuse to blindly believe everything being said because only such kind of people can change the world.
Here comes the greatest asset of introversion – the ability for reflection and critical thinking. I’m not saying, of course, that extroverts can’t be critical thinkers, but introverts have an advantage of following a quiet, isolated lifestyle and thus being less subjected to the influences from society and the world. For the same reason, introverts are often more focused on the values that really matter rather than on everyday, material things. That’s why many spiritual people are introverts – they tend to look within to seek for the answers.
If you are an introvert, you should never try to ‘fix’ yourself to conform to the extroverted society. Instead, tailor your lifestyle and career to your personality. You will see that as soon as you will stop pretending and trying to change, you will find peace and harmony in yourself and your life. Remember that your introversion is a gift and you can always turn it into your strongest asset.
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