I had an interesting experience today. Have you ever stepped into a situation that catapults you back in time, that causes old memories and feelings (even hurts and injustices) to become fresh and new? In that moment it can feel like you haven’t made any progress at all, which of course isn’t true.
I was at a book signing of a fellow author. Being an author, myself, I’ve done a few too many of those. I quickly realized after the first one, that I hated them. I hated being on display, disliked having to make conversation with people I didn’t know, and was embarrassed by the way I became tongue tied about a subject I was actually very passionate about.
I continued doing them for a couple of years because that’s what authors are supposed to do, or so people said. Lack of book sales made me feel like a failure, and pushing myself to do something so uncomfortable made me feel like I wasn’t being true to myself.
I know…this is where extroverts want to jump in and tell me I’m wrong, that if I just push past the fear, I’ll see results. That if I learn the tricks and techniques, I can actually become a confident speaker and a successful marketer. In other words, I can become like them (i.e. an extrovert).
But what if I don’t become like them? What if I don’t want to? What if I decide to honor who I am and find a way to get the results in a way that’s unique to me, to my style, my personality, my comfort level?
What if I do it my way?
Just so you know, that’s exactly the way I AM doing it. Rather than pushing against so many things that weren’t working and didn’t feel good, I gave up totally—to the point that I questioned selling my books at all. I took some time to find out what I really wanted and then found a way to line up with it.
LAW OF ATTRACTION to the rescue!!
As a result, I am now marketing my books in a way that works for me. I love what I’m doing and how I’m doing it. And I AM seeing results! But that’s another blog entirely.
The point I wanted to make here is that there’s more than one “right” way, and if it doesn’t feel good for you, it’s NOT good for you.
(Sometimes it feels good to vent, doesn’t it?)
What really set me off today was a conversation I overheard. I observed a little girl, maybe 8 or 10, looking at some items for sale. The mother was quietly browsing; the little girl was asking questions about the merchandise. An older couple was entertained by the child’s curiosity. It was their comments that ticked me off.
The man said to the woman beside him, “It’s a good thing she’s not shy.” (as if being shy is an abnormality, a handicap, a liability. In truth more than half the population are introverts.)
The woman replied, “Yes, they learn so much more that way.” (as a shy child, I can tell you I was constantly listening, observing, and then processing that information, sorting it, filing it, and then questioning further. I often asked my parents, siblings, or trusted adults questions, but I also had a much used set of World Book Encyclopedias – that was long before the internet!)
Of course, I didn’t say anything to the couple. Being an introvert, I avoid confrontation at all cost. lol. Besides that, it was none of my business, and they have a right to believe whatever they want.
But I couldn’t help thinking of what an insult it was to shy children everywhere. I want to embrace those children and tell them how wonderful they are. I want to tell them how much they are contributing just by being who they are. I also want to encourage them to be true to themselves and not give in to pressure to become extroverts by well meaning but misinformed adults.
However, being an introvert, I won’t stand on a soapbox shouting what I believe. I won’t start a group to protest the unfair treatment of innocent children. Understanding Law of Attraction, I know those methods doesn’t work anyway.
Instead, I’ll remind myself that they’re doing just fine, that they’re experiencing the contrast that will help them form their path in life. I’ll inwardly embrace them and tell them I’m proud of them—and while I’m at it I’ll tell that little girl in me that she’s doing just fine, too!