INTROVERTS CAN BE EXTROVERTS WITH ENOUGH PRACTICE
I woke up one day and asked myself why I was not an extrovert. Surely, I could be one if I wanted to be. I had no doubt, and I was right.
People have always described me as an introvert after meeting me for the first time. I am shy around new people and tend to only open up after a fair amount of time around like-minded people. In my early High School years I would be seen with my hood on and my hair covering half my face. I was by no means popular or outspoken. Today, I appear much different than who I was in High School. I am quite outspoken, have a lot of energy, and certainly do not shy away from conversation. Some people out there, in this complicated world we live, might go as far as to call me an extrovert. I beg to differ. I like to think of myself as an introvert with a great understanding of extroverted people. I have learned, after countless hours of practice, that it is possible for us introverts to succeed in the world and break barriers that we previously thought impossible. Although I may appear outgoing and expressive, there is a lot of sweat behind that courage.
The introvert inside me will forever be my true form; however, that does not mean that I am incapable as a human being to be extroverted in situations that require my expertise and focus. For instance, let us delve a little into one of my passions: Acting. Yes, an introvert can be an actor. Julia Roberts, Harrison Ford, and Meryl Streep are all considered to possess introverted personality traits. As an actor, I often find myself in situations that require me to be energetic, outgoing, and personable. I enjoy studying other people, and it has helped me to be more like the extroverts I have come to know as close friends and colleagues. In addition to understanding extroverted people and being able to portray confidence as an individual, it is also important to stay true to oneself. As a teenager, I had the tendency to mimic others in order to appear more confident, and sometimes forgot who I was as a person. I have since learned that although it takes effort to be an extrovert, it is possible to achieve this without losing self-worth or transforming into a different person altogether.
I find that the best way to pick up on extrovert traits, and naturally incorporate those into our own personalities, is to spend quality time with extroverted people. My most valuable breakthroughs have been either directly or indirectly linked to my interactions with genuinely outgoing human beings. I understand that we may be faced with a number of obstacles, before truly immersing ourselves into extroverted communities. It requires courage and persistence in order to tear through the initial barricade of doubt, and once that happens, the rest of the journey seems much easier.
Presence is another state of being we can practice as introverts, in order to see progress towards a brighter extrovert future. By practicing presence, I am specifically referring to acknowledging who is around us, where we physically are, and how our actions affect those around us. If we can master those three crucial aspects of our being, we can become more aware of who we are and how to mold ourselves into the people we wish to be. At times, if I find myself in a situation that stuns me or disorients my thoughts, I do my best to slow down and check my breathing. Sometimes, I forget to breathe. I know that sounds silly because of course I could not survive without breathing, and yet it occurs with such subtlety. It sneaks up like a slithering snake as it preys on its victim. As the world begins to appear smaller, I take a breath and notice my surrounds. I mean, in great depth, as if I am dissecting every detail about everything around me. Once the air graces the inside of my lungs, and I have noticed the intricate details on the wallpaper around me, I am back in action and ready to take on the world. It is that simple to become lost and withdrawn, and if a headache is nearing, it is likely just dehydration. Life’s answers do not have to be complicated, as long as we trust ourselves to be the people we truly believe the world needs us to be.
It is possible for an introvert to be extroverted, with enough practice and persistence. To any introvert that has longed to be outgoing and achieve dreams that seem out of reach, I say that the opportunity is in the horizon. Take a deep breath, and take the next step to success.