As an introvert entrepreneur myself, I often get asked questions like, “how can I promote my business sufficiently when I hate being on video?” Being an introvert entrepreneur comes with many challenges as well as outstanding benefits, such as having a reservoir of creativeness, great empathy levels, natural problem-solving skills and more. But it is sometimes difficult to allow yourself to recognize these positive qualities and be confident. Worst of all, an introvert’s reservedness can often be mistaken for weakness. Here are 10 tools to instantly boost confidence as an introvert entrepreneur.
Pros and Cons of Being an Introvert Entrepreneur
I’m a self-professed introvert entrepreneur and proud of it. As introverts well know all it can be a real nuisance it can be when somebody labels me as shy when the fact is that studies have shown that introverts have the loudest thoughts of all.
It’s tough being an introvert in an extraverted world!
Fortunately there are plenty of advantages to being an introvert today:
- Having a strong imagination
- Being a great observer/listener
- Having selectivity with people
- They think before they speak. …
- They’re observant. …
- They make quality friends. …
- They make loving romantic partners. …
- They’re thoughtful networkers. …
- They’re compassionate leaders.
Some of these traits can also be considered as a blessing and a curse.
Many introverts bring themselves to very low self-esteem levels or even depression if they do not control their relentless thoughts.
Training your mind to be mentally strong is not as hard as you think once you create the right habits.
In fact, introverts are some of the most mentally strong people as they typically prioritize their mental health.
Learn to be the captain of your own ship and realize that no matter what life tosses at you, and keeping a solid mindset is of utmost importance.
We introverts can become overwhelmed from what extraverts thrive on, and it can be challenging to have a resilient mindset and stick with what’s best for you as an introvert when you’re constantly fighting what you think you ‘should’ be doing.
Some Disadvantages of Being an Introvert Entrepreneur
- Introverts often get labeled as weird or snobbish. …
- Introverts don’t always get the party invitation. …
- Introverts have a harder time standing out on social media. …
- Introverts can get overlooked. …
- Introverts can struggle to expand their networks. …
- Introverts may not score as many dates
At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams.
It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society.
In the book Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so.
She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture.
She also introduces us to successful introverts—from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions.
Passionately argued, impeccably researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.
Here are 10 Ways to Boost Your Confidence as an Introvert Entrepreneur:
Chase Success On Your Own Terms
Being such an observer, it can be easy for others’ habits, attitudes, and interests to rub off on you. It is inevitable for this to happen a little, but can inflict harm once it distracts you from your ambitions. Everybody has a unique definition of success based on their passions and beliefs.
But remember, you are not bound to follow anybody else’s path. Success is yours to define, as an individual.
Do not waste your time trying to burrow into what your friends, family members, or others think you should do. That is their point of view that can certainly grant you guidance, but always recollect that your dreams are your dreams.
Creating your own ambitions for what you want to do causes others to respect you, and institutes confidence in yourself.
Reinforce Your Strengths
Focus, focus, focus on what you are naturally, or already good at. Being aware of your strengths and reinforcing them can outweigh the effects of eliminating a weakness instead.
In fact, it can be a waste of your time and energy if you focus on limitations all the time. This can cause you to miss huge opportunities.
Focusing on transforming your good to great is a proven method for confidence, and yes, success! Introverts have a habit of wanting to repair their flaws and eliminate all their weaknesses.
Unfortunately, it is not humanly possible to have zero soft spots.
But building up your strengths can compensate and make you feel highly capable and able to take on more than you thought possible.
Focus on your Physical Conditioning
Everybody is aware that a workout a day keeps the doctor away. But many more should know what profoundly positive effects regular exercise can have on your mental health.
Regular physical conditioning and activity is an investment in the mind, body, and soul.
Increasing your heart rate several days of the week is proven to relieve stress, improve memory along with focus, boost your motivation, and of course, your confidence.
Even a small workout will grant you a sense of achievement and raise your self-esteem.
It is important especially for introvert entrepreneurs to feel accomplished as we can easily become stuck in mental loops.
Exercise creates a healthy, progressive mindset in which you are always moving forward.
Ditch the chemicals, as exercise works in much the same way as ADHD medications.
Physical activity will immediately boost serotonin and dopamine in your brain, both of which increase your sharpness, confidence and attention.
Introvert Entrepreneurs Need to Eat Healthy
Along with exercise, making your nutrition a priority will create a healthy, positive lifestyle for an introvert entrepreneur.
Not only are you doing good for your body by limiting foods that can potentially put your health at risk, but the challenge of eating well on a regular basis forms a self-disciplined state of mind.
As an introvert, you might have already noticed that you have unique dietary needs. For example, you might be more sensitive to stimulants, such as caffeine and refined sugar.
The highly sensitive introvert diet
- caffeine of any kind.
- refined sugar.
- processed foods.
Many people make the mistake of boosting their confidence by eating too many carbohydrates to make them feel good. This will temporarily raise your mood levels as carbs are broken down to glucose which fuels your brain and muscles with energy.
The brain will receive more serotonin. But too many carbs and sugars can also cause mood fluctuations, inflicting irritability, anxiety, and lethargy.
Practicing good nutrition consistently is difficult.
Your body will resist change just like your mind; so prevailing through the challenges will prove to yourself that you have the strength to be resolute.
Don’t Feel Culpable About Your Needs
Every single person has needs and incentives. You must remember that self-care is NOT selfish.
So don’t feel guilty about putting your mental or physical health first, especially if it’s a positive habit you possess.
Even if one of your priorities is to help others, placing your mental health as a top priority can increase the quality of your contributions toward others.
Instead of beating yourself up, learn to not judge yourself too hard and embrace your healthy habits.
Having a strong sense of self tends to be a trait many mentally strong introverts adopt from this.
Change Your Self-Talk
As you get better at recognizing negative thinking patterns, you can begin to dive deeper and develop new patterns of thinking.
Many times, negative thoughts are connected to irrational beliefs.
Catch yourself and challenge these thoughts. Using concrete, positive affirmation is a great place to start. Instead of “I am never going to get this right,” challenge the thought with “I am doing my best, and my best is enough.”
Retraining your mind and shifting your lens takes time and practice.
Practice Positive Self Talk
There are many ways to practice positive self-talk.
One way is to focus on your blessings. The things that are going well in your life. The people, animals and surroundings you are grateful for.
When negative self-talk begins, try shifting your attention to the positive in your life, no matter how small it is.
This is a simple yet powerful way to break the cycle of negativity.
Whether it’s setting aside a minute or two before bed to reflect on the day, identifying five things that we are thankful for, or keeping a gratitude journal, practicing gratitude is not only a coping skill but an overall mindset.
Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
Be aware of your triggers.
Triggers are situations and stimuli that bring about a specific reaction. It could be a certain person or a place, even a food or a situation.
When we talk about triggers, we talk about the things that you know make you feel a certain way.
For example, a trigger for anxiety could be too much caffeine or alcohol.
An example of an emotional trigger could be rejection.
For some people, a trigger for self-worth could be driving through million-dollar neighborhoods for one person, while for others the trigger could be brunching at very high-end restaurants with friends who have high paying jobs and earn way more, or a girlfriend or boyfriend who is constantly checking out others.
Learn to identify your triggers and become aware of them.
What happens to your thoughts and feelings when you scroll through social media?
What aspects do you perceive as “success” in others that triggers your sense of worth? Who do you compare yourself to most often and why?
Remind yourself that other people compare themselves to others sometimes too, no matter how beautiful, rich and powerful they are.
They compare themselves to the Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerbergs of the world and that also makes them feel like shit.
Their fears of not being worthy enough and not being successful enough are as real as yours.
You’ll Never Run Out of Things to Compare so Stop!
Even if you succeed in changing this one thing about yourself that you think you need to, there will always be something to take its place.
Speaking from experience, it’s a constant battle of “improvement.”
There’s always someone else getting ahead at work, always an extra 10 lbs you could shed, always a new skin care routine or people with better clothes, a better car, a better phone, with more expensive products that would seemingly improve your life.
But in all actuality the only thing that can do that is your attitude.
You hear this all the time but only because it’s so true. And the closest people to you will agree with us when we say you’re all special and unique and individually beautiful.
Not a single other soul is exactly like you.
This is perhaps our best tip in ending comparison to others because how can you argue with it?
It doesn’t make sense to compare apples to oranges to doughnuts.
We’re all different and we move at different paces, with different purposes.
Shine the spotlight on your own achievements no matter how small. Toot your own horn for a hot minute. Let’s bring the focus back to the hard work you’ve done to get to where you are.
If you’re a perfectionist, you often forget to celebrate the smaller milestones along the way because you’re so focused on getting to the finish line.
Then you start forgetting to appreciate yourself and literally lose track of all the progress you’ve done in your life!
Live In The Present
When you aren’t being present you become a victim of time. Your mind is pulled into the past or the future, or both.
Your thoughts are of the past: what has been, what could have been, what you thought happened vs. what actually did happen. Or, your thoughts are of the future: what will be, what could be, what might be, if…
Of course, it’s natural to spend moments of thought in the past or in daydreams of the future. Identifying impending dangers through associations with things that have happened in the past is important for self-preservation.
But when our lives become dictated by thoughts and emotions attached to past events and potential future outcomes, standing peacefully rooted in the present becomes increasingly rare.
Our routine, our habit, is to be off in our heads somewhere mulling over negativity and struggles of the past, or becoming anxious and fearful of the future.
Seldom are we fully “here”; neutrally centered to see through life’s lens with clarity and naked awareness – a state that assists us in finding contentment and understanding in ourselves.
Habits quickly become the norm and, as we know from many of life’s other vices, just because we’re used to doing something regularly doesn’t mean it is good for us, or the right way to live.
An easy way to break this habit of being a victim of time is to identify time for what it is. Time is a human concept. The watch on your wrist and the clock on the wall mean nothing to Mother Nature.
To her, life is one evolving moment – a perpetual cycle of interdependent impermanence.
Time is a metric we use as a reference point for organizing our lives and documenting history. It doesn’t actually exist. Really, it doesn’t. Ask a scientist.
Try Something New
While many extroverts thrive in new social and professional environments, business networking events or parties can be a nightmare for an introvert entrepreneur.
It can be more difficult for introverts to convince themselves to ‘get themselves out there’ and try something new. This can start an episode of over thinking as many introverts are familiar with.
This doesn’t mean you’re unsociable, shy, or awkward–in fact, many introverts are excellent at small talk because they’re great listeners and are able to see issues from another’s perspective.
The problem is that large, introverts think about certain events that tend to suck the life out of the average introvert; even introverts who love being with people in small doses.
For this reason, don’t be afraid to do start doing new things slowly.
Perhaps try networking online, via social media or meetup groups.
These can allow you to find like-minded people who you can then choose to meet with offline; sparing you the hours it might take to find such individuals in real life.
It’s not uncommon for an extrovert to go straight from a busy day at work to the bar to have drinks with friends. As an introvert, you’re more likely to be exhausted by the end of the day, wanting nothing more than to go home and unwind–by yourself.
Be realistic when it comes to accepting social and work-related invitations.
Instead of planning social events on weeknights, accept that you’re much more likely to actually enjoy social interaction on the weekend.
Instead of going to every business networking event or accompanying your extroverted friend on a last minute trip and running yourself ragged, choose one or two that seem to be the most valuable and leave the rest.
Focus on Your Strengths as an Introvert Entrepreneur
While being an introvert in a world full of extroverts can certainly feel like a disadvantage at certain times, it’s all a matter of playing to your strengths.
As an introvert, you’re likely to absorb information quickly (because, you know, you’re actually listening closely) unlike a lot of extroverts who skirt over things, be observant when it comes to group dynamics, and see things that others may miss.
Use these skills to your advantage, whenever possible.
Be aware of the strengths that come with introversion and focus on honing and developing these skills and traits.
To be successful professionally, find a job that suits your temperament.
Let’s face it: There are some jobs that just aren’t well suited for all personality types.
Instead of trying to make your personality work with your job, why not find a career where your introversion is actually an asset?
Jobs that value attention to detail, great listening skills, and the ability to work independently are all ideal choices.
Careers that demand a lot of networking, cold calling, or public speaking are likely to be a poor fit.
Instead of using up your valuable energy fighting against your temperament, find a career that values and celebrates your many unique skills, traits, and strengths.
In a world that seems to value extroversion, being an introvert can be a challenge.
But recognizing the strengths and abilities that come with being an introvert entrepreneur can actually give you the upper hand in many personal and professional situations.
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