The Introvert Speaks

Writing a blog would seem to be a simple matter. It’s just putting down experiences, thoughts, opinions, reflections, etc. For the introverted brain, though, the process can be surprisingly challenging. By our nature, we introverts generally find the spotlight unrewarding. The act of writing a blog, then, can be likened to standing in the middle of a crowded room and declaring loudly, “Pay attention to me.”

How, then, does an introvert write a blog? The prospect can be uncomfortable, to say the least. Fortunately, I have two factors on my side: introversion and extroversion can be situational, and mindfulness helps me to accept any discomfort, identify personally meaningful reasons for writing a blog, and then act.

According to Todd B. Kashdan, author of “Are You Really an Introvert or Extrovert?” (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/curious/201407/are-you-really-introvert-or-extrovert), there are “situationally bound extroverts.” I believe I fall into this category, meaning there are some contexts in which I am comfortable being in the spotlight. There are elements inherent to this kind of spotlight that facilitate the process for me.

Writing a blog is like having a one-on-one conversation and it occurs in an environment where I can control the rules. The discomfort arises from the knowledge that I will publish the blog, and I feel apprehensive about putting myself out there. This is where mindfulness comes in to play. In order to have the discomfort of apprehension, I need to step back from my experience and observe it rather than get lost in it. From the perspective of the observer, I can watch the thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations that I collectively call “apprehension.” Observing the process with gentle curiosity, I allow it to happen. When I allow the process, I am freed from struggling with it. Not struggling frees that energy so I can focus it on taking meaningful action.

Writing a blog is meaningful to me because I love wholeheartedly the work I do and I share generously the knowledge and skills I am continuously acquiring. Connecting with these values while observing and welcoming all of my experience around the act of writing and publishing a blog post results in action. This is the essence of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, how I work with clients, and how I work with me.

So, I welcome apprehension. It’s here to tell me that this action is important to me; otherwise, I wouldn’t care. What might you accept today?

Best–Darren