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5 Reasons You May Be Doing This Introvert Thing All Wrong

5 Reasons You May Be Doing This Introvert Thing All Wrong

So you’ve done all the quizzes, watched the talks, read the books and discovered you are in fact, an introvert. You are now well-versed, and well-positioned to begin your confident and happy life as an out and proud intro; no apologies or explanations, right? So why do you feel stuck? With all the information to hand, you’ve somehow fallen right back into the cycle of pre-self discovery and have unfortunately gone back to your closeted introvert ways. Things just aren’t falling into place, you’re more drained than ever, and no one seems to understand your needs.

Chances are, you’ve gone about this introvert thing all wrong, and you’re not alone. Many introverts have found that once the initial ‘hype’ calms down, what they’re left with is pretty much the same thing they had before they put a name to their introverted nature. But there’s still hope.

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Let’s look at a few reasons why you may be struggling, as we suggest ways to help you, and keep you introvert happy!

1. You don’t know what type of introvert you are.

Are you an extreme introvert who requires the maximum amount of solitude in order to function? Perhaps you’re a social introvert, who loves mixing it up with people, but requires the odd break in between to keep going? Or maybe you’re an Ambivert – that balance between extrovert and introvert. Either way, it’s important to find out, and focus on your own unique ‘-vert’ status. All the best introvert advice in the world will do nothing for you if you haven’t discovered where you sit on the spectrum. It just won’t fit. Discovering just how much recharging time you may actually need will begin to set you on a more peaceful, stress-free and less confusing path in understanding. Allowing you to really begin to appreciate your introverted nature.

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2. You’re still having trouble saying, “No.”

You’re still hanging out at parties way past the time you actually want to leave, still afraid you’ll look anti-social. You’re attending your third get-together this weekend because you felt pressured to do so, but you’d rather be at home, enjoying some much needed down time. Unfortunately, it’s likely you still haven’t let go of your introvert insecurities. Those insecurities that once followed you around pre-knowledge, forcing you to conform to the social ‘norms’. And saying “no” is still a problem. The difference is however, you can no longer feign ignorance of your introvert needs, as you resentfully go against all you now know, and continue to allow those earlier insecurities to dictate. The good news is, you now have the tools and information at hand to help you put a stop to the madness. So “no” more excuses!

3. You’re not carving out time to recharge.

This is a tough one for most introverts. You’ve probably spent most of your life trying to do the opposite, as to not appear rude, or weird. It’s a challenge at first, to begin requesting and actually carving out some alone time for yourself, but it is essential, and is at the heart of being an introvert; you need time-outs, to recharge and recoup so you can get right back in there and start swinging! You have to get serious about how and when you recharge – it’s totally down to you. You have to take charge on this one. There’s nothing cute about a frazzled, burnt-out introvert just trying to hold it all together.

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4. You’re focusing on the wrong things.

You’ve probably been taught most of your life to party or chat your worries away. And though this may seem like great advice, it simply doesn’t work that way for most introverts. Sure, it’ll be fun, and you won’t be thinking about your problems when you’re laughing it up with your buddies, but unlike an extrovert, introverts need that time to get away and think things through. Not least because the constant fun doesn’t mean the brain switches off. Oh no. In fact, the introvert brain is usually just as busy as the body during these rather social moments, which can be extremely exhausting when you’re trying to forget about it all, even for a few hours. This can lead to total burn out.

The solution: focus inward. What you need may not be out there, but within. Your rich inner life is a thing of wonder; tap into it. By giving yourself time to maul things over first, you’ll have a clearer head, leaving you free to have fun, and get on with life.

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5. You have people in your life who still don’t understand.

Unfortunately, such is the life of most introverts that not many people close to you will understand your new found need for alone or recharge time. They’ve known you to be the life and soul of the party, or the chatty one in the group, or someone who doesn’t mind them dropping in unannounced (gasp!). Truth is, you did all those things, partly, as a way to accommodate, while negating your own need to recharge. Now, your requests for alone time appear harsh, and friends and family feel personally slighted whenever you turn down an invite. Full disclosure is your best option here. No one likes to be left in the dark, or made to feel like they’re being left behind, so speak up.

By letting those close to you know what you need, they will in turn begin to understand, and will hopefully begin to cut you some slack. Not only will this make you feel more comfortable in your own understanding of your introvert needs, it will also help you let go of those annoying insecurities, and set you free to love being you.

That’s a happy and confident introvert all round!

Featured photo credit: Enjoying View in Adrspach Mountains/Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

More by this author

Patricia C. Osei-Oppong

Writer, Poet, Marketer

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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