I love the thought of it and the reality of it.
I have always disliked noise.
Big crowds make me feel nervous and drained.
I do not like to be the center of attention.
I prefer listening rather than speaking.
I feel physically sick if I have to do any sort of public speaking.
I enjoy being creative, but am uncomfortable promoting my creations.
I am not exactly someone who would be described as the life of any party.
Being alone helps me recharge my batteries.
Do any of these things sound familiar to you? If so, you, like me, are most likely an introvert. According to Susan Cain, author of, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, at least one-third of the people we know are introverts.
I have always looked at my introverted personality traits in a negative light and wished I could be more “outgoing,” thinking of wise words to say that would help others, and making friends more easily. I suppose we all have “flaws” that we would like to wish away.
However, as I have gotten older and continued learning, I have come to realize that with quiet courage I can overcome some of these hurdles of life, and I can happily embrace the traits that are not hindering me from being a Godly person. In fact, some natural traits of introverts are actually praised in God’s Word.
“And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you” (1 Thessalonians 4:11).
“Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price” (1 Peter 3:3-4).
“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (James 1:19)
You see, I had never thought about how these things come easily for me, while they may not for my extroverted friends. While I have problems with public speaking and putting myself out there, others may have problems with listening more than speaking. I guess we all have some things we can work on.
My main hurdle is talking…words…putting my thoughts into sentences. Although I have done it for years, blogging is really difficult for me. I am much more comfortable just keeping to myself in the safety of my own shell. For example, I have been thinking about this blog post for so long that I almost worked myself into a nervous fit. LOL! Also, I don’t go back and read things that I have posted in the past, either. I would be very tempted to delete my whole blog if I did that! Putting myself out there does not feel natural to me at all. I am a very quiet and shy person and do not feel authentic when I try to post wordy things online that I know I would have a REALLY hard time saying out loud. It’s just not who I am.
Then there is this thing that I truly love and want to share….it’s my artwork. Publicly sharing my art is a really big deal for me, too. I think it is hard because for most artists, our work is an extension of who we are. Our art is very personal and sharing it can actually be terrifying. As strange as it may seem, it really takes a lot of courage to create something and then show it to the world.
As my business grows and my public reach broadens, what I am now finding is that there is a need for me, as an artist, to not only share my work but also share my thoughts, my beliefs, myself! This has to be one of the biggest challenges that I have faced as an artist. This is so hard for me for so many reasons…
BUT….I am determined to begin practicing quiet courage, and I wanted to encourage others who struggle with this to do the same.
So, what is this quiet courage, and how do I plan to practice it?
- Know that being a quiet person is okay.
- Understand that there are times when I will need to push myself and open up my life in order to help others.
- Be aware of moments if my quiet courage may have inspired someone else.
- Look for new ideas that allow me to share my art and my thoughts in authentic ways that fit my personality.
- Know that I cannot help others if I always stay within my comfort zone.
Do these thoughts resonate with you? Are you an artist or creative person that struggles with opening up and putting your work out there? What are some things that you have learned that helps you keep going? I hope you will join me in this process and we can all learn together.