Quiet Courage

posted in: Art | 10
ReadQuiet…
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)

I Can Do All Things
I Can Do All Things

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.

Hard Things

So, what is this quiet courage, and how do I plan to practice it?

  1. Know that being a quiet person is okay.
  2. Understand that there are times when I will need to push myself and open up my life in order to help others.
  3. Be aware of moments if my quiet courage may have inspired someone else.
  4. Look for new ideas that allow me to share my art and my thoughts in authentic ways that fit my personality.
  5. 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.

 

 

 

 

10 Responses

  1. Alisha Gratehouse
    |

    This is a thoughtful post, Amanda. I, too, am an introvert and experience many of the same feelings you mentioned here. Although I have recorded over a hundred art lessons, I have to mentally give myself a pep talk before each one. Many times I have procrastinated the recording session because of fear, and sometimes, I even feel a bit panicked because I know I’m going to have to talk a lot through the lesson. Once I actually hit the “record” button, I’m fine. I just envision the women or kids I’m teaching and talk to them as if they’re a part of my family or a close friend (this makes me a lot more comfortable). Praying you find what works for you as you continue sharing your artistic journey! Love, Alisha

    • amanda
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      Thank you for sharing this with me! Personal pep talks are a great way to help yourself. I have them quite often ? I really believe it helps to know that there are others who feel the same way. We can be an encouragement when we reveal our weaknesses to each other.

  2. Eefje Jansen
    |

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts Amanda! I recognize a lot of it! I also considered myself as a shy and introvert person and I like listening and observing more than speaking up. But that are also my strengths and from time to time I can really see that now and appreciate myself for that. Especially since I have started reading about high sensitive persons I have found out so much about myself, maybe that could be interesting for you too?
    I too am an artist and I too have difficulties and fears about putting myself out there and promoting my art. I am still a newbie but so afraid to take the next steps! I am afraid to get hurt, to find out that people do not need me or want my art… So that is also what my art is about.. My art is about healing and encouraging and by making it I can already help myself.
    Thank you Amanda for your quiet courage!

    • amanda
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      Thank you so much for sharing, Eefje. I love how you see your listening and observing traits as strengths! I have been reading some about introverts vs. extroverts and also left brained/right brained traits am so intrigued by all of it. I will have to look into the highly sensitive aspect more now that you mention it.

  3. Tami
    |

    really good blog.

    • amanda
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      Thank you, Tami 🙂

  4. Shaelyn
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    I envy creativity in others. I don’t seem to have found any of that in myself. I think I may have traits of both. But, the thought of speaking in public has made me physically sick at times. You have definitely taken a big leap forward in this post, to even share this.

    • amanda
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      Thank you for your comment, Shaelyn. I think you must have some form of creative thinking. You just may not realize it or think of it as creativity. 🙂

  5. Julie Abrell
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    Amanda dear…you posted this for ALL of your fellow introverts! thank you! I shamed myself for most of my life over my desire to be alone and my need for quiet and my slow processing time. I neglected to celebrate myself and how well I know myself because of all that time alone: the inner peace and joy I have, the way I know myself and my God, and the beautiful things I am able to create with my hands and my imagination. All things work together for my good. I love myself now, I wouldn’t change any part of me…not to please anyone else — which as a single woman, I have tried to do on occasion 😉 and it just doesn’t work. I recommend that everyone take a free Meyers-Briggs type personality assessment online so you can know your personality type (I’m INFJ) and read more about the traits specific to your type and how you can better appreciate them, I think you’ll find freedom in knowing you’re not alone and knowing that you have identifiable gifts that the world needs that you have probably been fighting and wanting to change. ♥

    • amanda
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      Julie, I DO hope it helps all of my fellow introvert friends. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas. Taking the online personality test is a great idea. Knowledge is power! ❤️