Surprise Reflections & Quiet Self Discovery!!
I am reading a great book called Quiet by Susan Cain. I am learning something about myself that surprises me. I’m an introvert! Really???
I love teaching and that is very extroverted so what is this?
The author, in her book, includes a questionnaire that helps to place oneself on the extrovert-introvert spectrum. I have taken it several times as I have read through the book and learned more about how I fit into the world of introverts and extroverts. Each time I take the test my score changes – more toward the introvert end of the scale. The first time ten out of twenty answers said ‘introvert’ (so more like an ambivert). Today sixteen out of twenty! What is going on?
This is what I call discovery.
I am realizing that somewhere along the way I deemed this part of myself unnecessary, so I stopped paying attention to it. This is a natural process for everyone but perhaps more so for me and my introversion as I was raised on a farm where ‘doing’ – not thinking – was the way of life. When things didn’t get done, animals and crops suffered neglect affecting our livelihood. It was necessary for me to be productive and to know that I had value within my family. Introversion didn’t serve a purpose, so I willingly gave up this part of me in the name of the bigger picture. Wow….
This sounds very similar to what I hear from moms and dads. They place parts of themselves on a shelf while they raise their children or work on their career. Years later they realize how much they missed reading or exercising or painting. The most common phrase is ‘there just isn’t enough time’.
With this discovery, I think, I will pay more attention to my need for less stimulation so that my internal world and intuition have more space to thrive. Continue to listen deeply and talk less. Finally, be more mindful about what I am feeling and perhaps less driven by my thoughts about what needs to get done.
Quiet was a great read for me, and I think can be a journey of discovery for all of us.