Attention is the new currency — that’s what Gary Vee said all the time. The reality is, it’s not just about online marketing or business; this concept applies to virtually any aspects of life.
If you can easily become the centre of attention and without going through many struggles, you will go very far in life. And being an extrovert seems to have a significant edge in that.
They don’t seem to feel nervous approaching strangers; they are more energetic, charming and convincing when they speak. It feels like it’s their second nature to do public speaking or presentation, so they are bound to have more luck in their life, relationship and career.
Being an introvert myself, I used to feel myself being inferior to the extroverts. Sure, we introverts might be better listeners and thinkers, and also more observant.
We could have the best idea in the world, but what’s good if we struggle to voice out and share our thoughts with others?
So my original belief is, extroverts are going to take up all the spotlights. For introverts, the best bet is to work on their craft quietly, and maybe one day, someone will recognize their importance and effort.
Oh boy, that was a terrible thought. It couldn’t be any further from the truth.
Introverts can also shine and be good at grabbing attention from others. As an introvert myself, I want to share with you what I have gone through and how to overcome the fear to approach others and reclaim the limelight, so that it’s easier for us to achieve success.
Definition of Introvert and Extrovert
If I ask you what’s the definition of introverts and extroverts, chances are, you’ll say extroverts are the rowdy ones that are good at socializing and seem to always have fun in the party. Introverts, on the other hand, are the shy ones, not good with people and rarely speak up.
If these are your answers, I can’t say it’s entirely wrong, but it’s not the full picture of it.
A more accurate definition is, introverts recharge their focus and energy when they are alone but extroverts recharge when they interact with people.
Indeed it’s easier for extroverts to network because that’s how they replenish their energy, but that doesn’t mean introvert cannot socialize with others. As long as they have sufficient energy, they can still perform well if required. The fact is, many world-class public speakers and top salespeople are introverts.
It’s so important to make it clear, because the previous cognition suggests that we are born to be good or not good with something, which is not true. That could lead you to develop a fixed mindset which could be harmful to your self-development journey.
Anyone can learn people skills, and it doesn’t matter whether you are an extrovert or introvert.
Fear of Rejection
Generally speaking, we don’t like to take the initiative unless required, such as reaching out to others and voicing out our opinion.
Sadly, if we want to become more successful, we can’t avoid that. In reality, whether it’s getting new clients, finding a business partner or hitting up a crush, in most cases, if you don’t start the conversation, nothing will happen.
And you could be missing out a lot! Can you recall the time when you could have taken action but didn’t, and then you went back home regretting and beating yourself?
I mean, I’ve experienced a lot of that before. One time in a meetup event there’s a girl I find quite attractive, and throughout the whole event we got along pretty well, but I didn’t dare to ask for her contact details, and of course, I never saw her again.
Ugh. I missed out big time.
Let me repeat again. Taking the initiative is important because that’s how we expand our network and see more opportunities. Most of us already knew that already, but why don’t we do that often? The answer is simple: we are afraid of being rejected.
Before we see the benefit of connecting with other people, we often get intimidated by the thoughts of being rejected.
What if that person doesn’t like the idea? What if I looked like a fool? What if they find me annoying? How about we wait, and let them approach us first?
These kinds of thoughts could become excuses for not taking action, and if you give in, then you ended up doing nothing. Not ideal.
People are more forgiving than you think.
We have identified the fear of rejection can hold us back, and the question is, how do we handle it.
Of course, we can practice by talking to strangers more, because as I mentioned in this article earlier, it’s a numbers game.
But it’ll help you better if you understand one thing here. Always remember people are more forgiving and willing to connect than you think. You are worried about being rejected because they might tell you off in the face and feeling awkward, but the truth is many people appreciate it when you reach out and break the ice.
It doesn’t have to be that complicated. Try greeting a stranger with a smile, and in nine out of ten times, they’ll smile back at you.
You never know, the other person might be thinking the same for hoping to build a connection as well but don’t know where to start.
The pain of not taking the initiative
You could be making excuses for not taking the initiative, which I believe is a form of procrastination. In that case, the best way to fight the fear is to visualize the bad consequence for not taking action.
If you are not talking to the prospect, then you are ALMOST GUARANTEED won’t sign up this person as a client.
If you are not talking to your crush, then you are ALMOST GUARANTEED won’t connect to him/her in any place.
If you are not applying for your dream job, then you are ALMOST GUARANTEED not getting it.
To leave no regret, it’s best not to overthink and take a shot regardless. Of course, there will be times you are not getting a good outcome, but it’s still a lot better than not even trying.
Introverts can also shine in life and be likeable, as long as you don’t use it as an excuse for not trying.
Remember introverts are not shy and timid, they are just more comfortable when they are alone.
And to overcome the fear of rejection, acknowledge the fact that many people are open to connection and even if this didn’t work out, it’s still a lot better than regretting not trying.
So introverts, what are you going to do from now on?