Yesterday I announced on my Facebook Fan Page that I was rolling out a new focus on life and leadership coaching for introverts. Right out of the gate, a woman asked a question that gets at the heart of why I chose this specialty (actually, it chose me, but that’s another story!). She shared that she is an introvert then asked, “what are some tips for becoming more extroverted?“
The question resonated with me, because I’ve spent time pondering that myself. My short answer was “I don’t advocate for introverts becoming more extroverted; that’s working against your natural energy/personality, not with it.” And I remembered a blog entry from almost a year ago that spoke exactly to this point. In alignment with Mercury being in retrograde, I’m putting my blog in retrograde to share the entry with you. Enjoy!
Entering into the half-way point of 2009 (already!?), I’m reflecting more deeply on a commitment I made at the beginning of the year: show up, show up, show up. The idea of showing up – being present physically, emotionally, spiritually, professionally – felt like a foundational piece of my personal growth strategy. It would support my need to make friends in a relatively new community, as well as be vitally important to building my coaching business.
I did well for much of the first part of the year. Biznik events, a book group, a women’s networking event, coach association meetings, masterminds… I showed up to all of them, as completely as I could. My goal of showing up also started to take on a new twist: showing up BIG. Within my network are people who have this magnificent, high energy that draws people to them and holds their attention. I wanted to be like them.
And I set forth that intention several times. For example: I am a magnet that draws people to me; I have energy to spare and share; I am a memorable presence. I thought the key was being more like the people I admired: outgoing, outspoken, just generally OUT.
You can probably guess where I’m heading with this… after working with my coach and lots of conversations with a trusted friend, I realized that my definition of “big” was based on the way other people were showing up, rather than what was true for me. I’d defined “big” as high energy. Since I was feeling relatively small, I was low energy. Hmmm… not very coach-like thinking!
Further reflection has brought me to my truth: that my energy isn’t low or high – it is mine. My unique and positive presence. My energy is calm, attentive, curious and centered. That’s what is authentic for me. It’s an energy that has its own power and magnetism, no better or worse than an energy that spins visibly faster.
Another truth: I was both inspired and intimidated by people with a more obviously extroverted energy. How could I partner with them? Would I end up in the shadows, or second chair?
What I’ve discerned is that my energy – and therefore, the way I show up – is a strength, and it’s perfect the way it is. And now I’m aware that I want to fully own it and trust it. I realize that in a partnership, it’s desirable, even necessary, to have that balance, the Yin-Yang.
Therefore, the second half of 2009 will be focused on showing up Big-According-To-Beth. I expect great things to happen.
For your consideration:
- What does “showing up ” mean to you?
- What’s your natural energy, and are you working with it or against it?