Q: Dear Athena,
How can I transform myself from an introverted person to an extroverted person? I don’t want to be so shy anymore. – Emem
My Answer :
Being shy nowadays feels very tough because our society is currently built around validating and rewarding extroverts.
The world of social media is proof of this.
Now more than ever, we can display and promote our own lives not only to people close to us but to total strangers.
This entire set-up feels counter intuitive to introverts (and dare I say some extroverts out there) and that’s 100% okay!
Part of self-care is knowing what you need in order to recharge. If you are an extrovert you need social interactions to full up on.
If you lean towards introversion, you need solitude and quietness.
Dismissing this in an attempt to be more extroverted or introverted will just leave you feeling drained in either case.
You can’t pretend to feel energised by social interactions if they don’t really energise you and vice versa.
Carl Jung, a pioneer in the field of psychology, asserted that we all possess both introverted and extroverted qualities.
He believed that it was just a matter of recognizing that you already had these qualities within you and that all you need to do was to bring them to light.
So honor the fact that you lean towards introversion and recognize the fact that you innately have confidence brimming within you.
5 Steps to Unleashing Your Inner Confidence:
1. Know that you have the internal power to face anything.
2. Shyness is a way of remaining emotionally safe in social settings.
3. Acknowledge that you may potentially feel fearful of judgement or of “saying or doing the wrong thing”. Work on your inner narratives and self-belief. Know that it is safe for you to speak your mind and voice your feelings.
4. Start imagining yourself as being successfully confident in different scenarios. Try it on for size in first your mind and then slowly in the real world.
5. If the worst case scenario where to happen (in relation to acting confidently) what would it be? Naming our fears can be a helpful way of acknowledging them and then disarming them, so that they no longer hold any power over us.
Know that shame and guilt are diminished through courageous acts of emotional vulnerability.
Be brave and step into your power.
P.S. Receive my free audio course here designed to leave you feeling uplifted and inspired.
P.P.S. I would love to hear from you in the comments below. Are you an introvert or extrovert?
Lastly, this column was originally featured in Cosmopolitan (SA edition) Magazine’s Online Edition ( I write a weekly Q&A / self-help column for them) . If you have a question you can e-mail or tweet me and it may be featured in Cosmo and on my platform here.