Accepting Yourself as You Are as an Introverted Female Leader
Via LinkedIn : For the high achieving introverted woman working in a world dominated by extroverts, if you are not self aware and true to yourself, it can be easy to think that there is something wrong with you. You may not be loud. You may not bolshie. And you’re most certainly not likely to be the life and soul of the party at events and gatherings. But you know what, that is ok.
Trying to behave like the extroverts and be something that you’re not will only put undue pressure on yourself. It will drain your energy, affect your self confidence and make you start questioning whether you are really good enough.
Before you can lead others you have to be able to lead yourself.
But before you can lead others, you have to be able to lead yourself. And as an introvert in an extroverted world, self leadership is key. Knowing who you are, knowing your strengths and playing to them will help you to be an authentic, bold, confident leader. Able to stand your own, even if all around you people are behaving like it’s a matter of she who shouts loudest gets heard.
As an introverted leader myself, I would go to meetings dominated by extroverts, all vying for attention, all vying to get their voice heard above the noise, but that just wasn’t me. I would sit, watch, listen and observe, reflecting on what was being said before adding my golden nuggets of wisdom. Not just talking for the sake of talking, but talking when I had something valuable to add.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t always seen as a strength or a good quality to have. There was a period in my career when I went through a very challenging time when my leadership abilities were questioned. I wasn’t a throw your toys out of the pram sort of person and this I believe contributed to why I was being challenged.
But rather than change who I was, I played to my strengths, became more of my authentic self, resulting in the recognition I deserved and being known as a calm, confident leader.
If you are an introverted woman in a world dominated by extroverts, learning to accept yourself as you are, is the first step to you conquering self leadership.
Don’t compare yourself to the extroverts
You may think that others get all the attention because they shout louder and are good at blagging it. They may appear to be more decisive. They may appear to be more popular and as a result, get all the attention. But popularity alone doesn’t make for a good leader.
Don’t compare yourself to them and put yourself down in the process. Admire them yes, but don’t long to be like them.
Utilise your strengths
Calm, controlled, reflective are all good traits to have in times of crisis. When all around there’s panic and mayhem, you’re measured approach will be reassuring to those around you.
You have been given your strengths for a reason and it is not meant for you to hide them under a bushel. Embrace your strengths, utilise them and play to them.
Know your areas of weakness
Playing to your strengths doesn’t mean that you totally ignore your areas of weakness. Rather, it means that you don’t magnify your weaknesses and as a result put all your focus on them and not recogne your strengths, as that is what we have a tendency to do.
Self leadership is about being aware of your areas of weaknesses as well and minimising the risks. There are going to be things that you are great at, things that you are indifferent to and things that you are just not good at, at all.
Your weakness is another person’s strength. Delegate the things that you are not good at but know is someone else’s strength. Develop the weaknesses that are essential to what you need to do. And if what you need to do requires a lot more of your weaknesses than your strengths, is this really the right role for you?
Playing to your strengths and totally ignoring your weaknesses is a bit like burying your head in the sand. They shouldn’t be totally ignored but you shouldn’t focus on them so much that you lose sight of your strengths.
Accept it, you are not perfect
Accept it, you are not perfect. but then neither is anyone else. We all have flaws. We are all fallible. Trying to be perfect all the time puts you under undue pressure.
I often find that introverted women working in an environment full of extroverts, think that it is them that needs to change. That they are not good enough. So they put pressure on themselves, trying to make sure that everything is perfect. Believing that if it is they will be accepted. As a result of this, they fail to see that their work is of a high standard without putting on all that pressure and that it really is good enough.
Have you got a misconstrued view of what is good enough, based on a mistaken belief that you have to be like the extroverts?
Rather than put yourself under so much pressure, accept that good is good enough and that YOU ARE good enough.
As a high achieving introverted woman working in an environment dominated by extroverts, you may think that because you’re not like the rest of them that there is something wrong with you. But there is nothing wrong with you. Introversion is not something to be ashamed of. Besides, if everyone was an extrovert, what a noisy chaotic world it would be.
Are you an introvert working in an environment dominated by extroverts? If so, how has it been for you? Do you feel like you can’t be your true self or is it not an issue for you because you are comfortable and confident being you? Please share your comments below. Your experience may help the person that reads it.
I am The Coach for High Achieving Introverted Women, a Writer, Speaker, UK top 50 Business Adviser and the founder of Abounding Solutions. I help introverted women to be authentic, bold, confident leaders and excel in their careers and businesses. I also help organisations develop the talent pipeline of female employees so that more women make it to senior management roles.
I write here on LinkedIn, on my website and on Huffington Post on subjects to help women achieve optimal potential in their careers and businesses.
Are you a high achieving introverted woman? A woman striving to be the best that you can be. A woman who wants to be a sphere of influence and be an authentic, bold, confident leader, excelling in your career or business. Do you want to make a difference and a positive impact in your respective field or community? Do you want to do this AND be true to who you are, whilst living a meaningful, purposeful, balanced life? If this is you and you’re not part of the community, come on over and join the conversation here.
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