Finding my place in the world as an introvert

map & compass

Have you ever found that you don’t quite fit and you’re not sure why?

You know you’re a decent human, kind, even funny sometimes and good at what you do. And yet… you just don’t feeling that sense of belonging, as if you’re hanging out on the periphery of where you should be. I get it. I’ve spent a long time in that place, and it’s only recently that I’ve figured out why.

I was trying to be something I’m not; an extrovert.

Why? Simply because we live in a culture that celebrates extroverted traits over introverted ones. I saw how those with outward-facing enthusiasm and energy allowed them to be noticed, they joined in with everything effortlessly, were quick to speak up and be heard. I wanted all of that, but found it exhausting, inauthentic and, not surprisingly, I felt (and probably came across as) harsh and uncomfortable.

For the longest time, especially in a work environment, all I could think was… “how can I change to fit in here and do better in this career?”

So, what changed? Let me share some of my journey with you…

Firstly, Colin arrived in my life.

They say you never forget your first. For sure I’ll never forget Colin, I thought he was a-maz-ing! And he rode a motorbike!

I never expected him arriving in my life when he did but he was just what I needed at the time; I loved the time we spent together, it was uplifting and challenging, in a good way…. until it reached a point though where I knew things had to change because… I realised I wanted to be more like Colin; heck… I wanted to BE Colin!

I wonder now what would have happened if I’d never not met my first coach when I did… whaaaat? you did realise I was talking about Colin the coach right??

Seriously, and I know it sounds cheesy now, discovering coaching was like coming home (a lot of coaches say this and I totally understand why!) I’d never come across something so empowering, and I knew right away that I would be a coach. And that I would use coaching to help people not spend so many years where I’d been. It was a powerful moment that I can still recall now, years later.

And then, against all the odds, I did forget Colin… for a while.

With this new vision of a different career in my mind, I finally moved on from a workplace I didn’t quite belong in, and at the same time moved our family out into the greenery of the Ribble Valley. I suddenly had no job, no friends nearby, a huge amount of space and a lot of time on my own, with husband and son out all day at work and school. It was lot of change all at once, and like with all change, it was a wiggly path!

I’ll spare you the long version; in short I found that all the alone time, mostly outdoors, was an absolute balm and I can still recall standing on my own in the kitchen watching the view and saying out loud…

“I feel like me today”

… I couldn’t honestly remember the last time that had happened. It was glorious.

That memory is closely linked to the realisation that I was, despite trying to be otherwise, an introvert, and a highly-sensitive person (HSP) too. Wow! Both of these made so much sense, why hadn’t I discovered this before?

Here’s why. Because neither being an introvert, nor being a HSP, seemed like good things to be. Boring, quiet, shy, high-maintenance… the list goes on.

Marie was the next piece of the jigsaw…

By now, I was gloriously happy in the middle of project managing our new house build, Colin a distant memory, and I was feeling very much at peace… but still wondering what next, because a new build only takes so long and I would need a job when I’d finished, wouldn’t I?

But for now, there were boxes everywhere, we hadn’t properly unpacked, and I was starting to feel edgy indoors as the winter drew in.

Although I didn’t know it then, it turns out a cluttered environment has a detrimental effect on introverts, draining their energy; for a HSP the effect is doubled.

So when I came across the Life Changing Magic of Tidying, I was hooked! For the next three months I Kondo’d the sh*t out of our house, with enough enthusiasm that the boys couldn’t help but join in, and the result was a calm, joyful, energising space that I just LOVED coming home to.

An unexpected result was a new space to think; my head had become as cluttered as the space and suddenly I felt lighter, another level of feeling like ME!

And that space is where it came from; the remembering that I’d forgotten just how much I wanted to be a coach.

The rest, as they say, is history. Alongside building our family home, I went ahead and trained with Barefoot on an intensive three month course, to get my diploma in personal & business coaching. I trained as a Time to Think coach to deepen my work immeasurably, and I certified as an NLP practitioner to support real subconscious transformation.

Next, there was Sas…

I understood very quickly that I couldn’t be a great coach without working on my own stuff, with my own coach. I chose Sas because she talked about self-doubt, and to me this was straight-away both very familiar and completely unknown too.

For a long time, I’d felt there was something wrong with me, because I didn’t fit in, and that I was never quite good enough. At last I could breathe out. There was nothing wrong, I simply didn’t believe in myself. (Of course, there is nothing ‘simple’ about it but that’s another story)

So, I learned all about self-doubt and how to build self-belief, exploring all the coaching tools I could find as well as developing my own from all I’d learned.

And here I am, a (mostly) confident, highly-sensitive introvert who’s found her place in the world:

  • building a business that works with, not against, my energies and my core values
  • working with quiet humans who are ready to develop their mindset and their business
  • hosting workshops & holding space for groups of amazing women who need a boost of self-belief

There is nowhere I’d rather be!

If you’d to discover how to build your self-belief and work with your unique energy as you find your place in the world, and you’d like to find out how coaching can help, you can book a free, no-strings virtual brew with me just here…