Updated: Sep 6
Helping clients understand themselves and their habits is a big part of what I do as a career and life coach. I too am on a continuous journey of learning more about myself. Self-awareness can be very empowering.
I've had a sneaking suspicion for a while that I'm more introverted than extroverted, especially as I age. It turns out I was right. I recently took Susan Cain's introverted/extroverted quiz from her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking and got a higher score for introversion. For so many years I believed I was an extrovert from my Myers-Briggs test results about 20 or so years ago. It helps to see it as a spectrum as Cain suggests in her book since I'm close to being an ambivert (both introverted and extroverted).
What does this have to do with you? You may also have a sneaking suspicion that you don't fit into our Extrovert Ideal culture. A term Cain coined to describe how extroversion is revered in many aspects of our society. If that's the case, you may be an introvert or an ambivert and instead of "beating yourself up" for not living up to the ideal, know that you are different and that's okay. How you process, recharge and approach things is different from your extrovert counterparts and, as Cain says in her title of Quiet, there's power in that.
Now I know why I struggled with group coaching programs (not facilitating but being a participant of), Facebook groups and some marketing approaches. One size does not fit all when it comes to business and a lot of business coaches and programs cater to the Extrovert Ideal. Yes, it's important to market your products or services and if you find that difficult you might want to hire to help with that.
There are different approaches to marketing, however. For some, social media, ads, and speaking are the best ways. For others, referrals, and networking work. For me, marketing is about making connections and cultivating those connections as well as writing. I love writing and find I can articulate myself better with it (apparently an introvert trait).
Essentially, go with your strengths and don't feel bad that you're not adept to do it all. This goes for business or for employment. If it's important to go beyond your strengths, find people to complement you, you generally don't have to do it all.
If you're curious where you fall on the introvert/extrovert spectrum, you can take Cain's quiz from Quiet. It's not a formal test by any means, it's something she devised from a lot of research on the subject. You might be on the fence with some questions like I was (I was on the fence for 3), however, I would go with what you identify with more times or if you are more like that now.
Speaking of the latter, I believe introversion and extroversion can be fluid as opposed to fixed. Yes, usually leanings are one way or the other (unless you're an ambivert). Some introverts, however, can work on being more extroverted in certain aspects (one of my introverted friends can go into a different mode on stage) and some extroverts can enjoy JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out) from time to time. Certain tendencies depending on the context can be stronger than others, hence the spectrum.
No matter where you are on the spectrum, accepting who you are and going with your strengths are key.
Ps. If you have been struggling with finding a good fit career or business wise, apply here for a Get Acquainted Call to see if I can help.