People who know me are often surprised to hear me say I'm an introvert - but that's because they make the same mistake that I did until recently. I always thought that because I'm outgoing, confident and sociable I must be an extrovert. But then I learned that it has nothing to do with that - it's all about where we get our energy from. An introvert "recharges" when they're on their own and an extrovert charges their batteries when they're around others.
Now, I LOVE being with people (technically I'm an extroverted introvert). I get so much pleasure and happiness from being around others - whether it's dinner with my besties, my monthly networking groups or tea with my family. But it does wear me out a bit, and I always value the quiet time that comes afterwards - and that's when I regain my energy ready for the next bout of fun! Without that quiet time, overwhelm kicks in and when it gets to that stage I can't show up as my full self... which in turn can give my confidence a knock.
Last week I had an idea... and the few people I've mentioned it to have been so taken with it I thought I'd share, in case you want to try it too. I'm introducing into my diary a regular "People-Free Week". Every six weeks I'm going to block out my diary to work quietly at home. ALONE. No clients, no networking, no socialising. No conversations. No people. (Except my kids of course, because I don't think I'm allowed to just ignore them for a week!)
I'm really excited to give this a go. I'm pretty certain that by listening to my needs and letting myself recharge like this, I'll be able to show up fully the rest of the time! I'll be energised and looking forward to talking to my clients, able to give them the very best of me.
I'll report back and let you know how my first PFW goes, and I'd love to know what you think! Are you an introvert thinking "OMG YES!!" or an extrovert thinking "UGHHH that's sounds AWFUL"? How do you recharge so you can let yourself be the best version of you? Let me know.