From the book, Quiet, by Susan Cain:
“Whoever you are, bear in mind that appearance is not reality. Some people act like extroverts, but the effort costs them in energy, authenticity, and even physical health. Others seem aloof or self-contained, but their inner landscapes are rich and full of drama. So the next time you see a person with a composed face and a soft voice, remember that inside her mind she might be solving an equation, composing a sonnet, designing a hat. She might, that is be deploying the powers of quiet.”
On p. 447 there’s a quote from Anais Nin that says, “Our culture made a virtue of living only as extroverts. We discouraged the inner journey, the quest for a center. So we lost our center and have to find it again.”
Finding your center again is worth the work. Two years ago I had a spiritual experience that settled deep inside me my value: That God deeply loves me no matter what (please ask if you want more details). That experience “centered” me. Since then I’ve been working at rewiring my brain to believe my value and know I can be confident in what I think even when I’m challenged.
Reading Susan Cain’s book, Quiet, about the power of introverts has also been freeing! It’s okay to need alone time. It’s okay to admit I’m more on the sensitive end of the spectrum, so now that I’m aware of it I can challenge myself, get a thicker skin, and just know I have that tendency.
Discovering that it’s okay to be you is so freeing.