For a while now I have felt the pressure of ‘showing up’ and ‘being visible’ or ‘being heard’ in professional and social settings. Some of this pressure comes from the people around me – those who are in a position to judge or offer advice – and some of it is self-imposed.
Over the years, I have read a lot about personality types, introversion and people having different sources of energy or different motivations to behave in the manner that they choose. But I have not yet succeeded in identifying and (therefore) being comfortable in a space that I can call my own.
There are times when I agree with this advice I receive and work on exactly what people say – being visible and heard. I make an effort to voice my points of view or make space for myself in group settings. Then there are times where my lack of interest in a topic supersedes the said effort. You know, where I just cannot be bothered. The action could be directly related to the topic, or to the people associated with it and their behaviour, or simply a lack of energy that I often experience for a reason not apparent to me.
Then there are times when my mind refuses to ‘adapt’ and wishes for others to adapt to my style. Maybe sometimes some people do adapt. But it feels inadequate quite often. It feels as though others are continuing with their high-pitch, high energy world and I am getting behind, with only my stillness for company.
And then there are times when I genuinely experience big spurts of energy which make me want to lead from the front, be in the centre of the universe, even compete with others for that single spot under the light.
I don’t know how to bring this all together. There are a few thoughts and actions in progress, but I still don’t have a view of the string that ties it all together.
Firstly, I have taken that professional advice seriously and signed up for professional coaching that can help me be visible and advance in my career. Part of me hates it and another part of me loves how empowering it feels.
arrogance voice in my head that works on improving my confidence tells me that I don’t have to bend over backwards to be able to fit in or move along with the rest of the world. That voice has influenced an idea to start something where I can bring people like myself together and start a commercial venture that operates outside of the traditional, type A, exhausting model. Something that genuinely draws on the strength of people like myself, not do lip-service in the name of diversity. I shared this idea with another person like myself who was very pleased to learn about it. That confirmed I am not the only one wishing for something like it. I just don’t know yet what it is that this venture could monetise.
The challenge is that I want everything. I want success as measured in the world that I don’t see myself fitting into. And I want to stop oppressing parts of my mind that feel out of sync with the rest of the world. And then, I need to address the gap that exists in my mind about my ability to excel at anything specific. ASIDE: as a child, I wondered if there was a profession for cutting paper with scissors because I enjoyed the process too much. I still do. So, if there does exist such a profession, please do inform me about it.