Introvert Leadership: 4 Warning Signs that You’re Avoiding the Hard Stuff

WarningYou aren’t alone as an introvert and leader when it comes to avoiding the hard things our professional life imposes on us.  It just seems that way some times.  You look around you and see all kinds of people getting around at parties, making sales calls or carrying the conversation in a business meeting.  It looks easy so you think it must be – for them but not you.

You’ve decided (or shall I say rationalized) why doing the hard things are just “not you”.  That makes it ok to avoid doing it.  Doing things that isn’t authentically you or your style might help you buy the story you’re telling.

Is that you?

I got into a conversation with a good friend who was avoiding the marketing and promotion for a newly published book of hers.  As we conversed, she admitted she really wasn’t comfortable doing the promotion but quickly added “But I’m ok with it.”  Hmm, you’re ok with not promoting a book you just published?

By being ok with avoiding the hard stuff, you limit your potential.

Is limiting your potential ok with you?

I realize that us introverts have challenges with things like speaking to strangers, selling, networking and self-promotion.  I get it – big time.  The issue is letting those challenges get between you and your goals—and then somehow making it ok in your mind.

Here are the warning signs of avoiding the hard stuff:

  1. You’ve convinced yourself it’s “not you”.  In this day of self-actualization and self-examination, we don’t do things that aren’t really us.  Only a lot of things are like that until we choose to change.
  2. You’ve convinced yourself it’s ok to not do something you know you need to do to succeed.  It’s like getting ok with not zipping your pants cause you’re too fat.  “I’m happy within myself.”
  3. You’ve convinced yourself that waiting (for what? A miracle?) will somehow make the bad thing go away.  You think waiting will change things only you’re doing nothing to make things change.
  4. You’ve convinced yourself that whatever “it” is, really isn’t that bad.  You’re avoiding telling the crappy but vocal employee their performance is bad.  Although now, you’re trying to warm up to their bad ways.

Here is how you push through those tough, hard-to-do things:

–          Realize what your fear.  You can’t solve a problem you don’t identify.

–          Recognize there are multiple solutions.  You don’t have to do everything yourself or by yourself.  Find and hire an expert.  Ask for help of an expert.

–          Realize that you can learn to do something with practice.  You wouldn’t let your kid give up on learning to ride a bike.  It’s going to be scary and maybe even painful for a while until you learn to master something.

–          Learn to live with a certain level of discomfort.  The best advice I ever received was to never get comfortable or it becomes too easy too stay put and never reach for the stars.

–          Break it down into small steps.  The scariest thing looks much easier when you break it down as a process with small baby steps.

We love our rationalizations.  They comfort us as nothing else can.  Don’t let them comfort you out of greatness, promotions and more pay.

Getting ahead as an introvert doesn’t have to be painful or difficult.  I can help.  I work with professionals to figure out how to make the climb to the top easier.  Learn these skills and others that will accelerate your career.  I offer  FREE career advice and insight in my newsletter and mailings.  When you sign up you also receive my workbook “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”.  Sign up now:

This is brought to you by Dorothy Tannahill-Moran, Introvert Whisperer & Climbing Manager Champion at

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