People are often shocked when I tell them I’m an introvert, especially since my job involves a lot of socializing and relationship building.
There are many misconceptions about introverts: We’re shy, we don’t like to socialize, we don’t take risks. But that’s not the case. I’ve built a successful publicity business that generated over $2 million this past year.
I’m proof that you don’t need to be an extrovert to succeed. Here are three things I always do to look and feel more confident:
- I double down on my strengths.
Introverts can be very self-critical. But rather than focusing on what I lack, I find confident through my strengths. I love taking personality assessments like the Myers-Briggs test to help me better understand where I shine.
My Myers-Briggs type is INFJ (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging). I learned that INFJ’s strengths lie in advancing causes and the people they believe in.
For me, this means helping others achieve their goals by bringing them together at retreats and networking events.
When I feel less confident, I turn to my “praise folder” that I created on my iPhone. I save screenshots of text messages, social comments and emails I receive from people thanking me. These positive words remind me that I’m good at my job.
I like wearing bright colors, too. Without saying a word, they naturally draw attention and help me step into the role of a more outgoing person when I need to be.
2. I focus on quality over quantity.
I’m never going to be comfortable around hundreds of people at once. I like to be thoughtful with my responses, and I sometimes struggle with big, fast-moving group conversations. But that’s okay.
At networking events, I remind myself that I don’t have to talk with everyone in the room. Going deep with two or three people is more meaningful than trying to make small talk with every person.
I also focus on quality over quantity when it comes to being creative. Unlike my extroverted peers, I’m not a content machine with new ideas to share every day. Instead, I create fewer pieces of strong, intentional posts on social media.
3. I limit activities that drain me.
You’ll never see me on my laptop at a co-working space, unless I’m there to socialize. I need ample alone time to feel my best. I love working quietly from my apartment with no distractions.
Being in meetings all day drains me as well. Some are necessary, but I’ve discovered a lot of helpful alternatives.
I use Loom, a video messaging platform, to share ideas and updates with my team. This has saved me over 100 hours in meetings. When colleagues want to meet to explore a collaboration, I might invite them to chat with me on Voxer, a walkie talkie app.
And I typically only do public talks or interviews once a year, or when I have a big launch coming up. After that, I retreat back into my introvert shell and focus on my business. That’s what feels good to me, and it’s helped me make millions while staying true to myself.
Selena Soo is a publicity and marketing expert for entrepreneurs and influencers. She has worked with more than 4,000 clients. Follow her on Instagram.