When you’re an introvert you can often find yourself lost in your thoughts or lost in your phone at 3am going deeper into the rabbit hole obsessively researching what you are supposed to be doing with your life.
You’re bored with you job. Work drains you and you look on enviously at videos of YouTuber’s getting paid to travel the world doing cool stuff that you’d love to do (in your head anyway).
You end up reading articles that give you the answer you’re looking for. You’re excited, you subscribe to someones newsletter just so you can get access to a 10 step guide to freedom. You come up with a plan that is going to turn your life around from a dull 9-5 existence to one of meaning and fulfilment. Sunshine and roses.
This is it! You wake up excited for the first time in years, you spend every waking minute plotting your escape from your 9-5. You fantasise about handing your notice in yet dread the confrontation (can I just email them though?).
And then the doubt sets in. Can I really do this? Is it actually possible? If so, why isn’t everyone else doing it? You might even pluck up the courage to tell someone close to you. They will probably look at you sideways like you’re crazy.
After all it can be strange when an introvert develops their plans internally and then they’re sprung on some poor unsuspecting soul fully formed. To them you’ve just gone from 0 to 100 in 3 seconds. Extrovert’s will never understand that your plan is the fruit of hours and hours of internal thought. When an extrovert has an idea, they blurt it out. You will always be aware of their plans well in advance of their execution.
And that’s where a lot of introverts get stuck. The ex-o-cution. Whenever we introverts gets near the point of execution more often than not we’ll retreat into another round of research. We can never know too much, especially anxious introverts. We never feel truly ready, we feel the answer is in another book or blog. We need to have every scenario and eventuality mapped out.
The trouble is that this is impossible. And that’s why there are many many introverts out there with unfulfilled ideas. I know for me I used to write and make music. I’d endlessly create, but I wouldn’t put it out there. I was extremely nervous of people reading my stories or listening to my music, especially people I knew.
If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
You don’t have to create for anyone. Creating can be entirely personal. But I believe that by sharing your creativity you are adding to human culture, to the world. It doesn’t have to be good, good is subjective anyway, it simply has to be an expression of you and your time on earth. Don’t expect to be paid for your creativity, to have an expectation is to stifle your art. Simply do. Put it out there.
Creating is art, but art isn’t always drawing, writing, singing and the things that generally come to mind when you think of creativity. You can use your creativity in all areas of your life. You might have an idea for a business but the sheer scale of starting it means that you could spend the rest of your life planning and never get anywhere near starting it.
Introvert’s have a gift for thinking and often, researching too. Thats why I say: plan, do, review. But to procrastinate is to waste your precious time on earth.
Set yourself a time limit for your planning your idea, the length depending on nothing more than what you need to do to get started. Keep it short, shorter than you think because in my experience it is in the doing that I learn most, not the planning.
When I start something it is the unexpected avenues that I get pulled down that surprise me the most, it is in the starting that my creative juices begin flowing and my ideas reveal themselves whether they be a modification to my project or an idea for a new one entirely.
I can guarantee you that whatever you imagine, it will turn out differently, so while planning has a place, spending too much time in this phase will be a waste of time. Useful planning will give way to reasons why you shouldn’t and then procrastination will set in. The time will pass and your creative spark for the idea will dim. You will have missed the moment.
So stop procrastinating and start doing 🙂