This is not a fashion post. Or maybe it is one in disguise. But I wanted to illustrate this personal post with a picture of myself and this turned out to be some kind of a photoshoot in the end and an occasion to renew my profile picture to fit the theme. So this is a bit new but I guess that’s okay! Going on with today’s topic, which is very close to my heart…
A little bit of a backstory
When I look back on my younger years, I know that I have been several times in the shadow of someone. I’ve always had a best friend I would conveniently hide behind because I was too shy or too afraid to do something/take a goddamn decision on my own. Or simply because I secretly wanted to be like them. We would always be a solid pair of friends but I believe I was seen as the « weakest » of the two because they were more outgoing and confident than me. To be honest, I would only stand out at school because of my good grades and this traces back to elementary school and secondary school.
It was a little bit different in high school and uni, but I was again in the shadow of someone when I started working at my first real job with my best friend. She’s definitely more talkative, making it easier for her to make connections with people. When she left the company, someone teased me with that short sentence « how are you gonna survive without your friend now? » and I was hurt. Hurt because that person definitely didn’t know my worth while I, on the contrary, knew I would do very well (and I did). Without her being around, people finally got to know me better and I started to exist.
It’s not always easy for us introverts
I know there’s a lot of introverts in the blogging world so I’m sure you’ll agree that we don’t particularly enjoy being in the spotlight. I personally hate being the center of attention (so I’m not seeking it) just like I’d rather be modest than a show off (I’m not at all saying that extroverts do).
It’s hard to stand out, be understood and to « promote » yourself when you’d rather be in your comfort zone in the background. I think it’s even more complicated when you’re shy and lack confidence, while society expects you to be able to sell yourself in front of clients, employers, an audience, etc.
Why you need to be your #1 supporter
“I was my own woman. The next step was to find the proper sort of man.”
This is a quote from The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath that I absolutely love. It is true that you first need to be your true self, to be your own person, before you become someone to others. In fact, as comforting as it is to be in the back, you don’t really want to be unnoticed. You’re unique, and what makes you you is what people will find interesting. So the first thing to do before you want to attract people into your life, to make them believe in you and your projects, is to be your own person.
It takes time, but the best you can do is to do your own thing and take risks. Then you can pat yourself on the back from time to time and start to believe in yourself. Because it has perks, and I know I’ll be working on that again this year.
Here are a few additional quotes from John Izzo’s The Five Secret You Must Discover Before You Die book that really resonate (review here).
Each time we play it safe, we move farther away from our truest self. Each time we chose not to move in the direction of what we want, we plant the seeds of future regret.
To thyself be true, do what is right for you, and be your own person, do what makes your heart sing.
Dive in with both feet, roll up your sleeves and get messy, dare to live, dare to love, dare to connect.