4 Books Every Bold Introvert Should Read to Kick Off the New Year

an introvert chooses a book to read in the new year

New years are always loaded with potential. Yet we’ve all read about how rarely people stick to their New Year’s resolutions. I’ve all but abandoned the process, however, that doesn’t mean I don’t leverage the power of new beginnings.

2020 is here, and with it, a whole new decade lies before us. The opportunity to take bold steps toward your dreams is here now. Consider leaving resolutions behind and instead focus on your continuous development.

The books suggested here will speak to bold introverts — the term I use to describe my clients. We are the quiet ones who have something big to say. Bold introverts strive to be “go-getters” but are often talked over, steamrolled, or have their ideas taken without credit, simply because they’re not the loudest voice in the room.

In a world full of noise, it’s all we can do to stay calm when inside we are screaming for everyone to shut up and listen. The struggle, as they say, is real.

Bold introverts are equipped with more strengths than they believe. The world is changing so rapidly it’s mind-boggling, and it’s opening up to bold introverts in ways it never has before. So if you’re one of those reticent ones who is both a dreamer and a doer, then consider these books as tools to help you bring your visions to life.

4 Books for Bold Introverts

1. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Are you even an introvert if you haven’t read this book? Of course you are, but if you haven’t read it, you should go get it immediately. Susan Cain is the O.G. bold introvert. A quiet person with a big message that was able to pierce through the din. I recommend this book to everyone, introvert or not.

Why you should read it: Cain’s analysis of what it means to be an introvert is as engaging as it is well-researched. It’s the holy grail of books for introverts.

Favorite quote: “I’ve seen firsthand how difficult it is for introverts to take stock of their own talents, and how powerful it is when they finally do.”

2. Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant

While not a book explicitly about introverts, Grant tells the stories of innovators and non-conformists. Of course, not every non-conformist is an introvert. But every introvert who moves against the status quo of the extrovert ideal is a non-conformist, and, as Grant explains, that’s a powerful strength to have when you strive to make an impact. Grant has also collaborated with Susan Cain, which earns him all the extra cool points in my book.

Why you should read this book: Originality means going against the status quo. In a culture dominated by an extroversion-is-best mentality, embracing the power of your introversion is an original idea in itself. To harness that power — to listen then speak truth to power, to observe then create new systems and art, to think then shape culture and rewrite narratives — is the gift you have as an introvert to give humanity.

Favorite quote: “Becoming original is not the easiest path in the pursuit of happiness, but it leaves us perfectly poised for the happiness of pursuit.”

3.   You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

While I generally don’t like to type people I don’t know, it’s a pretty safe bet that Jen Sincero is not an introvert. But one thing Sincero has in spades is boldness. She is also a study in what can happen when you let yourself be fully yourself. Let yourself be a badass.

Badasses don’t have to be loud. No one with any sense would argue that Rosa Parks wasn’t a total badass; as Cain points out in Quiet, those who knew Parks said she was also a reserved and reticent introvert. Parks mastered the art of yelling quietly. So can you.

Why you should read it: Jen delivers her message of empowerment through hilarious stories peppered with swear words. She’ll be the first to admit that she’s not saying new things. However, as Grant has said, “You don’t have to say something new if you say something true.” Sincero drops giant dump trucks of truth.

She doesn’t just invite you to step into your power, she implores you with isms like “to kick ass, you must first lift up your foot.” Yet none of what she says has the overwhelming, pushy energy of other extroverted motivational types which can be so disempowering to us quiet types.

Favorite quote: The entire book is quotable! But I do love the “lift up your foot” one.

4.   The INFJ Revolution by Lauren Sapala

This is a book by my brilliant colleague, Lauren Sapala. As the title implies, the book is addressed to the INFJ, one of the introverted Myers-Briggs personality types. But INFPs, intuitives, and feelers will also take so much from this book. Lauren is a writer and a coach for writers whose works include autobiographical fiction, and books and blogs about life as an INFJ. Check. Her. Out.

Why you should read this book: Lauren delivers the powerful message that intuitive introverts can step into their power by believing in the truth of their own intuition and emotions. In a culture that often feels skewed in favor of rationality, Lauren notes that intuitive feelers can feel left behind. She helps them understand that the way they navigate the world isn’t wrong just because it’s different.

Favorite quote: “If we have the courage to own what we are and fully tap into it, there’s no telling what a profound impact we could have on the world.”

Like many introverts, I love books. I love the mesmerizing pull of the ideas they contain within their pages. I struggle with the knowledge that I won’t live long enough to read all the books I wish to. This is the reason I rarely reread books.

However, my copies of these books have loose binding, dog-eared pages, and notes written in the margins. They’re never lent to others because too many of my own private thoughts are intertwined with the original print. That hasn’t stopped me from buying new copies for friends or making them suggested reading for my clients.

Introvert, I hope you find the inspiration between their covers that I have, and use that inspiration to go out and leave your mark on the world in the new decade.

What books would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments below.

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