The more you tell yourself a certain thing, like you’re “boring,” the more you’ll think it’s true.
A few years ago, I realized that I had an underlying belief that I’m boring. I’ve spent my life thinking that extroverts live more exciting lives than I, an introvert, do. So, therefore, I must be boring… despite the fact that I actually lead a rather interesting life.
My husband and I are childfree by choice. I spent four years as a professional blogger before selling that business to become a productivity coach for entrepreneurs. We moved across the country two years ago — just because we wanted to live somewhere different. Each of these facts about my life are uncommon.
However, I still think that I’m boring because I like to stay home and have lots of alone time. I’m shy and quiet, so I must be boring. (By the way, I use the words belief and thought somewhat interchangeably, because a belief is simply a thought that you’ve had over and over until you are sure that it is true.)
This belief that I’m boring has hurt my business as a solopreneur. We take action (or don’t) based on the thoughts that we’re thinking. Each time I think that I’m boring, I’m taking action from that place. There are many ways I’ve seen this belief hurt my business:
- I second-guess things. This can include my email copy, social media posts, and client conversations.
- I miss out on connecting with potential clients. This is because I don’t share anything personal about myself — I assume it’s boring and they won’t be interested.
- My marketing attempts suffer because I avoid telling stories. Or, if I do tell a story, I cut it so short that it no longer resonates with anyone because I don’t want to waste their time with an uninteresting story.
- I present a watered-down version of myself. This is because I assume no one will relate to, or be interested in, the things I’m interested in.
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As an entrepreneur, and especially as a solopreneur, you gain a truly devoted following when you stand out, when people feel connected to you personally. No one excitedly follows you — or buys your product — if you’re bland. So my thoughts about myself were causing me to show up for my audience in a watered-down, bland, boring way.
Being an introvert was not the problem. My thoughts about being an introvert were the problem. But if my thoughts were the problem, they were also the solution.
2 Ways to Overcome Your Limiting Beliefs
Before we continue, let’s define limiting beliefs from a psychological perspective. Oftentimes, we learn them when we are children, and they get ingrained in us over time. But you can get over them — once you become aware of them, that is.
Two exercises have helped me overcome my limiting belief that I’m boring. This way, I can show up in a more dynamic way for my audience.
1. Look for the right kind of “evidence.”
You will always find the evidence that you look for. As I was thinking that I’m boring, I found mountains of evidence to support that thought. I especially compared myself to my extremely extroverted sister-in-law and used all of the ways that we are different to prove how boring I am.
Now, instead, I look for evidence to prove how unique and interesting I am. Shockingly, I’ve found tons of it! From my uncommon choice not to have kids to my hatred of Starbucks coffee to my love of murder mystery books, these are all things that make me unique.
If you think you’re boring — or whatever the case may be — start collecting “evidence” of why you’re the opposite.
- What about you, or your life, is statistically rare or uncommon?
- What strong opinions do you have?
- What do you dislike that most people like?
- What do you get excited about?
Next, start sharing these parts of yourself with others. The people who have things in common with you will feel like you are their kind of person. You will become memorable to the people who are completely different from you. Even if you share these things with just one person in a meaningful, one-on-one conversation, it still counts! Either way, you’ll stand out, and in the best possible way.
2. Intentionally think a new thought.
We humans have the amazing ability to choose our thoughts. I’m boring may be my default thought about myself, but I am capable of intentionally choosing a thought that serves me better.
The key to choosing an effective intentional thought is to make sure that you actually believe it. You may not be at the point of believing the thought: I am amazingly unique and interesting. No worries! Find a thought that you can believe and intentionally think that instead. Make it a ritual.
Here are some ideas for intentional thoughts:
- The world needs me to show up fully as myself.
- I have lived a unique life.
- No one is quite like me, and that’s my advantage.
- My ideal clients, customers, and friends (or whomever) want to see the real me.
- I am a unique and interesting person.
If you’re struggling to come up with a believable thought, try adding “it’s possible” to the beginning of the sentence: “It’s possible that I have lived a unique life.” Or, “It’s possible that no one is quite like me, and that’s my advantage.” For the latter, lean into your strengths and advantages as an introvert. For example, “I am an attentive listener,” “I am highly creative,” or “I am a great problem-solver.” These types of statements will also increase your self-confidence and have you believe new beliefs.
Do you ever struggle to know what to say?
As an introvert, you actually have the ability to be an amazing conversationalist — even if you’re quiet and hate small talk. To learn how, we recommend this online course from our partner Michaela Chung. Click here to check out the Introvert Conversation Genius course.
How Does This Play Out?
Remember, you take action (or don’t take action) based on your thoughts. If you are thinking and believing that your ideal clients (or new friends or first dates) want to see the real you, how are you going to show up in your life?
For me, as a business owner, it means I’m going to share personal stories to better illustrate my points in my educational and marketing copy. I’m going to send more emails and post more on social media, because I believe that people want to see what I have to post. I’m also going to boldly share my opinions and advice instead of trying to appeal to everyone. Introverts are great planners, so that’s another characteristic we can use to our advantage. And, by thinking things through before we say them, we’ll be prepared for when we do talk.
Taking these actions creates the result of devoted followers and more paying customers. (Or more trusted friends and better romantic matches — whatever your goal may be.)
In a Nutshell…
The thoughts that you think about yourself as an introvert directly impact the success of your life. By seeking the right kind of evidence and choosing intentional thoughts, you can overcome your limiting beliefs.
I help female entrepreneurs get more done in less time. Click here to learn how to work with me one-on-one to uplevel your mindset and business.
You might like:
- How to Advance Your Career the Introvert Way
- 12 Ways for Introverts to Increase Their Self-Confidence
- Why Ritual May Be an Introvert’s Most Important Form of Self-Care
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