The recent proliferation of motivational speeches and articles is great, but in our mind, they also reinforce the need for more realistic confidence standards—or, scratch that, no standards at all! Introverts get lots of advice from all quarters about how they should talk or act.
Interestingly, speaking up is an art, and while “shutting up” may seem like the right thing to do sometimes, it’s in your best interest to say something. It takes practice, and the deep belief that your contribution is valuable.
We’re advocates of alleviating the misconceptions about introversion. Consider these reasons you should get talking as the realest and best ever written.
1. You’ll be avoiding the safe route
Confidence in speaking is never a bad thing to have. But forget all that talk about it making you more appealing. It is not entirely wrong but the truth is, there are times you should actually keep your mouth shut.
What speaking up does for you is that it makes it easy to avoid the safe route of silently agreeing or disagreeing with an opinion.
2. You’ll be providing real solutions
Even if your opinion isn’t taken into serious consideration, it can still drive meaningful discussions. Your opinion could generate some alternative lines of thinking and new perspectives that can result in real solutions.
Ultimately, you’ll be feeding discussions, and eventually helping to get results.
3. You’ll learn
Let’s say you aren’t sure if your opinion is valid, but voiced it all the same. A wrong opinion isn’t an indication that it isn’t relevant, it may just not be right for the moment.
Never worry about appearing foolish; instead, make it a genuine learning experience and you walk away the wiser.
4. You’ll lose nothing
Introverts have a tendency to imagine worst-case scenarios when faced with an intimidating prospect like voicing their opinion. They easily envision being humiliated in front of everyone.
In reality, these possible outcomes are extremely rare—the risks of speaking up is actually much lower than they might seem. You’ve got absolutely nothing to lose!
To become more comfortable with expressing yourself, start by:
- Working on gaining some confidence in yourself.
- Recognizing that everyone struggles. Some people are simply insecure about expressing themselves
- Being around the right people. The kinds who aren’t critical and are accepting of others make it an easier process.
- Before saying something, take a breath, relax and realize this isn’t a test. The other person(s) more than likely want to hear what you have to say. Starting with a sentence is the way to go. If you start out small, you’ll gain more confidence with time.
It’s a process. It takes time and practice, but you can do it!