Friday morning my alarm went off, and I dragged myself out of bed and into the shower.
I’d signed up for an early morning networking event, and needed to be in Falmouth by 7:30.
I put my clothes on, grabbed some coffee and with my hand on the doorknob came to a screeching realization.
So I turned around. Put my Captain America jammies back on and crawled into bed with a pillow over my head.
I felt a little guilty because I’d spent 20 bucks on the event. And my life coach, whom I really like, was presenting on the problem of saying no (I’m sure she was proud that I said no to this event on saying no…)
But I’d spent from 10:50 am to 8:05 pm on Thursday either talking to or being talked to at the gym.
I’ve known since college that I am an introvert. My spiritual director administered the Meyers Briggs test to me when I was a sophomore and I scored as an off-the-charts introvert (I’m an INFP if you’re curious).
Those who know me now might be surprised to learn that I'm introverted as I've learned to be outgoing through years of coaching.
The terms introversion and extroversion are preferences popularized by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung and later incorporated into what is now known as the Meyers Briggs test I referenced above.
For those who aren't familiar, extroverts tend to be outgoing and talkative and get their energy from parties and engaging with people. Introverts tend to get their energy from quiet reflection, and that energy dwindles during interactions.
I know what I need to do to restore my energy, and I know that quiet reflective time (i.e. pillow over my head) is important for me.
A few years ago I read the book Quiet by Susan Cain (which I highly recommend for everyone), and the book was an excellent reminder of all of the things that pull on my energy.
It’s loud noise (I don’t love concerts), bright lights (I work in ambient light at every opportunity), and any other type of stimuli. Which means the gym is actually a very draining environment for me, no matter how much I love it.
I write this post mostly because I think so many of us try to force ourselves to go against the grain, especially when it comes to energy. Don’t get me wrong. It’s important to terrify yourself sometimes (playing your guitar on Facebook Live instead of just for your basset hound...) because if you don’t challenge your comfort zone, you’ll never grow.
But if you don’t also pay attention to your needs and energy levels you’ll fry and frustrate yourself.
Choosing an exercise routine that aligns with your personality is a great way to make it stick. That might mean that you work out by yourself two days a week and take a team training class two other days. If you’re an extrovert, that might mean that you find a workout group or class for all of your workouts.
Last Friday was an eye-opener for me. Despite my self-work and knowledge about my personality, I had to acknowledge that I have to know when to hold them and when to fold them.
Going to networking events is important and I will go to them. But next time around, I’ll plan that event around my work week and my personality and I’ll attend the event when I’m fresher.
I’ll honor my introvert.
Honor your personality.