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Do you shy away from situations that push you out of your comfort zone? Maybe it’s attending networking events, speaking up in a meeting or starting a conversation with someone new. In this episode, Jen admits to being a shy introvert herself and shares her tips for not letting shyness hold you back from achieving your goals and dreams.

Did you enjoy the podcast today? Please let me know by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts. Every month I draw one lucky reviewer to have a free one-hour consultation with me. Also, remember to subscribe wherever you’re tuning in from so that you always catch the next episode.

SHOWNOTES

I’m a shy introvert, and I consciously have to do things that get me out of my comfort zone daily to cope with life. Now, most people don’t believe me when I tell them that, but it’s 100% true.

I’m the shy kid, but I’ve learned how to get comfortably uncomfortable in this life so I can do the things I want to do in this life. Let me explain.

I’m the kind of person who works with mentors because it’s important that I leave this world in a better place. Being the shy kid who would rather be a recluse, I can go days and days without leaving my house. It’s terrible.

Thankfully surfing has given me a reason to leave the house, but my comfort zone is home. 

For the last ten years, I’ve travelled the world as a professional speaker (before the pandemic), and it was wonderful because I could visit new places and go on adventures either on my own or with others, but when I’d come home, I wouldn’t play with anyone.

Introvert vs extrovert

So what is the difference between an introvert and an extrovert? An introvert recharges in the quiet alone, where extroverts recharge when they are out playing with other people. I’ve learned that I’m an introvert but tap into the extrovert part of my personality to do want I to do in this life.

My street party

As I mentioned, I work with mentors, and one of my mentors challenged me to get out of my comfort zone. I’ve lived in many houses across many cities these last few years, and I’ve never known my neighbours. I’ve always used travel as my excuse for this, as I’d be away 6-9 month of the year, speaking and travelling the world. 

But one of my mentors called me out on it and said to me, “Jen, we need to work on something”. He asked the question, “Where are the five people that you’re closest to?” When I looked at that, they were all around the world. My five closest friends were not within easy driving distance to me. 

I thought that was cool, but he said no, it isn’t. He said, “You don’t let yourself get close to people that are physically close to you. I want you to hold a street party”.

I thought, what?! Now I love a party, but I have to know people. The thought of knocking on neighbours doors and inviting them to a party terrified me! Knowing his role was to help me stretch, I made the deal to have a street party and invite 20 houses. I also agreed that I’d knock on their doors and hand them a flyer – not just put it in their letterbox.

So, I did up the flyers to give people and designed them up nice, but they sat there for weeks! I was so worked up I couldn’t deliver them. It came down to two days before the street party, and I thought you have to do this. I remember the pain was so bad, but I took a big breath and did it.

We had the most insane party! From 3pm to 11pm, it went on. Now, four years on, I still have half a dozen people in my street that I’m still friends with. If I didn’t step out of my comfort zone, that would have never happened.

Being so uncomfortable with meeting new people, I often agree to things and then pull out at the last minute because I get so worked up. 

People don’t get it. They say, “Jen, you speak to thousands all over the world, and you’re fine?!” The difference is that when I speak, people are coming to see me. I don’t have to take the step to go towards them.

Business networking meetings are my terror zone. To get through those, I have to go and find the other person standing on their own and start talking to them.

How I get through life as an introvert

These are the steps I’ve taken to get through life as a shy introvert and not hold myself back from achieving all that I want in life.

  • Take deep breaths – Breathe in for four seconds and breath out for eight seconds; it settles your heart.
  • Know WHY you want to be in that situation – Focus on the payoff for the discomfort. 
  • Tune down the voice in your head – The best way to do this is to fill your mind up with kindness and reassurance. Say to yourself, “you’re safe” (see Episode 66 on Affirmations).
  • Find the loner in the room – Introduce yourself and look for common ground. To do this, I work to the acronym FORD, which stands for family, recreation, occupation and dreams and ask them questions around these topics.
  • LET YOURSELF BE COMFORTABLY UNCOMFORTABLE – Keep stretching yourself, chat to strangers and find common ground.

Healthy Life Hacks

So, the healthy life hack I want to leave you with today is: 

  1. Let yourself get comfortably uncomfortable and find one thing this week that you can do to get out of your comfort zone.
  2. If you don’t know your neighbours yet or only a couple, think about organising a street party. They can come to your place or the end of the street – bring a plate, bring a drink and connect.

Did you enjoy the podcast today? Please let me know by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts. Every month I draw one lucky reviewer to have a free one-hour consultation with me. Also, remember to subscribe wherever you’re tuning in from so that you always catch the next episode.

Are you looking for more great resources? Get a free copy of my Feed Your Body ebook here and be sure to explore my blog while you are there.