There is no getting around it. I am an introvert. I’ve always been a quiet person, I find social situations entertaining up to a point and then I have to crawl back to my room to just be. by. myself. and recover, and I’m not rejuvenated by being around other people unless I know them.
It’s dispiriting to learn that extroverted medical students are typically more successful than their introverted brethren, if only because they don’t have a problem interrupting, getting their priorities on the table, feeding off the energy of people around them, and being constantly stimulated by socializing, talking with others, or actively doing. “Be more confident,” I’m told.
I’m entering a world where I’m expected to be ON 24/7, keeping myself as busy as possible, doing, doing, doing–where’s the time for reflection? Where’s the time for self-care? For actually THINKING about what I’m doing and being away from other people in order to think more clearly?
That’s why I was somewhat heartened by Susan Cain’s TED Talk on introversion. She expressed a lot of the same feelings that I have about constantly interacting and competing. It’s great–up to a certain point. I was also fascinated to learn about Google’s 20% rule. It seems that the movers and shakers acknowledge that solitude and me-time are necessary for success.
Speaking of traits for success–I don’t watch Top Model, but I thought this clip was pretty interesting. Tyra’s right. You have to work desperately for what you want, commit yourself completely if you want to be the best. Don’t blame the situation or other people for your own shortcomings. Accept that there will be challenges along the way, and know that you are your own strongest thing. I keep on returning to the Beloved quote: “you are your own best thing.” If you don’t take responsibility for your flaws, you can’t really take credit for your own brilliance. You’re the only person who can determine who you are as a person, your own moral compass.
It’s also important to remember that we are continually changing and growing. Here’s a study on our perception of ourselves, and how they change over time. Always remember that between chaos and stagnation is the middle ground where life is truly lived: changes of varying magnitude, shifts and setbacks and forward motion.