Have you ever found yourself dreaming about someday speaking in front of large audiences, working closely together with people towards the completion of a big project, or being the life of a party or a networking event; only to later think to yourself that perhaps this fanciful idea is unlikely because, well…your shy?
Introverts Deserve Success Too
If so, maybe it’s because you have introverted tendencies, but extroverted ambitions. Meaning, you like to keep to yourself, you don’t really enjoy being in large group settings, you don’t fancy small talk, but, you do aspire to achieve certain goals or achievements that seem to favor those with an outgoing and gregarious personality.
If this sounds like you, don’t fret, you are not alone. In fact, there are heaps of people in the same boat. Your vision of success and ambitions don’t have to be put on hold just because you are an introvert.
I used to be an introvert myself. I still am actually. I’ve just found a way to camouflage my introverted inclinations. Or put another way, I’ve learned some key interpersonal and social communication strategies, that have allowed me to ‘cloak’ my introversion. I’ve learned how to become an extrovert.
The Outgoing Introvert
These days, most people would think me to be an extrovert. I’ve been called gregarious, outgoing, social, and even the life of the party before. If I were to believe what others have said about me, I would have to consider myself an extrovert.
But the truth is, know myself, and I am far from it. I have had my moments in the past where I’ve let loose and just let my guard/hair down. You know, just going with flow and letting my voice be heard. Of course, in most of those past instances, imbibing several alcoholic beverages was typically involved.
I am sure it was in those moments where I learned through the eyes of others, my ability to be an extrovert, even though I wasn’t one at heart. I say this, because for the most part, I really am a low-key individual. I am person who has no problem keeping to himself all day long, and getting lost in my work. I still typically prefer to not attend large social events. Networking is not much fun for me, and I still find myself avoiding group events (from time to time), especially if I can get away with it.
Fortunately, in the event that I must ‘get social’, or that I must speak in front of large groups of people, I can now do it with ease and in a way where others actually suspect me to be some type of social-butterfly. And quite astonishingly, zero ‘drinks’ are needed.
Learning to Become an Extrovert
If you’re wondering “Well, how is he able to do this?” Let me first give you some background as to how acquired such strategies. Then I’ll give you some ways to help you do the same.
Years ago, I got fed up with my job working as an analyst for an engineering firm, and decided to jump into selling real estate. If you know anything about analytics or engineering, you’re probably aware, that by and large, people in this profession are very reserved, analytical, and keen on staying out of the public eye. In short, social is not their strong suite.
Similarly, real estate agents, or sales professionals in general are quite the opposite of the engineer or analytics professional. They are outgoing, talkative, easy to be around, and bluntly put, social.
As a novice real estate agent who thrust himself into the deep waters of sales, with zero sales experience, and with the social inclinations of an engineer, one could say that drowning was imminent.
Business was not booming, and my savings were taking a nose dive week by week for three months straight. So, I did what any person in such a situation would do, I started to flail. In my case, this flailing consisted of putting myself out there 10x more than I was already doing.
It consisted of reading a handful of books on communication, sales, psychology. It also consisted of practicing, a concept that I had long forgotten since my days playing college football. A concept that seemed quite foreign in a working world where the only time people seem to be concerned with their work, was from 9 to 5.
Miraculously, I found a way to transform myself into an extrovert when it mattered most. And ultimately became the type of person my goals needed me to be.
To help you become an extrovert, I’ve put together this short list of the key methods most useful in helping me make my transformation.
4 Tactics to Transform Yourself Into an Extrovert
1 – Put Yourself Out There
Really, one of the best things you can do to get out of your head and into the world, is to just put yourself out there. When you constantly push yourself to do things in front of people, or force yourself to talk to others, even when you don’t want to, you strengthen your ability to do more of it in the future.
If you do it enough, it will eventually become a habit and you won’t have any problems showing up as an extrovert when the time arises. Until you get to that point of course, the following steps will be helpful.
2 – Practice
This may sound odd, but practicing the gift of gab is essential if you want to show up as a gifted communicator. In short, when you practice chatting up someone, you are training yourself for a performance.
The benefits of this are two-fold. First off, if you are practice anything, you will eventually get better. So if you practice shooting the breeze with others, you will become more comfortable with it eventually. Similarly, if you practice alone in front of a mirror, it will be as if you are preparing to perform. Much benefit can also be gleamed from mental practice as well. Meaning, if habitually envision yourself chatting up others flawlessly, or speaking in front of people without a hitch, you’ll actually be prepared to do it well when opportunity arises.
This is where the second benefit of practice comes in. Basically, if you can see your social interactions more as a performance, then it can make communicating much easier to large groups or to others at social events much easier. The reason for this is because if you consider your communication as performing, then you don’t have to attach yourself to the outcome of the conversation or speech. And by detaching yourself, you essentially get to protect your ego in the event you do get judged.
3 – Follow the Fearless Formula
Reading up on ways to overcome shyness is essential to transforming yourself into an extrovert. In fact, some of the books I read to get help me make my quick transformation included books such as Courage – The Art of Living Dangerously, The Magic of Thinking Big, How to Win Friends and Influence People, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway, End the Struggle and Dance with Life, How to Talk to Anyone, Real Magic, How to Talk on Your Feet, etc.
In using the Fearless Formula, you get distilled knowledge curated from over 20 + different experts on how to ‘come out of your shell’ and show up as an extrovert.
If you are shy, introverted, and need an action oriented tool to help you become an extrovert, this is the one book you must read.
4 – Become an Active Listener
Oddly, this method is probably the most effective when it comes to interpersonal communication. I learned this method from Dale Carnegie’s book, How To Win Friends and Influence People. Basically, Dale points out, that when people feel they are being sincerely listened to, they tend to associate positive qualities to the listener.
So in essence, when we listen carefully to what others are saying, and genuinely show interest in them, people will find us to be sociable and interesting as well. Not only that, but by actively listening to what others are saying, you stop worrying so much about what you ‘should’ be saying next.
When we take the focus off of us, and put it on others, people will be more eager to chat with us. Magically, you’ll become sought out for conversation and social interactions. And knowing that others actually want to talk to us (because everybody wants to talk about numero uno…themselves), it makes chatting up other people a whole lot easier.
It is not necessary for a person to become an extrovert in order to achieve meaningful success in their lives. In fact, many celebrities, leaders, and uber-successful entrepreneurs are introverts; like Stephen Spielberg (Multi-Award Winning Director), James Hetfield (Lead Singer of Metallica), Tom Hanks (Actor), J.K Rowling (Author of Harry Potter Series), Barak Obama (ex-President of the United States), and Elon Musk (Inventor and CEO of Tesla). However, the people who have the ability to transform themselves into an extrovert when necessary, will be the one’s who successfully capitalize on opportunities when they arise.
Till next time.. Go Big, Go Great!