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Embracing Authenticity: Unveiling the Power of Introversion

Being an introvert has its challenges. I did not realize how society had attached such an unpleasant connotation to the word introvert. People say the word, “introvert,” and people hear anti-social, hatred for people, socially awkward, and hermit. This negative perception stems

from the fact that introverts are often misunderstood. They are often seen as shy, socially awkward, or lacking in social skills. However, introversion is simply a personality trait and does not necessarily indicate any of these negative qualities. Introverts simply prefer to spend time alone or in small groups, as they find solitude and introspection energizing. They may also prefer deeper, meaningful conversations over small talk. Society needs to recognize and appreciate the unique strengths and qualities that introverts bring to the table.

People don’t understand what drives an introvert to exhibit behaviors that others may deem anti-social. Introverts are simply individuals who tend to be more inwardly

focused and gain energy from spending time alone. They often prefer quieter and more solitary activities, such as reading, writing, or engaging in hobbies with smaller numbers of people. Introverts may find social interactions draining and may need time alone to recharge. It is an energy issue, not a people issue. I remember dreading activities (like Back to School Nights) that required me to engage with a whole bunch of people at one time, not because I didn’t like people, but because it drained me of my energy and when it was over, I was excessively exhausted.

I often would hear people talking about the

introverts in their lives very derogatorily, and it made me feel judged just listening to them. When I was not confident in myself, it would make me not want to speak out to try to explain or give them another perspective. When introverts are misunderstood, it can have various effects on their mental and emotional well-being. They may feel frustrated, isolated, or even anxious. Being misunderstood can make introverts feel like they don't fit in or that their needs and preferences are not valued. It can also lead to a sense of being judged or criticized for their natural tendencies and feelings of loneliness.

You can try to force yourself to be the social butterfly, but it will be terribly uncomfortable, and it will not bring the best out of you. Embracing who you are will help you overcome the battle in your mind, before even tackling the attitudes of society and people around you. Research suggests that introverts may be more susceptible to feelings of depression compared to extroverts. Introverts tend to internalize their emotions and may be more prone to overthinking and rumination, which can contribute to feelings of sadness and depression.

We must guard our minds against negative thinking. It is easy for us to entertain thoughts of us not being worthy or enough, us not having what it takes to do what we are trying to accomplish, or thoughts of us not being sufficient or significant to others around us. This is the time you want to fight against these negative thoughts because they are not true. You are enough, you are worthy, you are significant, and you have what it takes to do whatever you are trying to do. Don’t let the enemy rob you of your purpose.

Humans have basic needs that are essential for their well-being and overall satisfaction in life. These needs include physical needs (such as food, water, and shelter), as well as psychological needs such as love, belonging, self-esteem, and a sense of purpose. Humans also need social connections, meaningful relationships, and a sense of autonomy and control over their lives. Additionally, humans need to feel safe and secure, both physically and emotionally. These are the areas that the enemy is going to challenge you in when you begin to ruminate and worry over things that you do not need to. The Bible says in Matthew 6:25, “Therefore I tell you, stop being worried or anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted) about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, as to what you will wear. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing?” This also connects to our mental or emotional well-being too! The things that you think in your mind if it does not serve to be encouraging to you, life-giving, or fill you with hope, then they are not meant to do you anything but harm.

Why entertain thoughts that do not bring you peace and joy? If the thoughts you are having do not inspire you to grow, learn, or create something positive, cast them down and think about more positive things. The Bible states in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].” If you have experienced trauma in your life, there will be things you need to face and negative emotions attached to them. For you to heal, facing those things is necessary. I don’t mean to ignore those things and pretend they don’t exist. It does say to think on truth and those things that bring peace, and once you face those things in your life, it will ultimately bring you peace and growth by facing the truth, but though the traumatic things did happen, the truth is that you are an overcomer and can get through the rough patch you are going through to get to healing. The truth is that these things may have happened to you, but their effect does not have to be continually negative. You can turn them around and use those things you learned to help others who may be going through something similar. Turning those negative things into positives will bring you joy!

Joy is a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. Joy has a significant impact on the brain and body. When we experience joy, our brain releases neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins, which are responsible for feelings of pleasure and happiness. These neurotransmitters create a positive feedback loop in the brain, reinforcing the experience of joy. In terms of the body, joy can have several physical effects. It can boost the immune system, lower stress levels, and reduce the risk of certain health conditions such as heart disease. Joyful experiences also promote relaxation and can improve sleep quality. Furthermore, joy can enhance brain function and improve overall mental well-being. It can increase creativity, problem-solving abilities, and memory retention. Joyful experiences also contribute to a positive mindset, resilience, and a sense of fulfillment in life.

Overall, joy has a profound impact on both the brain and body, promoting overall well-being and enhancing various aspects of our lives. Joy is not happiness. Happiness is temporal and finicky. It can change and can be mercurial. You cannot rely on happiness, but joy is consistent and much more stable. It is the quiet delight that comes from knowing who you are, embracing who you are, and knowing the person of God who created you. God knew you before you were even born and did not consider it a mistake for you to be here, so you are significant in just being you.

This is the time (if you haven’t already) to pay attention to the things that you enjoy and do well. Those things are hints and keys to your purpose and who God has called you to be. There are things in our lives that we need to change and grow from, and we need to be open to face and deal with those things in our lives, but if our motives are pure, those things will not hinder but propel us forward. Jesus said in John 14:6 (AMP), “...‘I am the [only] Way [to God] and the [real] Truth and the [real] Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” Let’s train our minds to seek Truth, and it will ultimately bring us joy!

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