The Paradox of Self Love and Self Help

– by Wes Colton, Introvert Unbound

heart vs arm-2Those of us interested in doing “inner work” have two conflicting schools of thought to choose from. The Self Help school teaches us to tackle our weaknesses while the Self Love school wants us to accept ourselves for who we are, flaws and all. Pretty much all of us end up enrolling in one school while ditching the other.

Self Helpers tend to focus on transforming their old “loser” self into a more successful version. Of course, since most Self Helpers set unattainable goals or goals at odds with who they truly are, they rarely achieve them.

Self Lovers prefer cultivating a mindset where they’re okay with their failures. Naturally, this reluctance to take action often means that their actual life situation doesn’t improve.

But what if you didn’t have to choose between the two schools and instead could embrace the paradox of self love and self help?

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Ditching the Introvert Crutch

– by Wes Colton, Introvert Unbound 

3d-happy-man-jumping-throwing-crutches-3d-illustration-of-person-joyful-jump-throwing-crutches-3d-drawing_csp17031606-2Sorry to break it to you, but being an introvert isn’t an excuse for sucking at conversation. All too often we introverts let ourselves skip social engagements by pretending we weren’t born to interact with other humans. But that’s just a crutch and leaning on it keeps us from standing on our own two feet.

Accepting and embracing the fact that we’re introverts is key. But so is recognizing that we live in an extroverted society where regular socializing is crucial to our friendships, love life, and career. And, believe it or not, developing social skills can actually make the process a lot of fun.

If you find it impossible to strike up a conversation with a stranger, it’s simply because you haven’t tried it enough. Granted, it’s way easier for extroverts to practice this skill because not only do they enjoy blabbing about whatever crosses their mind, they’re addicted to doing so. While introverts recharge by reading a book, watching a movie, or going on a hike, extroverts get their energy by talking to people.

But just because it’s harder for us introverts, doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Socializing is really just a habit, so as soon as you start doing it, it becomes routine. And if you do it long enough, you’ll feel weird if you stop (the same thing goes for hiding at home, of course).

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