As hard as it was for me to admit when I was younger, I have fully accepted the fact that I am an introvert. I have also come to realize that I am also what the world calls a highly sensitive person (HSP). I am currently a teacher, a field that is largely considered to be much more suitable to my extroverted counterparts. The combination of my natural tendencies and my current profession can often make work a challenge. To be happy and fulfilled in my chosen career, I find ways to feel confident and perform well at my job.
Here are three little things that have helped me to feel confident and perform well as an HSP:
1. Get to Work As Early As Possible
I’m not saying that you have to be that person who gets to work before everyone gets there. Nor am I suggesting that you should be there as soon as the door opens (because I’m certainly not). However, coming to work as early as possible, especially if you are an HSP, can give you needed extra time to prepare. The school where I teach formally opens at 1:30pm; even though my schedule varies, and I don’t often need to be there by 1:30, I try to get there as close to that time as possible.
There are some days when I begin teaching at 2:00 pm; by the same token, there are also days when I don’t start teaching until 5:30 pm. Regardless of what time I begin teaching, I like to arrive as early as possible. This gives me a comfortable cushion of time to prepare for the multiple classes I have to teach each day.
Arriving early also gives me time to deal with little things that may come up here and there while still giving me a good window of time to prepare for the classes ahead. Knowing that I am as prepared as possible gives me an additional boost of confidence. This allows me to focus on my teaching and doing it well.
While it is true that not everyone likes to prepare as much as I might, I like having that additional quiet time to focus on what I need to do each day, and take my time instead of rushing through everything in a haphazard sort of way. I’ve found that for me personally, getting to work as early as I can is one little thing that I can certainly do in order to make my life easier as an introvert in an extroverted workplace.
2. Do Little Things To Make Your Life Easier
The little things can make all the difference when you’re an introvert; this is especially true if you are an HSP (like yours truly). In a busy workday, every minute counts, even if it’s only a few minutes scattered here or there throughout your day. Little things can seem insignificant to the casual observer, but to us introverts, they can make all the difference.
To make life a little easier, I tend to stay for a few extra minutes after work to prepare for classes the following day. I pull out folders, listening materials, and textbooks that I need and put all of them in an easily visible area. Those few extra minutes I spend gathering my materials at the end of each day enable me to cut down on the amount of time I spend running between classrooms. Then I can spend more time focusing on how I will teach the material.
Of course, these little tasks that could make your life easier vary immensely depending on your job. Regardless of what your job is though, you can find little things to do to make your life easier. Spend just a few extra minutes each day doing them.
Little things like these can save you hours of anxious thoughts or other unpleasant feelings, which can easily affect your work. Doing things haphazardly in a distracted state of mind is never a good thing when it comes to your career. There’s a Tanzanian proverb that says, “Little by little, a little becomes a lot.” This is something I wholeheartedly believe. It also doesn’t hurt that doing these little things can help you make a good impression on your boss too.
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3. Make Time For Yourself
As an introvert, it’s crucial to give yourself time to decompress after work no matter how late it is. Personally, I like to change into more comfortable clothes after work and cook dinner while listening to a podcast. Other times I like to watch my favorite shows on my computer.
What introverts like to do varies depending on the person. Regardless, doing little things that you like at the end of a work day allows you to decompress. Having a
Practicing daily self-care habits and taking time to relax every day will give you time to re-center yourself both mentally and physically after a long workday. As introverts and HSPs, we need that time to perform at our best.
Being a highly sensitive person in world that tells us that we have to be extroverted can be a challenge. But that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to be successful. Make some minor adjustments, and reap the benefits.