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Introvert Anxiety Triggers – It’s a Thing!

I can’t help wondering if there is a direct link between anxiety and introverts. The more I think about it, the more I believe it to be true. And, as a classic introvert, I am of course thinking about it – often.

I can’t help wondering if there is a direct link between anxiety and introverts. The more I think about it, the more I believe it to be true. And, as a classic introvert, I am of course thinking about it – often.

A while back, I wrote a post titled “Okay, You’re an Introvert, so What?” It was a call to my fellow introverts to stop using their introversion as an excuse to miss out on life’s many opportunities. We are too often using the type of person we’re wired to be as a crutch and treat it as a curse.

Friends, don’t apologize, agonize, or look unfavorably upon who you are. That’s what makes you. And the world needs you. This is a lesson that took me many years to realize. It also took realizing that I spent most of my life being shameful of who I am.

And I allowed that shame to limit me.

Now Back to Introvert Anxiety

How many times have you said, “that’s just not for me,” or said “so-and-so would be a better choice” because you were fearful? How many times have you agonized over having said yes to something and then spent the whole time in fear because you were anxious?

I’ve done all those things more times that I care to ever try counting. And I am doing it right now.

You see, as I wrote this, I was awake WAY early for a conference I was attending. I was attending because I was invited out of the blue to present on a topic in my career field. And, by the way, it’s on short notice, so I had to write a session description, give it a title, prepare the presentation and practice it all in a span of a couple of weeks.

Oh yeah, and not only that, I was called two days before the conference and asked if I would moderate the full day’s event?

Crazy, right? What’s even crazier is that I said YES to all of it!

So I drove three and half hours to the conference destination, parked, got checked in, found my room – used my phone as a door key for the first time ever (that’s a win!). Having gotten settled, I walked to the area of the venue where the conference would be held the next day.

Introvert Anxiety Triggers

As I looked more, it was MUCH bigger than I was expecting.

Introvert Anxiety Trigger number 1.

 I can’t help wondering if there is a direct link between anxiety and introverts. The more I think about it, the more I believe it to be true. And, as a classic introvert, I am of course thinking about it – often.

I can’t help wondering if there is a direct link between anxiety and introverts. The more I think about it, the more I believe it to be true. And, as a classic introvert, I am of course thinking about it – often.

And then I started to question the setups. There were a lot of rooms when I was expecting just one. There were trade show booths for companies I had not anticipated. Was I at the right place?

I quickly checked my phone and noticed there was a similar conference scheduled at a similarly named hotel in the same city – but I saw no dates. Was I at the wrong hotel? For a conference I would be presenting at AND moderating?

Crap!

Introvert Anxiety Trigger #2.

And this is where I really started to feel my composure cutting loose. I started to panic inside. And I recognized it. So I stopped myself and told myself to calm down. I had at least twelve hours to sort things out if I was indeed in the wrong place.

I started making contingency plans if that were the case.

To call a bit of a time out, I went back to my room – again, I used my phone as the key (yay, look at me, I’m high tech!).

I calmed my anxious nerves and reminded myself that everything was going to be cool.

As I studied the conference materials, asked Google where I was, and began really understanding things, I found reassurance that I was indeed in the right place.

Relief.

And with it, I rehearsed my script and presentation.

Introvert Anxiety Trigger #3.

Turns out, I had to do some edits to the script and internally re-worked some of the transitions and statements I would make in the presentation.

I ran through a few more times. More relief.

The only thing I needed was a good night’s rest. Unfortunately, in the combination of planes flying overhead, sirens whizzing by in the streets thirteen floors below, the winds, and my anxious mind, I was up a few times during the night and – as I said – now up for good WAY too early.

Introvert Anxiety Trigger #4.

I could be anxious. And I am anxious.

But anxious is good. It’s exciting. I have time to cool myself, take my time getting ready, and write this blog post (another win). Ten years ago, maybe even three-to-five years ago, I would be a flat-out mess with all these things being thrown at me.

Instead, I have slowed myself down and really considered what is within control, allowing anxiety to be a teacher rather than destroying my mind and soul.

In my next post, I’ll let you know how the conference and my presentation went.

Peace and love.

         Chad

About Chad Gramling

Chad Gramling makes his home in Indiana with his wife and three daughters. He’s the founder and primary blogger at 1Glories, a vision cast onto his heart and detailed in Listen Up Kids: Foolish Dreams, Syncing with God & Running to Win.