Today I want to share one truth to shining brightly and presenting yourself in this world…
How It All Started ( and some background into my past)
Last weekend I attended a series of events held by NTGx, where I was honoured to connect with a group of exchange university students from Taiwan. It is a program that I was involved in during my undergraduate years. It is a group that holds very dear to my heart.
Once again, at the event I saw my old self. It was as if I was back there in the organizing team with them just a few years ago, struggling and carrying along with me – the overwhelming burden of school, the pressure of meeting up to parents’/society’s expectations, the constant struggle to finding my passions, and most importantly, the desperation to reaching that never-ending benchmark I’ve set forward for myself – I was never good enough.
This time, however, I was the bystander. With much more calmness and openness than before, I felt the exchange students’ hopes, dreams, and aspirations for the future. I also saw their personal struggles of finding themselves and searching for a place to belong in this world. This experience stirred up a gentle reminder that I think we all deserve to hear about presenting ourselves to this world while also staying true to who we are…
You Do Not Have to Be in the Spotlight to Shine.
In the society and in organizations today, there’s a certain type of people that everyone looks up to in order to be “successful.”
Even during my years in business school, in every class, we were encouraged to step onto the stage and take the spotlight, own the room with confidence, communicate and inspire people with our ideas.
You see, we were taught to be leaders, but not just any type of leader. It was the extroverted, charismatic leaders that were highly valued.
Sometimes the idea you need to communicate is so important, that you have to take the stage to express them to the right people. But being in the centre of the attention is not where everyone thrives.
For me, it is not where I thrive. It is not where I can be myself.
You do not have to be in the spotlight to shine. If you do not feel comfortable leading a group or being in the centre of attention, it is okay.
What is important is that you must UNDERSTAND YOURSELF and find the best method and environment that SUITS YOU where you can effectively, and truthfully, express yourself and what you have to offer.
I used to model these attention-loving sociable charismatic extroverts, and thought I HAD to be them in order to be successful in life. But the truth is, every one of our personalities is so different. According to the Myers Briggs Personality test, we can generally group our personality traits in this world into 16 different types. Out of these 16, half of them are extroverts. Out of the 8, only 2 of them are considered to have the natural, charismatic trait (ENTJ, ENFJ).
So, what does that mean for those of us, who do not belong as an ENTJ or ENFJ? Well it means that you simply cannot pretend to be someone you are not. And you should not have to be. Learn more about yourself through the personality test (link below in the post).
Even if you are one of the two leadership type personalities, how much do you understand yourself? Be aware of your strengths, weaknesses, and the environment that you are most comfortable in.
But of course, these personality tests are just a start, because they are just categories and still don’t fully define You.
Dive into your past experiences and think about what you enjoyed doing. Try out different hobbies. Follow your curiosities. Engage and take part in different groups and communities. Find out the best way for you to express yourself out to the world. Perhaps it is through art, through inventions, through the internet, through writing, or through verbal communication.
What kind of environment do you thrive in? Is it through one-on-one conversations, or in small groups, or in a big stadium with hundreds of people? Do you work better by yourself or in a team?
We are all different. Don’t ever compare yourself and your situation with someone else’s. Focus on yourself. Work on yourself. That’s the only way for you to grow.
What The World Needs
What we really need are all types of people portraying different strengths in this world. Can you imagine what it would be like, if the world is filled only with loud, charismatic extroverts? It would actually be a pretty scary place to be… and nothing would ever get done.
We do need charismatic people in this world to inspire and gather people together.
But what we need, also, are QUIETER, INTROVERTED people, and leaders who prefer to stay behind the scenes and are not afraid to let others take the spotlight.
What we need, are BRAVE people, who choose to believe and follow crazy leaders with visions.
What we need, are COMMITED people, who follow-through with what they say and can put words into actions.
What we need, are OPEN MINDED people, who can really lean in and listen first before speaking.
What we need, are KIND people, who have compassion and can show empathy in this cruel world.
What. We. Really. Need, are people who have strong SELF AWARENESS, who are honest and truthful to themselves so that in return they can be their best selves to better serve this world.
“Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman
So find out the best way for you to shine. Trust me, you do not always have to be in the spotlight to do so. Sometimes, perhaps, it is in the darkest, most overlooked places where you can be loud, and actually shine the brightest.
P.S. So do you know what personality type are you? Take The Personality Test Here. Comment below and let me know what your type is!