As an introvert, I usually prefer to keep to myself and avoid the limelight. I’ve noticed, though, that I like to stand at the edge of the shadows. I look and I listen, passively participating as others with more gusto express themselves uninhibited. If living a full life is about enjoying experiences, I sometimes fill my void by living vicariously through others.
I’m most inspired by people who have the courage to put themselves out there even though, like me, they’re inclined to hold back. They’re often the ones that surprise me with something new. Something different. Something I don’t get from those who normally live in the public eye.
That is why I am here. And why I am sharing my writing publicly.
Unlike others on Medium, I’m not a published author. I don’t consider myself a good writer, but others have taught me that it’s not a prerequisite to making a meaningful contribution. What’s more important is staying true to yourself and telling your story. Not to be recognized. Not for the green hearts. (I can’t deny they’re encouraging.) But to share something that might make a difference to someone else.
So this piece goes out to everyone standing at the edge. Nothing wrong with staying there. It’s a comfortable place to be. A fulfilling life can be lived in so many ways, with or without the limelight.
For me, sometimes that’s not enough. So I intentionally get uncomfortable and do things I love for public consumption. I record my DJ mixes and post digital versions on MixCrate. I create a YouTube video for my kids of me dancing in the living room. I write about my career insights on LinkedIn. And I share my miscellaneous perspectives on Medium.
As hard as it is, I try not to be too concerned with the number of views, likes, or recommends. When I focus on how the public share might help just one other person, I’m satisfied. I simply find exhilaration in the act of creative self-expression. It bridges the gap between the shadows and the light. Between my comfortable introversion and my wannabe extroverted side.
Where I work, there are two expressions that frequently come up in the corporate lingo:
- Be yourself
- Leave it better than you found it
Those words resonate with me because I like to apply them to my personal life as well.
If you’re up for it, why not join me for the occasional moment of gusto? No talent necessary. Just be yourself and have some fun. There’s security in living vicariously, but I don’t think you’ll regret occasionally stepping out and doing a little dance. Your dance. You just might inspire someone, in a way that only you can. In doing so — to paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson — you’re succeeding at making this world a better place because you have lived.
Originally published on Medium