Whereas most creative and emotional souls are more apt to dive too deeply into professional relationships, there are those who find it challenging to develop friendly relationships altogether. Building walls that no one can scale is another way to close doors on a career.
There are more introverts in entertainment than the world might think, and those “gregarious on the outside” souls find it challenging to step out of their comfort zone and cultivate relationships outside of the professional environment. Learning to have meaningful conversation with near-strangers is crucial to a talent’s success and in the case of introverts, tearing down the walls is just as challenging as setting solid boundaries might be for the extroverted talent.
Being an introvert myself, I can sympathize with how challenging it is to make yourself vulnerable to others. Here are some ways that I have found to combat my internal urges to hide.
**Just do it! The Nike slogan couldn’t be more appropriate in this situation. Each time we force ourselves to practice a habit, it becomes more natural to us.
**Be the initiator. Connect with professionals in a one-on-one situation where you can be more comfortable opening up. Try suggesting coffee, a visit to the dog park with your pups, or meeting at a new hot spot for happy hour. Choose the atmosphere where you can be most comfortable and then be willing to pull your weight in the conversation.
**Host an event. This is a great way to practice being vulnerable in public while still having support. Invite those closest to you whom you can trust and lean on if an awkward situation should arise. As a host, your time to connect with individuals will be short and sweet, and the event could be a great opportunity to support a charitable cause! What kind of event, you ask? The sky is the limit! Your dinner table could be a start and a national charity auction could be your eventual goal.
The key is not allowing yourself to be lost in the caves of hermit comfort. Being seen, building your network, and showing genuine interest in others (and other organizations) is important for a talent to reach his or her maximum potential. Are you setting yourself up for success?