You can reprogram your brain to find more freedom, purpose, satisfaction, and ultimately love.
In the first month of my first job at an international marketing agency, I met my future husband.
When we look back at our initial encounter on a tram, we can’t help but smile.
It’s been over 12 years since that day, and not only did we find each other, but my husband, Patrick, also overcame his introverted nature to approach me.
Previously, he would have described himself as someone who avoided social interactions and struggled with talking to women.
Introverts can adopt an extroverted perspective
This transformation began at a pickup convention in London, where a renowned pickup guru posed a challenging question to Patrick.
He asked, “If you were an extrovert, what would that look like? How would you think about talking to women differently?”
Patrick considered this and responded, “I would really enjoy being with women. I would like to talk to them. I would enjoy meeting interesting women. I would be energized when talking to them.”
The guru then proposed, “Do you think you could think that way as an experiment?”
By encouraging Patrick to entertain the possibility of extroversion, the guru opened up a world of opportunities for him. Patrick realized that he didn’t enjoy being an introvert and saw how extroversion could benefit him.
So, he decided to practice and explore this new mindset, discovering that he could create a more empowering story for himself by adopting an extroverted perspective.
If introverts change their thoughts, they can change the results
On that fateful day in the tram, I was absorbed in my book, unaware of the young man sitting across from me.
When the train door malfunctioned, our eyes met for the first time. Patrick’s eyes sparkled, while I worried about being late for work.
When I joked that this was spooky, he saw an opportunity to engage in conversation.
Patrick smiled warmly and replied, “Well, it really is. Today is Halloween.”
I couldn’t help but laugh, and we soon found ourselves immersed in a lively conversation about other funny tram stories, our interests, and our work.
Our conversation went effortlessly, and I never thought Patrick would have a hard time talking to women.
Introverts have to win in the mind first
This chance encounter led to countless dates on the tram, shared experiences, and eventually, our marriage.
By embracing the pickup guru’s advice to experiment with extroversion, Patrick was able to rewrite his own story.
Instead of feeling trapped in an introverted mindset, he found the courage to approach me and start a journey that led to our lasting happiness.
This experience highlights the power of reframing our thoughts, experimenting with new perspectives, and ultimately leading to better results for ourselves and those around us.
You can reprogram your brain to tell a new, empowering story
The old saying, “It’s all in your head,” which my grandfather used to say, is much truer than you might think.
“Mind Your Mindset — The Science That Shows Success Starts with Your Thinking” by serial entrepreneur and NYT bestselling author Michael Hyatt, shows how we can rewire our brains for empowered thinking.
One of the key takeaways for me personally is that “the best part about being human is that we don’t have to stay stuck in a story that makes us play small.”
Hyatt used to be an introvert himself and wasn’t happy about it.
When he was younger, he wasn’t really good with people and didn’t enjoy them. He didn’t like being around people. They wore him out and he needed time to recover.
One day he realized, as the CEO of a public company, he needed to be able to meet people and enjoy people. Similar to my husband, Hyatt started an experiment and told himself another narrative about himself.
“I’m going to stay in the room. I’m going to engage. I’m going to meet some new people that I don’t know and I’m going to figure out their stories”, he told himself.
I’ve had the experience of being an introvert — both from my hubby and the fact that I’m an introvert myself.
At one point in my life, I also desired to embrace meeting people with greater openness.
I wouldn’t have been able to speak as freely in the tram had I not addressed this. Patrick, my spouse, feels the same way.
If he hadn’t adopted an extroverted perspective, we would not have met.
By the way, I was the first person he trained this new mentality on.