Remember stylus-based PDAs, like Palm Pilots? Remember how every so often you had to re-calibrate the screen? (I’m assuming. Obviously I’m too young to understand my own reference.)

You’d know things were out of alignment because your stylus tap would activate the wrong thing. So you’d go through a few steps to teach the touchscreen where everything was again.

Well, that’s what life’s like for many people. Maybe most people. We periodically find ourselves out of alignment with our true selves, and have to reset to get back into our proper groove. We have to remind ourselves what matters to us, what our values are – and make changes so our lives reflect those values.

We periodically find ourselves out of alignment with our true selves, and have to reset to get back into our proper groove.

Wrong Way, Go Back

Introvert Compass
Look out for those subtle signs that you’ve taken a wrong turn.

And for introverts I think this is especially true.

Why especially for introverts? Because we’re used to subverting our true selves in order to fit in, to meet expectations. We learn young to put on the mask and play the faux extrovert. So I think we may be especially susceptible to ending up lost and out of touch with our true north.

For me, this has happened so many times I briefly considered calling my blog www.willsheeverlearn.com, but I worried people would wonder who this Sheever person was.

I’ve taken jobs I’ve loved, but gotten accolades for a part I disliked, and ended up spending all my time doing that and feeling bleurgh.

I’ve started websites on topics I was passionate about, but let the audience steer me to topics I had no interest in, and ended up spending all my time doing that and feeling bleurgh.

I’ve started writing projects but gotten distracted by the business side, which I neither liked nor was good at, and ended up– well, you can see where this is going. Even if I didn’t. 🙁

I could give you many examples but they all turn out the same: I start from passion but over time I lose sight of what I care about and end up feeling disconnected.

But you know what? Not. This. Time.

This time I want to learn from my mistakes. And maybe help you to avoid this introvert pitfall yourself.

With this new site, Louder Minds, I’ve begun from genuine passion, a desire to share my introvert experiences and to help others embrace and celebrate their inner introvert weirdness and find their own individual style of happiness. To me, Louder Minds feels like home.

But as it’s starting to become more popular, I’m already finding myself getting distracted. By topics that don’t interest me. By social media hullabaloo. By what other people are doing.

Should I write about that? Should I worry about that? Should I do what they’re doing?

It’s so easy to get distracted and find yourself on some other path, miles from where you originally wanted to be and clueless as to how to get back.

And as someone who has more than once gotten completely lost in my own suburb, finding my way home is never simple.

It’s so easy to get distracted and find yourself on some other path, miles from where you originally wanted to be and clueless as to how to get back.

Okay then. If I don’t want the same outcome this time, what am I going to do differently?

Here’s what.

Resetting My Introvert Compass

Introvert Compass
I have never once left a restaurant restroom without wondering which direction would take me back to my table.

This time, I’m going to publicly commit to my values as I work on this site. That way, I can come back here any time and see how I’m doing. You guys can also pull me up if I start to stray, if you want to.

So here they are, the Louder Minds topics and values I’m committed to.

  1. Writing with honesty. Avoiding the superficial and sharing what’s real.
  2. Writing with originality. Always trying to have a fresh take on whatever the topic is.
  3. Writing with humour. Because that’s what I like to read and also I don’t know how else to write.
  4. Not worrying what anyone else is doing, unless it helps me improve on something I care about anyway.
  5. Having a strong base in psychology. That’s my training and I like evidence-based information, even if it’s not as popular as less scientific approaches.
  6. Encouraging happiness. I honestly think being happy gives you the best base for being kind and generous to others.
  7. Encouraging individuality, personal weirdness, and each person’s unique way of being in the world.
  8. Not fostering an ‘introverts are superior’ attitude. Instead, promoting self-acceptance and other-acceptance regardless of personality.
  9. Having a beautiful site*. Because I love beautiful things and am much happier writing for a gorgeous blog.
  10. Aiming for three posts a week (two articles and one funny image or inspirational quote). So the Weekly Introvert Update is neither too short nor too long, neither too serious nor too flippant.
  11. Protecting my personal boundaries. Making sure I have my personal time and space so my saw stays sharp.

* I’m currently working with a designer to overhaul my website, logo, and visual identity. Can’t wait to share it with you guys!

How To Reset Your Introvert Compass

Introvert Compass
I’m not saying you MUST have a pair of Louboutins to find your way home, but they worked for Dorothy. Sort of.

So how about you?

Maybe you don’t fall into this trap of getting waylaid by other people’s expectations or what other people are doing. In which case, teach me your ways, oh wise one!

But if you’re like me and you regularly find yourself blown about by other voices and what other people want, then maybe you should also declare your values.

Maybe it’s how you want to be at work, or in a relationship, or in a creative field.

Maybe it’s your voice, what you want to say.

Maybe it’s how you spend your time, the things that matter most to you.

Whatever, consider listing your values and priorities so you can be accountable to yourself. As a way of recalibrating your screen. As a way or reminding yourself where your personal north is.

Write it somewhere private, or post it in a comment here if you’re feeling brave.

If you regularly find yourself blown about by other voices and what other people want, then maybe you should also declare your values.

And if you need a little soul-stirring inspiration, here you go:

But if my spirit is lost
How will I find what is near
Don’t question I’m not alone
Somehow I’ll find my way home

MY NEW BOOK

How To Be An Introvert In An Extrovert World

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