When I was little, my mother told me I was a follower. I got the feeling that leaders were somehow better than followers. Followers were a “bad” thing, in my mind and her statement made me feel like I was destined to be a follower(bad person) the rest of my life.
I don’t think that was my mother’s intention-to give me little hope for my future-but it’s the way I interpreted that statement at the time.
It had mostly to do with my friends. That she thought I followed bad advice or followed my friends into doing “bad” things, rebellious things, without giving it much thought.
I was gullible, naive, and I probably thought that my “leaders” at the time must know better, and that what they were proposing to do…i.e., shoplift or sniff glue wasn’t all that bad. These things made for exciting and thrilling events in my hum-drum (bored) early teen years.
And, yes, I was also an Introvert. Scared of my own shadow as they say. My first assumption was always to believe that no one liked me. I especially didn’t like myself, or my looks or my thoughts. And, any attempt to like myself, i.e. masterbating for instance, if caught in the act, would result in a spanking for doing the “bad” thing.
I wanted to be accepted by friends. It’s taken me years and years to listen to my inner voice and to say “No” to what or who really isn’t “good” for me. And, in retrospect, my mother was usually right about my friends—which, as cliche as it sounds, I had to learn the hard way.
In my younger years, I guess I “followed” the more Extrovert (leader) friend—who was the counterpart part to my Introvert (follower) personality at the time. And, just as I believed I was destined to be the “follower” type forever—I also thought, well, I’m just an Introvert and nothing’s going to ever change that!
I am a lot like my shy, more introverted dad, but I DO have parts of my more extroverted mom in me too. She had some crazy convictions, and she wasn’t afraid to express them—especially when it came to Religion or Teaching—-two powerful passions of hers. “You’re like your dad,” she would say. Yet, whether she knew it or not, those “Extrovert” traits of hers rubbed off on me over time to where NOW, I realized that I am part Introvert, part Extrovert, or, if you will…
What is an Ambivert?
An Ambivert is someone who likes being social (Extrovert), but after being social for a while, likes to go back and recharge with solitude (Introvert), so that she can re-group and go out and be social again. And, she knows when to take her own lead and follow her inner guide regarding which persona she needs when.
Which brings me to the notion of “followers” and “leaders” in the online world of today.
These days, as a blogger, I have quite a few “followers” on certain platforms, i.e., Twitter, Pinterest, etc.—which I guess makes me a “leader” of sorts? And, by the way, a lot of those followers are leaders in their fields of coaching, health and wellness, spirituality, the arts, etc. And, all of those leaders have followers and follow other followers and leaders….
It’s ironic how the meanings of those two words-leader and follower-have morphed.
In the end, I guess we’re all just looking for our Tribe.
I AM becoming, sometimes reluctantly, a leader but my follower side (as well as my Capricorn Rising side) wants to run for the hills when I get too much attention! Hence, the need to re-charge.
So, what does all of this mean? That we need to accept all parts of ourselves however
“Who we are” didn’t happen overnight.
Well, maybe for some…
For others of us, it took a while to figure it all out.
Hey, I’m still figuring it out. It’s definitely been a journey for me and it continues to be so.
As I get older I appreciate my Introvert more and try to let it unfold in a way that is authentic to me, but in certain moments, try to recognize when to risk for something bigger with the Extrovert side and express it— warts and all.
Looking for my tribe.
Not for popularity.
Not for acceptance.
For being helpful.
It just takes one person, one follower for a leader to create a Movement. Derek Sivers broke it all down very well in this viral video.
So, which are you? Introvert, Extrovert? Some of both? There’s no wrong or right way.
Just be who you are.
And enjoy the journey.
Oh, and if you decide to follow me,
Hope ya like to dance.