Another semester has gone by and looking back, I see that a lot has changed in my way of facing and surpassing adversities. After writing about the final project video mapping I developed with my students at the end of the semester, I began to think about my experience as a university professor.

When I started teaching two years ago, I felt a strange sensation after the first contact with the students. The great mountain that was in front of me became perfectly tamable, I realized that I always had the tools I needed to overcome it. When we are under pressure, all the basic principles that we have deliberately learned and practiced at the beginning of our career and the knowledge we have constructed quietly along the way appear to save the day. This is known as unconscious competence.

 

This made me think about the nature of introversion and the difference between introvertion and shyness.. Is it a flaw?

 

Does it prevent us from completing our full potential? I increasingly think it doesn’t, it’s a attribute that neither defines nor limits what we can achieve. The most common mistake is confusing introversion with shyness but these are not the same thing. Shyness is the fear of negative judgment, introversion is a preference for calm, controlled, and minimally stimulating environments.

 

It has always been imposed on me by my social reality that I couldn’t not be shy at work (…)

 

Western cultural traditions include a conception of the individual being that seems to be ancient, pervasive, and persistent. The familiar notion of the man of action, practical, realistic or sociable, is in opposition to the thinker, dreamy, idealistic or timid. And the most used labels associated with this tradition are the extroverted and introverted type designations.

Despite my introverted/outgoing natural tendencies, my job and personal life often require uncomfortable behavior. The truth is I have unique treads that make me a good professional and trustworthy partner, being self-sufficient, good listeners, having the ability to form deep and meaningful relationships, to focus on the details, to think outside the box, just to mention a few.

All that said, the more I read about this, I realize that I am more of an ambivert. This doesn’t invalidate all I said before, it just means I walk both sides of the road, I love to go out with friends, drink, dance, travel, but I also crave my time alone.