Thank you once again to all of those that came to our Boston Changemaker Chat with Morra Aarons-Mele! For those that missed the chat, we captured our key takeaways from this inspirational female whose honesty brings a refreshing perspective to finding your voice.
Identifying your energy – Introversion vs Extroversion
- Know your energy: Being an introvert or extrovert is about energy. It’s about what gives you energy and what sucks it away. Introverts are just like everyone else, they just need more alone time to recharge.
Coping with anxiety and depression
- Recognize that everyone feels this way: It’s very hard for us to view successful people as struggling every day with their mental health. We must talk about it so we all understand that at some point, everyone deals with anxiety and depression, regardless of their level of success. Recognizing this makes everything more obtainable.
- Rely on cognitive behavioral techniques: Have a ritual or routine to feel stable. If you struggle – build out your schedule, make a plan, stick to the plan, etc.
- Find a good therapist: It is very important to have someone who has the skills to get you through toxic or difficult times in both professional and personal situations.
Getting out of your comfort zone – finding what motivates you
- Know what motivates you: Separate out what intrinsically motivates you from “what you should do”. This is an ongoing process but is especially important in your 20s and 30s. Understand what really makes you happy, write it down, and be super intentional about it. For example, every six months try writing a “more or less” chart to define what you want more and less of in your life.
- Build a financial plan: How are you going to pay for it? Have a financial plan, because money is where a lot of these plans often get stuck.
“Building the Cabinet” – Creating and finding your niche
- Surround yourself with people who give you the courage to think differently: This group can be small but intentional. The goal is to create a niche of people you can trust. Talk them through your ideas so you’re not alone and can move away from self-doubt.
- Build a community online without it being alienating: Have your niche – identify what you care about, where you want to be heard. The internet can be a horrible and scary place as a woman. So if you enter into it too broadly, it won’t be a rewarding experience. The beauty of where we are now is that you can find niche groups that will become your online community. Think small, not big.
Finding your “Work-Life Fit”
- Identify your ideal work environment: Define your ideal pace of the week. It’s not just about finding a work-life balance but rather finding the environment that allows you to seize the most opportunity. Everyone’s will be different.
Building an effective voice
- Know which opportunities to seize and which to let go: There is a time and a place for your voice – especially as young women. It is important to weigh the costs and benefits of speaking out to make sure it’s worth it. This is why the internet can be such a key outlet; it gives you a voice.
- Run good meetings: This is key to advancing women and making introverts successful. Learn how to seize your moment in a meeting to make sure you are heard. Keys are talking less and summing up. For example, “I think where we are getting to is x may I suggest y?”. Good leaders like their people to shine. Find sponsors who are open to having their junior people shine.
Want more advice from Morra?
- Connect with her on Twitter: @morraam
- Grab a copy of her award-winning book, Hiding in the Bathroom: An Introvert’s Roadmap to Getting Out There (When You’d Rather Stay Home)
- Check out her podcast, Hiding in the Bathroom