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Get Out of That Introvert Funk that you Find Yourself in

On 25, Aug 2014 | 2 Comments | In Introversion | By Andy Mort

Do you ever get those days when you just feel down for no reason?

It can seem impossible to shake off the negative feeling that is dragging you into a funk.

I have been in one of these lately. All the usual solutions had been attempted but failed, and I couldn’t identify the source of that feeling. I was just feeling down, you know as you sometimes do. I had been particularly busy, extended myself creatively, and there was a cloud of uncertainty surrounding my work going forwards. I was just not feeling great about myself; I was unfocussed, feeling unproductive and in a spiralling funk (I’m not talking about the good, sexy, wah-wah kind of funk).

Anna by Ultra Sonic Photography (via Compfight)

Anna by Ultra Sonic Photography (via Compfight)

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Tips on Speaking Publicly for Introverts

On 22, Aug 2014 | No Comments | In Interview, Introversion | By Andy Mort

My criteria for turning something down is about whether the event itself is going to be worth the expenditure of energy. It might sound harsh, but at some point because I need to be able to protect myself and my energy I need to decide whether it is going to be worth it to drive, prepare, and deliver.

If I don’t think it’s going to be worth it then chances are it wont be for them either, so I want something that’s going to be a win-win.

What I do more than necessarily looking at it from the perspective of ‘do I have down time’ is when I have a speaking engagement I don’t schedule anything else that day and preferably I don’t schedule much the day before either. This is partly because I often tweak right up until the last minute, but also because I want to get myself into that space.

So it’s more about how I’m managing my energy AROUND the event that’s important.

Obviously it’s never enough just to rock up, speak, and then leave. There is waiting around, networking, chatting to organisers, punters, and others. There is a lot of energy expenditure around the engagement itself.

Have you developed any good techniques for this aspect of public performance? Any insights you can share about how to be painlessly sociable around the event itself?

Of all the aspects of public speaking this is almost the more challenging. It’s not necessarily getting up and doing what you do, it’s the before and after.

I learned one thing that is particularly useful for introverts. One time I had a speaking engagement and was staying overnight in the same hotel as the engagement, as it started early the next morning. I went from my quiet cacoon of a room, walked through the hotel, down the elevator and was immediately confronted by bright lights and chatty women greeting me, all out of nowhere.

Transition Time

What I realised from this experience is that it’s important to have transition time. Don’t go from the safe, quiet place where you think you need to hunker down for protection, but recognise that having some interaction before you have to have the interaction is helpful.

When you show up make sure technology doesn’t get in the way of the performance/speaking. Get it all sorted with someone to help you. This alleviates a lot of stress so you can focus on things like finding the bathroom, getting a drink if you need it, finding the people you need to say hello to. If you focus on these people first you can allow them to introduce you to people gradually.

Don’t try to meet everyone, but it’s always nice to meet a couple of people so that there are familiar and friendly faces that you can see when you get up on stage. Knowing names can bring a more personable dynamic to your speaking because you can refer to what someone has said before hand, which serves to put people at ease.

Once you are comfortable then give yourself some space and quiet. Develop preparation rituals and work out what puts you in that place where you are ready to perform. The mind responds to all kinds of memory triggers.

This is taken from an interview I did with Beth Buelow about how to survive and thrive as an introvert in the public eye. 

If you’re interested in watching the whole of our conversation then swing by and join us in the Member’s Haven where there is new and exclusive content every week to help inspire, encourage and equip us introverted and highly sensitive people live the life we want to lead.

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In Podcast

By Andy Mort

#091: Why You Must Take Life Potato by Potato [Podcast]

On 20, Aug 2014 | 2 Comments | In Podcast | By Andy Mort


Do you get drained by a potential and looming period of busy?

Image Credit: Moving Back a Bit over Legaspi by Storm Crypt

Image Credit: Moving Back a Bit over Legaspi by Storm Crypt (via Compfight)

I recorded this week’s podcast twice and made a decision as I was walking home in the rain. It was inspired by a wonderful expression that Tuula used in the Members Haven when we were discussing burnout and how introverts and highly sensitive people can avoid it. When talking about how to approach a looming busy period that feels overwhelming she said:

“You can’t peel two potatoes at the same time. So potato by potato.” – Tuula

The Next 3 Weeks

I will be taking the next three weeks off from podcasting while my wife and I go to South Africa. We are visiting my parents. Initially I was intending to get ahead and record podcasts before we went but I haven’t had the time to produce stuff that I’m happy with and I don’t want to put stuff out just for the sake of it.

So to avoid burnout and frustration I am taking a break from producing new episodes of the podcast until the 17th September. That way I can get myself back on track and get thinking about taking stuff to the next level when I return.

Overwhelmed and Over-faced

What happens during these inevitable times? How do we get through and stem the feeling of overwhelm? For me it becomes a huge challenge to being present and mindful, yet these practices become all the more poignant at such times. In this week’s podcast I talk briefly about why it’s important to stop looking at the big picture, and to move bit by bit, moment by moment when things feel loomingly overwhelming:

  1. It’s easy to wish your life away
  2. You can forget to find the moments of calm
  3. You forget what CAN be done because you concentrate on what CAN’T be done
  4. Understand that uncertainty is one of the only certainties in life

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Why Introverts Are Like Cats

On 18, Aug 2014 | 2 Comments | In Introversion | By Andy Mort

Michaela from Introvert Spring produced a meme a while back which likened introverts to cats. It struck me with its poignant accuracy.

Do you resonate with this?

Introverts Like Cats

There are days when I feel unsettled and restless. I feel like I want to go out and do something. Once I’m there I just want to return home, away from all the stimulation, people, and noise. The introverted temperament can produce internal conflict like this, especially as energy levels ebb and flow through a day.

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3 Ways to Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway

On 15, Aug 2014 | No Comments | In Interview | By Andy Mort

One of my favourite, and one of the first ‘self-help’ books is called Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers. I can’t recommend it enough. The title tells you just about everything you need to know.

You need to give yourself permission and space to acknowledge that fear is natural and that even the most seasoned public speakers who will get up in front of thousands of people and have done it hundreds of times still get those butterflies, sweaty palms (or however the nervousness manifests itself).

1. Be Compassionate With Yourself

Say OK, my fear is normal. It’s hardwired to see yourself in an ‘us vs them’ situation and to have some fear.

2. Re-Frame How you Speak About Public Speaking

The seeds of my experience public speaking were in a meeting with just three other people. Having the floor, talking and having those people listen and take notes without interupting me was public speaking. What we’re doing right now is public speaking.

We are public speaking every single day, all the time.

3. Learn to Trust Yourself

Ask yourself what the difference is between talking to 5, 50, or 500 people. There is an intellectual difference, but as far as your brain goes, it doesn’t really know that.

For the introvert Practicing and Preparing are the two tools that we have in our corner. It might sound obvious to say but it’s important to practice out loud. Introverts can think something so much in our heads that we think we’ve said it out loud. But it’s not the same, until we say it aloud it doesn’t quite live in our bodies in the same way.

However you need to deliver your message make sure you practice it. You may feel silly. In fact you probably will feel silly at first standing in your office, bedroom, living room, saying it out loud with gestures, but doing that will do more to calm your nerves than just about anything else.

This is taken from an interview I did with Beth Buelow about how to survive and thrive as an introvert in the public eye. 

If you’re interested in watching the whole of our conversation then swing by and join us in the Member’s Haven where there is new and exclusive content every week to help inspire, encourage and equip us introverted and highly sensitive people live the life we want to lead.

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In Podcast

By Andy Mort

#090: The Insidious Energy Takers and Stimulation Makers [Podcast]

On 13, Aug 2014 | No Comments | In Podcast | By Andy Mort


A while back I was invited to write for Brenda at about the things that can sap our energy as HSPs and introverts without us necessarily realising. You can read the article here.


Photo Credit: A Foggy Empire by Chris Ford (via Compfight)

In this week’s episode I unpack some of this stuff a little bit more.  I’ve come to realise how important it is to notice the things that can stop us from being as effective as we might be.

Being highly sensitive means that you are more easily overwhelmed because you have a sensitive nervous system and process the world at a deep level. Once again I want to remove or dispel the myth or image many of us may have in our heads when we hear the term highly sensitive – it is about being emotionally weak, whimpy or quick to cry or whatever. It is about the deepness and intensity with which we encounter the world.

Elaine Aron, author of The Highly Sensitive Person says, “If you notice everything, you are naturally going to be overstimulated when things are too intense, complex, chaotic, or novel for a long time”..

Knowing WHY you feel a certain way makes it a lot easier to cope with and recognise HOW you can address it. It’s amazing how much more effective you can be when you have even a slight increase of understanding about yourself and your relationship with the world.

So here are 12 potential energy suckers that we all experience, but that may be especially poignant to the highly sensitive person.

  1. Subtleties in the Environment
  2. Pain
  3. Sudden Noise
  4. Information
  5. Being Rushed
  6. Change
  7. Emotional Environments
  8. Over-Thinking
  9. Too Much on Your Plate
  10. Confrontation
  11. Being Observed
  12. Being Labelled

Do you identify with any of the stimulating factors on this list? Do you subject yourself to over-arousal without being consciously aware of it?

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2 Types of Ambition: Which One Do You Subscribe to?

On 11, Aug 2014 | 2 Comments | In Creativity | By Andy Mort

Ambition can be a dirty word.

It conjures an image in the mind. I wonder what it makes you think about? A high achiever, someone who desires success, and will pursue it no matter who or what might get in the way.

It is a trait both celebrated and vilified in equal measure. The ambitious among us are considered to be role models, yet if they overstep the mark they may become the object of heavy criticism.

But what does ‘ambition’ mean to you? Do you have any? If so, what motivates it? This is a really interesting thing to consider; something I have grappled with many times over the past few years.


Image Credit: The Possibility of Escape by Thomas Hawk (via Compfight)


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Get a Hit of Self-Esteem: How to Start Liking Yourself

On 10, Aug 2014 | No Comments | In Creativity | By Andy Mort

Joanna Moore has featured a fair amount over the past couple of months on Sheep Dressed Like Wolves. I interviewed her in the Members Haven about overcoming shyness and finding your confidence. I’ve really enjoyed seeing her voice and website (Twisted Sleeve) develop.

I’m now very excited to tell you about her new online course, Self-Esteem DIY: How to Start Liking Yourself.

She has produced this wonderful program that is aimed at helping shy people, those who don’t like themselves, and/or suffer from a lack of self-esteem/confidence. While it has been produced with girls in mind (the audience that Jo knows best!) I can absolutely recommend it for guys who resonate with this stuff as well.

The course provides an inspirational framework, challenging you to consider the way that you view yourself and the world, and is structured with a very practical foundation with some searching and probing questions to explore.



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#089: Bit by Bit and Drip by Drip Comes Purpose and Meaning [Podcast]

On 06, Aug 2014 | No Comments | In Creativity, Podcast | By Andy Mort


There was almost no podcast this week. What with all the weddings, work, and creative flow I’ve been experiencing I didn’t realise it was Wednesday again…ALREADY! But I wanted to explain a little bit about what I’ve been doing.

In fact it brings me great pleasure to announce the release of my very first online course…

A Little Bit Every Day: Helping Introverted and Highly Sensitive People Build a Meaningful Life and a Purpose-Fuelled Living

In this week’s episode I explain what this programme is about, why I felt compelled to make it, and how the concept of A Little Bit Every Day has taken a long time to find its place and settle.


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Prepare for Social Interaction When You Don’t Feel Up to It

There are certain days when the idea of going to a meeting, community event, or even just leaving the house full stop can feel overwhelming.

For highly sensitive people and introverts this is a part of everyday life and even the prospect of going somewhere full of people, and making small talk for a couple of hours can be energy-sapping. But it’s also a part of life.

Whether you like it or not, there is no way to get away from the need to leave the house and interact with other people. As well as being a necessary part of life, it’s as important to our general wellbeing as is getting exposure to daylight.

But it’s completely understandable that for many of us it takes effort and energy to get up and go when it comes to dragging ourselves away from our projects and interests at home.

social interaction

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