——𝗜 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝘄𝗲𝗶𝗿𝗱𝗼𝘀❗I used to be a shy and introvert person filled in with insecurities & character quirks.
When in May 2017 I started improvising, I could barely hold a conversation with a stranger — even with colleagues! FORGET the networking events (If I did end up going to one, I’d stand in a corner chucking beers 🥸 🍺)
🎭 I did Improvisation for two years straight. It helped me to discover the fun of interacting with others. To be in the moment, unpredictable, and NOT to follow the default mental script.
Still to this date, I’m harvesting the benefit of showing up every Monday evening to that class.
I remember in 2019 when we kickstarted the workshop arm for Bonanza Design, the idea of it scared me to death.
𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁❓ Holding workshops for strangers?!!!! (🙊 the old me kicked in)
However, having improv experience up my sleeves helped me a lot to relax into it and have fun with it.
Fast forward, a year after, I was holding 50-participant workshops — and no beer needed!
Just like many other things in life, our personality is very complex. Some of us may be introverts, some may be extroverts, and some just fall in between the ambiverts. I actually belong to the introverts.
It’s completely normal being an introvert and shy, and there’s nothing wrong with being one in fact I enjoy it. I used to be comfortable within my boundaries and simply go on routines in which I feel more secure.
However, in my line of business being an introvert limits my capacities to explore and connect to people. Yes, the struggle is real, even just starting a small talk. Imagine me in a convention where I should be engaging myself with others who would rather be on the side and enjoy my beer alone. Or even simply talking to my colleagues, I can’t even hold the conversation longer.
But then I realized that I needed to improve and develop myself if I want to be successful in this career. So little by little I changed the way I socialized with people and of course it wasn’t easy at the beginning. One of the things that helped me a lot is going to the Improvisation class in May of 2017.
For those of you who don’t know what improvisation is, it’s an activity of making or doing something that is not planned. In performing arts it’s an act of doing spontaneous performance without a specific art or script.
I felt so lost at the beginning, but with the help of the great people in that class, I opened myself to just be in the moment and break my mental script. Then I learned to enjoy doing it week after week, and for that, I slowly have to break my comfort zone of being an introvert.
Being there did not just magically change me from an introvert to being extrovert, but instead, it helped me open another personality that I didn’t know I am capable of. It helped me gain the confidence to socialize with other people especially with work. It changed the way I think, changed my perspective, and the way I approached life.
I used to be really scared of not knowing what’s next, always anxious about the future, and that only led me to frustrations and depression. From there I’ve discovered that I can be flexible and versatile when it comes to handling difficult situations and sudden changes.
That I don’t have to limit myself in a corner and that I can actually get myself out of the box to explore a lot of things. Yes trying new things can be scary but it will help us gain new experiences that can help us become better.
I wasn’t an easy ride, I was on Improv for 2 years but see where it got me now.
With my new learnings come from new experiences and opportunities. 2019 when an opportunity came and that’s where I started with my first UX workshop and that scared me to death.
Like in a flash all of my learnings from Improv just disappeared just having a thought of talking and teaching strangers. But I pulled myself together and focused, I asked myself why I need to do this workshop.
Because of Improv, this taught me how to relax and roll my sleeves up and simply be confident in myself, most of all just to have fun. Indeed it was fun to talk to new people, share stories and get learnings from them too.
Now I am holding more than 2 workshops every month with more than 160 people and I can do it with all excitement meeting new faces every day and no need for beers anymore.
Being introvert and shy isn’t a bad thing and you don’t need to change just to fit in, but instead open yourself to possibilities. Give new things a try, if it works then you have a new experience, if not then you have a new lesson. I hope my story gives you the courage to see that there is more to life than just being in a corner.
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